Ladies and gents, it’s July 10th, and we’re catching stripers. Upon landing at Logan at 11pm on the 3rd of July, I immediately began planning out my fishing trips for the coming week.
On the honeymoon, I had received numerous texts from fishing buddies along the lines of: “sucks you’re in mexico, stripers are busting bait right in front of me.”
So, you can imagine how eager I was to get back to the grind.
Pogies on the Fourth of July
I fished with Captain Bill on the morning of the Fourth. We jigged up a few mackerel and snagged a few pogies (more on this in a bit) and made a move to the East End, a spot that treated us well this time last year.
We drifted pogies along the East moving current through slack tide and didn’t get a single take. By all reports, this area is still slow.
On the way back to Plymouth, we found massive–I mean MASSIVE–schools of pogies and mackerel flipping on the surface. It was the most bait I’ve ever seen. They seemed to be moving north. But, we couldn’t find any fish harassing the schools. (Update: Check out he forecast tomorrow for some interesting developments)
Stripers still across CC Bay and a fish for the Michigan Boy
Is there nothing better than hearing your alarm clock go off at 3am, after a long day and night of drinking on the beach and town? There’s a special, still-half-drunk, mostly hungover feeling that comes over your body in this situation.
Sunday morning, I dragged myself out of bed after promising a striper trip to Sean and Jon (staples on the Mal de Mer) and a friend, Tyler from Michigan, who has never caught a striper. Well, we were looking to change that.
The pogies were thick and we snagged as many as we wanted. Not wanting to miss a possible dawn bite, I flew across the Bay without thinking to try for mackerel. This proved to be a mistake.
The ride was very sporty (this was great for the old hangover) and the dunes of the Outer Cape were a welcome sight rising up out of the Bay. We cruised the pot line of the outer Cape and found some birds, none of which seemed like they were marking any surface action.
We began marking fish and dropped the pogies in, and they swam happily around, without even a sniff from the sure-as-hell-there stripers. I’m finding these fish are sticking to their diet of mackerel this year and not straying far from it.
We drifted live and chunked pogies for the next hour and got one short take. Captain Bill, who was fishing on a different boat came over the radio: “Two to nothing.” He had gotten a cookie cutter keeper on a mackerel and a 36″ on a Guppy and he was sure he was going to outfish us.
Just then, Tyler who had been throwing a bone SP minnow off the bow the entire time, got a finicky fish to eat a 29″ fish that fought well on the light setup. “Two to one.”
Jon the Mackerel catches macks. Period.
The current began picking up, and the boats all around us fishing live mackerel continued hooking up. We became so desperate for a bite, that we offered three Italian subs and six beers to anyone over the radio who would give us mackerel. Radio silence. And here I thought we were losing our shirt on that deal.
We voted to head back up toward the bathhouse from our location at the Golf Ball.
At the rip, we pulled in a few onesie, twosie strings of macks. But then, Jon’s rod bent into the water and he Jimmy-Houston-swung a full string into the boat. We erupted and the people around us must have thought it was the first string of mackerel we had ever caught.
Back along the potline on the backside, we continued marking fish. As the sun rose, they got more finicky, but we were able to get three fish up to 30″ on the live mackerel.
Not lights out by any means, but it’s good to know that there are still fish hanging out across the Bay. The ride back was flat, and I sipped a Bell’s Two Hearted Ale (courtesy of Tyler). My hangover, I noticed, was long gone. There’s something about that Cape Cod air that tends to do this.