Southway Update? - Fly Fishing Forum
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Old 10-28-2005, 09:57 AM
BigDave BigDave is offline
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Southway Update?

Does anyone know what effect if any this recent Nor'easter had on the southway? I'm wondering if it has filled in more since this summer.

Hopefully something will come from the other direction and blow it wide open again.

The flow through the Crib did not seem to strengthen as we all had hoped. In fact the crib seems to be filling in considerably.

My feeling was that SB was off in 2005, compared to previous seasons. The bass showed late and there just didn't seem to be too many days with big pods of agressive legal stripes.

Thank god for the push of racer blues we got in June
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Old 10-28-2005, 12:14 PM
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FredA FredA is online now
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I stopped at the light last Friday afternoon (caught a bunch of fish too). The bowl to the right is filling in and, in fact, a pond had set up. Looks like the spit is going to be the north edge of the tombolo. So much for breaking through to the tub. Anybody had a look since the storm?

The southway must be closing up with the recent weather. I would think we need a permanent breach somewhere along South beach to get some flow through the inside of SB, the crib, etc. to salvage the type of fishing we've had over the past so many years. As things are it seems the weed flushes in with the flood and accumalates in the low current areas (doesn't flush back out).

A couple of years ago (and maybe whenever they dredge) a lot of the dredged material from Chatham Harbor was dumped out in front of SB. That had to accelarate the march south of SB and taken a few years off the life of the Southway, do you think?
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Old 10-28-2005, 12:34 PM
Paxton Paxton is offline
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Dave, you read my mind (a scary place....beware!!!).....I sure hope that either the southway opened or a breach occurred somewhere else on SB. SB did fish differently, but it was my best yr there #'s and size wise....it surely was a yr of much walking to find them at various stages of the tide......re #'s in spring/early summer......I'm not sure it was related to the narrowing of the southway or not....I do know that the blues arrived in huge numbers at the same time the stripers did...in my limited experience, ususally the blues arrive 2 weeks in advance....additionally the blues never really left the flats and drops till about late July.....my sense is that the blues ravaged what bait there was on the flats and or pushed the bass off the flats.....the biggest change with the narrowing of the southway in my opinion was limited supplies of bait....I fished there every weeek from May 1st through Sept and never saw the huge balls of sandeels I've seen in previous yrs....and when I saw litle balls of them, they were never over 3 inches in length and in August, they were not over 2 inches.........just my .02.
Ron
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Old 10-28-2005, 01:51 PM
BigDave BigDave is offline
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The other thing about the Southway is the fish don't seem to move in and out of there as freely as past years. I witnessed a giant school of bluefish trapped there at low tide this June. Between the seals and beached boats they were stuck. As the tide came in they slowly filtered out through the southway.

In past years, I recall big groups of legal stripes moving INTO the refuge via the crib/southway well into July. I mean thousands of them and it was plain as day to see them moving through. I wonder what percentage of these fish still move in via Morris or just bypass the area on their way North?

Ron interesting observation about the bait. I did not fish the area in Sept. Was there a good head of Peanuts on the flats this fall as usual?
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Old 10-28-2005, 04:11 PM
Paxton Paxton is offline
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Dave......the peanuts were on the flats in Sept for about 2 weeks.....100's of thousands of them...about 2 inches long......then....gone. But for those 2 weeks......great success....on on day, I hooked and landed 14 stripers sight fishing on the flats with a small bunker pattern.....went back the next week and became lower than an amateur again...they were gone, along with the bite....casted to at least 70 sighted fish and none of them even had the decency to glace/laugh and or even give me the fin.....it was like any flies I tossed didn't even exist.
So.....given the wealth of knowledge that I have gathered in my four years of fishing those flats, I have learned the following: somethimes they hit and sometimes they don't
It's days like that that make me wonder if I (we) and our flies are much of a factor at all....all I know is that when the fish are zig-zaging the flats....I am an expert......when the are going in a strait line from point A to B....I have no skills at all Going micro helps at times.....but I usually just keep on walking and try and find a pod of more cooperative fish. Only exception was success drifting a 1 inch olive shrimp over the drop/ bars or edges of grass at low tide times....that seemed to work almost every time.
Ron
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Old 10-28-2005, 04:29 PM
FishHawk FishHawk is offline
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What I noticed is there was a lot of small bait present this season. For me the smaller size fly worked better than the larger flies of years past. We'll know this Spring what hand Mother Nature will deal us in 06. FishHawk
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Old 11-04-2005, 11:33 AM
Rip Ryder Rip Ryder is offline
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Chatham not to seek dredging project for Southway

Hi guys,

As of last weeks Selectmen's meeting, the board voted unanimously not to dredge at the cost of over $650,000. Plus, the amount of red tape with the Park Service it would take another year or two before they could even start.

Last report I got after all the weather last month is that the sand was filling at an alarming rate. I was told there was some sand showing at hightide in the middle of the flat east of the tip of South Monomoy. Prior to the end of my season, I noticed the channel from the F buoy to the tip getting narrower by the week as the flat moved eastward from South Monomoy towards South Beach. If we get the number of Nor' easters we had last winter, it should be all but connected by spring.

During the meeting last week Gram Giese (sp), a local geologist out of Woods Hole,
spoke quite a bit about his studies on the out beaches. South Beach is doing exactly what it should be. Slowly breaking down and migrating West and will become part of the Monomoys. As he said, no one knows for sure how or when, but it will happen. So one could say with in a reasonable amount of years Monomoy will become one island, which it basically was at low tide this year.

The next thing the town is going to put a little time into, is looking at dredging the channel along Morris Island. This could help having a deep channel with fast moving water. This set up may draw more of the bass in from the Stage Harbor enterance. I noticed with the return of the pogies this year, my old honey hole was producing some mid 30s fish on a regular basis by the size of the scales left on the stairs at the refuge.

It shall be interesting to see what we will be working with next season.

Capt Keith
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Old 11-08-2005, 08:07 PM
Rip Ryder Rip Ryder is offline
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Talked to a few of the guys using the southway to get out east and chase the tuna.
Word is the chanel shifted a good 80 ft after the storms. Shifts were found the hard way, running on waypoints saved the week before the storms started hitting every weekend.

Channel sucks, but the tuna fishing is GREAT. 750# taken last weekend off Chatham from a small boat.

Sounds like 3 hours either side of high and you should make it through, for now.

Keith
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