Open Dates 2018

Here is an updated list of open dates still available for the 2018 striped bass season. Dates subject to change. Deposit is required to hold dates.

MAY 2018: 15,16,17,31

JUNE 2018: 14,21,26,28

JULY 2018: No open dates.

AUGUST 2018: 1,2,8,9,14,15,22,29,30

SEPTEMBER 2018: 5,6,11,25,26,27

OCTOBER 2018: No open dates

E-mail is the best way to make initial contact to see if any of these dates are still available. 50% deposit via check or cash is required to book dates. Balance is due the day of your trip.

Tight Lines!

Capt. Dave

47 Flushes

Our first week of hunting up north at Tranquillity on Woodcock Mountain was amazing! Autumn foliage was at it’s peak and the scenes, covers and scents were breathtaking. And the birds – lots of wild woodcock and ruffed grouse in my covers…

My good friend, Bill “Baymen” Moe joined me and Daisy-Mae for some great hunts. We focused on woodcock and pa’tridge (ruffed grouse) and also hunted a few snowshoe since we had the beagle along. Just about every cover we hunted held a bird or two. Our best day we had 14 flushes!

We hunted the early morning sunrise covers, took a break for coffee and pastry and then hunted the late morning. Some afternoons we skipped lunch and kept hunting, but we always enjoyed a great supper! A highlight for me is when we get to visit a local, working dairy farm and have a homecooked meal right at the farm.

We hunted a lot of covers in our first week. Our longest walk was seven miles. But most days, we could drive up to our covers and hunt a 1-3 mile walk. Terrain was hilly, rocky and mountainous! Lots of brush busting as well. And a few covers that actually looked like a David Maass painting.

Lots of drumming pa’tridge which is always so wonderful to hear. A true sound of the north woods and exciting to try and locate those birds! A memorable evening hunt near camp, for me on my last day was just amazing. The beagle was driving a snowshoe hare while a pa’tridge was drumming up on a ridge. At the same time, flocks of geese were migrating and honking high overhead, while the little brook I was hunting beside was making it’s lovely music. And then to top it all off, the beagle bumped a woodcock that went twittering up. Throw in the stunning fall scenery and the walk up the mountain back to camp, and it was just overwhelming beauty…

Well, the seasons are just getting going. We will be back at it soon. More reports to follow as hunting seasons continue.

Happy Hunting,

Capt. Dave

Season’s End – 120 Fish

Last trip of the 2017 striped bass season today for BAYMEN Charters. Now we switch gears and start to fall hunting seasons. It is always a Bitters-weet time of year. When I sit back and go over the entire season in my mind, I am always amazed at how fast life passes. This was my twenty-fourth season guiding on the bay. I have the best clients and friends in the world.

On board today, I had season regulars, Greg Powers, Gary Condon, and Matt Daily. A.K.A, #1, #2, and #3 for light tackle striped bass. At first light on a rising tide, we had fish working right outside the harbor and that’s where we started. From there we bounced all over the bay moving from school to school of fish. Everything was small, all three-year-old schoolies heading back to the Chesapeake, Delaware and Hudson Rivers for the winter. In April, they leave those rivers and began their journey north all the way to Canada for the summer. At 7 years of age (28″ inches) they will spawn for their first time in those winter rivers. The young stripers will not migrate with the other stripers until their third year. Then, they will began to make the annual pilgrimage north to our waters. It is a fascinating miracle God set in motion long ago to this very day.

Well, Gary & Co. and I ran the bay from Browns to Kingston to Plymouth. All the fish were holed up in Duxbury waters where they were chasing peanut bunker around the bay. We fished some topwater spooks and poppers, but the majority of our fish came on 4″ inch rubber crank baits in bunker color. Most hits came on the drop or a slow retrieve. No seals seen today inside the bay and not a single blue today. We have only landed ONE bluefish inside the bay this year. The tuna and great whites chased them out before they could get here.

Total catch and release today was 120 striped bass, all short fish but tons of them and lots of fun on light tackle. As you know, Gary always packs a big lunch and today was no exception. Subs with all the fixings, hot coffee, iced tea, muffins, cookies, chips and hand poured chocolates! Not to worry – The Captain is ending the season on a full belly!

I just want to dedicate today to our good friend, the late Kevin Erickson, who fished with Gary & Co. and I for many years. We miss you Kevin and you were in our thoughts and conversations today and always.

Tight Lines, friends. I can not thank you enough for fishing with me this season and in season’s past. As I said, I have the best clients and friends in the world! Not to mention you are all some of the finest anglers I have had the pleasuring of fishing with. I am already thinking about next season and look forward to putting you on the fish!

I will write a year in review at some point. But now we throw the switch and it is time to start the hunting seasons.

Wishing you all a fantastic fall and great times in the woods and on the water.


Capt. Dave

Grouse Camp Opening

I am offering a fully guided ruffed grouse & woodcock hunt out of my camp up north. 1-2 hunters, max. Your dogs, my camp, my covers. Three days, two nights. Meals included. Classic old New England covers loaded with birds. E-mail or call for more info.

Capt. Dave

Bay Lit with Micros

Quick FYI – the bay was lit this am at sunrise from the Powder Point Bridge to Clark’s Island. All micros.

Thanks to everyone for the intel. My e-mail has been blowing up. Much appreciated!

Capt. Dave

Ghost Town – Fish Gone

The switch has been flipped and it was a ghost town out there today. Aside from a small school of very tiny bass, the entire bay was void of bass and bait.

On board today, I had repeat client, Fred Stetson of Vermont and Duxbury. Fred is a retired helicopter pilot for the Air National Guard and an outdoor writer, angler and hunter.

At first light, we were into the thickest fog I have seen in many seasons. It was one of those dense, pea soup fogs and visibility for the first two hours was nil. It was very slow going. We found a small school of very tiny bass in the middle of the bay and picked up a few. But based on the past week of massive schools of big, fat schoolies with some nice keepers mixed in, I moved us onward through the fog…

We searched the Powder Point Bridge, the beach channel, the humps, north of Clarks, East of Clarks, Southside, Western Point, Saquish Head, Saquish Rip, Crescent Beach, Brown’s Bank, Bug Light, Kingston Rip, Billington Rocks, Cow Yard, White’s flat and Captain’s flat. The fish and bait are GONE…

When the fog cleared two hours later, the cold front started to come down from the north. The winds kicked up North at 20 knots+ and we came in on three footers – a good pounding in a flats skiff. Water temps today at the dock were 70 degrees! Thats an eight degree jump up in twenty-four hours! Also, we had a 2.1 tide on the low. And we had the north wind front coming down the bay. The massive tons of peanut bunker and the bass that were feeding on them, all reacted to these changes and left the bay last night after one final blitz that my friend, Marshall, got into and boated over 100 fish.

So, is it over for another year? The crazy good fishing inside our bay may be done for the season. Schools of big fish will filter in and out for another week or two (or more) for sure. But it is hit or miss and you got to be there when they swing through. If you find pogies, stick with them. If you find macks, liveline the channels and channel edges. You may get lucky. Better, fish the front beach at dawn and dusk with surf gear and topwater plugs. But you got to be there when they pass through…

The switch has been thrown, and the fantastic end of summer and fall blitz action we have enjoyed could be done. Or round two could be just around the corner…

Stay Posted. Back at it for one more week and then on to hunting season.

Tight Lines,

Capt. Dave

105 Fish, 2 Keepers

On board today, regulars Gary Condon, Mathew Daily, and Greg Powers for light tackle striped bass.

At first light, heavy, dense, pea soup fog and it pretty much stayed that way all morning. We did not see land for about half of our trip. Without GPS, it would have been difficult to navigate. So, chock one up for technology. I guided ten years without a GPS and only had a compass and sonar for depths. I use to put a lot of thought into winds, currents, drifts, weed beds, sounds, bird flight direction, lobster buoys, sand bars and rips. It made me a better guide because of it.

We worked our way through fish and headed for Gurnet point in the dense fog. About ten other boats fishing the bay today. We found fish from the harbor to the Gurnet. We also ran as far as the power plant and up to Burt’s. No fish at all on the backside of Brown’s. Everything was inside the bay and along the north edge of Brown’s. Some fish were up on the bank, but not as many as yesterday. That said, we still slayed them!

Some fish were on the bottom, but the vast majority were within three feet of the surface or rolling right on top. Once again, some big fish mixed in (there are also some giants inside the bay) but the smaller fish picked off our rubber crank baits and topwater poppers every time. However, Gary and Matt both landed keepers. Tons of bait (literally) around the bay and lots and lots of schoolie-sized bass from 16″ inches to 27. 5 inches. And tons of fun on LT gear! A bunch of seals in the bay today and also I saw my first flock of sea ducks: about a dozen surf scoters.

Total catch and release for the morning: 105 fish and 2 keepers. I am guessing, but I think in 2017 we have had more one-hundred plus fish mornings on my boat than in any other year in the past twenty-four seasons! Just keep your eyes on the year 2020: Could be a VERY big year in our bay for keeper bass…

Back at it. The winds are staying away and lets hope this fog thins out. I like a see-through fog. It keeps the fish up and active. But the thick, dense fog makes for slow going and it sure is harder to find the fish.

Tight Lines,

Capt. Dave

PS – I saw a giant fish for a split second today, roll through a school of bass. It was a VERY big fish and could of been a dolphin, a small Great White or a Giant Striped Bass… could not tell in the thick, dense fog!

108 Fish, 1 Keeper

On board today, regulars Chris & Molly DeVillers for light tackle striped bass.

After the Noreaster, I was wondnering if there would be any more fish in our bay. Typically, a hard NE blow for many days in the fall can end the season early inside. But today, there were lots of bass from the harbor to the power plant and beyond.

At first light, we got into a nice couple of pods of bass half-way across the bay. Some birds were working the fish, but lots of fish had not bird activity around them. The bass shoulder to shoulder for minutes at a time as they pushed the baitballs of peanut bunker to the surface.

Our next stop was a recon trip to search for more fish. Some parts of the bay were void of bait, birds and bass. Other parts held lots of fish. We did find a nice pod of small fish at Bug Light. From there we ran to Gurnet and got into numerous pods of bass up to two-hundred yards across.

All the fish today were rolling in typically fall migration feeding pattern. They were all pushing south and moving at a good clip and you had to work to stay ahead of the pods. They were finicky and a tad boat shy, but if you kept at it you would get your fish. Lots of small schoolies today with a handful of big bass. A few looked to be 36″-40″inches but hard to catch in the middle of hundreds of smaller fish. We did get one keeper that went home with the anglers.

Total catch and release today: 108 striped bass, 1 keeper, all on LT rubber crank baits. No blues in sight. 108 is Chris & Molly’s best morning with me to date. At the end of the season, I will tally up our season numbers and the number of days we boated over 100 fish. This year, we had quite a few days with big catch and release numbers that we have not seen in many years. Remember 2020: All these fish we are getting are coming back as keepers and I am predicting a very, very good season that year…

Tight Lines & Stay Posted. I am fishing into the the first week of October.

Capt. Dave

111 Fish, 1 Keeper

on Board today, I had repeat clients Chris Barry and friends Scott and Carlton, for light tackle striped bass.

Heavy dense fog before the sun came up and then patchy, dense fog off and on, most of the morning – and tons of fish! Huge multiple schools of bass and bait all over the bay on the rising tide. At high slack, we could not find a fish! Thousands of fish gone… Then, when the tide started going back out, big pods of stripers and bait started to show up again. We basically found a pod of fish everywhere we went today. It was very good fishing!

Top lure today was the rubber crank baits in pearl color. Most fish were on topwater with a few down below. We fished depths of four feet to twenty-four feet today. Most fish were schoolies of all sizes with a few big fish in the mix. Total catch and release today was 111 fish with one keeper that went home with the anglers. A great morning ahead of tomorrow’s tropical storm coming. The harbor is an absolute ZOO today with everyone pulling their boats at the last minute.

The rest of the week looks like a bust with NE winds and a tropical storm heading our way. Saturday may be the next good day to be back on the bay.

Stay posted: October is knocking on our door!

Capt. Dave

82 Fish

On board today, regular, Pete Gaudette who boated and released 82 striped bass with me on light tackle, his last trip of the 2017 season.

At first light, cloudy, foggy, humid and flat-calm seas with a light South wind. And lots of topwater blitz action in the fall run! At times today, the blitz was as intense as I’ve ever seen it. The bass had the peanut bunker pinned up against the shore and the water was just an explosion of boiling stripers and bait. The sound of the water being ripped up and the tail slaps and peanut bunker being sucked into the mouths of striped bass was an amazing site to see and experience and it was loud!

All fish were taken on rubber crank baits. We tried three or four different varieties, but pearl was the hot color. All fish were on topwater crashing the bait. Some bird action, but far more bass and bait than birds.

Total catch and release today was 82 striped bass. The biggest fish were 27.5 inches. One small bluefish in the mix – the first blue I have seen in the bay this year! The reason? Great white sharks and bluefin tuna – a primary forage fish for both.

Watching the big storm heading our way for Tuesday… Keep an eye on the weather.

Tight Lines,

Capt. Dave