Weekend Primer - 05/10/02
I'll try to do these each friday before the weekend... for what they're worth!
Cape Cod - from Falmouth to Stage Harbor, from South Beach to Ptown, from Truro to Brewster to Sandwich, there are bass to be found right now as the migration numbers pile up.
Bigger fish are going to be sitting on herring runs, but fish of all prey preferences are in the area feasting on the migration trail. Each year in May hordes of stripers can be found moving along the beach. As Randy says they appear as large dark clouds of fish and sometimes the fishing's almost too easy - but don't be surprised if they aren't always in a biting mood either. Like all other species they can turn on and off and I've been in the path of pod after pod of hurriedly moving fish going north on the outer beaches against the horizontal N-S flow with only a few fish to show for my troubles. Other times it could seem like I would turn the whole pack toward the fly with even a moderately well placed cast. Fish have moods too apparently.
Estuaries that would be warm and soupy in summer are active with hunting stripers. Shore-hopping along a long stretch can produce some astounding encounters with migrating packs of hungry fish. I like a high tide in the mornings and evenings for south side jetty hopping in spring but this time of year time of day has little effect if you find the fish.
A peculiar behavior during migration times is the way they sit in a hole during slack tides. I have a few of these holes on the southside migration path that I can almost count on having full of bass during slack low and slack high. I first noticed them years ago when it looked like a new weedbed had grown into a familiar sandy spot. I cast and they were all stripers! Funny thing about it too was that the best fly was a popper, even though the water was quite deep over their heads. Other flies got interest and a fish or two to hit but a popper created mayhem!
One characteristic of this time of year is here now, gone tomorrow - or even the next tide change! This works both ways, another pack could be right around the corner.
to be continued...