May 2012 Daily Fishing Reports
Thursday, May 31: Woods Hole and The Elizabeths
It Doesn't Get Any BetterBoth the weather and the fishing, that is, as it was flat calm with just a little light fog as I ran over to the Vineyard to pick up Ilaria Rebay and Rick Fehon for our annual trip. I had a little extra time to check out Middle Ground, but it continues to be a wasteland for those of us who look forward to topwater action. Fortunately, Ilaria and Rick are both into tossing topwater plugs, so it was a change from the Hogy routine that has been so successful. But this duo proved their prowess by coaxing bass everywhere we fished to take Yo-zuri Hydro Pencils with abandon. It was great to see the islands alive with fish and the Hole was on fire at the bottom of the tide. To top it off, there were no boats to deal with anywhere we fished!
Wednesday, May 30: Woods Hole and The Elizabeths
Coming Through In The ClutchThings started out slowly for Jeff Joslin in the Hole at the turn of the tide as there were only a few fish showing that were interested in our offerings, resulting in a run down the islands. It was amazing how dead the waters around the Elizabeths looked, with a few terns picking over small bait and stripers in Robinson's on the fall, while Quick's was as quiet as I can remember seeing. In the end, the return to the Hole proved fruitful as fish were popping at the bottom of the outgoing and Jeff mastered the amber Double Wide Hogy with a couple of nice bass, one of which unfortunately displayed signs of myco or other disease. It was pretty cool also watching an old school vessel, Mariah, work plugs in the rips; there is nothing quite like a boat with a tiller to bring back memories of the way fishing used to be around the Elizabeths.
Tuesday, May 29: Woods Hole and The Elizabeths
Squid, Silversides, and HerringFog greeted Cal Lane, Rick DeAquiar, and I as we made out way out of Falmouth Harbor, but there was no problem making our way to Woods Hole. At the beginning of the turn of the tide, we had bass swirling on Double Wide amber Hogy's and we managed a few fish, but things got tough when the tide really began honking. I played a hunch and headed down the islands to Robinson's where small fish were working under terns and they cooperated, taking jighead/Arkansas shiner Sluggo combinations. I was really looking for things to go off, but it never did, so it was back to the Hole for the end of the tide and the bass were very cooperative, finding seven-inch amber Hogy's very much to their liking. We ended the day with the best fish of the trip, another example of how the biggest bass often come as the tide slacks or is slack. Oh, and the sun came out, making for a warm, pleasant ride home.
Monday, May 28: The Hole
Just Like Old TimesToday, the Katie G and I welcomed back the tandem of Sandy Reid and Laurie Thwaites, my two favorite lady anglers. Last year, hectic schedules and other issues didn't allow us to get together, but it was worth the wait as they worked their magic and shared a lot of memories. A pink squid pattern got no love for Sandy who was waving the long wand, but Laurie had a big fish on for a bit on a bone Double Wide Hogy that parted the leader as she elected to go with the spin. A change to a seven-inch amber Hogy really got Laurie into the action and when I changed Sandy over to an orange squid fly, the closest to what is my favorite Hogy color, she got into the action. Both ladies managed to take home fish for dinner, but it was the laughter and good memories that I collected - and I think I got the better of the deal.
Sunday, May 27: The Hole and Elizabeths
A Tale of Two TidesToday's fishing couldn't have been any different from morning to evening. The AM trip was with Sandy Reid and Gerry Fine and the Hole was tough. There were some fish around and Sandy managed to hook up and Gerry had some follows, but overall very little cooperation from Mr. Striper. As tide slowed, I made the decision to run down the islands to where the fish had been stacked, but it was dead as a door nail. Did find some very small bluefish in deep water that took flies, but I was very disappointed, to say the least. Things certainly changed when Michael Green and Gerry Fink joined me in the Hole as the fish jumped all over bubblegum 10-inch original Hogy's. These were all nice, fat stripers and provided some great visuals as well as tight lines. We were on the same tide from the morning, but I suspect all the boat traffic in the morning really spooked the fish and put them on the alert. The other issue is sometimes it is tough getting off a long cast with the fly to work the current just right.
Saturday, May 26: Home Base
Water Heaters and Bungee CordsHad a pair of trips today postponed due to a faulty water heater for one angler and an accident with a bungee cord for a young fisherman whom I was looking forward to getting out on the water. On the bright note, I did get a chance to go over my gear and tie some bugs. Seems the beach fishing has slowed along southside, but folks are doing well up inside the bays, harbors, salt ponds, and rivers by boat.
Friday, May 25: The Usual
A Change Of PaceIt was another great day on the water as I got together with Tom Lipinsky and his son Zach; we tried last year, but things never worked out. It was worth the wait as the fish whacked Hogy's in the Hole and the islands were alive with bass sipping sand eels. Managed to bounce off a rock as another boat drifted right onto us and left me no room to maneuver; I know folks like to do this, with nobody at the helm, but it can really create a mess. No issues in the fog down the islands as everyone was well-mannered, with folks jigging and fly fishing with no problem.
Thursday, May 24: The Usual
Double Duty = Double Fun=Par DeuxI think that's how you do the French thing for part two, but in any case, just another great day of fishing. Met up with John and Sally Quinn in Barnstable for a late morning incoming and the fishing couldn't have been better. There were fish everywhere surface feeding and John did very well with an intermediate and sand eel Clouser; when the water level increased, a fast sink did the trick. Sally also picked up a fish in the fly and then elected to switch over to light spin, where the fish loved white or Arkansas shiner 4.5-inch Sluggos. Probably the nicest day of weather on the water as the sunshine was brilliant and it was like watching bass in an aquarium. By the time I got on the water with Sara Perkins and Ali Salehpour, the clouds had settled in and it definitely was colder. But the fishing was good in the Hole, where white Hogy Double Wides worked very well on some really fat fish.I had high hopes for a bite down the islands, but it never shaped up, although Sara and Ali worked their magic on some smaller fish with Yo-zuri Hydro Pencils. Amazing how cold it was at night when I was peeling off layers only hours earlier.
Wednesday, May 23: Woods Hole and The Elizabeths
The Weather May Change, But The Fish Don't Mind At AllWhat an interesting day today, with Tom and Ed Colford joining me in the fog and mist as they coaxed some solid bass out of the Hole on bubblegum 10-inch original Hogy's. When the tide slacked, we ran over to Middle Ground, but other than a few terns picking here and there, the water looked weedy and it doesn't appear the squid have settled in there. At the end of the tide in Robinson's, there were a few fish popping around and they liked small Sluggos and jigheads, but the real fun was farther down the islands as there were massive schools of sipping sand eels, as well as butterfish and small herring. It was a great opportunity to try the new Hogy sand eels and they proved to be very effective fished on 1/0 weighted swimbait hooks. Ed even worked his magic with the Jumpin' Minnow, getting his fill of topwater action. The day ended back in the Hole as Hogy Double Wides in amber proved to be the ticket, as what looked like dead water came alive as the tide picked up and some really nice stripers began to chase squid. Overall, a true day to remember, with hardly five minutes passing with at least one of the Colford brothers hooked up.
Tuesday, May 22: Woods Hole and The Elizabeths
Rain, Rain, Go Away - But Fish StayDespite the rain and wind, Tom and Ed Colford were up to their old tricks, starting with a number of nice bass at the end of the tide in the Hole using bubblegum Hogy's. It was very cool seeing the fish blow up on top and it just seems that soft plastics work so much better than plugs on these fish. Then it was on down the islands where we found masses of bass on top sipping sand eels, with even more showing on the sonar screen hugging the bottom. Small soft plastics on jigheads did the trick, but there is little doubt that diamond jigs or other sand eel shaped metals would work well. No other boats on the water, and maybe they had more common sense, but they missed some great fishing.
Monday, May 21: Home Base
Tidying Up Some DetailsA cloudy, misty day found me tying up some flies and bucktail dressed hooks for some plugs before heading into a long stretch with no break. Buzzards Bay continues to be alive for boat anglers working schools of bass that are deep in the water column and Mike Thomas said that a good tide in the Canal only saw a few fussy fish at the prime time, the turn to the east, but later on, about four hours into the current, the fish came up big time. There were some real cows in the mix as evidenced by the plethora of straightened 4X strong VMC hooks. Yellow over white pencils worked, but the key was having a yellow over white bucktail on the tail hook. Schools of pogies also moved through the Ditch, making black/gold/white colored plugs productive over the weekend, as well as Sebiles in the almost impossible to get Ghost Essence and Shad colorations.
Sunday, May 20: South Kingston, RI
Graduation Day!Today was a day to celebrate with my niece, Katie, the last of my nieces and nephews to graduate from college as she finished up at URI with magna cum laude honors in her double major. Obviously, she did not get any of her brains indirectly through me. I did hear from Capt. Warren Marshall that fishing remained good around the islands, with squid popping here and there as they were pursued by bass, who found white flies much to their liking, as well as pink Hogy's.
Saturday, May 19: Woods Hole and The Elizabeths
Double Duty = Double FunToday I had my first double duty of the season and the fish certainly cooperated, but more in the morning. I got together with Matt Hoberman and Rich Carty and we started out with some nice bass blasting Hogy's in the Hole, but a move down the islands found use surrounded by bass sipping sand eels and birds giving away their location. Small jigs and Arkansas shiner Sluggos proved to be the ticket and the bass were really impressive. We also brought the first bluefish of the season to the boat. We ended up the trip back in the Hole where the falling tide proved to be much more productive, with double wide amber Hogy's drawing incredible hits. The evening found me fishing with Jeff and Ben Leiden, but the east tide proved to be tough. Ben managed to roll a fish, but it was slow until we changed to seven inch bone Hogy's on jigheads that helped defeat the current and Ben picked up a solid fish that went home for dinner. We also poked around Quissett and the Weepeckets, but only had a couple of half-hearted swirls.
Friday, May 18: Woods Hole
Perfect DaySolid day of fishing in the Hole with Bob Lewis and Charlie Richmond of the Osterville Anglers' Club; white definitely seemed to be the ticket, whether in terms of flies or Hogy's. Fish on both tides, with the turn showing smaller fish and larger fish as the tide began to run out of steam. Also buzzed up to Canal to find smaller bass sipping sand eels. Better reports coming from islands; should be interesting to see what the boat traffic is like in the Hole tomorrow. May mean a move elsewhere.
Wednesday, May 15: At The Tying Bench
Thoughts on SquidAs much has been made about the necessity of tying anatomically correct squid flies, with some patterns taking way too much time at the vise, it seems that simple just might be the way to go. As Capt. Warren Marshall proved, you don't even have to use a fly that looks like a squid, but one that has the correct action and profile. He has had good luck in Woods Hole with a Half-and-Half variation that uses huge Sea Fly barbells paired with hackles and a bit of dark material such as peacock herl on top. White has been the color of choice fished on a fast sink line. Elsewhere, reports are filtering in of huge flocks of birds down around Gay Head and Menemsha with bass at all levels of the water column.
Monday, May 14: Cape - All Over
Reports Remain UpbeatGood reports coming from Barnstable, where fly anglers are catching bass up to 40+-inches with great tides early this week. Capt. Warren Marshall continues to find bass around Falmouth, with white Deceivers fit with large eyes doing a good job of imitating squid. And dropping tides up around the Canal in the morning have boaters and shore anglers on fish that are feeding well.
Sunday, May 13: Woods Hole and Middle Ground
Mother's Day SpecialAn early morning opportunity turned into Sandy Reid's first bass of the season as she turned white and orange squid flies into some fat stripers. Action around the Hole has definitely slowed as the moon has waned. We ran to Middle Ground, but it was dead and filled with weed. Worked a stretch of shore on the Elizabeths that should have held fish, but came up empty. Plan for the next trip is to introduce Sandy's schnoodle, Phoebe, to the boat. Who knows; maybe there is room for trips with your dog on the Katie G in the future.
Saturday, May 12: All Over
Good Start, Slow FinishHad the pleasure of fishing with Barney Keezell and Dana Wilson for the first time this season. Started in Woods Hole, where we had squid and bass knocking Hogy Double Wides and 10-inch originals around, but things quieted down pretty quickly as the wind picked up out of the northwest. Buzzards Bay turned a little snotty and the sounds were very quiet. Disappointed not to find any bluefish schools either as there was definitely an absence of birds.
Friday, May 11: Southside Cape
Solid!To use an old expression, the fishing along the southside for shore and boat folks alike is solid. Pencil poppers and other surface lures are working well around Falmouth structure and the bluefish are making folks happy for South Cape Beach to Cotuit. Bass at Middle Ground for folks jigging, but I intend to give it a shot with plugs and plastics tomorrow - after working the Hole which has been red hot with bass on squid.
Thursday, May 10: Woods Hole
A Friendly TipPassed the word on to Capt. Warren Marshall that there were fish in the Hole and he called later on to say the flyrodders he hooked up enjoyed some very good fishing. Not much surface activity, other than an occasional squid being chased by a bass, but there were plenty of stripers around willing to take flat wings and squid patterns.
Wednesday, May 9: Woods Hole
A Wise DecisionKudos to Capt. Mike Hogan for making the decision to head out this afternoon despite the rain and wind, and thanks for the invite. Unlike my tendency over the last several years to find some reason not to fish, I jumped at the chance and we worked our way through the chop and slop that Mike's Pathfinder ate right up. What we encountered only confirmed Mike's contention that foul weather equals good fishing as there were fish all over the Hole; birds working over both Middle Ledge and Red Ledge, and I had two crashes on my first cast with a white double wide Hogy. The more I use Mike's soft circle hook rig, I really like it and managed a nice bass before handing the rod over to Mike who did three good fish on a ballybone 10-inch Hogy before we made the ride home. We only fished for about 45 minutes, but other duties called, and there is little doubt in my mind that we could have stayed and caught as many as we wanted.
Tuesday, May 8: Brewster/Barnstable
A Late Inning RallyArrived at Blish Point to discover an empty parking lot, a sight that leave you wondering if you missed the sign that said, "No Fish Here!" Hooked up Mark Tenerowicz and we tried some plugging down around the yacht club at the end of the tide and then worked behind Sandy Neck; there were some fish there, but we stayed off a boat that had anchored on the best hole where they picked up some nice looking bass. Brewster was disappointing as the overcast made it difficult to spot fish and the tide was very slow in filling in, so we elected to move back west where we encountered plenty of screeching birds and happy fish pushing bait as the wind picked up and the slop started to churn. Soft plastics proved to be the ticket, with the more natural Arkansas shiner color outdoing bubblegum or white today. The chop also made using small jigheads a good idea to get better control of the retrieve. Once again, fish in the low 30-inch class were the norm rather than the exception.
Monday, May 7: Brewster
Flats Filled With FishHad the opportunity to meet and fish with Dan Cziczo and his friend Phil Root, both of whom have moved to the Bay State within the last year and wanted to see what this striped bass thing was all about. Started in Barnstable, but things just looked dead and I played a hunch that the fish might have moved east and did we ever find them. The flats were teeming with bass, most of them either 30+-inches or small schoolies. As the tide filtered in, white 4.5-inch Sluggos did the trick and the fish boiled all over them. After several nice fish and long runs, when the water was well up, the bite died. It wasn't a problem seeing them as they were milling everywhere, with very bad cases of lockjaw. Had some follows and swirls as we changed size and color of Sluggos and tried Hogy Skinny's and Mini's on small darter heads, but couldn't get any real commitment. Saw a couple of fish caught by flyrodders, but given the number of fish spread over such a wide area, it was a bit frustrating. Lot of weed in the water from the moon and I keep wondering if the bass were really feeding at that moment.
Sunday, May 6: Barnstable Harbor
What A Difference A Day MakesAfter yesterday's spectacular day, I was hoping for a repeat with Sandy Reid today, but nothing doing. No topwater activity and just two very small schoolies. Heard from the liveliners that there were fish out front by the bell, but they were hanging deep. Don't know if it was the wind or the sunshine or stage of the moon, but interesting switch off. No real signs of bait, either.
Saturday, May 5: Barnstable Harbor
Contrast in TimeJust a remarkable day; never had to move beyond Beach Point to have all the bass we wanted. And these weren't the schoolies that filled the harbor back in the mid-90's; instead, they averaged 30+-inches with a number in the 36-inch or so class. Very healthy and aggressive, they took sand eel Clousers and Joe Marcus's magic plug; if you want to experience incredibly active and cooperative fish, this is the time of year; they are moving in as part of their migration and they want to eat. Just a visual treat, with swirling, slapping stripers on a perfectly still, foggy day. Photos to follow, if I can figure out how to make my camera talk to my computer again.
Friday, May 4: Upper Buzzards Bay
DisappointmentThings were definitely slower than I would have expected this morning around the west entrance. Left Monument Beach and found nothing working around flats or Widow's Cove. Picked up one schoolie around Maritime Academy and returned to flats to find a few terns picking at bait, but no real surface show. I suspect fish were holding deeper. Highlight of morning was Joe Marcus picking up a bass off of Toby's Island on one of his homemade plugs. Very positive report from Sara Perkins and Ali Salehpour of bass around Waquoit and in Woods Hole. Heading to Barnstable tomorrow to check out what all the excitement has been about over there.
Thursday, May 3: Pocasset
News Flash!Not exactly earth shattering, but Capt. Grumpy caught his first bass of the year, albeit a tiny schoolie from the Pocasset River, after hearing about everyone's success and relying on them for reports. Old school olive/white Brooks' Blonde on the five weight with eight pound tippet, which I proceeded to lose after the fish by banging off dock. Trip with Capt. Mike fell apart due to lack of, shall we say, enthusiasm, but looking forward to tomorrow morning with Joe Marcus. Incidentally, no bass for Gentleman Joe at Cotuit, but plenty of bluefish in the three to four pound range this morning on the outgoing tide. West entrance to Canal/upper Buzzards Bay really picking up, according to many sources.
Wednesday, May 2: Popponesset and Cotuit
PogiesHeard from Jeff Lubin that he had caught bass up to 36-inches livelining pogies he had snagged up inside these backwaters, a good way of avoiding all the small fish that have been around. I cringe at mentioning pogies since I can picture all the commercial castnetters converging on the schools and wiping them out. Given the lack of peanut bunker the last several falls, I wonder if the adults aren't having enough time to spawn before they are off to the bait shops or the pogy boats. Have to be bluefish around by the weekend in better numbers from South Cape Beach to Cotuit. Stay tuned.
Tuesday, May 1: Bourne
Good Signs For FutureRivers and bays around me are holding plenty of small schoolies, some in the 12-inch range, and that should bode well for the future if they are protected. Given that the 2008 through 2010 year classes were below average, I can't figure out where they are coming from, but I suspect that the whole young-of-year information is only piece of the puzzle. As usual, Hogy Skinny's and Zoom Super Flukes are working very well on the small bass and and yellow, chartreuse, and white Hi-Ties and other simple bucktail creations are top fly choices.
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Captain Dave Peros
P.O. Box 3001
Pocasset, MA 02559