Blue fish: (8-15 lb.) Arrived in the S.E. Cape Cod area on Tuesday. Normally when you hear of them in Cotuit area, they will be here within 3-4 days. They are good first runners, fat and about 24-34 inches, feeding on squid and <gasp> schoolies. The buggers are hitting top water noisy plugs, and fly poppers. From years past some of my best blue action with a fly has been on days most of us would rather be in doors. If strong wind, chop is your companion, expect Mr. Blue to show up. A lot of the places that you have been hammering the schoolies will tend to dry up as these eating machines make there presence known. That's what happened Wednesday. But, also expect that the Stripers that are around will be of larger size.
The best wire I have found to use is American Wire Co. for fly anglers. Buy it in the 17-lb. gauge. You can tie knots with it, it casts easily, does not knot up as quickly as the piano wire variety and in the spring you can also catch Bass with it on. If you can not find it, call Fishing The Cape @ 508-432-1200 They have it in stock presently, but with the Blues in heavy expect them to have a big run on it!
My good friend Bill O'Mally caught and released a 39-inch Striper on a fly. He saw it swimming in 1 foot of water on a sunny day at high noon on an outer Cape beach. He choose to release it, so it could reproduce more offspring for all of us and our children's pleasure We all need to remember that we are the stewards of our environment. If it were not for conservative minded people 20 years ago, we would not be enjoying the fruits of there labor today. Please remember that a fish is to valuable a resource to only be caught once (Lee Wolf). There is nothing more rewarding to my heart and sole than to watch a keeper swim away gracefully and magnificently to fight again. If you choose to fish with bait, please remember that you will do far less damage to schoolies, if you set the hook immediately and not let it swallow it to the point of internal bleeding. Keep only what YOU will eat, let your neighbors and friends earn there own. The days of keeping all that you catch for bragging rights are over. I for one have noticed an increase in anglers, guides looking towards the future and not just tomorrow or tonight's dinner.
These fish are on fire and not easily spooked. Schools of fish being sighted are
averaging 50 fish per school, sometimes cruising within twenty feet of the beach. Keeper size bass have all been caught within two hours of the high tide on either side. The dropping tide is the better tide. Schoolies have been filling in the balance of the tides along the outer beaches. Starting to see some 20 lb. plus single Bass while sight fishing the outer Cape beach's and Flats. Also a slow increase in larger schools of smaller ones.
South side Chatham is starting to fill up with bass in the 30"range. Certain flats in the Chatham area are starting to produce well. This is the easiest time of the year to catch those stripers on the flats.
All marshes and tidal rivers on the south side of the Cape are on fire. Any fly is working. There is also some super action on the surface during slack tides. Small gurglers are the fly of choice.
Fishing has been productive on the South side, off any jetty, at high tide.
Wish you were here:
Look for fishing to be the best in most areas (but not all) on and around the last 3 days and the first 8-10 days of the Month, all summer long. These are all days with exaggerated tides that tend to bring in fresh fish and cause them to feed aggressively. I would plan my fishing vacation around those days. Expect the fishing to be EXPLOSIVE!
Cinder Worm Hatch:
Look for a worm hatch during these same exaggerated tides. Normally low light, evenings, mud bottomed Marsh's best.
Herring tend to leave in large #'s during these same exaggerated tides so a large Herring pattern should do the trick. Big bass have been caught on the dropping tide feeding on them. Time to use big wide-body flies, especially if fishing close to a freshwater outlet
Top Fly Profiles:
I have my best luck with Blues if I imitate large bait, 3-5 inch's tall-5-8 inch's long. That's what they want, so give it to'em.
The other major profile of bait that is present are Thin (pencil or less in thickness), 4 inch's long. Adult Sand Lances and Silversides. White on bottom, Olive on top. Throw in a little gold flash as an attractor.
RANDY is it possible to fish Cape Cod flats from a canoe or kayak and where would be a good place to put it in?
Yup, You can fish it from a canoe, kayak. Must be very careful with weather and strong tides in places. Wind and Fog could spell " your dead" if you are not prepared. Compass, Fog horn, Life jackets, and an understanding of boating lanes and tidal movement should be FULLY understood to prepare you for a worse case situation. Don't mean to scare you but people die out here every year! I see boats and wade anglers going into areas out here that I would never go, due to stage of tide or weather. Some days start out with crystal clear skies, then out of no where - FOG, so thick you can taste it. They either get stuck and sit out the tide, swim back or worse, don't make it back. Other days the wind is light, you've checked several weather stations and in the middle of the day the wind spins and gusts hard out of no where. A canoe would not be very good transportation if wind, chop, strong currents etcÃ‚â€¦ were your company. If you get a map you will see Town Landings (T.L.) these are all public access areas to the water.
Have Fun, BUT you have to have a clear understanding of ALL of the above to be safe!
Remember that Mother Nature makes the rules!
Wishing all of you a safe and fun summer!
Through these Guides Eyes
The following fishing reports will consist of Inshore Saltwater (Fly) Fishing. It will include Tips, techniques, Habitat, Presentation, Baitology, Flies-Hooks, Moon Fazes, Flats, and even some highlights from last year's fishing reports. Some of which are pretty exciting.
Some of the material will come straight from my past experience as chief instructor of the Orvis 2 Ã‚Â½ day saltwater fly fishing schools. Additional material will come from first hand knowledge, gained from my many years of eating, breathing, living and loving the, New England - Cape Cod Inshore Saltwater environment.
All of this material would not be possible if it was not for several mentors who have shared " some of " their lifetime of saltwater experiences with me. Thanks, Bob Benson www.fishingthecape.com
Rich Benson firstname.lastname@example.org
(The 2 brothers who exposed the incredible world class flats fishery-Monomoy Island, to all of us), Peter Alves, George Ryan (The Mayor of Monomoy), and of course the great folks at Orvis! So, sit back, relax and enjoy this Truly World Class Destination Fishery!
Monomoy Island - Sight Fishing the Flats - CAPE COD Chatham, MA.
I check my fly after every cast. Through thorough study of bass and
retrieval tactics, I've seen fish look at my fly with one eye, then the other, put their nose on it and turn away. They won't give it a second glance if it is fouled and/or doesn't look like the natural. I've even seen bass spook off a fouled fly. Stripers have incredible eyesight and smell so check your fly after every cast. You normally are only going to get one good shot, so make it count.
Keeping in mind these fish have a brain the size of a pea, you would think they would be pretty easy to catch. But remember we are in their environment. Sight fishing is similar to hunting deer or turkey. The amount of noise generated by you, other anglers or boats means one thing - NO FISH on the flat or at least spooky fish who are less apt to eat. Even the water lapping on the underside of your basket will spook fish. Stand completely still or when walking move slowly. Stay as far away from other anglers and boats that may not be trying to blend in with the sites and sounds of the natural saltwater environments as you are.
For best visibility in the morning face west. From I0 a.m. to 2 p.m. face anywhere. Afternoon face east.
When the wind is blowing 15 to 30 knots you can still see them but its tough to cast a long leader into it. Find spots where they will travel by you so you can cast with the wind. Allowing your leader to fully extend and put more distance between fly and line.
These BIG bass are easiest to catch when they are feeding actively. What initiates this? Most of the time its speed of current moving the bait over, around or into structure. The faster the current the more aggressively they will feed and the easier they are to catch! During the course of a day most flats will have fish on them, but I try to only fish the ones that have moving water. This equation works ninety percent of the time. Moving water + structure = a compressed water flow. Compressed (concentrated) water flow + bait = fish. Take some time and study current movement. Seek out moving water on the flats and you will be rewarded.
These fish generally travel the same route day after day taking all the guess work out of ft once you've put your time in to study it. The routes they take can and will change if there's a lack of food, too much boat or wade activity, seals or water temperature change - too warm or too cold. On the flats everywhere I fish is structure related - creeks, channels, sluiceways, bars, depressions, holes and rips. These types of structure are their highways and restaurants.
Search out areas that give you a height advantage. The higher up you are the larger your visual cone will be, allowing you to achieve many of the pieces of the puzzle we have already discussed.
When I go fishing, I take all this and more into consideration when deciding where to go. In my opinion, sight fishing the flats is one of the most challenging and rewarding types of fly fishing you will ever experience. But to achieve proficiency you need to have a clear understanding of the flats you fish. Then you'll soon be realizing the best part of fly-fishing - FISH ON!!!!