First Week In October [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: First Week In October

09-06-2004, 12:57 PM
I'm going to have two days off for fishing during a trip to Connecticut at the end of this month. Will there still be good numbers of fish in the Cape Cod area or would it be better to look further south? I will be looking to fish the surf and flats. Thanks for any suggestions.

09-06-2004, 01:29 PM
We still have plenty of fish up here in Maine the first two weeks of October so it should be prime fishing anywhere south. I don't know how the flats sight fishing holds up but the fish should be pretty schooled up and aggressively feeding in the surf. I don't think you can go wrong anywhere in the NE then.

09-06-2004, 04:38 PM
Thanks, Jeff. That's just what I was hoping.

09-06-2004, 05:24 PM
October is ROCKTOBER for fall action. Big bait, big bass, big blues but everything is on the move and focused on fueling up for the big push to the south.

It's a great time, don't miss it.

09-07-2004, 12:50 AM
Juro - ROCKTOBER sounds great to me. I'll be there! Thanks.

09-08-2004, 08:10 AM
I'm sure I'll get grief for this statement but the Cape is dead in October. Go either north (ie. Plymouth, So. Shore, No. Shore) or Rhode Island. The last 2 seasons I've watched the reports as the cape shuts off first. The exception might be the outer beaches of Cape Cod (Nauset etc.) where the occasional cruisers go by in the surf line. But that's big surf fishing if you're into that.

Lefty (ducking and running)

09-08-2004, 08:26 AM
Terry -

We chatted last October 24 or 25th. Your brother was asking about the fishing near Bass River. I had just come off the water with two clients. The night before I scouted the south side and 14" adult bunker were on the beach being chased by the biggest bass I had seen all year and slammer blues.

The pluggers caught cow bass all night long, 40" plus. I brought my clients to the very spot at dawn but the fish had moved or went into digestion mode somewhere. The gear and liveliners only scored one fish the next morning themselves, the fish had definitely moved on.

So we went on the move ourselves, looking for fish and on the second stop found a continual stream of busting fish and birds stretching along the Nantucket Sound shoreline as far as the eye could see.

For the next several hours we caught fish after fish after fish, forgot about lunch and fished right through until dinner time.

When I was a kid the cottage would be rented until Labor Day and I never fished the cape between Memorial and Labor Day. The very best part of the year was always October, when the big bunker would come to the corner of the cape. October is a great month on the cape from the back beaches to the south side.

I have also a log entry from a year that the mid-sized bunker got themselves confused up inside the sand bar at Quivett / Paines and the massacre that ensued was as epic as anything I had ever experienced. October.

One of the best days of fishing I have ever had was Columbus Day on Bass hole on the bayside in November, although things shut down in a hurry after that tide the area was as crazed with bass as I have ever seen on the cape with gannets diving everywhere amidst gulls and terns, the water boiling as the outgoing current from Chase Garden drained bait of all sizes into the waiting teeth of birds and bass.

October is migration month up and down the shoreline and it's only as dead as the spot you're standing at any given moment. If the train is coming by, then it's gangbusters - if not then it's dead as a doornail cause all the fish are on that train and headed south.

One things for sure in October - if you don't see fish in front of you it's time to move along.


09-08-2004, 09:10 AM
I respectfully have to disagree.
It's no surprise that a proffesional guide can find fish most of the time. But for the rest of us average Joes, the cape stinks in October. Mark my words and watch the reports coming up in about 4 weeks. We'll be pounding fish on the No. Shore, So. Shore- yet the reports will will show not a peep from the cape. And no, I'm not talking about back in the 60s, 70s, or 80s. I'm talking about my emperical observations of the last 3 seasons. For that matter last OCtober was mediocre for Rhodey I believe. Slinger?


09-08-2004, 09:21 AM
Typical example of a week in October:


09-08-2004, 10:23 AM
Can`t speak for the Cape, but Rhoddy should be smokin. At present we`re crawling with bluefish, good bass are up inside the bay( unusual ) and the hardtails are comming in strong. I took Columbus day week for vac. to get in on what I think will be the heaviest runs with FA`s still in the mix. Just a thought from Jim W., I wanted to go to Plymouth during vac and asked Jim to show me around, he said that would be late for his area, the first week of Oct. was peak. In the old days the fish hung around well into Nov. but they were fewer and fewer every day, but the biggest allways came last. My guesses have been lame all season so don`t bet on me, hoping to change that in the next month or so.

09-08-2004, 10:26 AM
I think we're both right.

I know one thing... when the fish are hot up north I don't drive to the cape! This influences my perspective. In fact I know hundreds of would-be reporters do the same, and hundreds more on the south shore.

The fact of the matter is... every single one of these fish are going to pass the cape before it's all said and done, and they will do it later than the period of good fishing further north. A big percentage cut across the canal, but even the canal cutters stray as far east as Brewster Flats because they aren't ready to leave just yet - which is how I explain the November explosion I cited earlier.

I will be fishing longer into October this year since things are 10-15 days offset. I will make sure I take good video this October, both on the North Shore and across the bridge. The fish travel very close to shore and without attachment to bait in the spring, but they travel in tandem with the bunker in the fall. Find the bunker, and you will most likely find the continual stream of migrating fish. Simple logic, just keep moving until you find them and note the migratory paths year to year. They get more and more consistent the more one tries to pick out the trail.

Just like some beaches in Manchester and Magnolia, definitely rest areas on the migratory highway.

Montauk to the south, etc, etc.

09-08-2004, 10:32 AM
Don`t base your decisions on last years migration, it was an unusual season with lower than normal water temps. The slug of BIG fish that moved up from Jersey never got to the Cape before the migration turned them back and the FA`s pulled a no show. It will be differant this year as the tuna reports are verifying. Maybe our resident guru on all things Rhoddy will comment. Art?

09-08-2004, 11:10 AM
Although I am not making any decisions per se one way or the other, I am basing my (admittedly anecdotal) claims on 30 years of fishing the cape. The claim is simply this - October, across the years, has been a very good month provided the angler is tuned into what is actually happening and not trying to do what he/she did in spring, summer or early fall.

tight lines (no matter where you like to fish)

09-08-2004, 12:04 PM
Get out there and fish. If you wait or base your fishing on reports you will miss at least half the hot spots and be a few weeks late at best. :tsk_tsk: Seems to me there is almost an inverse relationship to posts and fishing quality. No time to post if you are slaying fish :smokin: .


09-08-2004, 03:58 PM
Pesonally I have had fun with false albacore in the last two weeks of September. School bass, and blues, very thick at Watch Hill, and all the beaches from Charlestown to Westerly. I have personally never fished West Wall except from a boat. There is some keeper bass around until November. It is a tough call, here today gone tomorrow. The last two or three years for what unknown reason the large bass most seem to bypass RI. They seem to come through the Canal or around Cape Cod then turn south by Block Island, hit Montaup, and down the coast, why? Reason unknown. Bait ,water temperature, tide flow, maybe moon phase. Personally I have caught bass, blues, and false albacore the last two week in Sept. Tomorrow I will have to sneak downstairs and see if I can find a picture taken two years ago at Napatree.
Right now I can only dream of fishing. It has only been two months since my compound fracture of my left leg. Some have said they are going to stop in and see me, none have. I would really like to go. Anyone that goes to Watch Hill stop in at my son's shop right on the parking lot at Watch Hill. Baskets and Things, he has the mount of the 50 lb bass he caught last year hanging there. :razz:
The Doc won't even let me drive a car, says the leg is still broken. I go back to him on October 12 at which time I am hoping he will let me drive, if so, here is an open invitation that I will take up to three guys fishing on the beaches. I won't fish myself, but I will find some fish, got to use my beach permit a couple of times anyways. :chuckle:

09-08-2004, 08:16 PM
Lefty - Steve - Sean - Art - Thanks for your great posts. So many good places and so little time! I'll just have to pick one to start and then keep moving as Juro suggested. With all this info hopefully I'll find fish in the two days allotted. Reports up to the end of this month will also be read with keen interest.

09-09-2004, 09:42 AM
Here is a picture taken in the fall 2002. Place Napatree, looking west toward Fisher's Island. The picture doesn't show a 3 or 4 hour blitz. One school after another crusing by. Not large fish but lots of 25 to 30 inch fish along with lots of smaller fish. The third week or fourth week in Sept. I have got to wait until next year. :frown: If Anyone is interested for some details e-mail me. :)

Greg Pavlov
09-10-2004, 05:06 PM
I'm going to have two days off for fishing during a trip to Connecticut at the end of this month. Will there still be good numbers of fish in the Cape Cod area or would it be better to look further south? I will be looking to fish the surf and flats. Thanks for any suggestions.
My experience has been that the very beginning of Oct can be quite slow on the Cape. Things seem to pick up a week to two weeks later.

09-10-2004, 05:31 PM
IMHO this year has been 10-15 days off average on the late side, so the calendar year and the biological year might not be in sync. An angler can interpret that any way they like.

Doublehander - I am guiding that week so feel free to drop me a line for current observations.

09-10-2004, 05:49 PM
BTW doublehander -

Flats are not the flats we know in summer, the fish on the flats in Oct are chasing bait and moving through not going through their cycles on an Atkins diet. There one tide and gone the next. It's just as exciting to find them as ever, but you can't expect them to be in a regular behavioral pattern once the migration has begun.

As Art points out, south county beaches in Rhody are usually pretty hot in early October if you are coming up from CT you might consider the shorter drive.

In any case good luck.

09-10-2004, 09:49 PM
Thanks for the observations Greg and additional comments Juro. After emailing Art and doing some reading in Fly Rodding the Coast I believe I will fish an evening and morning in RI. My wife wants to see the Cape though, so I will be fishing there as well. Juro, I would like to take you up on your kind offer of a readout on current conditions, but I don't plan to lug my laptop along. I will check in here as late as 10/3 from Greenwich or if you want to PM a phone number I could cell phone the evening of 10/4. In any event, this forum, including the archives, has given me a terrific headsup on NE coastal fishing. Now if I just get a little luck too...
Thank you! Jon

09-10-2004, 10:05 PM
I'll PM my cell phone, please feel free to use it.

Don't worry about the cape - the Chatham area, the mixing pot of migratory mayhem, will be smokin on your arrival. Just remember that the fish are on the move and you need to be too, and it only takes one good move to hit the motherlode during the migration. She'll like Chatham Village too, but hide the credit cards. ;)

Talk to you then!