Greetings from Capt. Dave & BAYMEN Charters!
On board today, regular, Baymen Dick Bowman for fly and light tackle striped bass! Dick, as most of you know, has been fishing with me for years and we still do up to a dozen trips a season together. Dick is retired, favors Cuban cigars, is well read, and is a prior service United States Marine. He has fished Maine to Florida and beyond with both fly and light tackle gear. He has some great stories of salmon on the fly, and tarpon, barracuda, and many other species in warmer waters.
Today, at first light, near dead-calm on the bay with a wisp of NNE and a high tide. Temps inside the bay 67 degrees and 65 out in the bay. Bait is STACKED at the docks. Silver Sides on top, 4″-5″ peanut bunker underneath. No bass has found them yet… But they will!
We cut across the bay and pulled into our first school of fish of the morning. But first, we fished a plastic bag out of the bay so it did not get eaten by a sea turtle or whale or sunfish. Back to the fishing, we noticed right off the bass with a few blues mixed in, were very skittish and not holding well. They were no bait balls and the fish were running and gunning and breaking up at first approach.
Undaunted, we continued to move with the fish as best as possible. They were also very finicky. But they would take a fly (popper) and also a pearl baitfish pattern. Dick got a nice fly rod fish on the pearl. We also landed several 2-3 pound blues on the fly and LT. Best light tackle lure was a 4″ inch rubber crankbait but we also tried Hogy Poppers (love those lures), and a hard-bodied swimming minnow. One fly we did not try today that would have been a good choice is a white/olive Bob Clouser Minnow trimmed to the size of the Silver Sides the bass are feeding on.
Well, we decided to move on and began to run the bay in search of the classic Fall Blitz. We found some fish in Duxbury, some in Plymouth, and some “east of the buoy.” But almost all of them were skittish and shy of the boat, AND finicky. Patience and Persistence were the keys.
We ran back across the bay again towards a large school of birds working in the distance. As we got closer, the fifty or so gulls were circling what I thought was a big fish. As we got closer, we saw it was a large immature Herring Gull fighting for it’s life! It had a huge hard-bodied lure hooked through it’s beak, and then through BOTH feet. It could not keep it’s head above water for long due to exhaustion and the terrible situation it was in. Dick threw a line over the gull and got it alongside the boat. I brought it on board and we both worked very carefully to remove the huge topwater lure. Then I set the gull down on the front deck. The gull laid there for moment and then realized it was finally free, stood up, shook, and flew across the bay, free once more.
Total catch and release today was 12 fish, 1 keeper striped bass (on the fly) and a couple of blues. The bay stayed flat all morning and it was lovely. At the end of the charter, Dick took out a large fly box and filled both my hands with top fly patterns and said, “you will make me happy if you catch some striped bass on those flies.” You know what I am going say: I have the best clients on earth!
Back At It. 18 Charters left on the books for 2023. STAY POSTED.
Capt. David Bitters, BAYMEN, www.baymenlife.com 31 Years Guiding The Bay. Still In Love.
Soli Deo Gloria!
********2024 STRIPED BASS IS NEARLY BOOKED SOLID. SHOOT ME AN E-MAIL FOR OPEN DATES I HAVE LEFT. I AM BOOKING 2025. DON’T WAIT – DATES GO QUICKLY********