Weekend Warrior: Blowin’ in the Wind

Kinda feels like the end, doesn’t it?

Well, let’s not get ahead of ourselves. I keep getting the questions. Where are the fish going to be after the storm? Will it blow the migration out to sea? Scatter the bait? Push the concentration of bass from locations North down closer to the Cape?

And to each of these questions, I have one answer: I have no idea. Really, no one does.

Each Fall, there’s a Nor’Easter that bears down on us and ultimately cuts the head off the Fall run. The wind scatters the bait and the stripers move off into deeper water. But the question is always, when does this happen? We’ve had plenty of Fall runs last well into November. Others have been cut short well before they even materialize.

The amount of bait present in the harbors, estuaries and bays is a promising sign that the Fall Run will remain running following these storms. There have been reports of fat schoolies absolutely having a field day along Buzzards Bay and South-facing beaches. Albies seem to be popping here and there still, but most people are writing them off as of this storm. Who knows; maybe we’ll have a few more shots at them before it’s all said and done.

The reality is that the Run could come to a close any day now. So you’d best get out and fish while you can.

The Report

Last weekend, just before the storm, we went out into the Three Bays and found acres of blitzing bass and blues of all sizes puking up juvenile blueback herring and peanuts. The blitz was slow for the first part of the outgoing, but really fired up when the wind and tide started ripping.

At one point, we had what looked like 50 schoolies chase after a Doc Spook. Bluefish of all sizes showed up and began shredding our soft plastics. I dropped a Bill Hurley down and hooked up to a very nice gorilla, who peeled 50-yards of line and then broke me off. It was a perfect Fall scene.

Rumor is these fish moved down through the Canal and are hanging out in Upper Buzzards Bay, but I fully expect another push of fish to come through our Bay before the end.   

Stocked trout in the ponds has been and will continue to be excellent for the next few weeks. Cold days in November will often slow them down, but for the next few weeks, action should be hot. And depending on the pond, there’s the chance of a very large trout or bass waiting to eat your lure.

Trout gurus Tim Mugherini and Anthony “Buzzsaw” Besaw recommend ¼ oz Joe’s Flies Stryker Series, 1/8-1/4 Acme Phoebe Spoons, Kasmasters and a Rapala Jerkbait, particularly in the perch color. On the fly, I have my most success early in the stocking with brightly colored streamers like a Mickey Finn, flashy woolly buggers, Empie’s Shiners, and of course, San Juan worms.

The Plan

It looks like the storm is going to subside tomorrow morning, but winds will stay up, giving way to a beautifully calm Sunday and Monday. We should get a sense of the state of the Fall Run then.

When I think of late Fall run, I think of East End of the canal. Once this wind gives way, I’m thinking of launching down that way and searching South Plymouth to the mouth of the East End down to Sandy Neck for blitzing fish. We’ve gotten into some large bass on top with this strategy in the past few years, even through the first week of November. Canalbies will every so often run all the way through and hang around these spots too.

The Three Bays will continue to hold resident schoolies, but I’m going to wait to see if we get a push of migrant fish. You can usually find these migrant fish from the Gurnet, along the backside of Browns Bank, to Warren Cove, and up to a few miles off the powerplant. This is where I usually triangulate when scouting.

I’m going to try and hit a few Buzzards Bay shore spots while this wind is up. I’ve gotten some tips from much better shore anglers than I that during times of high wind and rain, bait will congregate deep in estuaries, rivers an harbors, and the bass will follow. I’m going to be hitting a few rivers tonight and tomorrow to see what’s going on.

Go catch ’em up.

Billy Mitchell

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