Weekend Warrior: Season Finale

Whelp, we’ll have a quick fishing report here, but this’ll do it for your weekend reports this season, folks. But don’t worry. We’ll still be fishing and reporting on the results (even if you aren’t planning on wetting a line, you can still live vicariously through us). There is still fishing to be had from now until the stripers peep into the rivers in April of next year. Some of this fishing that we’ll indulge in, and you should also think about indulging in, is:

  • Late fall bottom fishing. The tautog bite is just getting strong now (we’re still waiting on our invite, blackfish guys. Get on it.). Haddock re-opens on November 1st. I’m hearing from Capt. Tim Brady (fishchart.com) that he’ll be heading out as soon as the season opens to get some tasty fillets. We’ll for sure be heading out there with him.
  • Trout fishing in the kettle ponds. The spring stocking brought some hoss rainbows and browns into the ponds around the state. The fishing should remain good as long as we have open water.
  • Trout fishing in the Swift/Farmington. Both of these rivers hold fish throughout the Fall, Winter and Spring. The great thing is that you can DIY either of the spots pretty easily.
  • Ice fishing. Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know. It’s not real fishing. But it’s a great way to kill a winter weekend and a good excuse to get on the ice and drink some beers and eat sausages. I just so happen to live on the pond where the state record largemouth was caught. And, oh yeah, it was caught through the ice.
  • Holdover striper fishing. We’re going to really dive into this this year. I have a sneaking suspicion, and some scientific evidence to back it up, that not all stripers migrate to the Chesapeake in the winter. I think a bunch hang in the rivers and estuaries around Cape Cod, Buzzards Bay, the South Side, and the South Shore. We’ll report back on this phenomenon, and if we actually catch some fish we’ll be in real good shape.
  • Fishing destinations/adventures. A bonefish trip may be in the cards for us this Spring. After fishing for bones on my honeymoon, I’m absolutely hooked and need to get back out on the flats. If you’re planning a destination trip, whether it be to Pennsylvania to fish for brookies or the Seychelles for GT, we want to hear about it. Shoot me a message.

So stick with Seven Stripes during the offseason, even if if you’re planning on hanging up the gear until the stripers report in the Spring. We’ve got lots of cool things coming in the next few months. We’re just getting started. Soon, you’ll see:

  • A bunch of new podcasts, from big players in the industry. Have I mentioned we’re on iTunes? Search Seven Stripes podcast to subscribe, then unsubscribe, then resubscribe. New podcast up next week.
  • A full season recap. This will include input from a couple different guides and sharpies in our area, where we found fish throughout the season, and a seemingly major change in pattern in the fishery. This will be a blog and a podcast and will super helpful for when you’re planning your fishing season for next year. We’ll look at Plymouth Bay, Cape Cod Bay, the Canal, Race Point, Buzzards Bay, and up to Boston.
  • Weekly blogs. You won’t be hearing less from me in the offseason. Sorry to say it.
  • Chartering and guide services. We’re now taking reservations for the 2019 season. Send me a message to book a spot for next season to get in on the action.
  • Merchandise. Decals and long-sleeve tees are up on the site. They make a great Christmas or Hanukkah gift. Or if you just want to treat yo’ self, that’s cool too. Other merch (some sweet hats, hoodies) will be available soon.
  • Partnerships. We’re looking at partnering with other folks in the industry and outside of the industry (local breweries, ahem). Exciting stuff. Stay tuned.

Ultimately, we’re really trying to grow this thing. We appreciate all of the support thus far.

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So, this is what’s happening in Seven Stripes Land. Let’s get to the reports and get you onto the fish.

The Report/Plan

I’m hearing about stripers. And lots of them. But this is a frustrating time of year to target them. You either need a close group of absolute sharpies that can network pinpoint the migration, or you need a serious good luck spell. The fish are moving right now. There is plenty of bait, so you’ll need to get lucky and find the biomass.

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There are schoolies in all the rivers and harbors. Plymouth harbor, Eel River, Scorton, Barnstable, Weweantic, Wareham, Sippican. They’re all holding hungry schoolies. And they’ll probably stay there for the time being. The real fish can be found all down the southern shoreline of Plymouth and into the east end of the canal. Folks are still pulling good fish out of the canal, but you’ve really gotta be good to get into good fish. Jigs are of course getting the fat fish.

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Tautog is getting very good. The rockpiles from Upper Buzzards Bay into Falmouth and down to Westport will hold big tog, and they’ll get bigger as the water cools. No reports on haddock yet, but we should have a report as soon as the season opens up next week.

If you’re trying for a bookend striper, now’s your chance. Go get ’em.

Sweetwater

While you may think of the Western part of the state when you think about Fall freshwater fishing in Massachusetts, don’t sleep on the eastern locales when the weather gets cold.

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If you’re hunting lunkers, now’s your time. These largemouth are eating right now in preparation for the colder weather. The biggest fish will be found in: 1. trout stocked ponds, and 2. ponds with herring runs. A big swimbait will be a good bet, but don’t overlook a Senko wacky or Texas-rigged fished around dropoffs and rocky bottoms. Crankbaits will find you a few bucketmouths too this time of year, as long as you know how to fish them. I always have the best luck with a slow, steady retrieve in the Fall, but a rip and long pause retrieve works well when they’re finicky.

There are a few good smallie pounds on and off the Cape: Cliff Pond, Sheep Pond, Halfway Pond, and Bloody Pond to name a few. This is an excellent time of year to target the hard-fighting other bass.

If the bass and trout don’t cooperate, you know the pickerel will. These guys will eat anything. They’re a blast with a chug bug or a topwater fly.

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And that’ll do it for our Weekend Warrior reports for the season. But make sure to follow us on social (@sevenstripesfishing) and subscribe to the blog to get notified every time we post. Stay warm out there.

 

 

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