Greetings from Capt. Dave & BAYMEN!
I ran the bay this morning in a small-craft warning with nasty SW chop. Don’t ask me why, but I decided to drop in a go. Water temps 56 degrees. Only boat on the bay for 25 square miles. No surprise…. The chop and wind was typical beat-you-up-chop so I retreated to the marsh to check on the ducks and the duck blinds for the second half of the coastal duck season that runs November 28 – January 7.
I actually searched for fish in the Back River. There has been a school up in there for a few days but they left today in the SW. No hits. I never do well in a strong SW. But state record holder the late Tony Stetzko, sure did. 73 pounds at Nauset November 3, 1981. From shore. On a black fly pattern tied up at his kitchen table the night before. Tied it in as a dropper above his lure. WHAM! and the rest is history, Nobody in Massachusetts has been able to beat that record for 42 years…
Onward to the Bluefish River for a look around. Found Fish! I worked a handful of bass for a solid hour and had four hits without a hook-up. I changed fly patterns about ten times, trying to break the code. They would nip the fly but not take.
I should mention that I also fished under the lights at the docks this morning, two hours before sunrise. I saw ten fish, a few shorts, several slots and two fish that would go fifteen pounds, maybe twenty. I threw everything I had at them but they were stuffed and just mulling about. There was a school of silversides (thousands) about forty feet away from them but they could care less. One of the biggest fish rolled on my olive/white Clouser but did not take it. It had to go 36″ inches or better. Another fish that totally ignored my fly looked more like an overstuffed pot-bellied pig! Just a big, round, beast of a bass. I worked these fish for an hour and a half and went through my fly box to no avail. Worth noting is, I used to fish the docks more than 30 years ago before I was a guide and would occasionally land some decent bass. They were there back then and they are still today – more than 30 years later.
So, that is how I am going to officially end my striped bass season. Not the grand finale I was hoping for but fun to get out one last time for a look around. I have not done the final numbers, but I think I have surpassed 93,000 fish caught and released since 1992. I will keep a rod handy come duck season. I have seen some big late, late, season blitzes from the duck boat over the years and I never seem to remember to bring my rod.
Time for a nap.
Capt. David Bitters, BAYMEN, baymenlife.com 31 Years Guiding The Bay. Still In Love.
Soli Deo Gloria!