We launched early in the morning expecting there to be huge crowds at the boat ramp considering it was July 4th and beautiful weather. Much to our surprise, there was only 1 other trailer in the entire parking lot! After a quick launch and setting up the fly rigs, we went off into the dark to find where the fish were.
The first option was to go see if we could find mackerel as a last resort. After a quick run in the glass calm waters, the fish finder was lit up with huge schools of bait and large schools of fish underneath them. I’m so glad I chose to upgrade the fish finder to a higher resolution sensor! It took only a couple minutes to jig up a couple dozen mackerel then we went off in search of stripers.
The first spot we tried was a lot shallower than expected, given the positive tides – but we were on fish. Both fishermen were able to tease schoolies out of the rocks and ledges and hooked up on a couple fish almost immediately! The water was murky and covered in a brown algae that is covering the Boston Harbor right now, but the fish didn’t seem to mind. After catching a couple striped bass in the mid to high 20″ range, we decided to go searching other places.
By now the rest of the fishing fleet was starting to wake up and get out. We looked at a couple spots but they were crowded and not worth fighting the other boats. We took off to our second spot of the day, killed the engine, and just started to drift with the current. The wind was super calm and the brown algae hadn’t followed us here, and you could see the stripers just casually strolling around near the surface. We were now surrounded by swirls and wakes from the fish, and switched to floating lines and gurlers to see if we could entice any of them to hit the surface. A swirl came on just off the stern of the boat, a quick cast just ahead of it, and Boom – the surface blew up and fish on again. This went on for a couple hours with a good number of schoolies, a mid 30″ striper, and countless follows by 40″+ stripers. Note I need to take more pics!
The tide was now slack high and the bite had slowed down significantly. We decided to move on again and see what else we could bring up. Third spot of the day and we were on fish within 15 minutes. The theme of the day turned out to be aggressive schoolies and countless follows by cows. Couple more fish here and a quick stop for lunch before continuing on.
We stopped at a couple other normal spots, but with the sun now directly above us the fishing was starting to slow down. Again we found a bunch of fish cruising near the surface but couldn’t tease any into a take. With a timeline in mind for one of the fisherman, we decided to head back but try out the mackerel for a last ditch effort. We hooked up two mackerel using circle hooks, and started trolling them around one of the ledges. Just as we were about to give up, the drag on one of the Shimano reels started screaming and we knew immediately we convinced one of the cows to eat. Regretfully in our overzealous state, the hook set was too aggressive for a circle hook and we ripped the fish and hook out of our cow’s mouth. We’ll be coming back for you next time!
All in all, a beautiful and rare not windy day on the harbor and a bunch of fish on the fly! Can’t ask for more…