Happy Thursday folks! As much as I hate to admit it, today really feels like fall, at least it does up here in the hilltowns where I live. Let’s dive right in!
I spent Tuesday saltwater fishing on a boat off the coast of Niantic CT in search of black sea bass and bluefish. We left the dock at 6:30 am and it was chilly. It got worse as the rain headed in and the ocean got choppy, but the fish were biting! We fished off the bottom with clams and early morning caught a good mix of black sea bass and porgies. Once the fishing cooled off and the rain finally let up, we trolled for bluefish with very little luck, but when we switched to jigging we absolutely slammed them. We caught our limit for 10 people, and we probably lost half as many at the boat. It was a great day on the water, despite the weather, and the first time in a hot minute that I have had a rod and reel in my hand. Can’t wait to do it again!
Shawn the Fisherman got out once in Western Mass this week, hitting a Berkshires lake in the rain on Monday. He reported finding smaller fish in open water on a suspending jerkbait. My wingman for the day found a couple bigger fish nestled deep in the weeds that he was able to coax out with a frog.
Nelson’s report this week came from his weekend spent on Lake Champlain for the Elite Kayak Fishing Championships which was a 2 day cumulative tournament. The best 5 bass each day to combine a total of 10 bass for the tourney.
He reports that the fishing was very tough for most, including himself. During pre fishing he found some fish in areas that he had thought they would be and said, at that time, he had high hopes for the tournament.
Saturday morning Nelson headed off shore to a spot he had landed bites during pre fishing and he marked a decent school of fish. He let go of a drop shot rig into the depths and before it hit the bottom a decent sized smallmouth grabbed it and he had his first keeper 15 minutes into the day. Things were looking good! Unfortunately that would be the only fish he would hook from that school. They all disappeared after I hooked that first one. On to plan B Nelson had found some bass on docks so he decided to try and hit every dock he could. He ended up traveling just about 5 miles of shoreline hitting every dock along the way. This produced only 3 bites and 2 fish on the board for him, having lost the third, a heavy fish, in some weeds next to a dock. Nelson ended Saturday having covered 13.5 miles total for 3 fish on the board,which put him in 9th place, and tied for lunker with a 20 inch 5lbs. 2 oz. largemouth.
Sunday he says he had the same plan: check offshore and then head to the docks but he didn’t find any fish offshore after checking a few areas. He checked his map and found some docks about 2.5 miles away in a new area so he was on the move again and on his way there he caught his first keeper on a grass flat at 10 am, 4 hours into the day. After reaching the docks I notice bait ( a lot of bait) everywhere. ” There has to be bass here” Nelson said that after seeing a decent bass chase his lure but not commit, he spent the next 2 hours changing lures, colors, shapes, and action. I knew there were bass there , I just had to figure out how to get them to bite. After almost 2 hours Nelson got a bite, and said it was a giant but unfortunately the fish came off in the weeds; 5 minutes later another bite. He ended up getting two more bites including the first bass he saw chasing his lure and a giant largemouth putting him in 10th place for day 2. All but one of his fish were caught on a drop shot rig or a weightless soft plastic stick bait.
Nelson ended the tournament in 6th place overall, and I took the lunker pool with a 22.5 inch 6lbs. 4oz. Largemouth. The fishing was really tough and given the caliber of anglers in this tournament I am very happy with my finish.I want to thank everyone behind the scenes at Elite Kayak Fishing and all the sponsors. This was a great trail and I can’t wait until next year. I also want to thank Shawn Dominick, Tim O’Keefe, Russ Hatch, Mike Mariani and everyone else that spent time with us and shared great laughs and great food.
With the cooler temps forecasted in the next few days the fall transition should be going into full gear. Be sure to get out there, you might just catch the biggest bass of your life. Good luck everyone!
Ryan the Butcher reports that it has been an awesome week for him in Central Mass, tallying over 50 bass from last Wednesday in a mix of deep to relatively shallow waters. He said that the water temperatures have been in the low 70’s and this morning he found high 60’s.
In the shallow water Ryan says he has been burning crank bakes into the shallows and they have been getting slammed as soon as they hit the 6 to 8 foot depth.
On the other end of things, in the deep water, he has been finding bass in structures and ledges in about 25 to 28 feet of water using drop shot tactics. Ryan kicked off this month great, with 10 fish already over 4lbs. I have 2 tournaments coming this weekend that I have been pre fishing for and the bite has not disappointed !! Fall patterns are almost here and they are showing signs of being aggressive and hungry already !
Jerry hit a few different places this week! First he fished a lake in Goshen which he said hasn’t been producing for him this year like in the past. He reports that the water tempwerature was 70 degrees and that he usually does well there in the fall when water temps break the sub 70 mark. Jerry said spent three hours on the water, from late afternoon until dark, with only 4 largemouth under 12 inches, a few perch, and bluegills.
His second outing was a crystal clear pond in Berkshire county which has largemouth and smallmouth. The water temperatures were 67 to 69 degrees and visibility was easily 10 feet. Jerry hit the water at first light and had three decent largemouth on green pumpkin ned baits in the first half hour. Moving up the lake to a more rocky bottom mixed with weeds, where the smallmouth tend to be, he landed five fish ranging from 10 to 16 inches. These were caught on a few different colors: green pumpkin, chartreuse, and black and blue. Jerry said that this was all before the sun was on the water and reported that once the sun got up overhead the bite shut down and he only caught 4 more fish throughout the day. I believe the fish are much harder to fool because they are able to see so well in that clear water.
Last for Jerry this week he fished with his uncle on a private lake in Westhampton on Sunday morning, where they have permission to fish. He said that they thought it would be one bass after another but it was a fairly slow day. They landed eleven largemouth all of which were 15 inches plus, with four over 18 plus. It was just a fun morning on the water!
Western Mass is looking at high 60’s and low 70’s for the weekend with no rain in the forecast until Monday. The cooler temperatures are going to have the fish start feeding to put on their winter weight, so don’t miss out. Get out and fish!