isleomaniac

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About isleomaniac

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    Elite Member

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  • About Me:
    Worm Hatch Inspector
  • Interests (Hobbies, favorite activities, etc.):
    fishing, diving, surfing, writing
  • What I do for a living:
    Retired

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  • Gender
  • Location
    Cape Cod

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  1. Very effective especially when they are blitzing, or early morning or on a cloudy day blind casting. These are made with flip flop foam that I found washed up on the beach, floats high and pops nice. I also drill a hole or burn a hole and put in a small rattle into the forehead, then epoxy it in.
  2. I had an expensive Sage for 6 years and had 2 broken tips during that time, with a very long wait period to repair during the season. Finally had to replace with Echo 'Boost'. Bought a 9 wt, and liked it so much I also got an 8wt Echo 'boost blue' to replace the Sage 8wt. You could buy 3 Echo's for the price of one sage and have enough money to buy a fly line as well. My 9wt has been battle tested on 30 or so big bluefish during June. I am very happy with these rods with no problems. Made by the casting champ Rajeff. Also caught 129 stripers on the 8wt during this May and June, and 275 total stripers last year on both rods mostly on the 8wt.
  3. From my notes back in January 22: Canadian assessment of spawning age stock at lowest level ever recorded. 2021 stock just 8% of what was in the water in 1980s. Google this story: Where did all the Mackerel go or Holy Mackerel, where'd you go? Jan 28, 2022. Originally published in Hakai Mag https://the walrus.ca/mackerel-fish/
  4. Looks like the hatches are over in my area in the warm water locations. We had a normal winter, but March was 5˚ above normal, and mid-April was 3˚ above normal. There were 13 sunny days in April leading up to the first early worm hatch on 4/22. I found 3 early hatches the last week in April, but with no fish present yet. Of the 14 hatches I found in May from 5/5 to 5/24, I caught and released 149 stripers which turns out to be a 10 fish average per outing. I went through 6 flies this season. Several of the really sharp hooks (Daiichi and TMC) I had been using, I found that the needle sharp points just didn’t hold up for very long. The tips would either bend or break, and then you aren’t able to get a good quick hook set and start losing fish. This year I started using Gamakatsu SL12S hooks in the number 2 size, and these hold up really well, I just wish they made them in the #1 size.
  5. The complicated tying recipe is in Chapter 12.
  6. 5/24/22 Worm Hatch #17 Another repeat performance of the previous two days, but today there weren’t as many worms, so the hookups came easily. Steve was off to a very fast start, using the fly that I gave him yesterday, and he must have caught at least 25, plus the biggest fish of the outing. Tom was off to a late start, having troubles with both of his rods and lines, so I lent him my spare rod that was rigged and ready to go. It didn’t take long for him to start catching 11 stripers that were willing to eat. I was happy catching 14, and then took time out to take some photos of Tom and Steve having fun.
  7. 5/23/22 Worm Hatch # 16 Today was a repeat performance of yesterday. I met a guy named Steve there, who was also at this location last year. He was having trouble getting hookups using a sinking fly, so I offered him one of my floating worm flies. I also showed him my stripping technique to enable him to get more solid hookups. He tied on the fly and started getting hits, and also caught the biggest fish of the day pictured here. I had a blast as well with a 12 fish total for the evening.
  8. 5/22/22 Worm Hatch # 15 There is a whole lot of worm spawning going on out there. No wonder there is impetigo in those shallow muddy coves, and not a good place for swimming lessons for the kids. But spawning is good, it’s the reason we are all here. I met my buddy Bill today at 6 p.m., and the hatch was just getting started. There were a lot more worms in the water on the second day of the hatch, so the hookups didn’t come easy. In an hour and a half, I was able to land 10 fish, with a 27 and 28 inchers included. Getting near the end of my worm season, I may try the third day of this last hatch. At this point I seem to have gotten my fill, with some very good outings. Next I will be looking forward to hopefully some bluefish on the fly. Photo: Bill bringing one in.
  9. 5/21/22 Worm Hatch #14 On Thursday 5/19, we had a rainy and cloudy day that dropped the water temperature 8˚, down to 60˚, so it looked like the hatch wouldn’t start up again until we had more sunny days. We ended up with only two half-days, so I was not overly optimistic for anything to happen at the next spot that I was hoping for, although the half days brought the water temps up higher than I thought it would to 70˚ on Saturday, so I waited around until 6:30, and didn’t see anything. On the other hand, it could very well be that I had missed it? Last year this spot required 6 days of full sun to make it happen, so I will keep an eye on it over the next week. So I jumped in my car and raced to my backup location. I arrived at 7 p.m., and immediately saw a couple of swirls at another cove location which also had a 70˚ reading. Well what do you know, I also found at hatch at this location on the same date as last year, and that turned out to be the last hatch of the season. So in an hour’s time I caught 15 fish, and with a barbless hook released them all very quickly and easily. So I asked my wife if she would like to go and sit at the beach while I checked for worms? As she remembered this cove from childhood days, she scoffed: “Yuk, that’s impetigo water.” Well yeah I guess, that’s what worms like dear, shallow muddy coves.
  10. 5/18/22 Worm Hatch #13 Today’s goal was to zero in on the start time for this mid-estuary location. In the past, I had always arrived late when it was already in progress. Tom and I arrived here at 6 p.m., and nothing was happening yet. I was a little anxious while waiting. I thought that it might start at 6:30, and sure enough that’s when the first swirls appeared. Now the start time is locked into place for the future for this spot. We took turns casting, as the action was concentrated in one area of this muddy cove. When Tom hooked up, I would shoot some photos, and while he was landing and releasing his fish, I would be hooking up. We each caught 10 fish, and Tom was ecstatic after not catching anything during his previous blind casting sessions, but scoring big numbers on 3 worm hatches. No long walks or hikes trudging through soft sand or marshes today, we just had to show up at an obscure landing, a very relaxing and satisfying outing. Photo: Tom with a 27 incher.
  11. 5/17/22 Worm Hatch #12 Today I did a lot of walking. At my first spot, I waited around for an hour and a half, but found nothing. While I was waiting, there was a brief light shower, followed by a rainbow to the east. While hoofing it in to the next location, there was another rainbow to the east, and again nothing was happening here. After that, I am heading to a different estuary “to the east.” Were those rainbows telling me something? I think so, because there I found swirling stripers. In the hour before sunset, I was able to C&R 8-hefty worm fattened stripers, and most of those were 25 and 26 inchers. Photo: Even the osprey in the photo was flying eastward.
  12. 5/16/22 Worm hatch #11 I was feeling guilty about not checking my favorite salt pond, so that is where I ended up today. This location is usually the hardest one to figure out when it will happen. At 69˚ today, it looks like I missed it this year, on all other years it happened between 61˚ and 64˚. I hung around there for 2 hours waiting and got skunked, so I would have to scramble to find something with the evening closing in on me. I was doing OK till this point with not driving around like a lunatic trying to be in two places at once, checking here, checking there. I had an hour and a half left when I arrived at yesterday’s salt pond with millions of worms. Not so today, not many at all, but there were decent numbers of stripers swirling occasionally everywhere, and they wanted to eat. They were not interested in the dropper fly today, so I clipped it off. I caught 7 fish before dark, and the last one was about 27 inches. All of the 22’s and 24’s of last year are now 25’s and 27’s, excellent fly rod fish.
  13. 5/15/22 Worm Hatch #9 & #10 At today’s first location, I was just in knee boots on the salt marsh bank, and Gary was in his kayak trolling soft plastic worms. I saw the first few swirls at 4 p.m. Today’s hatch started off slowly, and I did not see any worms until 5:30, and by then there were good numbers of fish swirling. I think Gary and I may have caught the same 27-inch fish two days in a row, but he didn’t think that it was possible? After 16 fish, I left at 6 p.m., to check another location. I went to a creek flowing out of a brackish salt pond, and there were worms heading out with the tide, at 72˚. So I put on my waders and headed over to the creek mouth at the next salt pond to find worms and fish everywhere. With so many worms present, I added a dropper fly to the tag end of my leader loop that had been hanging there unused so far. I thought that I would have a better chance of catching something with a 2-fly rig, with the trailing fly a floater, and a sinking fly as the dropper. I actually caught 2 fish, one on each fly. I saw splashes in the distance, and so headed over to the other side of the pond to the lee shore where I would have the wind at my back. Millions of worms, it looks like the hatches might all start at once this coming week. Not many swirling fish, they were mostly all lazily patrolling near the surface, and just gently sipping worms. I caught one more fish on the dropper, for a total of 19 fish today. This was another low tide hatch. It could be that most of the colder water went out with the tide, drawing the sun warmed waters off the marsh, tide pools, ditches, lagoons, coves, creek etc., and with it came many of the worms from those areas, and also aided by the full moon tide that covered the surface of the marsh with a shallow layer of water quickly and easily warmed by the sun, and there you have it. Very good, and that didn’t take long to solve the mystery of the low tide variable. On the way home, I checked the water temps at two other locations that I did not want to miss, and they were both at 65˚ already, one more degree and they could start.
  14. 5/14/22 Worm Hatch #8 As I arrived at the cove location at 4 o’clock, worms were just starting to show. The water temp was way up today at 72˚, so I went further in to check the 2nd cove, and that one had the same temp, with stripers just beginning to swirl. I was able to C&R 8 fish in an hour, with the largest at 27 inches, by then there were quite a few worms present, and the hits seemed to be tapering off. It pays to get there for the early and easy bite. So I left early, so I could check on a new location. Since this area was the only spot I knew that happened at low tide, and I did not find anything happening at two other locations, was that a mistake? Probably not, I just need to look at it as another mystery of variables, and that might take a couple more years to solve. So for now, that means “more fishing required.”