My theory on the Monomoy Refuge
All striped bass are thin on one end, thick in the middle and thin again at the other.
- Ms. Anne (A-n-n-e NOT "A-N") Elk
If you look at the two large deep basins between the ocean and the first good flat they are in effect "capacitors", buffering the effect of tide movement before and after each event.
Just like one of those Japanese bamboo fountains, the water trickles in and nothing happens until equilibrium is met, then the water unloads.
In the case of the southway, there are two consecutive "capacitors" between the ocean flow and the flats, thus dramatically changing the effect of the ocean on the region. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that it dampens the flushing of fauna in and out; and we in this generation of dedicated refuge "researchers" can clearly conclude that much of the biomass that frequented our playground was in fact oceanic, and largely dependent on the degree of freshening.
One might also go as far as to question whether 'resident' could be viably applied to all the fish we had seen over the last several years acting snobbish in the dog days, or whether resident fish are rare and the majority are fresh visitors in the feeding patterns that are ambivalent to fly patterns (e.g. coulds of shrimp).
Further I feel the effect of Nantucket Sound bass population on the refuge is less significant than the oceanic fish, which we've know are shoaling off Chatham east this time of year probably since the dawn of time.
An extended theory from this will be that the hardtail population within the refuge should be heightened this year, I would wager that we see funny fish popping inside a lot this year. Their influence is distinctly from the sound waters.
I should go take a wade up inside the top of the tub to see if the blue crab population has taken a spike as well. Purely for research purposes of course
Back to stripers - I have built up some specific strategies on how to conduct my fishing and have some some fair degree of sampling between last year and this year, but won't post them publicly equally out of fear of giving something away as the fear of being dead wrong as this is all still a fairly young situation.
However I am acting on these theories and will be gathering as much information as possible to conclude on as many concrete characteristics as possible this season, reap what I can between now and Columbus Day, and apply them to the seasons that follow unless Ms.Nature deals us a new hand.
Even with all the optimism I usually maintain that the motherlode is there for those who find it - I have to say I wish a big storm would come and blow those two basins to kingdom come.
These two "capacitor holes" are making it very challenging to say the least. Or interesting depending on your point of view.
IFFF Certified THCI @ 2005
Capeflyfisher Guide Service
Island Hopper, Guitarist, Incurable Dreamer
and Founder, Worldwide Flyfishing Forum
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