Weekend Warrior: Trout cursed and the striper countdown

We are right now only days away from the first migratory bass reaching the Cape. DAYS! It could be this weekend. Not to mention haddock season opening up on Monday, largemouths putting their pre-spawn feeding bags on, and trout. Oh trout. Let’s just say the trout curse is alive and well in Seven Stripes land. But more on that in a bit.

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But now, let’s get to the forecast.

This week’s report and forecast

With some limited time windows to fish earlier in the week, I launched the kayak into Agawam Mill Pond in Wareham and spent an hour or two catching all the crappie, pickerel, perch and bass on the fly I could ever want. And guess what? I had fun. I guess this is what I am now. Just a guy who likes to catch crappie.

But seriously. The fishing for these warmwater species right now is excellent. Bluegill and crappie, perch and pickerel make for fast fishing this time of year. It’s a great time to get a youngster hooked on fishing. I threw small black zonkers and woolly buggers on the fly, but small jerkbaits and plastics would have worked just as well. Bass are still pre-spawn, so lures thrown around drop-offs near the shallow shelves should get eaten. Dusk to night has been a good bet. I had luck with a Carolina-rigged senko in motor oil and a sinking lipless crankbait at dusk. The bass weren’t big but they were hungry.

Trout. I forget what they look like. This is getting to the point of absurdity. I have a few theories as to why my fly ventures into the kettleponds have been so fruitless. Here they are:

  1. My time slot. I’ve only really had the time to hit the kettleponds after work the past few weeks. Most of the bites on flies I’ve heard have been coming in the morning and during the day in sunny skies. Well, folks, we haven’t had many of these, and night temperatures have remained down. My theory is that the bug activity hasn’t been there due to these cold dusks and the trout have turned off the feedbag.
  2. High water levels. Water levels in the ponds are crazy high. I think many of these fish that are stocked hang out in the deeper levels of the ponds until the water warms up. It’s been difficult to get a fly cast out to where they’re hanging out.
  3. I’m stubborn as hell. Here’s my thought process: “I’m going to throw this fly because I’m seeing this size midge and the past five years I’ve caught trout on it.” I then proceed to cast the fly until my arms are sore. I’ve also been too stubborn to switch to the spin (mostly). Maybe if I’d switch it up a bit I could catch a trout.

Yesterday, I hit a Cape pond at the recommendation of a buddy. I felt like the monkey was going to get off my back. There were plenty of midges flying around, so I cast a few midge flies to no success. I switched over to a big green woolly and dragged it across the sandy bottom. Hit and then almost immediately break off. I’m happy there were no other anglers around to hear my frustrations. I switched to the spin rod and immediately hooked up, but dropped the fish.

The good news is, the state did an excellent job stocking a whole bunch of beautiful trout in the ponds, and as long as you’re not me you should be able to catch a few. Mornings and afternoons on sunny days seems to be best.

Salt report and forecast

Not much has changed in the way of saltwater reports in the past week. Holdovers continue to feed actively, and some have even reported schools of fish out in the open water feeding on spring baitfish. These are most likely holdovers taking advantage of the warmer water temps, but some believe that small waves of schoolies do make an early arrival in April. The real migration won’t hit us for another week or so. Look to rivers and estuaries, especially on South facing areas along the Cape and just off Cape to find the first waves. They’ll be micros and schoolies, so crush those barbs and throw small offerings, like small swim shads, jigs, spook plugs.

Haddock opens up on Monday, but I don’t think you’ll find many boats out there. Weather reports don’t look great. Scouting bottom fishermen have reported some good numbers of haddock well-off the Bank and are predicting another great haddock season. Fish should be up on the bank in shallow water in the next few weeks. A 6oz – 12oz jig with a few white curly-tailed teasers on a hi-lo should get you on the fish. Don’t be afraid to move around. It also helps to have a network of boats patrolling the Bank for the bite. Once you find them at a certain depth, you can usually lock it in. As the water warms and more bait pours in, the fish will move shallower on the bank. Finding them can be tedious, but nothing beats haddock fillets.

That’ll do it, Weekend Warriors. Make sure to send us any pictures of fish you catch this weekend. And don’t forget to pickup some gear from the Seven Stripes Shop.

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