Weekend Warrior: Go Time

Things are about to blow wide open. We’ve got haddock moving inshore, stocked trout on the feed, big bass in pre-spawn, and, oh yeah, migratory stripers in state waters. What’s not to like?

As is typical for the April playbook, I’ve been having fun with bluegill, monster pickerel, and slab crappie in my local pond. The ponds are really coming to life right now. Midges are clouding the skies. The osprey are absolutely everywhere. If you don’t fish the sweetwater this time of year, you’re missing out.

Last week, I got a chance to get the kayak out and test out the new Garmin Sidescan unit. I picked away at bluegill with small crankbaits and eventually switched over to a Ned Rig to try and finesse some big largess out of the deeper channel in this pond. On my first drop, something engulfed it and ran me around the kayak three times. My big bass dreams were dashed when a big toothy mouth came out of the water. I’m usually not psyched about pickerel, but I’m not going to lie–this one gave me a good shot of adrenaline.

(Decidedly not the monster pickerel I caught)

Right now, you’ve got a very good shot at finding feeding holdover bass way back in the estuaries and rivers. The typical small swimbait on a jighead works great, but at night, a small Jumpin’ Minnow or popper can be the ticket, especially if it’s a warm night with lots of water movement. Tide is absolutely key when figuring out where the fish will be in the back rivers. If the river is shallow, you’ll need to hit the higher tides. Deeper? Lower tides produce better. Is it always as simple as that? No way. You need to get a pattern going. Herring are on the move so this is a good time of year to find a biggin’ if you don’t mind bushwhacking all the way upriver.

Migratory fish typically show up around Buzzards Bay and other South of the Cape areas a week or so after the fish liced-up fish are caught around the Islands. This means time is ticking!

We’ve got some boat stuff to take care of but all signs point to a Monday splash. Haddock still seem to be out deep and up north, but we’re going to bring some clams and Hi-Lo rigs just in case. If you like fishing haddock, seabass, or fluke, make sure to check out the podcast I just did with Eddy from Monomoytackle.com. Water temperatures are creeping up, which means sand eels will be spawning soon. You know what that means? Fish tacos. Go get ’em.

Billy Mitchell

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