Jigs and Bigs Fishing Report: 05.25.23

It’s time to get the weekly scoop with the Western MA fishing report!

My brother Karl was out yesterday on the CT river where he reported water in the mid 50’s and a low water line. He caught a few catfish on chunk bait, including a decent 7lber, and a smallie on a top water. 

Nelson got out a few times this week hitting two ponds in the valley and one in North Central MA. He said that all 3 ponds had a some things in common, water temperatures in the low to mid 60’s and A LOT of empty beds with plenty of small bass to be caught, mostly shallow but some out deeper too. Nelson plucked about a dozen out of all 3 ponds, but just couldn’t find the bigger bass that were willing to bite. He reported that most of his bites came on a weightless soft plastic but he also caught some on a chatterbait, NED, and drop shot in 1-15 feet of water. You should start seeing bluegills on beds. Fishing the edges of these bedding areas can be a great way to get some decent bass. Give it a try. Good luck out there!!

Jerry’s first outing this week was Saturday fishing with his uncles, while they fished in a boat and he fished out of a kayak.  He said the weather was cloudy with showers and the water temperature  had cooled back off from low 60’s the week before to 58. Jerry started out throwing a spinnerbait looking to catch some large pickerel, and said  it was non-stop catching 13 to 15 inchers . His uncle’s weren’t having much luck with soft plastics so they switched over to in-line spinners,  but one put on a red and white dare devil  that’s been in the tackle box for forty years also caught them one after another!  He also caught eleven small largemouth. 

Monday  afternoon Jerry hit Cheshire’s second lake looking for a pike where the water temperature was 65 degrees. He only caught  a couple pickerel and two bass on spinnerbait, and black and blue soft plastics. On Tuesday afternoon he hit a hill town lake and spent a few hours throwing a drop shot rig up with natural color bait fish soft plastics caught bluegills, perch, crappie and fourteen largemouth for ten inches to twenty inches. 

Tim’s adventures this week consisted of going shad fishing for the first time in a few years. He ventured out to Chicopee River for a couple hours managed to hook and land three shad about 20 inches each on traditional shad darts, as well as a 23 1/2 inch catfish, that I also caught on a shad dart. 

Bobby Roast Beef got out a handful of times in the last week. Sunday he was at Oxbow and though the water wasn’t up much, he reports that the current was moving! He stuck it out for almost 8 hours and they just were not biting what he was throwing. He also said that the pads are starting to come up, so hebwas mainly covering water around weed edges and any wood he was able to find. Looking primarily to track down some various species that I need on my checklist for Jigs and Bigs, Online Multi Species Scavenger Hunt, I found myself taking a trip to Stockbridge Bowl based on the feedback of many of the MAKB Western Division anglers. Bobby managed to pick up two points with a sizable pumpkinseed, and a crappie. He said there were also a good number of yellow perch and rock bass, but coming across one to meet the size minimum was the tricky part! 

I was fishing with Chrissy Radwilowicz when she hooked into her new PB LMB! Coming in at 20.25″ and going about 5lbs, she was nothing short of delighted, see for yourself in the attached video! Seemed like all the fish caught were unbelievably shallow and close to cover. They were certainly chasing, but the smallest spinnerbait in the world seemed to be the key. 

Congrats Chrissy on your new PB!!

Shawn the Fisherman fished the MAKB Northern event last weekend, taking 3rd with a decent bag on a brutal weather day. He caught and culled a bagful of buck-Bass staying shallow using a ned-rigged creature bait.

Shawn also made his way over to the Connecticut River and had some more success with creature baits rigged both Ned and weightless. He reported that temperatures were a bit lower than surrounding waters, especially after the weekend’s rain.

Fish in Western Mass are at various stages of the spawn. Be prepared to cover a lot of water and use a lot of different techniques until you can locate and entice fish. This part of the year can be daunting for anglers, so don’t get discouraged!

Going into the holiday weekend Western Mass is looking like we might see some lovely weather in the mid to upper 70’s and even into the low 80’s. Take advantage, and get out and fish! Most important, be safe out there folks! Tight lines!

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