Fishing Observations - Labor Day Weekend [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: Fishing Observations - Labor Day Weekend

09-06-2006, 08:03 AM
Worked Monomoy, Bayside and explored backbeach and sound.

Backbeaches were churned to a pulp by the (east wind) surf, I moved on. I am sure there are big days ahead on Nauset and the seashore but not this weekend. Sam Radin reported that Race Point fished well, I did not get up that far but my focus turns to Nauset here pretty soon. BTW - stop in and see Harry Koons for a big surprise with what he's doing at Nauset Angler! The big beaches will turn on here any day and stay hot late as usual.

Down on Nantucket Sound I scouted a lot of full sized bunker which was good to see but nothing on them during the day. Unfortunately I was not able to get back on them at night as family activities went into the wee hours. I did not see any footballs but there were blues working here and there. I didn't get any further west than Yarmouth but hear that Craigville west is quiet right now anyway. No idea whats happenning on the islands right now but I suspect the storm quieted things down a bit.

I suspect that the bunker are exploded at night by big bass in the inlets where they are holding now. I recall some amazing night time action last year at this time, a little later maybe (have to check the log book) - mostly by the swimmer plug guys. C&R 40+ bass all night they were. I vowed to get them on the fly with some consistency this year. I got keeper bass but not the consistent cow action they had.

Sight fishing on Monomoy was fantastic but adjacent areas were dead or hot depending on which you were working. Larger fish were around but overshadowed by an abundance of smaller fish. I would say the schoolies (22-26" fatties) outnumbered the keeper sized fish 10:1 and that's about what my clients got for ratio as well. I don't want to go into too much detail but the fishing was very good overall. Seals were a pain in the butt in fact one day we had three fish eaten off the line by seals.

Bait on Monomoy was shoals of krill, a lesser amount of small bunker and even fewer sand eels as well as crabs and seaworms which have been around lately. Still no shrimp to speak of; I have seen zero and have only heard others say "I saw one today". Usually there are millions; I am sure they will be back but now that it's past summer it's not likely to be this year. Fishing was equally good on the ebb as the flood, which is always the case once the bunker get into the refuge.

Bayside (where I took the bunker party video clip) was where the bunker were over Labor Day, much more prevalent than Monomoy. With so much more biomass in Rhody and to the SW that could change with any tide not to mention some sizeable silverside shoals.

As I had observed in past years mid-tides where the sand bars are exposed with moving water are best as the fish and birds trap the bait into the maze-like channels and pound them silly (check out the birds!)

Along the shoreline, from Skaket to Corporation Beach and probably beyond in both directions a little persistence would lead to large schools of smaller bass pounding the bait into submission. One rocky cove was so alive with blitzing bass that the water shimmered with the dislodged scales of bunker and the sound of busting and birds was deafening.

Interestingly, even while schoolies round up the bunker the bigger fish were still hung up on their sand eel hunting antics and we found them chasing sand eels on the flats away from the bunker. One I cleaned for a client had a gut full of sand eels, not even one bunker. It took my tan deep eel pattern with vigor and ran 50 yards into his backing on the first run.

I would not say that the migration has started, but the pre-migration binging has definitely begun in a BIG way.

Here's the bunker party video clip if you missed the last post...

09-06-2006, 08:41 AM
Very cool Juro. I am supposed to fish the North Shore this weekend.:smokin:

09-06-2006, 09:37 AM
Interesting note on the big fish stomach contents. I've seen many reports from different areas of large fish taken during a peanut bunker blitz that didn't have a single peanut in their gut when cleaned. Just too many occurences for this to be coincidental. Small green crabs and immature lobsters with a few shrimp in the mix was the most prevalent stomach content.

Just a theory, but it seems like the peanuts will get the smaller bass going but the bigger cows, maybe attracted by all the comotion on the surface look for an easier source of energy down below? Large bass looking for an easy meal are often found cruising below blitzing bluefish if you can get a fly past all the teeth.

09-06-2006, 10:22 AM
Once the bunker reach about 3" they lose their memory real quick :)

09-06-2006, 11:50 AM
Makes sense I guess, xxx% more nutrition for the same expenditure of energy :smokin:

09-06-2006, 12:11 PM
Makes sense Adrian, and when the bait reaches that magic "fly size" they also stop with that fry-cloud feeding behavior already that just drives me up a wall!

When they are targeting individual juvies us fly guys are in fat city. The frustration factor often sets in again with full-size bunker. I believe it's not just the size thing but also behavior.

Still lots to learn!