On board today, Greg Sanchez, for fly fishing striped bass. Greg and I met many years ago when I had my shop, Baymen Outfitters, on St. George St. in Duxbury.
At first light, dead-calm seas and a rising tide. A nice cold bite to the air and the promise of a lovely morning on the water. Bay temps were 58-60 degrees.
Peanut bunker (baby menhaden, aka “pogies” ) are in the bay by the millions. We saw fish breaking tight to the Beach Road and peanut bunker were spraying out of the water. We motored over and then paddle the final distance and pulled into massive schools of bait and a few striped bass that were swimming with them and gorging themselves on them. Just to give you an idea of how much bait was in the bay, one school of peanut bunker swam past us for twenty minutes without a break in the school! They were still passing by when we finally left them. They were nice size, 3-4″ inches. We threw a fly into the mix with follows but no hook-ups in this school. One piece of bait amongst a million.
We began to run the bay from Plymouth to Kingston to Duxbury. We found a few fish on White’s flat but like most of the fish today, there was far more bait than bass and none of the bass were “holding” but running and gunning as is typical in the tail end of the fall run in our bay. It was hard to set good drifts and by the time you arrived they had moved or they would ignore our offerings.
“Relentless Baymen” would be a good name for my boat. We don’t give up too easily and continued to work the bay. Shallow flats, cuts, rips, and structure. And it finally began to pay off and Greg landed some nice fish. He cast non-stop for five hours. Greg has a really beautiful cast to watch. He turns the fly over well and then settles it on the water so delicately, almost like a Parachute Cast in trout fishing. I really enjoyed watching him cast.
Top fly today was Greg’s White Deceiver, his own tie. We tried a few others, but this fly accounted for just about all his fish.
It was a glorious fall morning on the bay. Just perfect conditions for throwing a fly to finicky fish that were stuffed to the gills with peanut bunker.
Today is my last scheduled striped bass charter of the season and now I flip the switch and Monday is beginning of hunting guide season. Grouse, Woodcock, Ducks, and Deer. It has been an amazing season of chasing striped bass for the past six months but now it is time to change gears.
Capt. David Bitters, BAYMEN, www.baymenlife.com 29 Years Guiding The Bay
****BOOKING 2022 & 2023 FLY FISHING /LIGHT TACKLE STRIPED BASS ON MA COAST. BOOK EARLY, DATES GO FAST…****
Follow my business FB page at Baymen Guide Service, Inc. Baymen Charters