Sunday, November 30, 2008

maine striper fishing reports

Coastwide report from Lateral-lines and Capt Eric Wallace

Saltwater Fishing Reports

Same kind of bass action in central and New Jersey as we had last week. Lots of big stripers under bunker schools down there and folks live-lining them are doing a number on’em. Inshore, the action is slow as the water temp is beginning to get up there. Still, lots of schoolie bass blitzing under birds off of Breezy and the Rockaways. There are scattered pods of bunker just east of Breezy, but there doesn’t appear to be much on them at the moment. Hopefully that will change. The sand flats on the backside of the point are really beginning to work well. Lots of sandeels up on them and plenty of cruisers. Very technical and difficult fishing though. If you don’t have you’re A-game, don’t expect to catch fish. Believe it or not, Jamaica Bay fished really well this week. Lots of schoolie bass and big-ass bluefish along the sod banks. We’ve been catching the shit out of them this week on poppers and sliders. Nice to not have to burn all that gas! Across the island it’s been a similar situation with the schoolie bass. The fish only seem to be in or around the inlets though. On the north shore there’s been some pretty good schoolie action in the early mornings, and there were a bunch of reports of some really good cinder-worm hatches going off this week and last. Out east there are some really big bass on the South Side. The flats fishing on the inside is standard for this time of the year. A pretty good amount of bait, but mostly schoolies. There are some big bluefish as well, which make for great fun in the skinny stuff. On the Connecticut side, it’s schoolies to the west and big bass to the east. Someone took a fish in the high 60 pound range last week at orient point. In Rhode Island the fishing has been very consistent. Plenty of fish in the 20-pound range eating plugs and flies. Block Island is just sick right now. If you can manage, get out there! There are some quality bass being taken from the shore as well as by boat. And, the bluefin are beginning to fill in, and anglers are getting some legitimate shots. On the Cape, there have been major bass blitzes off or Race Point and other such rips. Some of these blitzes are composed of fish north of 20-pounds. The tuna fishing has been slow though. Still some fish popping here and there but very difficult to catch. No official reports from the Boston area, but unofficially, there appears to still be plenty of schoolies around. Not much in the way of big fish. Unless of course you’re a bait guy. The Merrimack/Joppa area is relatively slow as well. Increasing water temps are undoubtedly having an effect. In Maine, they continue to have the worst bass season in recent memory. It’s an enigma really, but it’s not a good sign. Still, the aces were able to pull some nice fish off the flats.

Rhode Island Fishing Report
Capt. Greg Snow from Snowfly Charters reports from Block Island:
July 7, 2008. Game On Kids! Block Island is now seeing some of the best striper fishing it has seen in the past decade. Heavy fog has kept the boat traffic to almost nothing while square miles of sand eels siphon in some absolutely remarkable numbers of striped bass. Lots of legitimate shots of fish tickling 40pds have been a common occurrence on the fly with cookie cutter 20 pound fish being the norm. Hot southerly breezes are pushing in the fog and swell which churns up a sand eel cocktail that bass and surprisingly few bluefish are stuffing there faces on daily. The BFT action is quiet only because the fog and quality bass fishing has left most fisherman staying tight to BI. I can tell you however that with these sand eels getting chewed on every day and night that Charlie is sniffing them out and they are not far from the island. I will be looking for fast fish on Friday with a hardcore client that understands the difficulty in trying to find these fish.

Ray Stachelek from Cast-a-Fly Charters checks in this week from Block Island, he reported:
BLOCK – Buster on the 4th of July
Since the start of the striper season back in early May, all of our angling has been in upper Narragansett Bay. And why not! There was some good striper fishing here in our own back yard. There was no reason to leave. There were plenty of double digit stripers following the silversides and bunker when they cooperated. But every day was different. The striper fishery lacked the consistency of last year. Still there was no reason to complain. Sure, gas prices were higher this year, but nothing compared to the record fuel prices we would see in July. Fishing was hit or miss but you didn’t have to run far. June’s weather pushed us further south toward Jamestown and cooler waters. Providence still had its flotilla of bait dunkers and the place continued to fish well. We never got the boat north of Gaspee Point. It was just too stress to enjoy the experience in a war zone of boats. Fast forward, the summertime has changed the fishing season once again. We splashed the boat for the first time on the ocean front on Fourth of July weekend. The weather/winds were favorable as we made the break through the West Wall gap. We pointed our bow toward Block Island. The seas were calm as we headed into the fog of Block Island Sound. Today we had two extra pairs of young eyes on watch. Jeff Paul and his friend Steve were college friends at Boston University, somehow landed work together in New York City. It took Jeff awhile to get acquainted with our GPS system. He kept saying TOM… TOM, not Garmin. We don’t use that stuff out here! That’s only for street wise people. After a 14 mile run we started working the high cliffs on the western side of the island. Steve had no experience whatsoever with a fly rod but did have some knowledge with spinning tackle. He talked about his many adventures on Martha’s Vineyard casting plugs into the surf. Our drifts were slow. We started to cover more ground by trolling small tubes on mono. It is a good method of locating a few stripers rather quickly in calm waters. It wasn’t long before Steve’s rod was bent over fighting a feisty striper. After a few stripers on the tube we felt we had found them. Steve switched to casting plugs while Jeff started to fly fish. Jeff landed some nice fish in the next two hours. The action curtailed. The captain gave the orders for all lines in. As you would have guessed, the last cast before moving produced an experience Jeff would never forget. Jeff has been tying a few flies for several years now. He’s finally getting deeper into all aspects of the game. He decided to tie on a very large deceiver type of green and yellow he dreamed up during the winter months. Jeff has worked to be an excellent caster. Soon that large bulky fly flew through the air 90 feet. After a short pause to let it sink and a few strips, the line went tight like never before. This is Jeff’s best catch to date on a fly especially noted that he created and tied the pattern. Oh’ what a feeling! Jeff Paul is tired but all smiles after a lengthy fight with a 19 lbs Block Island striper. He released the brute unharmed on Independence Day giving her its freedom. Steve enjoyed the day casting plugs into the clear waters. He is now contemplating taking up fly fishing after watching his friend enjoy the experience.
The 4th was a Blockbuster for sure.

Massachusetts Fishing Report
From the Vineyard, Capt. Tom Rapone from Highly Migratory Guide Service reports:
It’s been a busy and productive couple of weeks here on Martha’s Vineyard. True summer fishing patterns are beginning to persist now, and as water temps climb steadily, those willing to get out on the water EARLY in the AM are getting the best shots at quality fish on fly and light tackle. We’ve had numerous fly rod fish topping 20-pounds in last couple of weeks, but low light combined with fast-moving water has definitely been key. Predominant baits have been squid, sandeels and ocean herring.
The summer bluefish are now in full swing, and some of the east-end shoals are holding a mind-boggling amount of 4 to 10-pound choppers. In addition, sandeels are absolutely stacked up in the oceanside rips; at the rate the water has been warming, the first bonito of the season should be just around the corner.

Capt. John Mendelson from Boston Fishstix Guide Service reports:
The fishing has slowed some overall but we are still catching good numbers most trips. Things were on the slow side over the 4th of July holiday weekend with the boat traffic but have rebounded since. We are finding bass feeding on a combination of small mackeral, pogies, and young herring. This morning the Ocean Lure Sand Eel lure did a good job imitating the juvy herring. Still not many bluefish in the harbor which is unusual for this time of year. The tuna fishing has been on the slow side too, though the fish are here, just not feeding hard. We will be running a mix of bass/bluefish trips and tuna trips over the next few weeks. Even though the fishing is not red hot, get out while you can. You never know what you’re going to find!

Maine Fishing Report
Capt. Eric Wallace from Coastal Fly Angler reports:
Reports coast wide have been improving on a daily bases, more fish are moving in and we had a good week of stable weather witch prove to provide some fun fishing. We are still behind in the numbers of fish we should have around but we do have some very nice fish on the flats in Casco Bay and lower Kennebec River, the bite has a very short A.M window. The outer ledges have fish on them but the water temp has been cool, Capt John Ford was running out looking for tuna and said the water outside was 62 got near the outer islands of Casco Bay hit 56 then back to 64 near the flats. More reports of schoolies and slot size fish state wise and today we got our first fish bluefish of the year in Casco bay and reports of blues in small schools north to south, Looking forward to next weeks tides and warm weather and the continue push of fresh fish, things are improving up here for sure.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Maine Striped bass fishing

Maine Striper Fishing:

One of the few areas that held fish in the summers of 2007 and 2008 was Casco Bay. Like all of Maine, Casco Bay was loaded with big bait. The difference was we had fish to cast to as well. In 2008 you could count on two hands the number of fish that came to the boat under 20 inches, the story was learning how to feed bigger fish that were using the warmer flats to digest after having an all-night feed on adult menhaden. A stealthy approach and longer leaders became as important as the tide and lower sun angles.

I'm not going to talk about flies as these are the bread and butter and some secrets must be kept by the guy on the poling platform. Myself and Capt. John Ford spent hours working out some patterns that we feel changed our season!! As the bait anglers sent us photos of their big fish we where able to respond with 35-40 inch fly-caught photos of our anglers. I'm not going to kid you, it was work to find fish that would eat on a daily basis, but they were there, not too often showing themselves unless you found them first.

October: Cape Cod Sand Flats

After working hard all summer on well-fed fish in Maine, it sure was fun to have some easy fishing on Cape Cod. Getting down there at a perfect time for the sand-flats to turn on, good tides and nice weather made for a few 40-plus fish days in real skinny water. A light skiff or a sub 18 with a jack plate and a good poler is the only way to fish the sand of Pleasant Bay when tides are right for sight fishing. If you have not experienced this fishery it's a must. Feel free to give me a call anytime for more info on fishing Cape Cod 207-671-4330.

Maine Striper fishing reports May -June 2008

Large bait is moving into the rivers of Casco Bay, the Presumpscot,Royal, Cousins and New Meadows all have large bait runs of river herring and alewives. These big bait bring some big stripers, big flies and sink tips fished in the river channels over structure are the norm. If you are like many of the flats anglers I fish and would rather watch paint dry then fish a 375 gr sink tip all day. The estuaries and flats of Casco Bay come alive with smaller bait and active striper feeds, much early then most other area's on Maine's coast. With flats that are measured in miles warming the water, and moving the Bass onto them and out of the rivers in search of the Tidewater Silversides, Juvie Herring and large Grass shrimp hatch all add to the early season attractions of lower Casco Bay.

As we move deeper into June a New or full moon brings the worm hatches of Casco Bay. These hatches or worm swarms bring good size happy stripers onto the flats, and there here to eat! The right tide and sun angle this can be some of the most exciting shallow water fishing there is on the striper coast. Remember to check out my web blog for other reports and to give some feed back on the fishing your finding.

Mid Summer (overview)

Plying the shallows on a sunny day is another game entirely. This is as close as you’ll get to bonefishing north of Biscayne Bay and a big bruiser-cruiser can be just as tough to fool as any double-digit downtown Islamorada bone. These fish are stalking the flats in search of crabs, baby flounders and sand shrimp and the ‘ole white and chartreuse Clouser Minnow approach usually doesn’t cut it. A stealthy approach, a long lead with a drab, nondescript fly “It could be a delicious crab or flounder or shrimp” pattern and the ability to read and feed the fish will result in a tight line. This isn’t a numbers game, and for my anglers this could be the pinnacle of the striper fishing experience, with every fish caught sight-casting worth ten taken on the blind.

Fall (overview)
There resaons why Saltwater Sportsman Magazine 2005-2007 has called Casco Bay the best bet for action packed striper fishing in the month of September. As the dog days of summer slide into autumn, striper fishing north of Cape Cod usually means three things: baby bunker blitzes, sight-casting the skinny or hunting for Momma with flies the size of your average Maine brook trout. Come mid-August it’s common to see large schools of stripers (and blues, and occasional bluefin tuna) pinning nervous mossy-brown balls of immature menhaden against the shoreline or up to the top offshore, wedged by a crowd of cormorants. Wildly wheeling terns and gulls add to the carnage to the point where the whole scene is so dense it’s more likely you’ll hook a bird than a bass. Small (two to four inch) wide-bodied streamers, as well as surface offerings Making September fishing in Maine one of the truly must do for the traveling saltwater fly angler

Feel free to call or email with any questions:
Capt Eric Wallace
Posted by fish and ski at 5:29 PM
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