Belated Friday Weekend Prediction - Fly Fishing Forum
Stripers and Coastal Gamefish Stripers, Blues, Inshore tuna!

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Old 06-12-2006, 07:13 AM
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Belated Friday Weekend Prediction

Since I was busy last week I forgot the weekly prediction on Friday... I will make thast prediction today on Monday.

I predict...

Well I will have to make it a retrospect instead. Please people from Rhody, NH / Maine chime in with your local perspectives. We are not asking for UDL's (undisclosed locations) or anything compromising as we have had this happen in a big way in the past but it's possible to do this without the mob effect.

Cape elbow report:

Rain, rain and more rain. Winds howling blowing the rain sideways. Didn't take off the raingear until Sunday and I still wore it for good measure. No flycasting for the weak of heart for days. Miserable conditions. Flats fishing non-existent until Sunday but largely uneventful then.

Funny that I have seen the flats choked with fish on the first bluebird day after miserable weather; and seen them void of all life after same. I am unable to lock into a trend there. Possible connection to temperature in that when I see fish on the flats the day after a big blow it's during very warm flats temps getting cool. When the water is still cool and a storm blows in it seems to put the fish into the deep channels (we found them deep yesterday when the flats were empty, even in holes in the middle of flats). I need more evidence - a summer off would help

They are up in the shallows on certain tides though, I did battle with a steady stream of upper classmen schoolies, a 31" and a 33" on a very shallow flats bowl before finally hooking my 40+ entry fish, a real submarine even on the 12wt Atlantis when I set the hook it felt like a whale and roostertailed at breakneck speed 50 yards into my gelspun from the last strip just before the back of the head came to the tip guide.

I though for sure it was a slammer blue maybe 15 pounds or so with such velocity and running for the channel, wondering how long before the slice would come. My fly line was so far out there I wondered if it might entangle the bouy rope. I had the 11ft rod bent to the cork to the sides to try to ease it nearer but it would surge more backing out of the Danielsson LW 8twelve, which handled the stress magnificently I might add. I was a lot more nervous than the rod or reel that's for sure as the back fin and tail came out of the water and I saw the gap between them and the size of the turbulence zone it was generating around it despite being a mile out there. Slowly, the tug of war starting to favor me as I muttered words of encouragement to myself as I would a client in the same situation. The cool water and abundance of bait had these fish fat and in top fighting form as it would surge back out into the backing several times with no less vigor than the early fight before I could recoup the fly line and start to keep it on my side of the tip top.

As I started to think I was going to win the battle, the pucker came out of the seat of my waders and the mood turned to one of glee. "Forty plus club, forty plus club hee hee!". Jim Simms had walked back toward his vehicle 150 yards behind me on shore just before I hooked this behemoth. I was tempted to holler out to have him join me as there were good fish on this rain-soaked wind-blown flat but he was off to join his wife who had just arrived on cape. I was thinking damn I wish I had tempted him over.

I started to back up to lay the fish on it's side while I fumbled to unzip the raingear to get my camera out. The fish didn't like that and would blast off, making me abandon the camera excavation from layers of clothing and tend to the battle. I did this give and take a few times until my mind apparently got too occupied with the hero shot and the line suddenly came slack with a incredible fish less than a 38ft head length away. I never feel regret for fishing barbless, but in this case I think I might have combined premature elation with a fast action rod with a fish not to be taken lightly and lost. I am certain that if I had remained focused this same barbless fly that had landed many fish all day would have done the deed, but I did not take my eye off the ball with any of those other fish.

So my quest continues! And you can bet there will be no attempt at photography until those big fat rubbery lips are in my grasp.

Backside Beaches:

GREAT! If you had a wetsuit and a surfboard or a thick layer of blubber and fins for feet. It was Hawaii-5/0 out there and the 4x4 trails were so deep with rainwater that I swear I had water swelling up over the front my my Tundra hood a bit. The steam from my hot engine parts being immersed in water scared the crap out of me that the block would crack or worse that I would get mired in the middle of one of these mud pits. My clients really wanted to see the beach by 4x4 so I did it, but joked "at least I have two guys to push if we get stuck". We were fine but I wouldn't do it again. Kudos to Toyota for building a fine vehicle.

Area 7-10 are closed completely. Any vehicle without serious ground clearance would be in trouble on the middle road until the water recedes.

The structure that was so exciting seems to have flattened out a little (shame) but there are still areas that are super-structured around area 3 which will be something else when/if the bait settles in. I hope this is a year with lots of bait on shore.

General observations:

BAIT: Sand eels in large numbers around the refuge. Shoals of bunker and shad as well, mixed together. Squid biomass recently moved off Nantucket Sound shoals after a big presence. Lady crabs carrying loads of eggs. Smaller crabs molting actively. No sea worms being seen by clammers on North Monomoy yet. Shrimp not observed yet. Silversides not on the refuge yet in any numbers, although I did see a few schools further west on the sound.

FLATS: Water cool without the conductive heat from sun-baked flats but reasonable for fish as they are very active in their patterns. This weekend, the fish on North Monomoy stayed in the channels and did not rove up on the flats. After a period of observation potshots into the deep water proved that the fish were in there but not coming up onto the flats. Sharing observations with other anglers working adjacent flats confirmed same.

Crib floods from the west almost the entire time, and much much later than it did when the southway was open.

Not sure how the South Beach guys fared in sight fishing but I would assume the Southway would have offered some sight fishing success on Sunday.

Summary:

Weather sucked, just plain miserable. Tides were good but tides alone do not a bonanza make. Find the bait and you find the fish. They didn't have any reason to hunt the flats - jury is still out on why they stayed in the holes. Ebb tide can be the right tide if it coincides with bait.

New aspirations and goals:

- make a fly that looks like that damn pogie plug the spin guy had (keeper after keeper)

- practice entering a zen-like focused state when fighting really good fish until the lips are gripped, remembering the mantra I have learned over and over in life... "fish first, camera second"


Hope to hear from Rhody, North etc...
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  #2  
Old 06-12-2006, 08:14 AM
Cole Cole is offline
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Nice report Juro...

I hit South Beach Sunday with 5 guys from work. I was excited along with everyone else, to finally get some sun...

We fished the channel down past the K buoy and didn't get into much on the flooding tide. Only a few smallish schoolies. I have a feeling good fish were holding in the channel, but the fairly strong west wind limited our casts. As the flats flooded in, I was excited to do my first sight fishing of the season. As I started off, my friend Mark (from work) hooked into something good, hearing him whistle, I walked the quarter mile back to him. As I got back to him, I helped him land a real slammer blue...approximately 32", 10 lbs. He was ecstatic, saying it was the biggest fish he's ever caught, and the first time in a while he's put something on the reel. I'm pretty sure the fish was caught right on the edge of the channel. I think he might be a repeat customer out there on South Beach now...

Anyways, I went back to sight fishing... I walked the entire distance from the K buoy back the base of the J buoy inlet channel and only saw about 10 fish! I picked up one fat schoolie out of a pod of 5-6; but otherwise it was very very quiet (maybe my fish eyes still need adjusting from a long winter..) My other friends had a tough time with the conditions, and headed back for the 2 pm ferry. I worked the ocean side from 2-4 with no luck, although it was good to see what's happened over the winter as far as structure goes.

It was great to finally get out to South Beach, with somewhat decent weather; and even better seeing a buddy have so much fun catching a fish. Hopefully in the next couple weeks I can get down there with fish up on the flats (a clear day wouldn't be bad either)!
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Old 06-12-2006, 08:37 AM
BigDave BigDave is offline
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Juro,

Great story but:

Never, ever, ever, EVER reach for the camera before the fish is in hand!

I wonder if the slow flats action has anything to do with the new topography of the refuge?

It shoudl be pods of all keepers by now...sounds like that is not the case...
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Old 06-12-2006, 09:26 AM
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Ventured out Saturday morning in the rain and was rewarded with some solid action. Got about 15-20 fish in a 4 hour period with one fish that stretched the width of my leaning post. Measured later at just under 40". The rest were from about 20" to just under legal. All on a fly Dave17 left for me last weekend Made a few copies Saturday night as well. Sunday I was back at it but things had really slowed down. Same spot, same tide, similar wind but no rain = far fewer fish. Moved around North, South, and East from "the" spot to find things slow everywhere. Sometimes things work out to be just a nice boat ride with a few fish mixed in. Although the nice boat ride might be a stretch with some solid 2'-3' wind chop in certain areas of the bay around 10 a.m. Called the day early just before noon and did a little detailing in addition to the normal washing. Looking forward to the Cape this weekend. Sounds like a trip to the Southway may be in order based on reports above. Morning at the Southway for the drop, afternoon with the kids for the rise. May stretch it to a long weekend depending on weather.

Sean
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Old 06-12-2006, 10:26 AM
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I wasn't able to fish this weekend, but the local reports that I've been reading say that the reefs just off the CT coast are teeming with fish. The shorebound anglers had it tough with the weather, but bluefish are now around in full force and it's only a matter of time before the stripers settle into their summer patterns.
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Old 06-12-2006, 10:30 AM
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Rhody shore fishing was tough all week through the weekend with the normal spots around my house just flat out devoid of fish. Hit 5 south county beaches yesterday only to hear reports of slow fishing. Seems just offshore the fishing has been good.

Had to move around a lot to find em and when you did the fish size was not all that great. Did catch a 23" shad if that counts for anything...

-sean
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Old 06-12-2006, 11:14 AM
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Fishing wasn't bad on the bayside Sat. am. Sunday, with the wind out of the WNW, I looked at the water and decided to take a ride to Chat Ham. Nice current on the bottom but pretty much devoid of fish and bait. Hung in for the turn (current still flowing out, water rising) just to see, but nada. I see no need to probe this area for a while, a quick look from above should suffice. Awfully shallow in there. I almost took a walk down SB, wish I had.

Opinions are like @$$ holes, everyone's got one. Right now my opinion (for the bayside in June) is that the striped guys don't like sudden change, especially far up on the flats. When the slop passes and the front passes through, with a high slew rate change in pressure and possibly temperature the fish tend to stay in deeper water where they can modulate thier comfort zone. Takes a day or 2 or 3 to work thier way back into the shallows.
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Old 06-12-2006, 11:41 AM
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I would have to agree with Fred's opinion. We fished the bayside as well on Saturday and Sunday. The weather was kind of dicey to be out in a boat but we ventured forth and found big schools of bass in 50-60 feet of water. Almost all were 25 feet down or deeper. Many were hugging the bottom where we could not effectively reach them. Bird/surface activity was virtually nonexistent at our location however the water was clear.

Only a mile away, the water in the shallow areas was murky. We didn't do much inside: 2 bite-offs and a schoolie. This from an area rich with structure and current that has been a consistent producer.

Conditions were tough with strong west winds in the AM yesterday but it layed down for a few hours around lunchtime. Not many people out there...
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Old 06-12-2006, 12:19 PM
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I am behind schedule but will fish this friday no matter what.... great reports and looking forward to seeing you guys...John
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Old 06-12-2006, 05:20 PM
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Juro

Great report...too bad the big one got away. By the way...clear out your PM's. Tried to send but your mail box is full! What do tides look like for this weekend on SB and any guesses about Trop Storm down south and expected arrival to the "elbow"?
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Old 06-12-2006, 08:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by juro
So my quest continues! And you can bet there will be no attempt at photography until those big fat rubbery lips are in my grasp.
This is why the camera is always the last thing that ever enters my mind. The mental pictures are enough for me. I don't need physical pictures to prove it to anybody, or even to remind myself.
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Old 06-12-2006, 09:45 PM
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I have many many more memories than photos, including a 42" native steelhead and a 46" Monomoy striper - neither with a photo (but with witnesses). Also a huge bone in Exuma (lost) but never forgotten I would estimate between 12-14 pounds almost emptied my reel.

The picture was for the 40+ club gallery.
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