I had an interesting week running all over New England last week. The night tides are all wrong for me, but I'm putting in my time. I'm still almost entirely scouting, and have fished all new spots this week. I think I need to stop; I have too many spots as it is. It still feels really early, regardless what the calendar says. There are a lot of tiny fish around, but I have stayed the course and stayed away from them...for the most part... (click for week report)
Early in the week I had a disastrous trip to the coast- my windshield wiper almost fell off and I had to tape it on with hockey tape I use for finger protection, I got stuck in an accident for almost a 1/2 hour, and missed my exit. So I was super late getting to my spot. But once there, I saw pods of what I'm thinking were bunker milling around. A lot of these small (maybe 100 fish) pods kept going by. I don't think they were herring. I was skunked but again I spent a lot of time running around and trying to see and cast into as much water as possible. Spent 5x as much time walking as casting. Not worried about not catching. Not yet.
I spend the next few nights at this spot, but when I went back I walked wwwaaaayyyyyy more to access a spot-within-spot that is a lot of work. There was greeted by tons of breaking fish! They were tricky and small but I did land a few and had a bunch of hits on swimming plugs. The fish pictured was the largest fish I think on that first night. The few fish I caught here weren't migratory fish. I bet some of the breaking fish were, but not the ones I landed- I saw no sea lice. It was fun night, but a ton of work and I'm not sure I'd go back...75 min of driving, 15 biking, 30 walking...it is a lot. The barred owls and loons put on a real show though...
I figured out easier access only 15 minutes of biking and 10 minutes of walking the next night. I had fish breaking on my pencil popper immediately but no hook ups. My first cast with a new plug- which I'm going to keep secret because I think it could be a killer- landed me a small fish maybe 18". I had a ton of hits too, and then dropped a better schoolie maybe borderline keeper right at my feet. I had waded wwwaaayyyy out onto a sand flat. Looked like a decent fish. Then I moved around as fog rolled in and had a few more fish- maybe 4 or 5 can't remember (couldn't even remember to put in log)- and had about a billion hits. The fish landed were all 18-22". I don't find it fun catching micros, especially this time of year, and don't fish with the jig head/soft plastic combo so prevalent this time of year. If the tiny fish can't handle the Redfins or even the SP minnows...then I'm not interested. It almost gets annoying though- so many hits and so few hook ups.
I was sick of driving so the next night I drove to much closer spot, even though it was rolling the dice. I had a face off with a couple of coyotes on a trail as the sun went down and that was...adrenaline pumping? I felt I needed to be aggressive and teach them that I am not just another human. So I threw a couple rocks and when they just sauntered away I chased on my bike and then they REALLY ran. However, I saw them on the way out too! But that time they ran right away. Anyways, I fished a piece of structure at this spot I've never been to before. I was surprised to find tons of breaking fish again- I'm not sure they were all stripers though, I think there might have been something else mixed in- herring? Bunker? Shad? Not sure. It was a mad house for a few minutes as it got fully dark. I had a couple micro hits and snagged and then lost something. There were a lot of spearing in the rocks I was in. Felt fishy as fuck! I had a savage hit on a redfin later, but nothing else. It feels cold and early still for this spot. After 2 hours I went to my regular spot on this shore and it was dead, and felt like winter time. Last year I had fish here in April. Oh, I forgot to mention, I was in my wetsuit! First time this year. I love it so much more than the damn waders. Was so happy to be done with them. May not wear them again until October.
I ran back to the early week spots and had a PITA trip again. I was late and tired. Then it looked like I might get stormed out. But it never happened. I had only one 23-24" schoolie but again had a billion hits on SP minnows and redfins. I threw everything though- darter and metal lip and bucktail and needle, etc. I also saw pods of whatever swimming around again. It seemed like no matter where I went I had hits in this spot, but no hook ups- tiny fish. The water felt nice though, and it felt fishy. I'm enjoying my time. It feels like it needs another week at least to really get going. I'm a bit nervous, but I think early next week will be the real kick off to my season. I still haven't considered it the "real" kick off yet.
More coming next week!