Chatham South Beach 5-10-03 [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: Chatham South Beach 5-10-03

05-10-2003, 09:16 PM
Started as a Schoolie Show:

Second day out scouting for the season, grabby little schoolies moving about pretty much everywhere. If you don't get a grab move around and look for the tiniest sign - a flipping silverside or an interested tern, and there will be a pack of aggressive bright sea-liced schoolies there. Capt.Tom (Rip Ryder) saw a massive school of smaller bass on the flats of South Monomoy during the seal watch tour today.

The schoolies I encountered were moving along the outside of the drop-off, they did not seem interested in advancing up onto the flats. In fact only 3 fish were seen up on the flats out of which I got one of them by sight casting. Felt good despite being a small fish, got the first sight fish out of the way. Wasn't so sure I would see another up on the flats for the rest of the day at that point.

The schoolies came to the top busting silversides on occasion and stripping through the busting fish or blindly casting into good looking spots resulted in schoolie hookups too numerous to bother counting. Other guys out there hooking them steadily all day - but I only counted three other anglers on the shore and two or three boats! Crazy how empty the place was.

After about 90 minutes of that I decided to walk to a place where I could test a pet theory with migrant behavior for big fish in the early season.... BINGO!

Hogs in the hinterlands:

It was a painful walk to the hinterlands. Last weekend Nick and I walked about 8 miles round trip from the lighthouse to J bouy (just a guess) and today felt like that again even after a shuttle ride from Rip Ryder. I no sooner settled in when a big pod came over the flat 50 strong with not one fish under 30" and some pushing 40"!

I cast my new unweighted "purist" silverside pattern to lead the pod, paused and pulled the trigger... >THWONK!!!< Man did it feel good to get something un-twinkielike on the rod as the flyline and backing shot out thru the guides.

I ended up hooking five, landing three of these fish between 33" and 38", and all very heavy. The other two were lost because of a few nuances of this new fly design I need to debug. The deep eel would not have let them off the hook so easily ;) Not one of these fish were racers, which was surprising seeing as there are plenty of racers in June never mind the leading edge of decent water temps. I have to assume they were feeding on herring or the tinker mackeral that have been seen in the area resently to be so healthy. Two of the three were photographed, and all were released.

I would NOT say at this point that finding larger fish will be easy or consistent just yet - but the migration is definitely on and getting stronger with each tide so everyday there is a growing possibility of an encounter with big migrating fish pods. Liveliners are getting large fish on the west end of the canal. Southside beaches are getting intermittent big fish appearances. Fish are reaching the usual Cape haunts and the numbers will be increasing steadily over the next several days and weeks!

It's gonna be good to have 'em back! :D :D :D

05-10-2003, 09:54 PM
UNBELIEVABLE!!!!!!!! great shots Juro.... I will being making the same trek Saturday...All day in the making... Those are the days that live in the memories... Just a Spectacular report my friend:) :) :) :)

05-11-2003, 05:29 AM
You certainly can say that 2003 started off with a bang. Nice fish ! What a beautiful thing those first pictures are for the kick-off of the upcoming season. Can't wait to get back myself.

05-11-2003, 07:17 AM
And to think last year was much better. After a twinkie initiation at Morris Island the week prior to Mother's Day, I met up with my flats bro Dave Pearson the day before Mother's Day at a flat near this one and the two of us had waves and waves of bass coming over the 1.5 to 3 ft flats until we were sore from the sight fishing extravaganza.

I felt better about this year's scout trip #2 because of the odds being slimmer, thus the victory sweeter - but certainly the fishing was better last year.

I have records of scouting as early as March 28 in past years and seeing good tern activity around Nobska and the Knob; one year the mouth of the Bass River was choked with fresh fish on April 10-11th, before tax day.

Most importantly...

Did anyone notice that the majority of CHERRY blossoms bloomed within the last 36-48 hours? Don't be fooled by dogwoods, magnolias and apple blossoms... the cherry are the only one's that count.


05-11-2003, 09:53 AM
I am so glad i found this forum! Great report Juro! Something you'll never read in your local newspaper. I'll bet if you're there on Sunday, you'll have company! I had the entire shoreline to myself. Not a single boat or clammer all morning! I was there on Friday in the rain praying for the sun to come out. It finally did after I had given up and made the long walk back to Outermost Harbor. I made it as far as the Rip Ryder drop-off on foot during full high and got discouraged with the weather (raining again). I caught schoolies all the way back. Those fish did not move out of the grass either and when released, as tired as they were from being hooked, hole shotted back to the grass like lightning! They hated being over the sand. If only I had stuck it out and moved another hour down the beach. Oh, my aching feet! Thanks to a shout from Penguin I ventured out to a spot on foot near my house here in Mystic and got into some rather large fish blindcasting at the point. I'll be back in Chatham when the sun is out even if I have to call out from work!


05-11-2003, 10:26 AM
Phil... let me know if you are down on Saturday or even Friday night this coming weekend and we can maybe meet and then head out. Anybody else ?

05-11-2003, 12:28 PM
I'll be watching the weather reports for Saturday. If it's sunny, even partly, it's a plan.


05-11-2003, 05:56 PM
Juro :eyecrazy: 0

Now I have some inkling of what you must go through when you have to endure all us out here in the PNW chasing steelies in some of your favourite spots! The summer of 2004 can't come too quickly!

Enjoy your crazy fishing time :smokin:

Doc Duprey
05-11-2003, 07:42 PM

Thanks for the picture and info. Mrs. Doc (Margie) says that they were a great Mother's Day gift in her book!

Best regards (and hope to see you again soon),


05-12-2003, 06:04 AM
John, off to the Delaware but will be back on Thurs. Will see you this Sat. for death march. FishHawk:smokin:

05-12-2003, 02:58 PM
Once again you have proved yourself the man. Nice fishing indeed. Your knowledge of almost the entire movement, fish, tides ,moon and all the other little things is truely excellent. For someone who is not a local Cape Codda you have learned a lot in a short time fishing the Stripa. Not saying you have but your notice of how things work is somewhat like how Tim Leary and the rest of those boys would explain how LSD could open up doors one can not open under normal situations. You on your own have not only opened the door but walked through it. Fishing is good on the other side but understanding much of what goes on is even better than the actual fishing itself.
Keep Learning, keep observing, keep fishing!
Don Juan
PS. For those who are learning the trade Juro has a lot of answers so observe. :smokin:

05-12-2003, 03:33 PM
Have not spent much time thinking about flyrodding in recent months, in fact, family stuff, coaching youth sports, work, etc have all somehow conspired (in a nice way) to keep me away from stripers since the beginning of August!

But, Juro, that photo was like a refreshing blast of cold water. Great shot!

Sorry I've been preoccupied with other things, but you jump started my battery for '03. Can't do any weekend trips to the Cape just yet, but, weather permitting, I think I'll take a vaca day Friday and spend the day in search of the outer beach spring migration. If anyone else plans to be there Friday, let me know, otherwise I'll provide a scouting report for the weekend.


05-12-2003, 10:15 PM
Juro, how long were the silversides you were throwing ?
you mentioned tink macks and herring ....did you have any luck throwing those specific imitations ?

05-12-2003, 10:21 PM
Silverside pattern I was using was limited by the length of polar bear, about 4-5" and this is a rare length, very hard to find. I think I got it from a certain visitor from steelhead country. Nothing but the best for the "purist" fly. :devil:

The reality is that there is not much in the way of selectivity right now in the smaller and abundant schoolies, and the larger fish are mostly schooled up and migrating and any tasty morsel presented properly will do the trick.

No need to match the hatch this time of year!

05-13-2003, 06:58 AM
Great report Juro, the heck with finishing staining the house, I'm heading to Chatham tomorrow early a.m. till probably Friday.
If I'm 1/4th as successful as you , I will be happy! Anyone planning on being there Wed/Friday?
Does anyone know if Rip Rider or Outermost is operating during the week?
If not, will fish the tub, and then work my way up to South Beach if my left hip doesn't seize :D
PS: Will report on success if it's not embarrasing when I return.

Tod D
05-13-2003, 07:10 AM
I'm planning on this Friday, starting before the am low if anyone wants to connect. Drop me an email or PM.

05-13-2003, 07:11 AM
Ron -

If you are going to be there Wed - Fri, we should talk. Rip Ryder doesn't start running every week day until there is enough business, probably Memorial Day. Until then they run weekends in the early season unless there is enough interest mid-week so we should combine our interest in making the run to ensure the trip will go.

Wednesday they need the boat in the water for a 9am CG inspection so all early runs out must be before that time.

Thurs it will be up to us to make enough of a headcount occur.

Anyone planning on going out during the week please call Capt.Keith or PM me please.


Mark F
05-13-2003, 08:37 AM

Great report!!! We plan on arriving up there on 22 May for five days of nonstop striper fishing and we can't wai!!!!

Great post, great fish, great photo!!!


05-13-2003, 09:58 AM
Frankly it's still early season in Chatham and the southside beaches and river mouths are probably a better bet until we get some SW winds and warmer currents pushing into the corner; particularly with the herring in thick in rivers further west. The fishing this weekend will be good along the Nantucket Sound shoreline with a mid-day flood making it worth sticking with it thru the whole day. I am sure the migration is still very much alive and well and if you intercept a wave of bass somewhere along the sound's shoreline you will be in for a big payoff.

Despite cool weather, the Stony Brook run is full of herring so the bayside flats will be hosting some of the years biggest bass - if not now, then in a matter of days.

Even still, some of us are addicted to the aesthetic of Chatham - those who think it's about the fish have it all wrong.

The recent observation that fish are staying off the flats an in the trenches and vegetation indicates that it's still early. There are schoolies everywhere, but the key to finding the big fish is to think migration, and how to interact / intercept these movements from shore. Not an easy puzzle to solve, but definitely worth some study.

We have some very exciting days just ahead!

05-13-2003, 11:50 AM
There seems to be precious few places in the Northeast left where you can see nothing but sand, dune grass and water while searching out the quarry of your dreams. Large striped bass and the shadows they cast beneath them in the sand are mesmerizing beyond definition, for me. Lots of people ask me why I drive so far to catch only a few large fish. Only a few because I often forget to cast thinking all of this is merely dream and if I cast I might wake up and the dream will end. On several occasions, so awe struck that a large fish would swim so close to me in two feet of water, I have remained still, frozen, as not to frighten them. One 40" plus fish swam between my legs. Only happens once in a lifetime. Would never have happened had I attempted a cast. Yup, I can catch lots of fish here in Mystic but when I dream I see lots of sand, dune grass and dark moving shadows.