jalthoff

Chatham

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Its been much harder this year that last two years by far.  I am managing to do better each year mainly because my skills and pattern knowledge keep increasing.  Its been really hard work for sure though.  A lot less 28-32" class fish around compared to 2016-2018.  The lack of fish this season really has me worried about the state of fishery!

 

The only advice I can offer is I have been finding all the keeper sized bass up in the estuaries May through June 20th up here in Boston.  Outer beaches and flats have not been producing big fish until end of June.  All my big inlet and inshore flats fish have been coming in July and August.  Beaches only turn on for big fish for me in the fall.

 

Not sure if this progression applies to the cape or not.  but that is what I have seen last three seasons and so far this year is looking similar.  I have 10 keepers so far with a 38.5 and 39.5 inch fish as the two largest.  All large fish came out of estuaries.  

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Some bigger fish in the last few days, seen and caught. But still way down on previous years. I suspect the boats will be doing well much further out.

 

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2 mins ago, JRT said:

Some bigger fish in the last few days, seen and caught. But still way down on previous years. I suspect the boats will be doing well much further out.

 

The boats are just starting to get into the bigger bass consistently according to my two friends who are captains.  They also agree the population is the thinnest they have seen in years.  All signs point to "not good".  Action is needed as soon as possible on the regulation front.

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I was also in Chatham doing a little fishing this past weekend and have a couple of thoughts . First is that if I went trout fishing in one of the Cape ponds the average size of the trout would have been larger than the stripers I was catching in Pleasant Bay . Second is that when I hooked up it got to the point where I was hoping it was one of the hickory shad , they were generally larger than the stripers and some of the larger ones actually put a good bend in my 9wt. I was also thinking about fishing with a 6wt. which is pretty much the state of the striper fishing we have now . Back in the 90's I did a fair amount of fishing In the Brewster, Chatham area and the size limit was 36 inches . Mostly everyone was fishing with 9wt's because that's what you needed back then, there was no talk of bringing a 6wt unless you were going trout fishing ,

 

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14 hours ago, tk118 said:

I was also in Chatham doing a little fishing this past weekend and have a couple of thoughts . First is that if I went trout fishing in one of the Cape ponds the average size of the trout would have been larger than the stripers I was catching in Pleasant Bay . Second is that when I hooked up it got to the point where I was hoping it was one of the hickory shad , they were generally larger than the stripers and some of the larger ones actually put a good bend in my 9wt. I was also thinking about fishing with a 6wt. which is pretty much the state of the striper fishing we have now . Back in the 90's I did a fair amount of fishing In the Brewster, Chatham area and the size limit was 36 inches . Mostly everyone was fishing with 9wt's because that's what you needed back then, there was no talk of bringing a 6wt unless you were going trout fishing ,

 

Try night time. Even in this depleated fishery it is a game changer size wise.

 

Even in good times small fish prevail during the day.

 

 

mike

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@Mike Oliver how are you getting on - getting into some better sized fish - been hearing its mainly mid 20s with a couple of better ones at the moment for the Brit crew?

 

Rupe

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Just returned from our week long annual pilgrimage to the Cape.  Started out with a couple trips down to the refuge...in the past couple years we've had great fun down there, but this year, far fewer fish and mostly micros.  Seemed like the topography and tidal currents have changed significantly.  Seemed the current was always going right to left...past two years we never saw that direction, was always left to right. 

 

Jalthoff...which direction was the current running for you?

 

For the remainder of the trip, we stayed closer to our rental on Monument beach.  Fished south side and north side beaches, Buzzard's bay, Buttermilk bay and a few brief forays to the canal.

 

Overall, I probably caught ~30% as many fish as in the past two years, but ~4 times as many fish over 22".  The seven guys I fished with experienced a similar pattern.

 

What gives?  Water temp?  Declining striper population?  Hard to believe a big change in population like that could occur in a single year....

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11 hours ago, flyfishvt said:

Just returned from our week long annual pilgrimage to the Cape.  Started out with a couple trips down to the refuge...in the past couple years we've had great fun down there, but this year, far fewer fish and mostly micros.  Seemed like the topography and tidal currents have changed significantly.  Seemed the current was always going right to left...past two years we never saw that direction, was always left to right. 

 

Jalthoff...which direction was the current running for you?

 

For the remainder of the trip, we stayed closer to our rental on Monument beach.  Fished south side and north side beaches, Buzzard's bay, Buttermilk bay and a few brief forays to the canal.

 

Overall, I probably caught ~30% as many fish as in the past two years, but ~4 times as many fish over 22".  The seven guys I fished with experienced a similar pattern.

 

What gives?  Water temp?  Declining striper population?  Hard to believe a big change in population like that could occur in a single year....

Was running right to left out front when I was there - dropping tide.

 

 

 

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21 hours ago, flyfishvt said:

Just returned from our week long annual pilgrimage to the Cape.  Started out with a couple trips down to the refuge...in the past couple years we've had great fun down there, but this year, far fewer fish and mostly micros.  Seemed like the topography and tidal currents have changed significantly.  Seemed the current was always going right to left...past two years we never saw that direction, was always left to right. 

 

Jalthoff...which direction was the current running for you?

 

For the remainder of the trip, we stayed closer to our rental on Monument beach.  Fished south side and north side beaches, Buzzard's bay, Buttermilk bay and a few brief forays to the canal.

 

Overall, I probably caught ~30% as many fish as in the past two years, but ~4 times as many fish over 22".  The seven guys I fished with experienced a similar pattern.

 

What gives?  Water temp?  Declining striper population?  Hard to believe a big change in population like that could occur in a single year....

The 22"+ fish you were catching were last years micros that were so abundant and reflective of a good year class and,yes;the lack of other fish is a reflection of the decline.What's coming up is a reflection of a not-so-good spawn for the following year classes.Poor spawning conditions and less adults to procreate.

You know it's gettin bad when even dinks don't show for the party.

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On 6/10/2019 at 10:47 AM, triumph19 said:

Agreed! The sad thing is the cape flats fishery is still better than LI’s pretty much declining to nonexistent one for the past 10 years. Seems to be a good amount of very large fish in deeper water and lots of small to micros around.

The thing I don’t understand is where are the 2011’s?! Those fish from that purported hugely successful spawn should be 31-32”!! 

Maryland anglers took care of that . . . when 2011 moved out of the estuaries, MD with it's 2 fish at 20" creel limit did a number on them . . . quote from Tony Freidrich at fissues.org.

 

 

"You can takeaway a couple of things from this.  First, for our friends on the coast, how was your striper season so far this year?  Did you see a ton of fish in the 28 to 32-inch range?  As many as you would have expected knowing that 2011 was one the best spawns on record?  Probably not.  Why? Maryland killed way more than they should have.

 

It should not come as a huge surprise that Maryland is one of the states pushing the concept of lowering reference points for striped bass management.  The next benchmark stock assessment is due to come out in the next few months.  Since the 2011-year class did not recruit as expected, there’s a very good chance that the SSB level has dropped below the threshold, which would trigger a mandatory reduction in harvest.  Rather than face that reduction, why not just lower the bar?  In other words, the SSB won’t fall below the threshold if the threshold is lowered."

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9 hours ago, cartopper said:

Maryland anglers took care of that . . . when 2011 moved out of the estuaries, MD with it's 2 fish at 20" creel limit did a number on them . . . quote from Tony Freidrich at fissues.org.

 

 

"You can takeaway a couple of things from this.  First, for our friends on the coast, how was your striper season so far this year?  Did you see a ton of fish in the 28 to 32-inch range?  As many as you would have expected knowing that 2011 was one the best spawns on record?  Probably not.  Why? Maryland killed way more than they should have.

 

It should not come as a huge surprise that Maryland is one of the states pushing the concept of lowering reference points for striped bass management.  The next benchmark stock assessment is due to come out in the next few months.  Since the 2011-year class did not recruit as expected, there’s a very good chance that the SSB level has dropped below the threshold, which would trigger a mandatory reduction in harvest.  Rather than face that reduction, why not just lower the bar?  In other words, the SSB won’t fall below the threshold if the threshold is lowered."

That’s the first explanation I’ve heard of where they went. We did see hoards of ‘11 class fish on the south shore in the fall 3 yrs ago, though... 

I do find it difficult to believe that they were wiped out by Rec’s and a 2 fish limit (even if it were more than 1 state).

 

Edited by triumph19

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11 mins ago, triumph19 said:

That’s the first explanation I’ve heard of where they went. We did see hoards of ‘11 class fish on the south shore in the fall 3 yrs ago, though... 

I also find it difficult to believe that they were wiped out by Rec’s and a 2 fish limit (even if it were more than 1 state).

 

Don’t believe anyone is suggesting they were wiped out . . . 2011 class is still represented but not nearly at the levels one would expect considering what a great class year it was.

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14 mins ago, cartopper said:

Don’t believe anyone is suggesting they were wiped out . . . 2011 class is still represented but not nearly at the levels one would expect considering what a great class year it was.

“Wiped out”...a figure of speech

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On 12/06/2019 at 7:04 AM, Rupe said:

@Mike Oliver how are you getting on - getting into some better sized fish - been hearing its mainly mid 20s with a couple of better ones at the moment for the Brit crew?

 

Rupe

Hi Rupe,

 

Yes that’s the story for shore based Fly Boys. You have to work hard for your fish.

 

There is enough anecdotal evidence that very clearly shows the Bass fishery is in dire trouble.

 

Humans in the cesspit of avarice just never learn.

 

Mikey.

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