The Riddler

Sum up the Bass Year so far....

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Good for small , non-existent for the larger in the normal haunts. I have to believe others when they say the numbers are not there to fill in these gaps.  With side imaging there is no mistake where the Bass are and its MT. 

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Got a fish in the high teens last week on the fly rod. First cast. Thought it was going to be on. Nothing but schoolies and bluefish afterwards. In the days following the same area became infested with bluefish. I know there were some decent bass in the mix but it was literally impossible to weed through the blues. Yesterday I encountered the same during the morning and through the day, but the afternoon tide suddenly brought in a lot of bass in the 20+ pound class. Hopefully this trend continues, but that being said, every year it’s getting harder to find big fish consistently throughout the season, and I’m getting better and more dialed in with each one. In my lifetime of 34 years, fishing saltwater for ~24 of them, I’ve seen a lot of once-great fisheries dwindle to nothing, or next to nothing anyway. Pollution, poaching, mishandling, and mismanaging have done a lot of harm over the years. 
 

And I mentioned “once-great”, but they were great 20 years ago when compared to what they are now. I often wonder what I missed before my time. 

Edited by Seadogg

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I'm heading out for my first striper hunt tonight.  Hopefully have a report of big fish in the morning.

 

sam

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34 mins ago, Seadogg said:

Got a fish in the high teens last week on the fly rod. First cast. Thought it was going to be on. Nothing but schoolies and bluefish afterwards. In the days following the same area became infested with bluefish. I know there were some decent bass in the mix but it was literally impossible to weed through the blues. Yesterday I encountered the same during the morning and through the day, but the afternoon tide suddenly brought in a lot of bass in the 20+ pound class. Hopefully this trend continues, but that being said, every year it’s getting harder to find big fish consistently throughout the season, and I’m getting better and more dialed in with each one. In my lifetime of 34 years, fishing saltwater for ~24 of them, I’ve seen a lot of once-great fisheries dwindle to nothing, or next to nothing anyway. Pollution, poaching, mishandling, and mismanaging have done a lot of harm over the years. 
 

And I mentioned “once-great”, but they were great 20 years ago when compared to what they are now. I often wonder what I missed before my time. 

Ya, I personally haven't caught my first keeper .... plenty of schoolies. I don't want to chase my dream fish when I would probably just wasted my time.... fishing is fun itself. Especially with the new regulations this year.

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1 min ago, foxfai said:

Ya, I personally haven't caught my first keeper .... plenty of schoolies. I don't want to chase my dream fish when I would probably just wasted my time.... fishing is fun itself. Especially with the new regulations this year.

Chase it. They’re still out there. 

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The available fish I've seen, for all intents, have roughly been capped at 28" for several weeks. These bass are juveniles. Not mature enough to breed.

 

I take this as a sign the spawn was slow or delayed, and the schools of adults who detoured to have fish sex are just running a cpl weeks late. 

 

For sure, what's enroute isn't nearly the same caliber as spring runs a decade or more ago. Lots fewer bass of size.

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6 mins ago, rst3 said:

The available fish I've seen, for all intents, have roughly been capped at 28" for several weeks. These bass are juveniles. Not mature enough to breed.

 

I take this as a sign the spawn was slow or delayed, and the schools of adults who detoured to have fish sex are just running a cpl weeks late. 

 

For sure, what's enroute isn't nearly the same caliber as spring runs a decade or more ago. Lots fewer bass of size.

As an aside,  Mid Narragansett Bay this morning ...58 degrees water, actually a degree colder then end of last week....this time of year it is usually 64-66 degrees.....that'll put a hurt on any traveling bass....and they're are good fish around..just slow to feed....

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1 hour ago, The Riddler said:

Good for small , non-existent for the larger in the normal haunts. I have to believe others when they say the numbers are not there to fill in these gaps.  With side imaging there is no mistake where the Bass are and its MT. 

Jeff I feel you on this one . I’ve been fishing hard and while catching lots of fish almost all are sub 28” and a few 28-32” fish . That’s crazy for the first week of June . June 2nd last year I had a 32# and a 36# fish in one morning tide

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7 mins ago, Wilgabeast said:

Jeff I feel you on this one . I’ve been fishing hard and while catching lots of fish almost all are sub 28” and a few 28-32” fish . That’s crazy for the first week of June . June 2nd last year I had a 32# and a 36# fish in one morning tide

Like others have said, you want to hold onto 2 weeks late.  Gives some hope. Maybe in the past there were so many bass a slow start would go un-noticed. Same with the departure. The Bass Season appears to me a  June-August season now.  For the good fishing.  Take what you you get from May,September, and October.,

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I think the fisheries managers (lower case deserved) have done a PHENOMENAL job at managing this fishery for small fish. It's been wonderful. Day after day of 20-27.5" fish! On the surface, aggressive, and ready to go. I think by analogy, although under the current circumstances this may sound like poor form, it's like we as a society decided to kill anyone over the age 18. The young ones are having a field day. 

 

Let me re-frame this, more seriously. Having seen the highs and lows, we are screwed until we fire all the ASMFC folks, except the scientists, and begin making decisions based on stock sustainability. The big fish haven't shown because a) they don't exist, b) they're late due to temperature and delayed spawn, c) they all all off shore having a party on sand eels somewhere near Stellwagen but in the EEZ or d) we all suck as fishermen and others aren't experiencing these problems. Probably a combination but more weighted toward A.

 

Look inward.

 

If you like fishing your ass off for schoolies, get your camera and hero shots ready. If you think something is painfully amiss and the world is not as it should be, then start getting vocal. This year of Covid, when pressure should be less, is not adding up.  Recs and Comms need to think about the Golden Goose they have collectively gutted. The next generation of anglers has been deprived of the true experience of bass fishing with a healthy population reflecting age classes. Pogies, sand eels, herring- the table is set. All the diners have been shot and left in the alley.

 

Very depressing for some of us.

 

 

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8 mins ago, BarryW said:

This year of Covid, when pressure should be less...

So far in my area this isn’t the case. I’m seeing many boats in areas where I never see them. Every jetty is occupied. Boat ramps are full. Crowds everywhere. 

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I've been heading out every morning from sun up it's has been a micro schoolie fest out here on the North Shore. I have yet to hear or see any big fish caught. I know that time will come soon cause my fishing logs from previous years says otherwise. 

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Still a good group of fish holding off NJ. That's 180miles from Buzzards Bay, and a hell of a lot longer from Ptown should those bass go around the horn. If the bass off NJ bounced today, and booked it 20miles/day nonstop, they'd be in BB in a week and a half. 

 

But methinks decent numbers of post-spawn bass are a good bit closer than Jersey. 

We'll see what rolls into SNE this week.

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4 hours ago, Seadogg said:

Got a fish in the high teens last week on the fly rod. First cast. Thought it was going to be on. Nothing but schoolies and bluefish afterwards. In the days following the same area became infested with bluefish. I know there were some decent bass in the mix but it was literally impossible to weed through the blues. Yesterday I encountered the same during the morning and through the day, but the afternoon tide suddenly brought in a lot of bass in the 20+ pound class. Hopefully this trend continues, but that being said, every year it’s getting harder to find big fish consistently throughout the season, and I’m getting better and more dialed in with each one. In my lifetime of 34 years, fishing saltwater for ~24 of them, I’ve seen a lot of once-great fisheries dwindle to nothing, or next to nothing anyway. Pollution, poaching, mishandling, and mismanaging have done a lot of harm over the years. 
 

And I mentioned “once-great”, but they were great 20 years ago when compared to what they are now. I often wonder what I missed before my time. 

I often wonder those same things. From the Keys to Maine the 40’s and 50’s through the mid 60’s were The Times. 

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