Striperheads Watch Out For Sharks

This time three weeks ago I was on my way back from my now annual trip to Cape Cod for the Striperheads clave. It’s more than a clave but a group of friends having an annual get together to catch up but it’s clave atmosphere is still there because new comers are always welcome. There was one new comer this year for me although she had actually been last year but the day after I left. The fishing itself seems to have been more consistent with fish being caught in several places and seemingly slightly higher numbers. I also noticed more bigger fish.

The first full days fishing for myself and Bill took place in an tidal area near Wellfleet, the area seemed very flat with a semi soft bottom with Bill deciding to try his Kayak later in the week. The best spot was the inlet type location with a sluice type thing running under the road. I managed a few fish from here on the a white beastermaster.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

On the Tuesday I fished from Morris Island because we had heard that it had been good fishing over the previous few weeks but a chance encounter on the way down to the ocean and a chat found that the pogies had left the area. I managed to find a small feeding frenzy about a mile along the beach but no takers. I fished up and down looking for fish but nothing. I was later picked up and we went back to the camp site for debriefing. Wayne informed us, once he appeared, that the mill pond was very productive.

Thursday found Bill and myself back at Wellfleet , on the way we had seen a mill pond, salt marsh area that looked promising. We even noticed a large fish swirl when we drove past. Bill visited the spot the following day and manged a few good Stripers. What we found when we got to Wellfleet was that the tide was coming in and pretty high already so we spent some time doing a recon of the area. Wish I had seen it a couple of days before when I was wading.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Oh well, at least we found a new beach to fish near by. We gave the beach a couple of hours but nothing took or showed it self so we went back to the camp site.

Friday was spent doing alot of recon for new places to fish including the Bass river which looked really good but that was going to have to wait. The reason for this was that the weather had turned with heavy over night ran fall. The cooking area didn’t look to good but we still managed to get a coffee.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Saturday morning actually found myself and Bill at Herring river where we found fish. While the tide was coming in we managed to pick up several fish but once the water was pretty high the bites tailed off. We put this down to the fish being dispersed and not so tightly packed. Saturday also marked the annual Striperheads clave diner in the evening. I missed last years but this year it was just nice to sit, eat and spend time with friends.

Sunday was the last full day of fishing. Today I joined Ron on a trip to Morris Island. We walked from the car park and made our way along the beach towards the entrance to the harbour with Harding beach opposite but we didn’t quite get there because I show fish about half way along. A few casts and I took a nice Striper of about 17 inches. Then nothing, I continued walking and looking for fish but had to turn around due to time constraints. On the way back I noticed a couple of bow waves in the shallows and saw not two Stripers but half a dozen at least. I spooked the lot. After this I spotted a couple more fish which Ron went for but didn’t get them. These were big fish of at least 40 inches.

Monday was go home day. On the way myself and Splinta stopped at Brewsers Flats, I am still in denial that fish were feeding. But they were, we spotted a very good fish swirl along with several others. Oh, Well theres’ still next year.

Ashley

Advertisements

Is It Really That Close

Its not very often I don’t keep track of time but just recently I’ve been really busy and suddenly today it hit me. Its less than 3 weeks before I make my annual trip to Cape Cod USA for Striperheads. I have done so little for this trip I cann’t believe it. Sure I got the flight booked, the passport and other documents checked but flies? Nope, so Sunday saw the first of this years Striper flies done. One thing that has come from the trip from last year was the searching of new waters was that a rethink re flies and tactics was needed. While I was fishing one spot last year I really wished that I had a flat wing because the situation was perfect, possibly I could use these in other locations but where the water flows they apparently work well. So I tied a razzle dazzle, well a variation off one because a couple of hackle colours were missing so near enough colours were used and crystal flash used instead.

pic-for-blog

Anyway, I have mentioned Striperheads before, I really cann’t wait, friends, fishing and a break from work!

Ashley

2016 Striperhead Clave Dates Set

This past week I have been wondering if the Striperheads 2016 Clave is going ahead because I normally have heard something. Now I have, the clave is being held Thursday September the 29th through to Sunday October the 2nd. It is late this year has it is hoped that there will be more chance of getting lower temperatures that are more associated with fall and hungry Striped Bass.

The clave headquarters is Nickerston Camp site, Area 4 with a pot luck food get together on the Saturday. Most people stay for longer, I hope to get the time of and make the long journey over the pond but it will be for a week only.

Ashley

RIP Fly Fishing in Saltwaters

No, I’m not talking about my saltwater fly fishing as it is something I’m deeply passionate about. I’m talking about the magazine Fly Fishing in Saltwaters. I heard rumours on the internet before Christmas about its demise and a couple of weeks ago I received an email confirming it. The email said that it was being amalgamated with another magazine, one that is for bait fishers. I don’t know about you but I won’t be buying it as I’m not interested in baitfishing.
When I started out flyfishing in the salt there was two excellent magazines and now there is none, zilch and I am unhappy about this! A few years ago the saltwater flyfisher also had an excellent flytying website that acted as a central point for all things saltwater but not now. Everything we want is scattered across the internet and nothing really dedicated to the subject.

I was thinking the other day, wouldn’t it be nice if I could change this. An on-line saltwater magazine that covered saltwater flyfishing for the normal guy. Articles about adventure, tying and various other things that are off concern to the saltwater flyfisher. I welcome thoughts on this so please comment.

Ashley

Caped Crusader Returns Part 2

Sunday marked the start of week two of the trip and I was still hopeful. I knew the fish had to be out there somewhere but where. One thing about this trip was that with the fishing as it was and the usual places not producing it encouraged the exploration of new places. The trouble is that each time I checked a new place out I could see some where else to try. Well, it is a nice problem because it just means that I have to go back. But how many times can I do this before the fish population dive make it no fish weeks?

Sunday morning was missed due to illness but during the afternoon Hardings beach was paid a visit. No fish activity was seen on the way to the cut but the dead ray was still laying on the beach and not looking or smelling good! As I approached the cut or inlet I really slowed the walk and searched the water close in. From experience I know that fish hunt here. This area has flats by the side of the channel and I have seen fish here, on occasion, good ones and today I wasn’t disappointed. About a hundred yards from the entrance I saw the shape of a good fish (30-35 inches) moving along the floating weed line. A few casts proved it wasn’t in the mood for my fly. A little further along and two more shapes were seen. A couple of casts produced a follow. Actually, two follows because two Striper’s could be seen chasing the fly, both 20-35″ fish but all I got was an adrenalin rush!
After this excitement, I moved on round to behind the beach area to start the search for fish. The process was simple, cast, step, cast, step a bit more and so on. Just before I got to the pile of laid out timber I had a fish (my first Striper for a long time), Beastmaster again! This spot produced two more Striper’s before I saw some surface activity 50 yards or so along the beach.

StriperAt about this time a couple were having their evening stroll and called me over. I had a chat with them and found he was a fisher himself. He told me the opposite of what the guy at Saints Landing had told me in that the population was still on the down. So what is the real situation in regarding the Striper population? The evening from this point proved excellent with many fish, with the action I forgot to count but who cares? I sent a message up to my friend Mark to come on down and joined in and also caught fish, a couple of times he had two on the same cast. These fish were all schoolies to 20″ but fun.

Tuesday started slightly cool but much the same as previous days and it was an early start with Wayne dropping me off at Forest Beach at 7ish. A walk along the beach produced nothing but at the end it looked really fishy.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOnce again I caught nothing although I later learn’t I should have gone further up the creek. After a while Wayne came down in his kayak and said that he had a few fish in the salt pond and that there were two shoals of Herring there and he could get really close before they spooked. He thought they might be mating but we later found that they did this during the spring, so what were they doing?

Wednesday saw me playing safe with the urge to explore the creek some more so returned to Forest Beach. Again nothing along the beach, a few casts from the rocky jetty produced nothing. I went up the creek a bit and started catching where some current was on a corner and running into deeper water. I had several fish before low tide stopped play or the fish had all run out to open water. Wayne came down a fish for a while and said that the Herring were still there so I had to go and have a look. A first, I have never been in this style of kayak before, much joy!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe afternoon was spent at Morris Island, much of the time was spent exploring as I couldn’t really remember much from before but ended up at the point opposite the inlet of Harding Beach. I was told that from the point and long for several hundred yards often held fish but today was not the case. On the way back I noticed a school of fish busting then realised not busting but trying to escape an attack by 2 or 3 seals. For over a hour I watched as the school was decimated. Just wished that a Great White had come along and did something about those seals!

Thursday, we returned to the same place but the fish were fewer, I also broke my fly line so after 8 years or so of use I realised it was time to replace it. Wayne fished the outlet with me and had a few schoolies from the other side of the creek. During the afternoon it was time to find Fishing the Cape has they had moved. Found a Orvis wonder line, I had not heard good things about this line but thought I would check it any way. It was found to be a new generation (or mk3 if you must), so fished without coils but it felt thinker than my old line so may well get replaced for a SA Stripped Bass clear intermediate. Checked out a new place but can’t remember the name although it was further south/west of Forest and Hardings beaches.

Friday, much the same as before with a trip to Forest Beach and the Creek, more fish than the day before with the tide being an hour later than the previous day but still on the out going. Once again I caught on the Beastmaster and the Madeel. Unfortunately fishing at this point had to stop, my arm injury problem had finally got the better of me and I was surprised that it had lasted this long during the trip.

So, the end of a great trip although the fishing was somewhat patchy, time spent with friends is precious and all the more when you haven’t seen them for years. I would like to thank Howard, Mark, Mel, Mike and Wayne for allowing me to tag along and dropping me off at places and to Splinta for great food and more transport. Has well as Ron and Bill for great food and company. Sorry if I have forgotten anyone, let me know.

See you guys next year!

Ashley

Caped Crusader Returns Part 1.

I returned from trip a few days ago and now is the time to report. The trip was the first time in 6 years or so that I have been to Cape Cod fishing the salt with Striped Bass as the primary target although Bluefish are also welcome for their strength. As the report will show, the fishing was a little patchy. The weather was generally good with a few days of slightly stronger wind. This was more than a mere fishing trip it was to attend the Striperheads clave and to see friends that I hadn’t seen for a few years.

The trip began on Tuesday17th September when I took a BA flight direct to Boston where I caught the bus down to Hyannis with a further bus connection or two direct to Nickersons campsite. No fishing was done when I arrived as it was late afternoon.
On the Wednesday I hooked up with another clave attendee Howard, we took a trip to the Sandwich Harbour  close to the Cape Cod canal and fished the last hour or 2 of the incoming and a little of the out going but left as no fish had been seen. I had fished the mouth of the inlet but nothing. Despite looking interesting I didn’t fish the open beach, just has we were leaving we spoke to someone else and they told us that the inlet and the inside of the harbour area were the most productive areas with very little fishing taking place on the outer beach. Don’t know why as it really does look fishy. From here we moved on to a beach on the ocean side, all we found was pesky Seals which apparently are very friendly towards fisherman when they hook a fish which we didn’t!

Thursday dawned the same as the day before, warm and little wind…mocking the clave Meister who was without boat. Todays was the turn for Pamet Harbour, again no fish visible and blind casting produced nothing, so a trip to Ballston Beach was made. Again, no fish but seals were again present.

Friday, similar conditions, it was time to fish south beach, I have had good fishing here before but today was no the case. Seals, again! I had heard of the Striper population crash but the Bluefish as well? The beach was reach by parking on the road to Morris Island and walking around what is know as the Bowl. I was kind of hoping that the fishing would have improved with the opening of the new cut last February due a storm. Again, I saw no fish but another friend who was kayaking did see a few fish.
Another old favourite, Brewster Flats, was fished in the evening. I was dropped of by friends Mel and Mike so they could go of and deal with a breakage or something. While I was waiting I got talking (I seemed to do alot of that this trip but I learnt a few new bits of info). Interestingly I was told that I had timed the trip just right as this year was the one when the Striper population would begin improving (I was told a couple of days that it was still declining). Anyway, I was told the new lay out which proved useful and was also given 4 flies to try. Actually, I kept them to copy and they looked good. I may cover these in more detail when I do tie some of my own.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOnce the water had dropped with the tide I made myself out on to the flat, fishing as I went. I have to admit that I finally saw fish. Bluefish, but they were only snappers. Once I got out to the outer channel I saw someone hook into a what appeared to be a Striper. Later, the Snapper blue struck and I actually had a few myself. Mostly on a Madeel. Roughly an hour before low tide and not long before sunset, a few fish were seen busting bait but this didn’t seem to last very long. This activity resulted in the fishers suddenly springing to life for a short burst but nothing result apart from another striper in the other channel. It was shortly after this that I packed up due to my shoulder injury.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASaturday dawned much the same as the previous days although the wind was found to have changed to a north, north-easterly and somewhat stronger, again I was able to team up with Mel and Mike. First port of call was Forest Beach. The wind was found to be blowing directly onto the beach. It was decided that to benefit the less strong casters to move to a location on the Bay side. It did however, remind me of a day a few years ago when I visited Hardy’s beach with Sponge Bob  (the main difference was that it was bad rain) and found the Blues hitting baitfish up onto the beach. Today I should have looked closer. We later learnt from Bill that the Blues were at it again, although he had his success at Hardings. We made our way to Sesuit harbour. Plenty of bait was seen but no Stripers or Blues were in evidence. Apart from the titchy Snappers further along the beach. I thought that I would go exploring and found the beach further along  rocky and very fishy looking. I pinned this place into my mind for later exploration.

Towards Pains Creek

The view towards Pains Creek looked even better with plenty of gulls awaiting around for something to happen by the looks of things. The fishing stopped about 2 ish as we had to get back for the pot luck meal/get togeather. As is the tradition, we all went of fishing after. Most seemed to favour going to Hardings thanks to Bill’s earlier success but nothing was caught..

Thus ended week one, to be continued..

Ashley