S.E. Cape Cod Ramblings and Tips:
Some of this material comes straight from my past experience as chief instructor of the Orvis 2 ½ day saltwater fly fishing schools. Additional material has come from first hand knowledge, gained from my many years of eating, breathing, living and loving the, New England - Cape Cod Inshore Saltwater environment. So, sit back, relax and enjoy this Truly World Class Destination Fishery!
Best (normally) retrieval tactic:
Use a fast, choppy retrieve in 1-2 foot strides. It resembles a fleeing or escaping bait fish. This retrieve will help you catch more fish!!! Guaranteed.
Difference between a tip (stiff-fast action) and mid (medium) flexing rod in the saltwater?
If I was a beginner, I may consider a mid-flex, due to its easier to cast and more forgiving when casting mistakes are made.
But, in the saltwater environment where wind is the norm, a tip flex will cast better w/ more power. A lot of the time, (especially on the flats) distance and speed are important, then the tip flex will work better. It shows your casting mistakes more and casting needs to be pretty good.
One way to look at it is, if you are learning and think you will like it and stick with it, then go for the tip flex and grow into it.
I have a friend who is an expert caster and prefers a mid-flex. I like tip-flex, I cast a little better and farther than he. HA.
The 2 lines I would recommend to have are, clear int. and Orvis 300 gain depth charge.
Flats - Rising or dropping tide?
If I was planning to take a ferry to the S.E. part of the Cape to fish the flats during the day would I want a rising or dropping tide? I have heard that the bass will sit in the deep and let the dropping bait fish fall to them. This would suggest the drop, but I was wondering what you thought. Thanks for your input. Mike
Stripers and blues come to this area in search of food. As the sand flat becomes covered with water the bait fish move up onto the flat through troughs, sluice ways and channels to escape the predators. Approximately 2 hours before the high the predators come up onto the flat following these same troughs (like roads) in search of food. This would be a good place to stand and sight cast to them.
Sun and no wind make for optimal sight fishing conditions as they cruise the flat. At high tide many times you will find them in 6 inch’s of water tight to the shore, again, this is were there next meal is hiding. So this would be an additional area to prospect during that stage of the tide.
As the water starts to recede, the larger fish will leave that area and depart off the flat using similar channels and sluice ways that they came up on. This is another prime spot to fish.
Normally they will hold, waiting in ambush in the deeper water for the bait fish to get flushed off the flat. My next move would be to stand close to the edge of the flat and cast my fly into the creek that is flowing off the flat. I’d allow my fly to swing and sink, imitating a bait fish being washed off the flat.
This is one of many basic feeding patterns that never changes and consistently repeats itself, tide after tide
I prefer an incoming tide in the A.M. Sun at my back and fish eager to come up onto the flat in search of food. Tide starts to drop they become afraid and leave. Your right about the dropping. They will wait in channels, drop-offs to attack bait as it gets washed off flat.
The S.E. part of the Cape is a huge vast area, which requires lots of T.O.W. to fish it proficiently, in my opinion. Knowing structure and currents, well help you figure out the routes they travel day after day and take the guess work out of it. Knowing the dominant bait and imitating it exactly will put you in the ballpark
Hope this will help you the next time you visit my office.
As we walked out we checked 4 different creek channels, sluice ways, dips, troughs that they cruise through in search of food on the rising tide. At each spot we found a few fish to try to present the fly too. I have walked past these areas many times at the low and never thought that it could hold fish. Only until I looked at the overall flat and studied where they enter it, and the slight change in depth did I realize the path that they would use at each stage of the tide.
Another GREAT day of camaraderie was shared while being surrounded with the breathtaking beauty of this incredible world class destination fishery!
Most of the day was spent blind casting into areas that had a compressed, concentrated water flow. Areas where the water is funneled and has to speed-up to get over or around an object. Most Bass equate moving water with food, as it’s this moving water that delivers their next meal to them. These areas are considered prime feeding stations, similar to your favorite restaurant. The resident Bass dine on whatever the days tide serves them.
Worked two areas that had this signature dinner bell and was rewarded with a dozen fish. We did sight fish for 20 Minutes on the return walk to the boat pick-up and spotted 5 fish. Most seasoned flats anglers and guides all agreed that it was a slow day for catch’in but as usual an OUTSTANDING day for learn’in!!
Most anglers go running when they see birds diving into the water picking up bait. Before I run, I look at the depth of the water they are diving into. If it's 3 feet or less, (normally) there are no fish underneath them. The bait is simply trapped between the sand and surface. If the water is 3-1/2 feet or more, (normally) there are fish underneath them. If cormorants are underneath the diving birds, I figure that the birds above are picking up the left overs from the cormorants. (normally) And no fish are there. If a cormorant stays subsurface for 15 seconds or more, then there isn't much bait present. If it dives and comes up within 5 seconds or less, I figure there is a good amount of bait present and the fish are there or will be shortly. Maybe a good area to prospect.
Catch of the season:
Peter Yaffe reports in with a tremendous 220 lb. Tarpon caught out on Nantucket and picking up a string of bonefish at one of my secret flats. Pete fought and released a great blue whale yesterday but reported that it was just a small one, since he only had a 9 wt.
Stay tuned for more important lessons learned on this never-ending virtual fishing trip with your host Randy "The Yankee Angler" and friends.
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