Weekend Warrior: Redemption Song

I come to you in better spirits on this fine Friday evening in July. It happened today. I swallowed my pride, traveled away from my usual haunts and fished a new area with Todd of Dupe a Fish and his buddy Chris. Well, folks, turns our it was a pretty, pretty, pretty, pretty good move.

We all know that July is Big Fish SZN. And most of us here in Cape Cod Bay decided we weren’t going to celebrate it this year. I’m not shocking anyone when I say the bite around Cape Cod Bay has been downright bad for big fish. I mean, come on, if you read this thing, I say it in every blog. Sure, some are plugging away and getting rewarded, but the two biomasses of legit cows seem to be holding steady just to the North of us and just to the south of us.

In the past week or so, I’ve been plagued with that nagging feeling of “now or never” to get into a couple of the big fish of 2020. So, when we got the tip that the bite to the North had picked up again, we planned to capitalize. It felt like a last shot.

We were on the water at 4am, and for the first two hours, all was quiet. That sinking feeling set in. On our way into shallower water, Chris spotted a single boil. We made a few casts and came up empty but the air suddenly seemed very fishy. I checked my phone in between casts and had four missed calls from Capt. Coombs. (Let me tell you, if you have four missed calls from Coombs, you know something is going right somewhere).

After a short run, we were on ’em. Tuna and bass marauded pogie schools and blasted them into the air. We hooked up to a couple fish, me on a plug and Chris on a beast fleye (with an absolutely money cast that I’ll be dreaming about for a long time) before the schools moved deep. Felt good, man!

Tactics in this area and on this biomass are strictly run and gun until the bass sound mid-morning. These are “pelagic-bass” as Coombs calls them and we found most of our fish in 100′-120′ of water chasing pogies. What you’re throwing to them is less important than being in the right place at the right time. Blasting up to a school wide-open will get you maybe one shot at the mayhem, whereas slowly cruising along where you think the school may be headed and hoping they surface right next to you was the ticket for both of our big fish. If you put anything in the middle of the blitz, it should get eaten.

This bite to the north has been going off and on all summer. Some are saying we’re in the final stages of it now, so best get your shot while you have the chance.

Charlie on the line

In tooney news, we hooked up to our first one on the SWC last week on a live mack under a balloon. It was a quick fight and she ultimately got the better of us, but that’s okay. Tuna are all over the Bay hopping into random pogie schools, so it’s definitely a good idea to have some heavier spinning gear in case they show. Chris G hooked into Charlie and fought him for 90 minutes before he broke him off.

Three Bays with them good good tides

The tides are ramping back up in the next few days, so we should see some ridiculous fishing around the flats off Browns and Bug. Anytime your have a 10’+ tide differential, you’ll want to fish the Three Bays. We’re slowly moving into the first stages of the fall run, so expect to find “fall-style” blitzing, ie, acres of birds and tail slapping bass, throughout the Bay. So far, we’ve found them at Splitting Knife and behind Clarks.

Squid moved in recently which gave a little jolt to the squid hounds. On calm days, especially when you have a light Southwest, you can fish the rips similarly to how you fish Monomoy. Set up right at the edge and cast your squid fly or Albie Snax into the smooth water.

The pogies are stacked up along the entire shoreline. We’ve had some decent fish on these schools, but nothing like we saw last year. I’m hoping some of these big tides bring the cows home for a few days. No sightings of blues yet but I’d be willing to bet they’re bearing down on us.

That’ll do it. Go out and catch stripers. It makes you happy.

Billy Mitchell

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