It’s extremely mind boggling to me that this is the last Thursday in May, especially because we have had such a SLOW spring. We went from scorching hot weather over the weekend, back to more mild temps up here in the hilltowns over the course of the last few days. The jig heads have been extremely busy, with lots to report leading into our holiday weekend!
I spent last Saturday on the ocean after stripers. Four women, including myself, took a charter out of a marina in Boston and spent the morning in the bay. The bite was on, and although we only caught one keeper we had a BLAST. We also froze our butts off, which was hard to believe considering how hot it was back home on Saturday morning! We hit the majority of our fish on swimbaits as we trolled through the bay.
Ryan the Butcher also happened to skip the freshwater this week and headed straight to the salt, with one mission in mind: to catch Cape Cod’s giant springtime stripers! He reported constant fish all day long, with multiple fish above 25 pounds, and then the one monster came to light, the one everyone dreams of: A 50 inch, 44lb giant Cape Cod striped bass! Ryan said that all their fish were caught on top water spooks and plugs. Get out there and target these amazing fish while they are hungry!! A short ride from central mass can produce a fish or a lifetime! Next up for Ryan is a tournament Sunday and a local central mass lake.
Cousin Jon was able to get out once for a bank session on the Connecticut River. Although he said he was looking for some stripers, which he didn’t find, he did land some aggressive smallies on a swimbait.
Bobby Roast Beef also reported a quick bank session this week to a spot that he reports he hasn’t visited in a month. Well he managed a half dozen in about 2 hours and reports that these fish were in highly stained water from the storms over the weekend; they were also unbelievably shallow and nowhere to be found except where there was a hard bottom. If they’re not actively spawning, they’re a veritable hotbed of reproductive dynamite and the wick is almost gone. Bobby said that all of the fish he landed were caught on jigs and soft plastics worked very slowly, dragged across the bottom.
Andy was about to get out on Otis reservoir with a friend after on Tuesday for a couple of hours, where he reports that the water was 67 degrees. Andy said that there were lots of fish sitting on the bottom and although a few chased jerkbaits, there were no hookups there. We ended the day with just a few panfish on small spinner baits rigs for our efforts, still it was better than stacking firewood.
Nelson fished out of state this past weekend with a few others. Shawn, Tim O’Keefe, Russ Hatch, and Nelson headed out to Lake Messalonskee in Maine for the EKF and KBF tournaments. He said that Lake Messalonskee is primarily a smallmouth fishery so finesse is the name of the game, and with this knowledge he set out to find structure in deeper water. Prefishing the day before the tournament was short but productive and Nelson found some rock piles and boulders with fish on or near them. I even made a couple test casts to see if I would get a bite and I did. I felt very optimistic for tournament day.
On tournament morning he said he just happened to find a giant boulder covered with fish when I was traveling from one spot to another so he circled back around and on his first cast I hooked up. Unfortunately for Nelson, that fish came unhooked when it jumped out of the water as did the next two which hurt even more. Those two bass were much bigger than the first and would have helped in the tournament. Nelson said that his inexperience with the drop shot rig led to losing those fish because he wasn’t setting the hook when he got a bite, just reeling up and keeping pressure and when the bass jumped the hook would come out. The fourth bass he hooked up with did not get away though as when he felt it bite he made sure to set the hook like he was fishing a jig and it stayed on, even with a couple jumps. Unfortunately that would be the last bass that he would hook into for the rest of the tournament.
Nelson said the fish moved off of the deeper structure and he was unable to find them again. He reports that a lot of the winning bass were caught on beds, and although he did find some beds they were all empty when he checked them. This was a great experience and I can’t wait to go back next year. If you’re ever in Maine make sure to check out Lake Messalonskee. It’s a great fishery, especially for smallmouth.
Shawn also reported fishing in Maine this past weekend for the combined EKF/KBF event on Lake Messalonskee. He says that the smallies were on beds, and reminds us to keep an eye out for that when on the water.
Also, we made Bass and Perch pizzas from a couple nibblers we hit pre fishing. YUM!
Jerry reports that he was able to give striped bass fishing a try on the Bass River in Yarmouth where he launched his kayak from Wilbur Park boat launch and fishing pier. He said that the current is swift at this launch when the tide is going out due to the river being necked down by a bridge right there. I really don’t have any salt water gear so I just went with some old medium and medium heavy poles. Jerry threw a blue and white jerkbait he got from a prize pack from a Jig and Bigs tournament last season and a Zara spook; the jerkbait was working for him and he caught 9 stripers ranging from 14 to 22 inches.
Jerry also hit a couple freshwater ponds, one being a clearwater smallmouth fishery and the other has both large and smallmouth. The clearwater pond water temperatures were 60-62 degrees, after a night of rain, and he caught only one smallmouth at 16.5 inches. He said that a couple of local guys came off the water at the same time and mentioned to him that the bite wasn’t what it should be for that pond. The second pond had a water temperature 72 degrees and unfortunately the water was just awful with tree pollen and Jerry got skunked on that one.
Tim’s week of fishing consisted of his club tournament at Otis reservoir on an early scorching hot May day. He said that the bite was tough as the water temperatures shot up so quickly. He says that the bass were either done with their spring dance, or they were very skittish. Tim’s bites came on an early morning buzz bait and soft plastics fished weed less around cover in water as shallow as 6 inches. I was able to cull all day but was unable to get the bigger fish to bite. Third place was all that was in the cards on this hot day as persistence paid off staying shallow all day
The stocked trout are still biting, mostly on bottom rigged powerbait from shore according to a few people I have talked to and there is still a chance to get stripers out of the CT river! This weekend looks like there will be a mix of rain, clouds, and sunshine depending on the day so don’t waste any time. Get out and fish!
Don’t forget to catch the latest Jigs and Bigs episode! You can find it on Spotify and Apple Music! Trust me, once you listen you’ll be hooked and this show will be the highlight of your week.
Most important, stay safe out there folks and enjoy your holiday weekend. Tight lines!