Gimme that fall run magic!
I’ve got fall run fever. There, I said it. Sometime in the next few weeks, a cool breeze will sweep through our bay, the humidity will get sucked out of the air, tiny year-of-young peanuts, silversides, and herring will appear, and the proverbial fall blitz will commence. And down South of the Cape, those beautiful little football-shaped speedsters come in and will make us rip out our hair in frustration, (but in a good way).
No one can argue that this year has been less than typical from the striper front. So you can’t blame me for looking forward to some semblance of normalcy in a frustrating, finicky, volatile, always-inconsistent fall run. Get your gear in order, because it’s coming. The Fall Run rolls through quickly in our parts. Get your kicks in while you still can.
The Hurricane did what everyone thought it would do: mess everything up. Temps in the Bay were a balmy 58 degrees this morning. The drop in temp ignited the bite in some key areas and killed it in others. It looks like our Boston buddies got into them good this morning (of course). Pogies remain pretty much everywhere–Plymouth, and other South Shore locations, Sandwich, Race Point, Backside, Chatham… The fish are on them in a few very specific areas but mostly, it’s just pogies all the way down. This is what happens when there just aren’t that many big fish around.
In the Three Bays, the pogie schools around Warrens Cove and Browns Bank have small fish on them. We’re running out of time in the season for a repeat of last year’s incredible bite on these schools. But now that I think about it, in the pre-bunker times around Warren’s Cove, mid to late August saw the arrival of our largest fish of the year, some pushing cow status. I have no idea what drew them into the Bay, but come they did. So I’m holding out hope for a Hail Mary late August cow-fest this season.
Race Point and around the backside had some great surface feeds for slot-sized bass and gorilla bluefish in the last week or two. It was an interesting time for this area to heat up. The amount of sand eels and mackerel out there is incredible, so maybe this will be the site of the fall run massacre.
The harbingers of hard-tail SZN have yet to show up in any type of number in Buzzards or on the South Side. Folks have been picking away at the bones around the Hooter and around the Island shoals but they aren’t exactly loaded up. By most reports, Buzzards Bay is loaded with peanut bunker, so it should be any day now. And then after that…I can’t even type it. I’m too excited. Bring on the funnies!
Calm winds and decent tides will give us lots of options this weekend. My plan is to fish the local areas and hope to catch a repeat of past years August cow bite. Hopefully the 26″ resident fish will still be holding in the rips and willing to eat a fly or two. Browns Bank and the Bug Bowl were still hot before the blow. Fish were on juvenile sea herring and squid, we’ll see what the cooler temps does to it.
There are bigger fish around Cape Cod Bay around the pogie schools–you just need to put your time in. I would pick Sandwich or backside down to Nauset if I had an unlimited fuel budget and big fish on the mind.
Next week, the 7S crew will be making the second annual trip to the Vineyard. If all lines up according to plan, we could get here just as the bonito bite gets hot. We’ll be bringing some soy sauce and wasabi. We’ll also try our hand at some South of the Vineyard pelagics. Mahi on the fly? Blackened mahi on the grill? Sounds like August to me.
Go get ’em. And buy a hat or two!