On board today, I had new fly rodder and client, Bob Hollis, for fly fishing striped bass.
As we left the harbor on the dropping tide and SW wind, something felt different from the past four days of the Fall Run. If you have been following the Baymen Reports, you have read how good it has been since August 18th. Insane numbers of fall fish on the migration south, stopping into our bay to feed. Big schools of striped bass in many places. All topwater action uner birds.
Today felt different but I was still optimistic. We found two small schools of very small bass at sunrise up on the flats in 2 fow and less. Bob picked up his first striped bass ever on the fly rod. Over the next half hour, he landed two more fish, all on Baymen Universals and Intermediate lines. As the tide bottomed out, we scooted off the flat and headed for new water.
We didn’t know it, but we had literally found the only fish in the bay. But we kept at it all morning and checked Browns Bank, Warren’s Cover, Eel River, Kingston bay, Plymouth bay, and many spots in Duxbury bay. No topwater, no fish on structure. We landed a total of 1 more fish to bring our catch and release tally to 4 fish for the morning.
I have seen it happen like this many times over the years, during the Spring or Fall Run, but it always takes me by surprise – unless it is a ENE wind. Then I pretty much expect it. But today was SW and a minus – 1.3 low. Yesterday was a minus -1.2 low. No significance difference in tides. The only change was a SW wind and a high pressure system. Interestingly enough, my friend the late Tony Stetzko (who still holds the MA state record for the biggest striped bass ever landed on rod and reel, 73 pounds) said he absolutely slayed big bass in a SW wind at Nauset. I was shocked. And he was shocked when I told him a SW is typically a bust in our bay, second only to anything with an E in it,with few exceptions.
But that’s why we go and why it keeps us coming back time after time, year after year. The sights, the sounds, the smells of the ocean air, and the chance for a day to remember forever. Bob landed his first ever striped bass on the fly. His casting form is some of the best I have ever seen (good teachers at the ORVIS Fly Fishing School). He bought top gear at The Bears Den in Taunton that I was envious off. And he is well on his way to double-hauling 80-90 feet of line very soon. I shared some techniques I use on the bay and we covered some beautiful water and some of my secret pockets you would all love to me to show you. Time on the water is the best teacher of all.
Tight Lines & Back at it soon…!
Capt. David Bitters, BAYMEN, www.baymenlife.com FISH WITH ME 2020 & 2021. Book Early.
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