: PI morning
i'm so outta here
07-07-2000, 11:21 AM
GregO gave me a call at work this morning and asked if I would post this report for him since he no longer has access to the internet at home.
In a rare fit of early morning ambition, Greg arrived at PI about 5:45 and decided to start at the boats and work his way down to the jetty. Although there was a fair amount of bait in close to the charters, there didn't seem to be anything harassing it. No hits, no runs, no errors. The fish just simply weren't there.
But just around the bend, the "bowl" was alive with 2" sand eels and 5" tinker mackerel and the fish were all over them. With the clouds still hiding the sun, Greg proceeded to have at the edges of the bait pods with a deep homespun eel/clouser number his dad tyed for him. He landed three decent size sideliners and two 10-12" summer flounder in the span of about an hour. He commented that the fish were very spooky. Once he landed one, the spot would die out and he'd have to move on quite a ways for the next pickup. As the clouds burned off and the sun got bright the bite died off so he headed home to tackle his honey-do list.
It was great to hear the excitment in Greg's voice (although it has made it difficult to stay focussed on work today). It looks like I'll be heading up that way this weekend to explore and fish Cranes and/or do some largemouth/trout fishing. If anyone up that way would like to hook up with us send me an email.
I've been wondering about Crane's and the refuge... the water seems to be too cold still for optimal conditions but I could be dead wrong. This season's definitely 2-3 weeks behind if not more, and Crane's was downright frigid the other day.
When PI / Merrimac gets warm as pee, the outside and cold stuff got good last year. This is not to say that the areas up inside the Ipswich, it's coves and inlets near the mouth, Plum Island sound on the shoals and grass flats, or the Essex estuary aren't holding fish... but I didn't get the feeling it would be worth hitting Crane's or the refuge just yet.
i'm so outta here
07-09-2000, 07:43 PM
Juro - I agree. Swimming at Cranes today was a lot like taking a dip in a mountain stream in April. I'd say the water needs to warm considerably before the fishing gets good. Greg and I did take a walk across the dunes to the estuary -- BTW, be careful if you're out there, the ticks are voracious. The water was much warmer there and, although the bite was off while we were there, we ran into a local in his boat who said the fishing has been superb for the last few weeks. He reported lots of bass and shad on popper flies.
In other news, PI was on fire this morning. We arrived shortly before 5 am and were soon treated to blitzing bass no more than 10 feet from our waders -- this was just around the big bend from the charter boats. Greg saw the first of many swirls and threw his QD at it and was on seconds later. Soon there were dozens of such swirls all around us and we were hooking up on just about every cast. The bass eventually got into such a feeding frenzy that tinker mackerel were beaching themselves to escape. It was something to see! We landed several decent fish between us before it ended (of course it had to end). Just shy of the turn, things just suddenly died and did not resume for the shore crowd... boaters, however, enjoyed another 45 minutes of fun.
This was some of the best action I've seen all year and the first time I've ever had any luck at PI. Fish were generally in the low to mid 20s but fiesty to the nth. Deep eel patterns proved most effective (Juro - thanks for the eyeball of your recipe for these). Oh, and he'll kill me if I don't mention this, Greg got his slam: a striper, a flounder, and an American Shad. Woohoo!
Terry and Sully spotted Greg's signature red baseball cap from way out in the channel and motored in to say howdy. They reported big fish up river. [How'd you guys do after we saw you?]
We hung around for another 30 minutes, gradually working our way out to the mouth but the fish seemed to have booked with the advent of the day's thick boat traffic. We decided to pack it in to go meet up with the wives at Cranes.
An awesome weekend: night fishing early Sat. morning (silent crickets, Terry http://184.108.40.206/images/flytalk/Wilk.gif), day fishing Sunday complete with blitzing fish and strafing turns, and a happy wife and son who escaped getting sun burned despite the hot sun at Cranes. What more could I ask for?
07-10-2000, 08:46 AM
Well, Friday & Sunday mornings were great PI days, what a way to break my Merrimack curse. Dad's 3" sparse green clouser with a little flash did the trick, but with the way the fish were feeding I think anythink would have produced a strike. I love the areal tricks of the shad & we were tossing beached tinker Macks back into the water before the Seagulls got to them. I have never seen the place so alive with bait & fish, but then again I have not spent nearly as much time up there as some of our seasoned PI vets. Oh, best fish on Sunday was Al's ~25" that got into the current & promptly put Al into his backing, then I (not seeing how far down the fish had come) proceeded to cast over Al's line. We got untangled & the fish was landed. The boat traffic was horrendus, I think I heard Terry wistle & curse at the boat the cut across the sandbar at 30MPH just yards away from 8-10 boats anchoed up & into fish; what an A-hole!
I concur about Cranes, it looks very fishey, but I don't think it's quite happening Yet. The walk to the backside is a mile of soft sand, deer flies, Green heads, ticks & poison Ivey; I called it the "mini death march." I also walked up to the North point of Cranes; there a huge dropoff that sets up to a big castable rip-line. I wet waded out & found some "liquid sand" so be advised!
BTW: truck is out of the shop. Still considering a Sesuit run later this week. Assuming of course that the roofer gets in & re-roofs my house !! ??
07-10-2000, 08:54 AM
Sully and I launched at 4:30 am Sunday and headed across Joppa towards the channel. On the way we stopped and fished the edge of the flats/channel near some birds. Not much. I saw lots of birds down in the channel so we were heading down and Sully get's this "feeling" (or was it a trolling hook up that made us stop?) and so we stopped accross from the pick, where the channel/flats/P.I river channel all intersect (my favorite spot really). Bang Sully is on to a big fish peeling line,a good fight follows and then oops he's off. I could tell this was the best bend in his rod this year. I then rookie bungled a couple on flies before we left that spot. We were on a big school there. I think Sully landed a couple in the high 20s (Sully? I stink on details) I kept seeing a highly concentrated group of birds down around "The Bend" which turned out to be the blitz Greg and Al were working. By the time we got there the fish had spread out but were still catchable from boat. I landed a 23" fatty one of my Deep Sand Eel (a la Juro) and Sully landed 10 times that on the Sluggos. Sully had fish on ALL DAY! How do you mimmick the Sluggo with feathers and fur?
Greg and Al: I was looking for you guys since I knew Al was on the North Shore it's hard not to be drawn to the Merrimack fishing magnate. Sorry we didn't pull up and chat more, I felt a bit rude, but fishing makes us selfish people and I didn't want to hang around too long with a boat where there were shore fishermen.
Observations: Tons of Sandeels all through the estuary!
We also caught as many fish trolling (when repositioning our drift) as when drift fishing the rips. I evan hooked up trolling a deep sandeel. Season is running behind, no dog
days yet, good fishing up there.
In spite of the action I was not onto too many fish. I think I need to learn some more. I'm putting in the time but I just shy of hitting the next level. I think it's in my approach (ie. reading water, fly selection). Sully helped a lot with his expertise.
Sully fill in the gaps will ya?
BTW Greg, I had a fish on when that boat passed us full thottle about 30 feet away. Sully whistled and I showed him a digit. Boat traffic didn't upset me too much since we asked for it going out on a weekend in July. But hey, when the fishings good, it's good.
07-10-2000, 12:48 PM
7/9 Late report:
Went out thanks to the Weirmeister yesterday morning. While Terry and I were thinking of a plan of attack just by the PI side across from the toothpick I launched out a blind cast and I was on to my best fish of the year. Boat stopping hit that peeled a quick ten yards then a dead stop on the bottom. I put some pressure on to raise the fish but it took that line back plus some more and hung on the bottom again.
Now I can't move the fish at all my 7' rod is doubled over with no give from this fish whatsoever. Palms and brow start sweating as the head shakes are transmitted up the line to my now trebling hands by a very large fish that has played this game many times. Again I try to move or lift the log on the end of my line and as I do this I feel a violent head shake and a slack line. DAMN!!! I was outgunned and out smarted.
Next two casts I was on and off again just as quick. F*&$^# barbless hooks. ;) With self confidence taking a beating, I finally landed one in the high twenties.
The sun started to come over the horizan and hundreds of terns are working just over the sandbar beating on massive schools of sandeels of all sizes. But no surface action at all. When it was finally light enough to see through the water you could see schools of subs just under to bait schools cruising & inhaling eels as they went. Way cool!
The fish mid to high 20's cooperated as long as the clouds held the sun at bay. And yes it was crowded with both sides of the river lined with shore guys and boats everywhere. With the prerequisite moron here and there blowing between our drifts and shore. Terry picked up a beauty on the long wand.
BTW, at high slack tide to mouth was like glass and we took a ride out to check ou the flotila anchored there. I had one hard hit that screamed out fifty yards of line and was cut off. Bluefish is my guess.
Terry thanks again a pleasure as always.
Greg & Al great to see you guys up on the North Shore.
WOW! Sounds like a great time was had by all on the north shore. WISH I WAS THERE!
I love tinker macs. They are such beautiful looking things. Kind of disturbing watching them get ripped to shreds by blues, bass and birds... I always felt compelled to help the little emerald blue and silver gray guys out when under attack as well, funny you mentioned that.
Tinkers mean big bass are in or knockin' on the door. Sounds like a good time to tie up a good 4-6" tinker imitation and fish it deep in the trench on the bottom of the tide at daybreak; or out on the beachfront on a full tide.