Traveling for a week was absolutely killing me not being on the water. Little did I know I was returning to a week of ridiculous winds and nasty conditions. That’s not going to stop us though! We got out for two days of which we were dumped on with crazy winds and running from lightning storms and another day of 30 knot gusts. Wasn’t super fly casting friendly either day, but we did manage a couple schoolies and a nice low 30s stripers.
The birds are still working around sunrise on schoolies, which seem to be getting larger as the weeks go on. The micros in the 12″ range are now looking in the 18-22″ range. I’m not complaining! All white is still killing it on the schoolies with most casts hooked up when the blitzing action is going. There has been a couple small blitzes with larger fish in the shipping channels too, but the traffic tends to break them up and push them down quickly. Look for colder water in the 65-60 degrees range in shallower areas and around structure to find aggressive fish.
With the conditions as nasty as they were, we haven’t gone for bait in a while. Pogies were easy to come by in the early morning but there wasn’t any fish on them we could witness. Blues are in and thinning out the macks, but they’re still easy enough to find. Troll around rather than drift until you’re on a school. Chum if you have to. Grocery stores sell canned mackerel in the “ethnic foods” section or cheap cat food works well too. Poke some big holes in it with a screwdriver or stout knife, put it in a chum bag, and throw it overboard.
Pink and white seems to still be producing well, which means squid is still around in numbers. The pink and white needlefish plug above produced a good number of small to mid sized fish until the bucktail fell off. Large all white pencil poppers and mackerel colored little neck poppers were enticing the larger fish. The three 30-33″ striped bass were taken on subsequent casts to the same area on an all white pencil popper, which was blown up on another couple times but no hookups. We ended up hooking up with something fierce later in the day on light tackle that felt all too much like an albie, but I knew better in Boston Harbor. We lost it close to the boat, but not after is shot back and forth past the boat 2-3x at breakneck speeds…
Find the colder and cleaner water, and you’ll be on the fish. Protected areas on the leeward side of big structure in heavy winds on topwater is always a good spot to start out with as well.