You heard me say it, folks. Wayyyyyy back in July. What a strange season. I’ll give the full season recap at a later date, after we’ve winterized the boat, the fish are all gone and I’m sitting on the couch super depressed.
But the striper fishing died down a month ago and hasn’t heated up since. East End, Sandy Neck and Barnstable, spots that are normally surefire summer havens for big bass, have been almost completely devoid of life. The Canal rats are only finding small-ish fish on jigs and schoolies on topwater. The commercial fishing is so bad that they opened up a third day for the remainder of the season (is this really necessary?)
I have to admit it. I’m pretty nervous about the striper fishing moving forward.
But, let’s not get too down. We’ve got lots of cool things happening in Seven Stripes Land. (And we also have albies nice and close to shore and a Fall run that has yet to materialize). So let’s get down to business.
Seven Stripes Land
In case you haven’t heard, we’ve got a sweet new logo that you’ll get to see soon on some killer shirts, hats, and other goodies. But most importantly, we’ve got decals–like right now. If you want a SSF decal, just let me know. I’m sure we can work something out (ie, will trade decals for beer, flies or fishing spots).
Also, we’ll be running guide services starting in the Spring of 2019. So if you want to get out with the coolest crew on the Cape (lol) and maybe even catch a striper or two, lock in a date now.
Some other bittersweet news: There will be a new vessel in the Seven Stripes Fleet. But this means a boat needs to go. You’ll hear more about this at a later date.
But enough with this business. Let’s get to the fishing.
Report: The Other Bay
Last weekend, we launched Mal de Mer into Buzzards Bay to search for some tackle-busting albies. Tyler from Michigan and his Dad joined Capt. Bill, Jonny Mack, and I on the excursion. Buzzards Bay was grease calm (which is very rare) and we had our pick of spots throughout the area. Early on, we spotted a small school of busting albies by Bird island. By the time we were in position, they were gone (this would be a common theme throughout the day).
Northeast of there, we found acres of busting cocktail blues on peanut bunker. All crew members on the Mal de Mer caught as many blues as they wanted, and we sacrificed plenty of tins and plugs to the Yellow-Eyed Devils. But we will always make that trade. Nothing better than a blitzing blue. Or a thousand blitzing blues.
We hooked up with Capt. Keith who informed us of a few schools of very active albies well South of us. With the seas flat, the gas tank full, and the cooler loaded, we decided to make the trip.
Down by Falmouth, we found the schools, which were feeding on either very tiny peanut bunker or silversides. The combination of the small bait and flat conditions made the prospect of hooking one of the albies close to impossible. We stayed there, watching the schools pop up for 5 to 10 seconds at a time every five minutes or so, slashing through the water, pushing bait into the air and made our casts and had our shots. Tyler had one pick up on a pink Epoxy jig but that was it. There were no albies caught in that area that day, to my knowledge.
Back closer to the West End, we found loads of blitzing schoolies pushing bait up into the shallow flats.
Others had better luck than us last week around that same area. Pat (AKA, pstrizzle) got into some cooperative albies with Josh Farkas of Light N Fly Charters, all on the fly.
Anthony Besaw got into some big albies from shore on a South-facing beach and hooked into a nice one on a beat up green Hogy heavy minnow. I’m always amazed at the anglers who can get into funny fish from shore. You’ve got to put your time in, that’s for sure.
The albies are here–just not in the numbers they were last year. Hopefully the bite picks up a bit for this weekend.
This plan may go awry if the wind has anything to do with it. Sunday looks like the pick of the weekend, but let’s not overlook Saturday afternoon. The albies should be feeding somewhere throughout the day. We may launch out into Buzzards Bay and try and find them. Blues and schoolies should serve as a nice backup plan. As long as that wind stays North we should be okay around the South-facing beaches.
The striper reports have been bleak, so I may not target our striped friends this weekend. Unless I hear of anything differently, the plan will be albies, albies, albies. Logical spots to check will be Old Silver, Falmouth beaches, Wood’s Hole, and Craigsville. I’m hearing the hot lure is olive or chartreuse Epoxy Jigs and white soft baits (like Albie Snax). I Just got a few sweet Mud Dog Flies from the Bears Den tonight, and I’m hoping they are a spitting image of those peanut bunker and silversides the albies are snacking on.
If you have the boat and the gear, the bluefin bite has been very hot. Capt. Mike Casey will be heading out Sunday to try and get some blood on the deck, so we’ll get a report I’m sure. North corners of Stelly, the Bay, and East of Chatham have all been holding some giants and 100-300 pound fish. Just be careful throwing your spinning outfits to breaking fish. You never know when a 700 pounder is going to grab your lure.
That’ll do it, ya weekend warriors. Let’s make the end of this season count.