On board today, I had regulars, Gary Condon, Matt Daly, and their friend, Greg for light tackle striped bass. Gary & Co. have been fishing with me for the last eight seasons+.
At first light, a gentle west wind, a dropping tide and a stunning sunrise that I never tire of seeing, even after 22 years of guiding on the bay. We got into topwater fish right away and landed a few shorts. The bass were very spooky and fast moving and it was hard to sneak up on them in the skiff in 3-4 feet of water.
Next, we ran down bay and found several small schools of fish scattered all over. These fish were spooky as well and only stayed up for 30 seconds or so. We really had to be patient and very slowly set up our drifts. But it paid off! Gary hooked into a hard running blue that gave his drag a workout and matt hooked into a fine bass that did the same.
If you read yesterday’s report, you know the Sebile white topwater lure was the only lure that worked well. I messed around with a dropper rig and a 3″ inch pearl shad on the back of the popper and that set-up also worked well. But today – the Heddon Kunckle-Head in silver chrome, and the Stan Gibbs popper in white w/bucktail were the top lures! Yesterday, they would not touch them. Today, the slammed them! Such is fall fishing and why we have so much tackle.
Total catch today was 26 fish, including two keeper bass and one big blue that went home in the cooler for dinner fish. A lovely, flat-calm September day on the bay with one of my favorite crews. And yes – they did spoil me with with hot coffee and pasty on the way out, and turkey sandwiches, chips and cookies for lunch along with a huge slection of iced teas, carrot juice, sodas and spring water! We stopped fishing and enjoyed a fine lunch mid-morning.
Stay posted: Back at it as the fall run continues…
On board today, I had regular, The Venerable Dick Bowman, for light tackle striped bass and blue!
At first light, a greasy bay with dead-calm winds. Small schools of fish scattered around the bay. First cast – fish on! We worked a pod for about a half-hour at one end of the bay and then ran to the other end in search of more schools. If you know the “Cow Yard Bar” area on the last hour of the dropping tide, you know you can’t cross it. Today, I felt confident I could cross it. Wrong! ran the boat right up on the flat in inches of water and had to raise the engine and push us off with the paddle on the last 20 minutes of an outgoing tide. I have never ran aground with clients in 22 years of guiding. But today was pretty close! LOL…
The rest of the morning was spend chasing small schools of fish all over the bay. Every spot we went to, we caught fish. Most were spooky and finicky. But we matched the hatch with a small, white Sebile topwater crankbait and that was the hot lure of the morning. I also rigged a Yo-Zuri popper with some 3″ pearl shads and that rig did pretty well, too. But if I had to fish one lure right now, I’d go with a small white popper or the Sebile style minnow (see photo).
We ended the morning with 27 fish boated and released, incuding one keeper bass and a nice chunky blue that must of been lost. All the fish today were in a foot to maybe three feet of water with few exceptions. One thing that was so cool to watch: millions of peanut bunker in the bay getting driven up against the shorelines and bass smashing through them in inches of water, while the gulls stood in the water and picked the baits off as the bass pushed them to them. Very awesome sight that I only see in the fall run.
Back at it. Stay posted and best of luck out there!
*2016 dates going fast… don’t wait.
(Let the record show that Mr. Bowman has more tackle than Baymen!)
On board today I had regular, Billy Tedeschi, for light tackle striped bass and blues.
At first light, a strong west wind was kicking up and it was a little choppy. But we found a pod of fish in the exact same spot as yesterday on the same tide. Those fish were way up on the flats in 8 inches of water! With the tide dropping, we took a chance and zipped up on the flats and caught four bass. Then, with the engine trimmed all the way up, we tried to make it back to the channel… – just made it!
For the rest of the morning we chased schools of fish scattered around the bay. The fish are still very spooky and moving very fast. The blitz action lasts anywhere from 30 seconds to a couple of minutes if you are lucky. Billy stuck with his top lure, a Yo-Zuri popper. That lure took the majority of fish today. At one point, a keeper bass came comepletely out of the water chasing and missing Billy’s popper. Other times, the bass would knock it clear into the air.
Almost all the fish today were in 8 inches to two feet of water. A few fish were in the channels. Lots of birds resting on the flats around the bay as they too, are in full migration mode, resting/feeding in the day and migrating at night.
I spoke with a friend of mine that guides up in Maine. He is still up to his eyeballs in bass so there are a lot of fish that will be coming down the coast over the next month.
Our total catch and release was 17 fish today. All short, feisty, hard-hitting bass that ran and peeled drag like much bigger fish. Great fun on light tackle. You can’t beat fall fishing!
On board today I had repeat clients, Chris & Molly DeVillers for light tackle striped bass and blues. The past two trips, these anglers landed well over one-hundred fish with me, including some fine light tackle keepers.
At first light this am, it was pretty breezy out of the West with a little chop. We found birds working over bait in a few places but the wind made it difficult to set drifts. Combined with low tide, we would blow up on the flats pretty quick and the fish were also moving very fast.
But with the rising tide and the winds laying down a bit, I remained optimistic fresh fish would come into the bay and things would turn on. But I could see after the third hour it was not going to happen. A handful of bass were in the bay. Singles and maybe a half dozen in one or two pods. But they were running fast and not holding. Molly hooked into one of those fish – a fat, wide schoolie.
We watched the bay for a while from Kingston to Plymouth to Duxbury and finally called it. The chop and wind made it too rough to run out front in search of bass or blues.
Stay posted. Things could light up again on any day or tide…
* Thanks for the fresh vegetables, Molly!
2 fish today in the SW chop.
Bay was lit this morning with bass and later, with bass and blues. Classic fall blitz of fish moving through the on rising tide and leaving on the dropping.
On board today, I had repeat clients Chris Barry & Scott Chapman and their friend Tom, for light tackle striped bass and blues. At first light, winds were trying to pick up SW, but they never did. I told my charters “maybe we can get 15 fish this morning but its not going to be easy…”
Well, as soon as we were on the bay, the fall blitz started and it never let up for three and a half hours solid! The first two hours+ it was all bass. Tom landed a fat 14 pounder on the Chug Bug. Many more small bass in the mix, all busting bait on topwater. They slammed our super spooks and chug bugs with gusto. The runs were awesome! Later in the morning, we got into a big school of solid blues all 12-14lbs! They made some scorching runs and the drags were screaming! What a blast! Then, the last part of the morning it was all bass again. Small, scattered schools all around the bay.
Total catch and release today was a whopping 49 fish, 2 keeper bass and we also kept a few big blues. All sight fishing, all topwater, all on super spooks and chug bugs. It was calm winds all morning. A classic fall blitz!
Stay posted: I’m fishing for 28 more days!
Fall blitz continues…!
On board today, Gary Condon & Crew for LT striped bass. Gary is one of my regulars and has been fishing with me for years.
Today at first light, we found several pods of bass busting bait on topwater. We bounced around a bit, running from pod to pod and finally hit the mother load – in 12-18″ inches of water! Bass were stacked chasing bait in water so shallow, even my skiff was bumping bottom from time to time. We fished spooks and kunckle heads in the skinniest of waters on the dropping tide and slammed them. This went on until the tide finally bottomed out and the topwater shut off.
From there we ran to the power plant expecting to get into blues. Wrong. Almost no blues at the plant but lots and lots of hooded seals and harbor seals. That may be the reason the blues are gone. Or bluefin tuna chased them out of a great white. Don’t know for sure, but what we do know is there are no blues at the power plant at the moment. Also, water temps have cooled down big time -as much as 7 degrees from a week ago.
We took a break for a King’s Lunch off Manomet that included french pastry, one pound roast beef sandwiches, chips, cookies, and frosty iced tea. Captain Dave was in a food coma! LOL…
Back inside the bay on the rising tide, many pods of VERY spooky bass scattered around the bay. Fast moving, spooky and hard to set drifts. Most were in a few feet of water up on the flats. But we managed to land a bunch before calling it an amazing fall blitz morning. Total catch and release: 82 striped bass, including 2 keepers!!!
Back at it as the full run continues. Stay posted:
HAPPY SEPTEMBER! Hard to believe we have been fishing for five solid months and are now into our sixth month of the guide season.
On board today I had repeat client, Rolando Jeter, for LT striped bass. Rolando and I met at least ten years back and he has been fishing with me ever since. Rolando has landed some big bass on my boat in past seasons.
At first light, a gentle north wind and a fast dropping -1.7 low tide, made getting on fish slower than usual. We hit a few spots and fish were there, but it was so shallow we could not get to them – even in my shallow water skiff. So, we ran the bay for a bit and finally found a nice pod of bass working under birds. We started to land some feisty striped bass to 26+ inches. Several small pods of very spooky fish were scattered around the bay. At one point, we got into a nice little pod in about a foot or two of water inside a weed bed. Another pod was working the edge of a large flat.
All the bass are currently on a very selective feed as they move south for the fall run. Peanut bunker and also another small minnow of about two inches long with white sides and olive back are in the bay. And we saw a school of pogies today! But no big bass were chasing them and they were in relaxed feeding mode.
After the tide bottomed out and turned and started to come back in, we ran to the power plant in seach of blues. The blues that were there stayed inside the security area and we could not get to them. But we did see a ton of bass outside the area! Bass would boil up out of nowhere for ten to twenty second blitzes. Then they would go down and come up a hundred yards away. This went on all morning. They were very spooky and very selective. But we kept at it and finally figured it all out. They would hit Epoxy Jigs and super spooks. But you had to hit them on the head with it! A few blues were also in the mix and Rolando landed a fine dinner fish.
Back inside the bay, the flats were now covered and there were small pods around the bay doing the same thing: up for ten seconds and then back down. The super spooks did the trick but you had to work at it. It was great fun seeing the fish chase the spooks and knock them into the air. That was just plain awesome to watch.
We ended the morning with 25 bass and 1 blue. All on LT sight fishing. No keepers today, but bass were up to 27″ inches and we did have a big bass chase a spook right up to the boat. Several other fish were with him.
Stay posted: Another five solid weeks of fishing in our bay. Gorgeous weather we have been having and it has been great guiding weather.
On board today, I had repeat client, Ed Morris from Idaho, for LT striped bass.
At first light, a nice west wind and a rising tide brought a ton of fish into the bay. Mostly schoolies with a few cows mixed in. First pod of fish were right outside the harbor but they would take nothing. On to the next pod and the biggest explosion on the water I have seen this season! HUGE bass! Motored over and worked the area hard. Fish busting all around us and no hits!
On to the third pod of fish… Tons of fish busting all around us but still no hook-ups. I change up all the tackle to tiny rubber crank baits. I think we landed two fish in these blitzes in the first hour. Frustrating… Very spooky, very selective. Then, I start thinking it through and go back to the topwater poppers. I change up the typical cadence from “POP-PAUSE…POP-PAUSE…” to RAPID CRANK AND POPPPING! Almost as fast as I can crank – BINGO! Fish started to slam our poppers on almost every cast. The reason: they don’t have time to study it and ask the question. It goes past them lightning fast, they give chase, and slam it out of instinct!
The next couple of hours we boat and release 26 fish. Ed gets a wicked hit at one point, I see his rod bend and a big bass screams line off the reel in four feet of water, high up on the flats. A few minutes later I net a big light tackle bass and the rest is history. The second part of the morning the topwater bite was over. No more fish inside that we could find. When that happends its live bait or go home.
26 Fish total today on light tackle topwater poppers in the fall run.
Stay posted: September is about to begin!
On board today, I had Dick Bowman & Family for light tackle striped bass. Dick & crew have been fishing with me for many seasons.
At first light, heavy fog hung over the bay. We slowly picked our way to where the fish have been holding and they were still there. Not as many and not feeding quite as aggressively, but they were there and they were busting bait on topwater. Past trips last week and prior, almost all our fish have been taken on topwater poppers. Today, they wanted nothing to do with them. We had to switch over to all rubber crank baits.
Aidan hooked into a fine, chunky keeper that slammed a 4 inch rubber crank bait as soon as it hit the water. That fish screamed line off the reel as it ran across the flat. At one point, it was a hundred yards or more off the boat!
When slack tide hit, the bite shut down cold. we ran the bay and checked some other spots until ebb. Then it was much harder fishing with 30 second blitzes of very small pods of bass in only two or three places from Duxbury to Plymouth. They would pop up and then go down for five to ten minutes. Then they would pop up again five hundred yards away. We gave chase and kept at it and landed a few more.
On our way in, we found one more handful of fish and set a drift over them and hooked up on our last two fish of the morning.
Total catch and release today was 30 striped bass, including one 14 lb. keeper. All taken on rubber crank baits. Seas were flat calm all morning and it was really nice out there. And the downpours missed us!
Stay posted: fall run continues…