Weekend warrior: October is for tunoids and trout

We’re getting there, folks. The season is wrapping up. The fishing will rise to a crescendo somewhere between two weeks ago and the end of this month, before falling to the silence of the off-season. The trout fishing will remain good through the end of the year, but the fish that we’ve gotten so used to pursuing in the salt will vanish–to either migrate south or to deeper water or up into the various estuaries and rivers in our bays.

The stripers this Fall were pulling their best early disappearing act–so much so that many striper diehards who would normally be geared up for an epic-fall-run-bro! have essentially given up on it.

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But, just when all hope was passing, the stripers miraculously showed–fish to 40 pounds in the canal and the locales surrounding. The big fish are there, but you’ll need to work for them. Last fall, we saw a big push of 28-34 inch fish by the East End feasting on peanut bunker, mackerel and squid. So far, we haven’t seen this happen. But we’ve got some time. We may be surprised. The striper season has been a bit of a letdown this year. Maybe we can end strong.

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This brings me to the two Ts.

Sean continued his support of the fishing industry by purchasing a nice 5wt TFO setup and an assortment of trout flies and other goodies. I have the intention of teaching him the finer things of fly fishing: keeping a 6x tippet from turning into a disgusting mass of spideweb, getting a stocked bow to somehow mistake your poorly tied dry fly imitation for the real thing, all the while sipping on an IPA or three and grilling up a few sausages. I essentially told him it was a good excuse to have the chance at hooking some type of fish after the stripers have gone. He was all-in for that that.

Trout have been stocked at most of our favorite Southeastern MA and Cape Cod ponds and the trucks will continue to dump salmonoids into the clear mill ponds and kettles.

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These pond receive less fish in the Fall than the Spring stockings but they’re generally bigger and hungrier–a perfect time to throw a big meaty streamer to a lurking submarine rainbow.

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The past few weeks, the albies showed up in Upper Buzzards Bay to the tune of massive surface feeds fueled by peanut bunker and silversides. Wareham to West End to North Falmouth have all been subject to the albie onslaught. It’s not as good as last year, but at least we’re seeing some good feeds close to home.

Capt. Keith put on a clinic last week, boating multiple albies each day only a few minute ride from his home port.

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Bluefin tuna fishing got red hot for a few weeks there in September out East and all over the bank. The good tuna guys were consistently hooking up and landing fish. The charter guys had their fill of spinning gear tuna, most big enough to beat he shit out of the biggest spinning reels and the anglers holding them. The tuna fishing will stay good through the month for us recreational guys targeting the smaller-than-73″ fish.

The report

We’ve got two weeks of reports to catch up on. But let me give you the abridged version: I haven’t had a chance to fish much lately. To give you a little sneak peak behind the Oz curtain, we’re in between boats. If you follow us on Insta, you would have seen that the Mal de Mer made her last voyage last week. Full memorial on her coming up, so don’t you worry. New boat is getting picked up this weekend. Stay tuned for that as well.

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On the last voyage of the Mal de Mer, we got out nice and early, well before the sun came up over Plymouth Beach. The heavy chop from the North wind made it difficult to find fish, but we ended up with a few mackerel out front. We did, however, find a mola mola.

 

 

Inside, we found a few hungry blues willing to bite our trolled macks in half. Two even found the hooks, and they ended up in the fish box. We ended the day with a nice Fall surface feed by Splitting Knife.

The past few weeks, we’ve seen the traditional Fall surface feeds of micro to schoolie sized fish at all times of the day in Plymouth and Duxbury Bays. This is what we normally expect to see this time of year, but we’re missing the occasional bigger fish that used to mix into these blitzes

Matt got into some awesome schoolie action from shore on the fly rod.

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This happened over the course of a few days, before the fish moved off either south or into deeper water.

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The bluefish made brief appearances at the powerplant but they’ve been nowhere near consistent as they’ve been in past years. You can still find them all along the south Plymouth shore but it’s kind of a hit or miss proposition.

The Plan

The weekend looks perfect weather-wise– a north wind on Saturday and a South wind on Sunday, both manageable (although Sunday seems to be climbing, so keep an eye on that).

Friday, Sean and I will look to get a few stocked bows on the fly. We’ll be over at Fearings Pond in the afternoon if you want to come say hey. We’ll be throwing woolly buggers and other ugly streamers.

Saturday, we’ll be picking up the boat (but it’s a surprise). We’ll spend the day testing out the systems and hopefully boating the first striper on the new vessel. The wind will lend itself well to a trip to Buzzards Bay to search for albies, so that may be in the cards. If not in the boat, I’ll look to get the kayak going after a long summer of not using it, and launching from either Tempest Knob or Old Silver to try and find some afternoon surface feeds. I tied up a few Mushmouth flies that should be dead ringers for the peanut bunker the albies are gorging themselves on. Olive Epoxy minnows and Albie Snax will of course work well too if you’re sticking to the spin rod.

Sunday and Monday are both up in the air. We have recently come into a decent amount of tuna gear that I’m not at liberty to speak about, so if all is working well on the new boat, we may look to stick a bluefin. Finding bait may pose a problem, but it will be nice to get into the tuna game, even if it’s late in the season.

If the trout fishing is good, we’ll opt for the more casual option.

I would love to encounter the tail end of the striper fall run out on the Bay this weekend, but my expectations are low. It’s been a great season, but a few more stripers would make this one a happy boy.

Good luck this weekend. Catch ’em up.

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