Chatham Outside Report [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: Chatham Outside Report

07-31-2006, 09:15 AM
S-L-O-W compared to the last few weeks. Water temp has taken a nosedive and was in the 50's on Saturday. We explored the temp break off the tip of SM but between the swell and SW 15+, we didn't hang around long. Put a few legal fish in the boat but nothing huge. Not many boats out there and we didn't see too many gear guys hook up over the course of the day - which is unusual.

Yesterday all of the parking spots at the ramp were taken by 6. Water had warmed slightly but there was still a distinct lack of bait. Plenty of wind however! We didn't see anyone hook up until about 3 hours into the morning - and it was on an umbrella. We finally found a good concentration of fish but the crowd of boats dragging through them was unbeleivable and it died pretty quickly.

We looked all the way out to the edge of the EEZ and well north of the cut. Blank screen on the sonar just about everywhere. There just didn't seem to be a lot of life compared to what we've been seeing since early July.

07-31-2006, 10:43 AM
Had my brother out from san diego on a guided charter over the weekend and we found fish in the rips on squid. Big bass cruisng just under the surface which was cool to see. The point was to get my brother into some fish as he had never cast for fish and mission accomplished. Pink sluggos....who would have thunk it :) Tried a fly but it was really not a fly fishing trip so the shots were few but I did have a couple good follows on a popper.

07-31-2006, 11:01 AM
Big Dave thanks for the update.

This raises some questions for me...

with the north wind and precipitous drop in temps (I felt it on Nauset swimming) the fish must go:

a) out
b) south
c) north
d) down
e) inshore

they can't go up and you'd see them down for the most part although not always

so my guess is...

they go south, or out

looking at the sea temps site I posted earlier in the year, the temp line is often warmer offshore where they swell up. I'd have to look for this past weekend to see if this holds true.

But most likely the temps push down offshore toward nantucket, or the bait and thus fish tuck into the sound, or something.

It would be good to know this pattern as it would provide a lot of guidance for the savvy fly fisherman.

I know a few other things that happen that I have journaled and found to be consistent over the years that occur on cold water intrusions due to north winds.

You and I were out there the day after such a sequence one year. Mother of all pods ring a bell?

Sean -

Did you get taken well past Bearses to Handkerchief perhaps?

07-31-2006, 11:25 AM
Mother of all could I forget?

That slug of cold water between the light/bearses was actually present before the wind went north (around 9 am yesterday where I was standing). In the past we have had luck by going farther offshore to find the mid-60's water the bass seem to prefer.

The water was considerably (10+degrees) warmer once you got south of Bearses on Saturday...but it was a bit too rough for our liking. We did see a huge splat on the surface that looked kinda like a squid hit.

I don't think the fish were hugging the bottom because we had an eye on the sonar at all times. Also we typically have the most success under those conditions.

I am interested to hear the 'theories' about what the bass do with a substantial water temperature drop.

I'm of the opinion that the bass will follow the massive schools of sand eels just about wherever they go. Seemed to me there was just a lack of both bait and bass over the weekend.

07-31-2006, 11:36 AM
I do not know the names but the temp break was directly south of monomoy about a mile out with the colder water to the east and the warmer water towards the islands to the west. The warmer water (62-65) seemed to be where the fish were. It was surprising to see the cold water. Anything north of the tip had the considerably colder water and lack of life in general. No sand eels seen, I think we just got lucky with that group of squid that came into the rips. The fish were on the bait and the squid were all we saw on saturday.

Was my first time being out there but the fish we were on were tightly packed. Nothing much seemed to be going on except in that location. Also of note was the complete lack of bluefish. We were on that school for 3 hours and only one bluefish hooked.


07-31-2006, 02:03 PM
although we have the cooler north winds, the water temps didn't drop up here - at the weekend it was still just shy of 70 in duxbury and hull/hingham bays, and even nantasket was 62 but there's still very few fish, so they didn't come north of you.

word on the beach here is that even the boaters are finding slooooowww.


07-31-2006, 02:19 PM
Pretty clear they tucked south.

I wish I could have checked something out firsthand, but from grapevine reports it seems the fish pulled down and in due to the water temps.

As far as the infusion of cold water, if it preceded the wind I would really like to know more about it's arrival. Remember last year? Gender-benders all summer.

Also wall to wall jellyfish on the mid-sound shore, water temps in the low 70's and if not for the sensation of swimming in jello great for a dip.

07-31-2006, 02:24 PM
Sustained blow from SW or W blows warm surface water to the East - replaced by cold upwelling with each tide. How's that theory?

07-31-2006, 02:47 PM
There is definitely a cold upwelling...

prior to July 24th the entire eastside was a cozy temp

Then on July 25th off the edge of the shelf east of Nantucket an upwelling of water as cold as the 40's starts from the southeast corner of the shelf, reaching up to touch the outer arm of the cape.

This arm of cold water sluices upward splitting the warm to the east and south/southwest

Some run into shoreline structures, others shift in the big picture. Only one of those moves does me any good :lildevl:

Anyway it means one thing... oceanic fish in close where and when you find them. I have some video of fish that moved onto NM after such an event two years ago and it's a real eye-popper. Backs as black as night and BIG in shallow water. If they hadn't been gorging themselves you are in fat city. But if they had you'd swear they are just trying to raise their body temps to digest the 5 # wad of sand eels in their gut. Seen it on both the bayside and the south side, not much you can do except wait it out until their dinner bell rings again.

BTW - the first image is July 22nd 2006. The second is July 25th 2006. Notice the upwelling of cold water reaching to the northwest along the 120ft line. The pink is in the 40 degree range, the blue 50's. The yellow is mid-sixties.