Monomoy Clave Scout Report
I had the opportunity to fish Monomoy this past Friday, 6-2 with a buddy and Capt. Richard Benson, who has been running a flats boat down there for 10+ years.
Conditions: we had an incoming tide all morning, with little to no breeze until about Noon, when it started cranking out of the SW, making drfting very difficuly. Water was clear w/ temps in the low 60's.
Bait: saw various pods of sand eels ranging from 1/2" to 2.5" That was the only biat I personally saw all day.
The Good News: There are fish everywhere on the flats. We barely got out of Outermost Harbor into the Bowl before we were greeted with mid-sized blues of 4-8 lbs. and some similarly sized bass popping the surface. Had fun with them for a while on sliders, then went in search of some bigger fish.
More Good News: many of the fish we saw were very accessible by waders. From what I saw, the best approach would be the west side of South Beach. We saw some huge fish in the skinny water within casting distance of shore, as well as in the channel edges.
The "bad" news: it's not really that bad, but... I personally found the fish on this particular day to be MUCH finickier than they were a year ago at this same time of the season. Last year, provided I had a good cast, the fish would hit my offering over 90% of the time provided it was offered on a half way decent presentation with a half way decent retreive. Fly choice did not seem to be much of an isue either. This year, it was a much different story. Even with a good cast, the fish were following and snuffing the fly, or sometimes not even turning. I am not the best fisherman in the world, but am pretty competent, and it got pretty frustrating at times. Even the guide found it a little strange, especially for this time of year, as did a few others back at the dock. Most of the time I was fishing a clear line with fluoro tippet, although I also had wire on periodically throughout the day.
In my experience, they did not get this choosy until much later in the summer. I think it was an off day though, so things could be completely different for you folks. Clousers with long sharp strips worked well, as did some grizzly deceiver patterns.
In summary, my advice would be to get out early to beat the wind, although if it is of less consequence for the shore caster than the boat drifter. Bring some wire, the blues were everywhere. Most of all, have fun--we saw many 40+" bass and some real racer blues like last season in the three foot range. I really think we had a slightly off day (weather, cold front? who knows) and that the fish will be receptive.
Incidentally, anyone looking for the flats boat experience, Capt. Benson is great and I highly recommend him...
Wish I was coming and not going to Phili for a damn wedding