Weekend Warrior: Tourney Time

I’ve got a serious yearning for a big fish or two. I need to see some cows blasting mackerel with their big broom tails. I need to hear that Baitrunner scream. I need that Doc plug to get inhaled. I need it man!

Buck striper season hasn’t exploded in the past few weeks like we’ve experienced in recent years. Instead, the bigger fish have slid into the Bay relatively unnoticed except by those really putting their time in. But slide they did, and this weekend, if you get out there, you’ll have shots at these big girls.

As you probably know, we’ve got the Plymouth High Hook Striper Tournament happening this Saturday June 15th. I took a little poll on the Insta (@sevenstripesfishing) on the predicted heaviest fish and the answers were all over the board (33# to 56#). My prediction? We’ll break the 40# mark this year but just barely. If you want to register, there’s still time. Click here to get in on the action.

The Report

I chatted with Brian Coombs last night and he’s reporting big fish in the Bay and locales North. Predominant bait? Sea herring. These blitzes can really appear in the middle of nowhere. In fact, most big fish have been taken in the middle of the Bay. It’s about finding the birds. Use your radar if you’ve got it dialed in.

Plymouth Bay has been mostly small fish as of two weeks ago. 22″-26″ fish have made up 95% of our catches on live mackerel and artificals. I did see a few pictures of bigger fish within the Three Bays from a few days ago so hopefully the bigger fish will begin to take up residence here. We generally get a few solid pushes of these big fish around this time. It’s nowhere near as lights out as Race Point, Backside, and Billingsgate at his point in the season, but if you know where to look, you can find some real slobs.

Last week, we made the long trek to Billingsgate and immediately found topwater fish on herring and mackerel. We quickly hooked up with Doc spooks and continued hooking up blind casting long after the topwater splashes disappeared. We got a few other fish on live mackerel but the bite slowed as the fleet moved in.

On Sunday, Sean and I went fly-only in the Three Bays with Geoff from Brackish Flies and Todd from Dupe a Fish. The stripers around the flats and guzzles cooperated to the tune of near-constant hookups. We had a few big girls chase our flies but were unsuccessful in getting them to eat. The last fish of the day at near dead low slack was a beauty 28-incher, good for Geoff’s personal best on the fly. Full report for this trip coming. There are plenty of fish to catch in the Plymouth area for you fly and light tackle anglers.

Buzz Bay is still loaded with seabass and smaller stripers, although I’ve heard reports of some bigger fish pushing through. Blues continue to make an appearance, hopefully a good sign for the YED fishing that has been so absent the past two seasons.

The Plan

We’re at the point where you could head to any of the popular Bay spots and feasibly find big fish. But you’re going to have to make your own reports. Load that livewell with mackerel, and either drift or troll them over fishy locations. There have been reports of an excellent tube and worm bite (a hint toward one of the tactics I’ll be using for the tournament this Saturday). The biomass is spread out across the Bay, so you’ll need to comb it to be successful.

This weekend (if the wind stays down) I’m focusing again on finding these big fish. Billingsgate and Backside really have my eye, but a flood tide around dawn at the East End can always mean big fish. Scorton and Sandy Neck down to Barnstable has some good piles of fish but it’s been tough to make them bite. What are they doing down there? I’m thinking a Hogy tube with a fat seaworm will make them eat.

Incoming tides early and SW wind in the Three Bays should make for some fun light tackle and fly fishing if there are topwater feeds (which I fully expect there to be). If not, well be blind casting on the flats and off the edges of channels. Don’t be afraid to go shallow. Warren Cove should start to heat up very soon.

If you’re fishing in the tournament this weekend, make sure to send any video and photos to the Seven Stripes Instagram account. And if you’re not participating, check out the Insta story for updates on the tourney. See you out here.

Billy Mitchell

2 thoughts on “Weekend Warrior: Tourney Time

  1. Dude, throw us surf guys a bone once in a while! We’re desperate for some cows too…

    1. Sorry man! I’m not as in-tune with the action on stripers in the suds. I’ll get a few reports together for surf fishing. Maybe I need to find me a surf fishing blogger…

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