July 2012 Daily Fishing Reports
Tuesday, July 31: Nantucket Sound and the Vineyard
Monster Scup On The FlyRuth Anderson was not able to join Michael Beebe and I as she tweaked her back, so just the two of us went in search of bonito. Once again, the lack of bones continues to be the story, but we did visit a little rip that I like where Michael picked up a few small bluefish and some monster scup on a chartreuse/white Clouser. The only thing that would have made it better was if I had brought the five-weight since those little battlers really put up a fight.
Monday, July 30: Sounds and Islands
Double Duty and Interesting CatchesThe morning saw Michael Beebe and Ruth Anderson on board for a bonito search, but the funny fish were not to be found. Did managed to hook a few small blues on the fly at Hedge Fence, but my landing ineptitude resulted in no fish in the bag for dinner. Caught some small bass in the Hole, but it really was surprisingly quiet on the water. I was back on the water with Kathy and Billy Malone and their grandson Christopher Salveter for some night time angling. We played around with some small blues on the backside of Naushon and eventually made it down to Robinson's where we picked up some bass and blues on eels; Billy was disappointed when he picked up a striper that was just under legal size and I informed him we had to release it. It was truly a beautiful night with the moon and stars playing their parts and great folks on board.
Sunday, July 29: Monomoy
Misery, Day TwoThe grey, cold weather from yesterday continued today and it was a tough day of fishing for Joe Marcus and Gerry Fine out around Chatham. Bounced around the rips and had one bass follow the fly, but other than a few bluefish, it was not good. Even ran up towards the lighthouse with nothing showing on top. Bearses was really humping, but nobody wanted to play. To top it off, the sound was chopped up on the way back to Saquatucket. Highlight of the day was lunch as Brax Landing; company was great, but food was at best OK.
Saturday, July 28: Woods Hole and The Elizabeths
Tough, Rough DayBob Lewis, president of the Osterville Anglers' Club, picked up the trip I donated for their Ladies Shoal Troll for his daughters Heather, Lindsay, and Caroline, along with their cousin, Christy McGarry. Caught up with Bob heading out of Cotuit and the women on their boat, including the ladies' mothers, got a good laugh at our small boat as they were headed out in a much larger craft that featured plenty of protection from the weather, but my crew was hard core. Ran to Woods Hole where we managed a few very small bass, after which we ran to Cuttyhunk and fished Sow and Pigs and tossed plastics around the island with nothing to show for our efforts. Even tried for bluefish with no success. Weather went from overcast and cool in the Hole to hot enough to go with T-shirts at Cuttyhunk to a lumpy, bumpy right back into a stiff easterly wind back to Falmouth Harbor, where arrangements were made to pick up the crew and save them from more spray and jouncing. Definitely not a great day of fishing, but the ladies got to visit Pie In The Sky for a mid-morning treat and we also had a brief stay in Cuttyhunk, which Bob had wanted the girls to visit. Next year, I'm going to borrow a bigger boat and think a bit more about what I can do to get my crew on the board - although we did hook a Boston Whaler that managed to cut between us and Middle Ledge, picking up Heather's plug. At which point he apologized profusely suggesting he didn't see our line!
Friday, July 27: Woods Hole and The Elizabeths
Kids Who Can Really Fish!What a great day on the water with Susie Kleowdis and her sons, Niko and Alec, along with their cousin, Jeffrey Arnold. The younger boys had yet to catch a striper, but they are dedicated anglers from Georgia who are used to battling freshwater bass and bream that swim in the creek near their home. Jeffrey is also a freshwater guy who knows where the bass live in our local ponds on the Cape. Well, finding bass was no problem as they were pounding small bait in the Hole and my guests proved very adept at tossing small bone Hogy's and pearl Zooms and hooking up consistently. Also made it to the corner of Robinson's and found some very willing bluefish that didn't want topwater plugs, but loved soft plastics. Hey, you have to pay to play! Just a beautiful day on the water with some very fine folks.
Wednesday, July 25: The Elizabeths
Eel StinkMet up with Ken and Steve Grady for some night time eeling along the islands, but other than some small stripers and bluefish chops, the fish just don't seem that interested in snakes. Worked 14-inch bone Hogy's the way Mike insists they will outfish eels and they picked up some fish, including one big, bad island bluefish. Coolest part of night was arriving at Cuttyhunk and happening up a big school of bass chewing on small bait - and no fly rods aboard and rods set up for big offerings. I have to start bring the six-pound outfits since there is so much small bait this year.
Tuesday, July 24: Home Base
Boom!Thunderstorms and torrential rain in the morning, plus wind, and more boomers and rain in the late afternoon. Enough said. At least go to turn off the AC and open the windows as the conditions changed from hot and sticky to cool and comfortable right quickly.
Monday, July 23: Woods Hole and The Elizabeths
Dry This TimeIt's always a great time getting together with Davis and Robert Yetman, along with Paul Mort. Given that last year on my next to last trip with Davis and Robert I ended up walking on rocks to get the boat out into open water after someone unnamed left the fly line in the water and it wrapped around the prop, and as I tried to untangle it we ended up on bumping a bit in Robinson's. That said, our first agreement this trip was that everyone would stay in the boat! Started in Woods Hole where we picked up several schoolies, comparing larger pearl Zoom Super Flukes to seven-inch Original Hogy's. I would say they worked equally well. Moving down along Naushon, we picked up a few more small fish on topwaters, and I am still amazed at how many minis there are around the islands. Our first stop on the B-Bay side with eels produced a big bluefish for Robert, which somehow had the hook go through the skin near its jaw, essentially being landed by the line holding on as the hook was just lying there. With the change in tide, it was time to venture along the sound side where it was quite rough and a challenge to stay upright at times. Did I mention that Davis and Robert were competing to see if the former could continue his recent thrashings of his younger brother? Any way, Davis broke the eeling ice on bass and from there it was a pick of mostly smaller fish, although Davis did pick up a larger fish and Robert hooked up with one of those smart fish that found the right rock to do the wrong thing to the line. In the end, Davis held a two fish lead, but Robert came back strong as I think the former jinxed himself by pointing out the his brother is a better eel fisherman and his earlier luck was an aberration. Final word: Uncle Robert is back!
Sunday, July 22: Home Base
Rocks and ReefsThe northeast winds from yesterday kept building today and the seas were lumpy and cresting, resulting in my decision to forego fighting to keep the boat off the rocks along the islands, especially at night. Weather just seems so unsteady right now, it's getting a little tiring.
Saturday, July 21: Chatham
She Was A Good WindA while back Elizabeth Yellen contacted me about a birthday trip for her husband, Didzis Voldins, and today we made it happen along with his brother, Janis, and his dad, Marc. I had high hopes after several days of east/northeast winds that the fish and bait would be pushed back in and that certainly was the case. I heard that last week was a tough one for the commercial crew, with plenty of skunks and one fish trips; I suspect that with better conditions this week, there really could be a slaughter. But back to our fishing. After picked up a small bass and a number of blues for the smoker in a nicely forming trip, I grew tired of feeding Hogy's to choppers, so I started to make the move to the east side. It was pretty choppy and swelly, but there was no need to make the move up towards Nauset as the first sets of rips were filled with bass crashing squid. It was like a return to several weeks ago, with 10-inch bubblegum Hogy's proving to be the ticket as the Voldins had plenty of light tackle action on really impressive bass, including a few destined for the table. We finished the day feeding plastics to more bluefish before a lumpy ride back to Saquatucket as the wind was kicking pretty good at that point. Oh, and the morning temperature at 3 AM was 53 degrees - a big change from earlier that week.
Friday, July 20: Woods Hole and The Elizabeths
Back Together With Ruth and MichaelLight rain fell in the Hole as I picked up Ruth Anderson and Michael Beebe for our first trip during their stay in Falmouth and it was an interesting morning. The dying tide in Woods Hole produced a number of small schoolies on the fly, both on floating and fast sink lines. Capt. Warren Marshall's custom baitfish pattern that worked remarkably well on albies last fall proved to be the hot ticket, whether dead drifted or stripped. There was really no sign of fish, but if the fly swung just right, they were all over it. When slack came, we ran down towards Robinson's in hopes of picking up a bluefish or two for dinner, but no luck. We picked up schoolies in a couple of spots on spinning tackle and Rebel Jumpin' Minnows and floating lines and Gurglers, but I was shocked by the lack of blues. We got some good laughs recounting Ruth's antics as a young girl summering in the Hole and I still think her "scofflaw" days would make a great book. I even have some great titles, including "The Hole Story."
Thursday, July 19: The Elizabeths
Just ThinkingWith high hopes for some eeling along the islands, I met up with Dana Wilson, Barney Keezell, and Dana's brother-in-law Steve in the Hole and worked the bay side. No birds and no sign of life at a number of upper spots, before Dana connected with a topwater on a schoolie around Nashawena. As the sun dropped, we moved on to Mr. Wiggly and even they received a tepid response before Barney connected with a big fish. Unfortunately, he left the fish run in free spool too long before locking up and reeling to set the circle hook, at which point it was behind a rock and parted the line. No comment, other than it is 1000-1, 1000-2, not five seconds, before closing the bail and reeling. Just saying. Final spot of the night had instantaneous action on smaller bass on the eels, with all hook ups perfectly in the corner of the mouth. I was still left with with questions about the islands this year.
Wednesday, July 18: Woods Hole and The Elizabeths
Fish and Run!It was another kids' trip today set up by Jon Kolb, this time with Sam and Karen Kolb and their older son, Jake, and daughter Lexi, along with Greg Robillard and his older boy, Isaac. Unfortunately, the limits of my license only allow six passengers, so Jon was left waiting at home. Jake got things started with a bluefish totally on his own, casting to and landing the fish, while Lexi picked up a schoolie bass in concert with her dad. Isaac's casting was outstanding, but the fish were lethargic and only swirled as his Rebel Jumpin' Minnow or bone Hogy. We ran around the corner of the bay to try a few spots along Naushon, but once again only had some listless responses. I was also keeping my eyes on a big front that was moving in, so we ran back into the Hole where we filled up with big scup for a fish fry before dropping everyone off at the dock - at which point I got caught in a microburst as part of the front that spawned a few small waterspouts and winds that gusted to over 50-knots. To say is was an interesting and wet ride back to Falmouth Harbor is to put it mildly as the three and four footers whipped up by the wind kept putting walls of water on top of me. The positive thing was the lightning stayed north of the harbor, where I could see some good-sized bolts and emergency vehicles racing around. Chalk it up to an experience that was interesting, but not one I look forward to repeating soon.
Tuesday, July 17: Woods Hole
Eli and Vinny Rule!Today was a very special trip with Eli Robillard and his dad, Greg; Vinny Chirichello and his dad Dylan; and Eli's grandfather, Jon, who set the whole thing up. Although the action on blues and bass in the Hole was slow, five-year-olds Eli and Vinny proved to be outstanding scup anglers, with singles and doubles of these hard fighting bottom fish. They also managed a number of small sea bass and a good-sized fluke as well. Just a great kids' trip overall, including ice cream before dinner - what could be better!
Monday, July 16: The Elizabeths
Hmmm?What looked to be a slightly iffy evening with thunderstorms to the north and heavy skies just outside of Woods Hole turned into a beautiful night along the Elizabeths with Jon and Sam Kolb, Greg Robillard, and Dylan Chiricello. But the fishing was just so-so, with a bluefish for the smoker and small bass on eels. Water is still very warm and filled with a fair amount of weed. I certainly expected more activity on topwaters before the sunset, but the fish only swirled on them half-heartedly, perhaps a result of the warmth.
Saturday, July 14: Chatham
Coulda, But Not QuiteI hate the crowds in Chatham on weekends, but Gerry Fine and Joe Marcus love the place, so off I went at 3 AM to meet them at Saquatucket. Remembering the action yesterday on sand eels, I tied up some Half-and-Halfs in a color I really like for use on the fly rod. We first stopped to play with some small bluefish as Joe had a blast with one of his own plugs and I had hoped to get Gerry hooked up on a Banger on the fly, but the fish were scattered and moving fast. So off we went towards Nauset and were rewarded with birds and big bass rolling on the surface at times, but generally holding deeper. Gerry connected twice on impressive fish and Joe had one on for a brief time. I had hoped that working deep with the fast sink lines would work, but I suspect I need to spool up the really heavy duty 500 grain stuff to get down and do the Chatham Jig. We moved down tide and came upon some happily feeding fish, but the crowds were incredible and there is little doubt in my mind that all the boats caused the fish to sound. The rest of the day was spent watching a fish pop here and there, but nothing really shaped up where it did yesterday. A rip that had been working well for me just never shaped up while we were there and even the schools of bluefish failed to show, putting a so-so ending to a day that really showed promise.
Friday, July 13: Chatham
A Bit Of A ChangeI finally made it to Chatham today with Michael Green and Gerry Fink; yesterday, Michael emailed me to say he hoped there were still some fish left after hearing there were up to 500 boats fishing the area. Well, there were some bass left for them, although not in the places I usually think of. We fished some rips farther out than I normally due and even though they were set up nicely, all we got for our efforts was a bluefish chop on a Hogy. We then moved towards Bearses and Michael had what we thought was a bass, but turned out to be a big, nasty bluefish. Running farther north towards the old cut, we finally found birds and bass, following them back towards Bearses. We tried metal jigs and soft plastics on jigheads without success, before turning back to the old standby, the seven-inch amber Hogy. With big bass swirling all around us, both Michael and Gerry picked up a fish to take home for dinner before Michael hooked into a really big bass that clobbered the Hogy close to the boat. Suffice it to say that we had it to the boat and it was big, but for the first time in a long while (in fact, I can't remember when this last happened to me), I ham handed her after removing the hook when she was still in the water. I reached for the tail and thought I had a firm grip, but a quick kick and she was gone. No photo, alas, but she was going to swim away regardless. All in all, it looks like the fish in the rips and east side of Monomoy have turned on to sand eels, but that may have been a matter of the tide. We did see the larger charterboats headed out to waters farther to the south and east, perhaps Rose and Crown.
Thursday, July 12: Off The Water
A Day To Be Off The WaterWith some work to be done on the boat and other concerns, I spent the day catching up on details that have gone unattended to due to many road trips down east. Received a report from a local tackle shop that there were approximately 500 boats "commercially" fishing for bass off the new cut in Chatham. If you even just go with a number like 15 fish per boat, as opposed to the 30 they are allowed, that's 7500 dead bass in one day. If they all limit out, that would up the number to 15000! Imagine what the price was down to by the end of the day with a glut of fish being brought to the market. Why the state still allows this wild west mentality of "let's kill all the buffalo" is beyond me. In 2010, they issued 3998 bass tags, but only 1212 folks reported selling fish. Am I to assume that people just forked over 30 dollars to the state, on top of the cost of a commercial permit, just for kicks? And forget the "commercial" business; the vast majority of these folks don't even make a minor part of their living from selling bass. I suppose it just makes them feel better about themselves or they "need the money to run their boat," as one character from Mashpee once said to me. Consider that the vast majority of the fish caught off Chatham represent the 2001 and 2003 year classes, the last really good spawning years up until 2011, and it won't take long for down Cape to end up like Gay Head, Norton Point, and areas in Cape Cod Bay that played host to the commercial fleet before they wiped the bass out there. Can anyone say, "Localized Depletion"? One unanticipated development that may put a hurting on commercial bass fishing is the presence of so many bass that have signs of disease, perhaps mycobacteriosis. I heard that the state is looking to collect diseased fish to study them. All I know is that if I was going to buy bass in a market, I sure as heck would ask if the dealer only accepted "clean" fish. If the outsides show problems, what is going on inside? And remember that they fillet the fish and never even consider what might be happening to the internal organs in terms of signs of lesions and perhaps even tumors. At the very least, there is no commercial fishing on Mondays, Fridays, and Saturdays.
Wednesday, July 11: Chatham
Just Full Of LifeThat is how Justin Provencal described the scene around Chatham, as he and his dad Phil enjoyed a perfect day down Cape. The west tide was slow for us, so we ventured up towards the harbor and encountered massive schools of small bluefish, with Justin breaking through on the fly and Phil raising fish with the Jumpin' Minnow. I had planned to originally run up to the new cut and I heard later from Warren Marshall that there were some really big fish up that way. It really is too bad as there will be a lot of fish killed starting tomorrow with commercial bass season opening. At least the way I look at it, one would have to think twice about visiting the waters from Monomoy up to Nauset on any Sunday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday as those are the days that commercial striper fishing is open each week until the quota is filled. Once the east tide accelerated the rip, the bass began to chew 7-inch amber Hogy's and it was very cool to see big bass cruising on the edge of the rip in clear water
Tuesday, July 10: Chatham
A Fine Visit With The Gents From EnglandAlthough he originally hails from England, Kevin Cole has been here in the states for over 35 years and that gives his brother, Peter, and their friend, Tony Finneran a good reason to visit. A number of years back, I hosted the trio in Falmouth for some early season fishing, but today was about big fish in the rips and the bass cooperated. Peter and Tony managed to familiarize themselves with the nine and ten weights, a big change from their trout sticks back home. But it was actually Kevin, who isn't into fishing like the others, to get the skunk off the boat, catching the first two bass on amber seven-inch Hogy's. Then both Tony and Peter managed some nice bass on the fly rod, before the move to a new rip had bass exploding all over the place, with spin and fly both proving to be effective.
Monday, July 9: Chatham
A Fine Day To Visit With Davis and PaulLeft out of Saquatucket Harbor in Harwich for the first time and was I ever impressed. Great ramp, plenty of parking, and pretty darn scenic as well. And not that much longer a run than from Barn Hill in Chatham. And the fish cooperated for Davis Yetman and Paul Mort on their annual trip, starting out with some feisty bluefish. Then it was time to hit the rips, with both Davis and Paul connecting on nice bass using seven-inch amber Hogy's. Perhaps the highlight of the day was Davis working the fly rod for some impressive fish, with the key turning out to be angle of presentation and a good dead drift.
Sunday, July 8: Woods Hole and The Elizabeths
The Difference Between Day and NightI was confident that an early start (4 AM) would produce some good fishing for Michael Green and Gerry Fink, but I couldn't have been more wrong. We had small bluefish chop up some eels at our first stop down the islands, but otherwise it was el zippo on everything else, including plugs and plastics. Had a great turn of the tide at Cuttyhunk, but it was lifeless as the sun rose. I wish I had an answer for why tossing Mr. Wiggly in the daylight has gone south for several years now, with bass just whacking them after dark. My evening trip, on the other hand, turned out to be productive in the Hole with Ted Farrell and his children, Fiona and Silas. Lots of schoolies chasing small squid, with bone and amber seven inch Hogy's doing the trick. Lots of tern activity as the rips were really churned up with a stiff southwest breeze against the outgoing current. A beautiful sunset made it even better.
Thursday, July 5: Nantucket Sound and the Elizabeths
A Blown Forecast and RedemptionBy the time I met up with Sue Beardsley and her grandchildren, the trees were tossing and I was left grumping at a forecast that had the wind coming up in the afternoon. We picked up a schoolie along Naushon, but it was really huffing by then, so I ran towards Waquoit in hopes of finding a lee and some schools of bluefish. Succonesset was a cauldron of white water and closer in the water was filled with weed. As I am wont to do, I called it a morning early and offered to take everyone out again for an evening next week when conditions should be better. By the time I met up with Bill Metcalf and his son, Bill, for our night trip, the wind had blown itself out and we had no problems getting down the islands, although there was what seemed like a decent swell in places, producing the white water I like. We had a dying tide in the Hole and got the skunk off with some schoolies on seven-inch bone Hogy's. The first spot along the islands was covered in weed, but as the sun back to set, my next option was clean and filled with bass, including some sizeable ones that found our live eels hard to resist. Fish of the night belonged to young Bill, but we also pulled the hook on what might have been its match. Fishing with this father-son team from Illinois is a highlight of my season and I hope we can get together many more times in the future.
Tuesday, July 3: The Elizabeths
Sunrise Comes Way Too EarlyFolks often comment on how much light there is even at 5 AM, and this morning Ellen Silbergeld and I were treated to what she called "God's Glory", which I had to stop and take a couple of photos of. On the other hand, I wish I could have said we found "God's Bounty", but the combination of full moon tide and warm water produced an absence of real activity, other than some small bluefish that drove us crazy around Naushon. We did manage some follows of the fly around the Weepeckets, but they wouldn't commit. Very strange day with no real bird life to speak of and just flat looking water, other than the currents.
Sunday, July 1: The Elizabeths
Summer Fishing Way Too EarlyI ran out of Falmouth Harbor real early in the morning to make sure everything was fine with the Honda and there were no problems, so I met up with Sandy Reid and Laurie Thwaites for a combination fly and spin trip. Unfortunately, the fish hadn't read the plan as it was tough going. Spots that usually always hold resident fish, even small ones, were dry as a bone. Only salvation were some bass in the Hole, where there are some small squid and what look like sand eels around.
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Captain Dave Peros
P.O. Box 3001
Pocasset, MA 02559