: North Monomoy Report-7/31
07-31-2004, 11:41 AM
Hard day today... left on the 8 am Shuttle to fish the incoming on the west side of NM...Took the ferry with Fish Hawk, Paxton, and CJS60.... All went to SB....which is what I should have done... took water temps that were incredibly warm... over 75 on the flats..... There was fog and no sun in the early morning but it broke up around 10 am...I had to leave on the 11:15..... Jimmy Kelley boarded the shuttle at SB when I was coming back and said Juro was out on NM with a client...and would be there all day.... Maybe the HIGH incoming would change the water temps or I should have fished further down toward the break between north and South... anyway will try after I know the Temps go down...SB tomorrow. I hit Blues there yesterday and Jimmy did come off with two fish for short work in the morning.
08-01-2004, 07:24 AM
John, I'm not so sure that you made a mistake going to NM. Garry and I got skunked. What an exciting, yet humbling sport it can be and what a difference a day can make. I'm not sure that I will ever break the code of flats fish.
Friday, I saw over a hundred fish, with numbers consistently spread over the day and was able to pick up 4 very hesitant fish and many follows. Yesterday....conditions the same: early fog, 70's, same wind direction, same visibility conditions, tide only an hour later......saw only 14 fish from 8 to 1:30.....one hook up(got off), a couple of follows, then from 1:30 to 3:30, saw another 100 fish who just cruised by totally ignoring my "gift' for them.
I'm sure that there is a lesson to be learned somewhere in there, but I have yet to find it.
Saw Juro....his client got 2 "hard earned fish" according to Juro. Beach goers got lots of hits from green heads...that was about it.
John...thanks again for the ride from the causeway...much appreciated! Now to research your "crab apples" and attempt a couple on this rainy day. Good luck today!
08-01-2004, 08:18 AM
Paxton now I know who you are. I also got skunked on SB flats. Saw you and Gary casting as I walk behind you. Only saw four fish. Plenty of bait and seals on the beach side. The summer doledrums are upon us. Ironman saw an interesting fly pattern on the ride back to the stairs. Will tell you all about it next time I see you. FishHawk.
08-01-2004, 08:48 AM
Please do tell FishHawk, would love to see them. Next time you pass by me, wack me on the side of my head with a clouser and introduce yourself :hihi:
Would like to meet you. If I'm right, you passed by around the K bouy grass flats, just as we spotted fish that passed for about 5 minutes and then went God knows where :) That's where I got my one hit and very brief hookup...Garry credited me with 1/5th of a fish :)
08-01-2004, 06:43 PM
Yes that was me. We took the boat together. Commented on you wrist brace. What I saw was a burrowing sandeel pattern , quite interesting. FishHawk
08-01-2004, 07:30 PM
Interesting , yes.....did it work for the creator?? Would like to see one, my mind is working already :) Still thinking about John's burrowing crab idea.
PS: the brace has worked all season....without it, given arthritis in my wrist and base of thumb, it would ache, swell and cause 3 fingers to go numb....for all those unlucky people out there with the same issue, p.m. me and I'll devulge the modification of a contraption bought in a medical supply store :smokin: Hopefully no other FF has this problem.
Had the pleasure of showing Joe around. We worked hard to get quality shots to some really big fish on the flats but casting into the face of that howling south wind yesterday was not a pleasant chore. The morning consisted of blinding fog, howling wind, and thick cloud cover. Shots in the dim light against a wind that wanted to push the fly right back in our faces and of course all shots seemed to be into the headwind with no repositioning options. Kinda like Double Haul's big sipping brown trout on the Farmington. Luckily the blue sky broke through just enough to get dialed in. Joe had several shots at quality fish in two target areas when the sun would show itself (sporadically) but time was not on our side with all the "interruptions". Faced with a mid-point decision I opted to cut the cord on North and make the hop over to South Beach to finish the day due to conditions on west common flat.
As we got set up on SB for the second half I told Joe where and when I thought it would be happening and the fish did just as they were supposed to right on time. We enjoyed bonefishing-like tailers, flashers and cruisers. Many more shots although it was the eleventh hour. A new experimental fly yielded fruit as Joe sighted, led and connected with two fish from this flat and had a few others coming for it turning only inches away. I am refining this new crab and will post the recipe. I found this really good carapace material at a great fly tying shop called "Joann Fabric" and a sample patch is missing from the vault. Rumor is that striblue has a patch of it stashed in the wall safe behind the Monet at CAC. ;)
Joe - pod closing in, four rod lengths >point<. "Got em" replies Joe, starting his cast. He had very keen eyes, having trained them on Andros for bonefish. A day like this will make his Andros eyes more keen as well. Now the south wind was on the favorable side, although it still threw the fly off track and put a bow in the line for every cast, this one was a good one. Wait... not yet... they're on it! He's coming for it... he's... >flash< I'm on! You can't beat a successful sight fishing moment. The drama! The excitement! It's shouldn't be easy all year, there would be no accomplishment in that. Dog days are what sight fishing is made of, enjoy the toughness. Permit fishing has nothing on Monomoy this time of year.
The clock ticked away and soon it was time for the shuttle ride back. Under the circumstances, I was very satisfied with the day and told Joe he really took top rod out there for such a difficult day. I don't know of any other fish taken sight fishing by anyone all day. I only heard of a couple others caught by any method. We dug out what we could from the day, and each outing like that under the wading belt goes a long way toward easier days.
Conditions were really worse for sight fishing than Sat, so most opted for the surf side. I got a late start and had an early finish ahead, so missed Adrian, Joe, Striblue and had a brief chat with Dave17. The beachside was chock full of big sand eels and seals but no one home with stripes on. Adrian reported that the hydrasport which I think is BigDave's roomie, landed some nice fish just off the waveline in front of the shore gang before I arrived. After getting rid of my Atlantis casting jones in the surf for an hour, I hoofed it over to the flats. I was supposed to leave around 11am and it was already past 10am.
Sun popped out for a few minutes as I headed up the early flooding channel edges and saw a nice fish moving, really only seeing it in the wave windows intermittently. I still had the bright beachside deep eel but made the cast anyway. The incoming put a little glide into the fly as it sunk, and the fish didn't see the splash. The position wasn't all that great so I considered a faster retrieve in case I wanted to take a re-do cast. The fish happened to glide in the direction of the fly and saw it settling below, came to look and inhaled it without hesitation. Off to the races and quite a handful on the 9/10 Atlantis All-arounder. I would call it a "just-under", approx 27-28" fat healthy summer fish and full of steam. A pleasure, my day was already made!
About 20 mins later, I spotted another smaller fish cruising alone along the dark mottled mussel/weed line venturing onto the clear sand. I made the first cast but was snafu'ed by that relentless wind, so picked it up and made another. Doink, twitch - BANG. Two fish spotted, two fish caught. This one was about 22", feisty but small.
I headed back for the pickup around 11am but my wife called and said to stay out for a while so she could shop a while. Great news, but I was already back at the pickup point. For the remainder of my outing I only saw one more fish, and that was while I was discussing possible gear exchange logistics on my cell phone while waiting for the Rip Ryder. Tried the surf again briefly, never saw nor touched another fish.
Even though I only saw three fish the whole time, I really enjoyed 'em. It was tougher than Saturday and Saturday was TOUGH, so they were a real gift. I have to admit I almost didn't want to see hordes of fish that were going to thumb their noses at me after going two for two, I'm sure they were there but like they say sometimes ignorance is bliss! :lildevl:
The good news is there are millions of big sand eels in the vicinity and it's just a matter of time before the fish come to the beach to eat, or a big shoal pushes up inside the refuge waters and draws a crowd of bad boys into town with them.
Then the bunker arrive and the fish get off their damn atkins shrimp diet. It'll be good to see some bustin' again in the refuge!
08-02-2004, 04:31 AM
At least you caught some fish. My log shows that the fish are in their summer mode. Just like clock work every year at this time. What is puzzling is that there is so much bait around and no fish go figure. Another day at Striper U.
08-02-2004, 05:41 AM
I covered a lot of miles yesterday walking the entire beach side round the Southern tip and back up the inside. Beach structure seems a bit more interesting down there this year this year. No one home in the surf other than Seals and they weren't doing much. I saw only two fish the entire time. One was a large blue that would have gone 30+ inches. Came from behind (downcurrent) heading North at speed. I do look over my shoulder a lot but the light yesterday made it a waste of time. One other shadow moving off in the far distance and that was it. The only hit my fly had was from Terns who just wouldn't leave it alone. One bird actually dive-bombed the fly and grabbed it before figuring out something was wrong.
The fish are there, just not so automatically where bait is as in other times of the year when there is less bait and the fish are all over what is available. Couple that with the fact that the majority of forage biomass is positioned 300 yards to miles offshore and the bass have little reason to hunt the shoreline this time of year. Things change quickly, as the biomass of bunker fry and juveniles run very very close to shore and once the bunker get big enough to warrant individual attention of the fish the fly angler is in his glory, a time not to miss.
There is no lack of fish on the flats whatsoever, and many of them are fish of a lifetime for most anglers especially without a boat and on the fly. This is far and away my favorite time of year to fish for myself although guiding can be a little harder than spring or fall.
Onr more thing to add to the log is that such days where conditions are worse can provide better 'catching', albeit less opportunities. I've logged this day as positive reinforcement of the experiences I've had in past years when the conditions gave few shots up but most of them were more eager biters.
Here's where the credits from striper U come in handy, each shot has to be that much better than average to hit paydirt - and the presentation perfect. Flies with an edge over the run of the mill pattern fare better. But the most effective weapon in the arsenal is the human mind. Where? When? Why? Patterns exist and I don't mean fly. They can be like clockwork if you are dialed in, and it takes dedicated study to get there. When I go out, I don't go to indulge in fishing. I go to learn something and in the process, indulge in the day.
Every fish caught by sight fishing in late July and early August on the flats should be considered a prize, whether 20 inches or 20 pounds. It's not about the catching this time of year... it's about some of the most intense 'fishing' though. I love this time of year.
08-02-2004, 08:36 AM
Glad to see there were some FFF guys on the surfside this weekend. I was wondering how it was from the beach. There have been a lot of nice fish in 8-10 feet of water over the last couple of weeks although sunday seemed to slow down a bit. I think you could reach them from some of the sandbars between the SB dropoff and chatham break. The weather has been tough for sight fishing with the persistent fog...I was hoping to get out there last week but was discouraged by the weather.
Anyone see evidence of the reported Bonito 100yds off SB on Friday?
08-02-2004, 10:01 AM
Good to see you yesterday Adrian... and I stayed where I was since I left early and picked up two blues....but that was it..... I will be boating it off South Beach Tomorrow... Btw...if you want to keep the terns away...use a deep eel. :lildevl: :wink:
08-02-2004, 01:08 PM
Sorry I couldn't make it on Sunday Adrian. However, Sept is just around the corner. :lildevl: FishHawk
. Couple that with the fact that the majority of forage biomass is positioned 300 yards to miles offshore and the bass have little reason to hunt the shoreline this time of year.
Right as always. We fished an area measuring about 1 square mile for 4.5 hours with non-stop action.
If I was still stuck on sand I would be looking for the quick rips, setting up above them and dropping/ swinging my fly though them.
Any mecca trips by anyone this year?
08-02-2004, 02:34 PM
7/31 - Well, I left my A game at home along with my B, C, and D game. I did bring my failure to catch fish game. My first skunk of the year and as Dr. Smith would say, “Oh the pain”.
Mecca: I snuck in an exploratory evening sortie. Picked up a couple shorts on the north facing side close to the eastern end but I would imagine under the right circumstances...
Each year late August / early September the sand eels get up into Pleasant Bay and start doing that die-off thing they do. Since there is so little known about their spawning habits in the americas they very well could be spawning. That's when things get pretty interesting in terms of very large fish at the inlet on both Chatham and Nauset sides, mecca and big girl bar wade fishing.
We shore schleppers get our turn... eventually :smokin: