Greeting from Capt. Dave & BAYMEN.
Four weeks left of my striped bass guide season here on the Massachusetts coast, and I am falling behind in my daily Baymen Reports. I am tired. Here is Saturday’s Baymen Report for 9/10/2022:
On board today Lt. Colonel Richard “The Machine” Comstock for Fly or Die striped bass. At first light a dead low incoming tide. High expectations today as the fall run is nearing it’s peak in our waters. We found fish scattered around the bays from Duxbury to Plymouth to Manoment. Birds, TONS of bait, and lots of very fast-moving-spooky-selective-feeding striped bass. In short, we worked out butts off today to land fish! It was really hard fishing and the Colonel worked non-stop to get it done. He even landed a 29″ inch keeper. But they did not come easy.
Our first school of the morning was the most cooperative. No other boats on them, it was still not quite light out, and the bass were schooled and feeding voraciously. We got fish on every drift. Then, five other boats joined us, the day started to get light, and the fishing started to get very difficult.
We did find bass everywhere we went however. In Plymouth/Manomet we found fish on topwater pounding bait. But we were also into 4-5 foot rollers, making it dangerous to stand and cast a fly, and also difficult to hold the boat in position – and the fish would not stay up or stay in the same place for more than thirty seconds or so.
Next stop we found bass pounding bait in a shallow cove tight to shore. It was awesome to see! The bass would school the bait (tiny peanut bunker) drive it to the surface and for 30 seconds to one minute, they would blitz on topwater. Then they would go down and all would be quiet for a couple minutes of longer. Then they would appear a hundred yards away and we would fire up the engine and head for them. We would land a few, back down they would go, only to appear a hundred yards away again. This went on for about and hour and it was very challenging fishing. But we landed fish. I saw one fish go under the boat that would of topped 40″ inches! But all the fish we hooked into were shorts of about 26″ inches and fat, hard fighting fish!
Later in the morning, we found the same type of feeding activity in Plymouth, around the oyster grants. We worked those fish hard and tried to stay with them and landed a few more fat shorts and finally threw in the towel, 1 fish short of the my daily charter average.
Total catch and release today was 14 striped bass, 1 keeper that taped out to 29″ inches. All the fish fought crazy hard, some of them taking us into the backing. Just amazing how hard these 26″ inch fish can fight on a 9 wt fly rod! Top fly patterns today? Where do I start: The keeper came on a red/white popper; other patterns that caught fish were a chartreuse Jack Gartside Gurgler (they ignored the white one); Baymen Universal. Mike Rice peanut bunker. Enrico Puglisi something. And a few others in the fly box. Basically, the bass were ULTRA selective and your best success was to throw a fly into a 30 second blitz, right into the mouths of the fish, while trying to get the boat close enough to them without spooky them. Other than that, we had very little success in getting them to take a fly.
So, one for the books today and one of the most challenging mornings on the bay this season. Flat-calm seas (other than the 4-5 foot rollers on Brown’s) and a gorgeous September morning. We saw two seals, no sharks.
Back at it. Four weeks left. The best of the Fall Run is right on our doorstep. STAY POSTED:
Capt. David Bitters, BAYMEN, www.baymenlife.com 30 Years Guiding The Bay. Striped Bass on Fly & Light Tackle on the Massachusetts Coast. Now Booking 2023 & 2024. Very few dates left for 2023. Lots of dates still open for 2024.