Weekend Warrior: Avoid falling into herring runs

There’s a whole ocean of 20″ to 26″ inch stripers out there! But where are the larger fish? Well, let’s dig into it.

Before we get into that, in very exciting 7S news, get ready to see some videos of our fishing adventures. 7S video producer and new fishing buddy Chris P and I headed down Cape to try for stripers on the fly with Anthony Cole and get some footage for the first episode. The plan was to hit a herring run for first light, then move to a nearby back bay to throw flies to cruising fish.

At the first spot, Anthony picked up a few nice chunkers on his absolutely killer “Doc Fly”, while I fell ass-first into the herring run, subsequently dunking my phone and filling my waders. The bad mojo continued as the skunk loomed and my backcast ticked the brush behind me every third cast. How were things going with the filming of our first episode? Not great, Bob!

At the next spot, my luck improved and we immediately began picking up micro to small schoolie-sized fish on a variety of flies. We even got a few shad. And then, right at the bottom of the tide, I got the fish we were looking for–a fat 26-inch striper that had been feasting on the local population of silversides.

She fought like a much larger fish, nearly running me into a mooring line and a dock piling multiple times. This one felt good when it came to hand. Stay tuned for the full video of the trip with Anthony. In the meantime, check out the podcast we did with Anthony.

The Report

From the boat, we’ve been focusing much of our time around Upper Buzzards Bay to try and intercept the first few waves of larger fish. And guess what? We haven’t found them yet. That isn’t to say they haven’t pushed through in smaller numbers. There have definitely been larger fish around Wareham and the West End. It just hasn’t been super consistent.

Two factors that seem to indicate a possibility for larger fish are the presence of pogies and a hard running West tide around the Canal. So if either of these conditions exist, there may be big fish around. The bluefish have been hanging around these same piles of pogies, so if you’re in the blues, you’re most likely going to find the stripers, too.

Out in the Three Bays, we’ve got some of the best early season action for the topwater and fly enthusiast we’ve seen in recent years. These fish are all in the aforementioned prominent size class, but there have been some larger fish caught in the rips around Clarks, Saquish, and the Nummet on live mackerel.

We’ve found that even when the fish aren’t showing, they’ve been hanging in all of the fishy locations around the Bay and hitting paddle tails, jigs, and flies with abandon. In addition to the other spots mentioned above, try Splitting Knife, Hobb’s Hole, the Browns Bank rip, and deep in the channels surrounding White’s and Ichabod Flat.

In other news not related to our striped friends, the seabass bite is absolutely absurd right now. We are entering peak season for inshore knotheads, so you’d best get out there and get a few of these delicious fish in the box. This “peak season” of seabass fishing is hands down one of the best fisheries we have in our area.

The BSB have been spread out across Upper Buzzards Bay. But when you find the fish, it’s game on. We’ve drifted pink and chartreuse JoeBaggs Flukies tipped with Gulp and squid to great success, but when they’re aggressively feeding (streaking up on on your fish finder), a Bill Hurley Sand Eel or A27 Diamond Jig has culled the larger fish.

The Plan

The wind has been pretty brutal–and will continue to be this weekend. Sunday seemed to be the pick of the weekend, but a weird little front looks like it’s going to mess everything up. Saturday afternoon looks like a decent little window, so you’ll find us out on the Three Bays trying to find some fish on the flats and around the rips.

I’m tempted to head down to the Brewster Flats this weekend, as I’ve heard some larger fish have shown up the past few days. The Southside and Chatham may be good bets too if you can find the larger bait, namely pogies and herring. If all else fails and just want some bent rods, the seabass fishing will be there for us. Here’s hoping the SW wind doesn’t blow us off the water.

Catch ’em up out there! Come say hey if you see the Mal de Mer.

PS. Hey, we’re getting new hats in a bunch of different colors. Peep these bad boys. Let us know if you want one.

Billy Mitchell

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