Greetings from Capt. Dave & BAYMEN!
On board today, regular fly fishing client, Brian Ware, and his friend, Jake, for Fly or Die striped bass…
At first light- RAIN. And it never let up all morning and only got heavier. But the bay was like glass, water temps dropped to 65 degrees, with a whisper of SSE wind. Tide was two hours before low.
We saw fish break right in the harbor on the way out and went right to them. Some BIG pings on the sonar in the deepest part of the channel and smaller fish on the surface. Brian and Jake both hooked up on their first fish of the morning.
Onward and out into the bay, we covered lots of water with no fish or birds in sight. But a little further out and Jake spotted “birds working ten o’clock!” We pulled into our first school of fish of the morning and began to hook up on some very nice fish. They were finicky for sure. We had to adjust our strips to a slower crawl with a pause…WHAM! FISH ON! This went on right into low slack tide…. But the fish never left and they kept right on feeding even at slack. I told my clients when the tide turns and starts in, we could be in for quite a blitz…!
The tide finally started back in and fish poured in with it. Multiple schools of topwater striped bass busting baitballs of 1″-2″ Silversides, as the rain really began to pound us. But nobody cared. No thunder, no lightning, just non-stop downpour – and tons of fish.
As the tide pushed further inward, the bass and bait and birds pushed inward with it. Channels, channel edges, and right up onto the flats in 3-4 fow. Insane blitz action on the fly at its finest. Some of the bass topped the low thirties (inches) and many others were in the high twenties (inches). All of them fought amazingly hard! Just incredible fights with many fish taking us right into the backing.
We finally had to make the call and head for port, leaving schools of fish still busting behind us. Total catch and release today was 40 striped bass, all on the fly, with several fine fly rod keepers in the mix. Top flies? This may surprise you: our number one producing fly pattern today was Blane Chockett’s “GAME CHANGER” in all white. The bass could not stay off that pattern! Other flies that also landed fish included a foam popper, a white Jack Gartside Gurgler, an Enrico Publisi micro Peanut Bunker, a solid white Bob Clouser, a Flashabou Pearl Silverside, and a Mike Rice Sand Eel pattern. All of them caught fish. But the Game Changer was lights out our #1 pattern of the morning. For fly lines we fished all three: floating, sinking, and intermediate. The best combo? Intermediate ORVIS line with a 20lb six foot mono leader and a White Game Changer Fly. For fly rods, Maine Fly Companies “Penobscot” 9wt was excellent with a 300 grain line. TFO’s Axiom II X 9 wt was perfect with an ORVIS A.R.T. floating line and topwater popper. And the smoothest rod of the bunch was the TFO BVK in 8wt. That fly rod is butter smooth.
This morning was a classic Fall Blitz and one of the best on the fly, in recent years. Let’s hope and pray that the rest of the Fall Run continues and is as good was it was today.
Back at it. Stay Posted: 12 Charters left on the books for the season.
Capt. David Bitters, BAYMEN, www.baymenlife.com Soli Deo Gloria! 31 Years Guiding The Bay. Still In Love.
*******BOOKING 2025, 2026, 2027, 2028 STRIPED BASS ON THE FLY OR LIGHT TACKLE ON THE MASSACHUSETTS COAST. BOOK WAY IN ADVANCE WHENEVER POSSIBLE – DATES GO QUICKLY*******