Weekend Warrior: Do you feel it?

Spring, that is. Spring is officially here. Well, actually, not officially, but you get the point. When those stocking trucks start-a-rollin’ you can’t help but feel like spring is rolling in too. Not to mention the veritable chorus of birds I’m hearing in the morning, the reports of scout herring in the runs, and whispers of Ospreys already in Rhode Island.

Here’s a question: Does the lack of really any type of winter somehow make the emergence of spring any less sweet? Possibly. But I’m not complaining. We’ve got fish to catch. And a boat to clean and service. And flies to tie. Gear to buy. Hooks to sharpen…

We don’t typically associate early March with having a plethora of fishing options, but here we are listing off all the ways to get a rod bent this weekend. Largemouth, smallmouth, stockies, wild trout, and of course, holdover stripers are part of the equation for this weekend and next week (let’s just ignore that little snowstorm we’re supposed to get tonight). Here’s what I’m thinking for a plan:

Stocked rainbows are where it’s at

There’s nothing like getting the confidence up and rust shaken off on a few stocked rainbows at the kettleponds. Fish were stocked across the Cape and Plymouth this week. They sometimes have a bit of culture shock for the days following their stocking, which can be tough for us trying to target them, but flashy spoons and brightly colored flies should still get their attention.

Target the areas where they were stocked or coves in close proximity to find them. I’d be throwing empie shiners or flashy egg sucking leeches and woolly buggers. I’d probably start in the smaller ponds as it’ll be easier to find their “school.” They’ll not have spread out yet so if you catch one, you may catch a whole bunch (like, 30 of them if your name is Anthony Besaw).

Larry and all his buddies can come too

Warmwater ponds should be buzzing with activity given the warm nights we’ve had in the past week. Even warmer nights this coming week will get the feedbag going with big larries looking for big baits.

I always prefer late afternoon to dusk this time of year. In the shallower ponds, bass and pickerel will be cruising shallow weedlines looking for easy meals. A shallow running crankbait or floating jointed stickbait should get eats from largemouth and pickerel. Downsize for crappie, perch and sunfish, who should be pretty close to spawning right now. You could very likely be looking at a 5 species night if you play your cards right.

Here’s what I’m planning on doing: I’m going to drop the canoe into the pond and head for the aforementioned shallow weedlines. I’ll texas-rig a weightless senko and give it little twitches and hopefully entice a hungry bucketmouth to play. Sounds like a good plan to me.

Holdover szn

If you’re deadset on catching stripers, and you’ve always wanted to catch a holdover, now’s your best chance. These sleepy fellas will be awakening from a winter nap in your local estuary. Find the deeper holes and fish them on the outgoing with small jigheads and soft plastics. Nighttime when the temps are above 40 is probably a good bet too.

If the weather stays warm, these fish may even venture out towards the mouth of estuaries and rivers, so be on the lookout for that. There’s always one or two big holdovers that get caught around now, so if you’re fishing an area with a herring run or access to other big bait, you may draw that lucky number.

So, who’s going to catch what this weekend? Send us your catches on Instagram @sevenstripesfishing and make sure to tag us in your posts. We need that clout, yo. Catch ’em up.

Billy Mitchell

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