isleomaniac

Cinder Worm Hatch #5

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Cinder Worm Hatches #5 & #6, (5/3/21)

Today we only had a half-day of sun, so I thought that would be enough to keep the water temperature at 64˚.  So I showed up at 5 p.m. with my kayak in tow to find a massive hatch already in progress.  There were only a few small pods of stripers scattered here and there, instead of swirling on worms, they were just lazily patrolling around on the surface like finicky trout during a midge hatch.  They were not interested in hitting today, but I managed to paddle ahead of one pod and cast just in front of the direction that they were headed in, and luckily got my one and only hookup.  It was a 25-inch striper that put up a heck of a fight, so I was content with that today.  I had an hour of day light left, so I thought that I should check another salt pond nearby that was a new location, so I could get some intel for the future.  So I loaded up the yak, and headed a short distance down the road, parked and put on my knee boots for an easier walk in to the pond.  The water temps ranged from 63 at the north end, to 62 in the middle and 61 at the south end.  I found a few worms all along the western shoreline, but there were no fish present at all.  The leisurely walk back to the car through this conservation area went along a sandy road covered with pine needles, very peaceful here strolling under the pines, with no houses in site, and no one else around.  A successful outing for an early season worm hatch, and I was sure glad that the long winter was behind me, and that the fishing season was now in full swing.  I felt lucky to be healthy, fully vaccinated, and alive. 

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I'm a bit east of you on "the sandbar" and finding water temps btwn 54-58 up inside some locations.Getting calls and texts for worm flies.

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Cinder Worm Hatch #1 & #2, (4/20 & 4/21)

Since we had a mild winter and spring this season, I started my worm hatch checks a week sooner this year in April, because I had missed these early hatches in 2015 and again in 2018.  I had 3 locations on my list, and found worms at 64˚, at my last stop.  This turned out to be the earliest hatch that I had found to date, so if nothing else, I was at least on the ball this season.  The same thing happened two days in a row, worms but still no fish present yet.  Things were ready to start happening, then we had a cold night that dropped water temperatures 6˚, so that helped to put an end to the early hatches, along with 3 cool, cloudy, and rainy days.  It was just as well, so to give the stripers more time to migrate in. 

Cinder Worm Hatch #3, (5/1/21)

Found my 3rd hatch yesterday, Saturday May 1.  I arrived late after checking two other locations first, and while taking a water temp, witnessed a guy doing surgery on a schoolie to retrieve his treble hook.  The fish was mangled.  I asked him if there were any worms, and he said no.  I asked another guy the same question and he also said no. I could clearly see swirling fish and the tiny wakes of worms further out.  So I wadered up and headed out to a peninsula and was able to catch and release 3 schoolies easily on my worm fly with a single hook and a crushed barb. 

Cinder Worm Hatch #4, (5/2/21)

Yesterday, Sunday with a half day of sun dropped the water temps 2 degrees at some locations.  So I went late again to my third stop where the water temp only had dropped 1 degree, and found a mini hatch and a few stripers.  I managed to catch one fish that was several inches larger than Saturdays fish, and fewer fish, maybe 6 or so, but they moved off and further out.

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Cinder Worm Hatch #7, (5/6/21)

Today, after a 2-day cloudy and rainy spell, we had a full day of sun to help heat things up again, so I wasn’t expecting anything to be happening yet.  So my wife and I had a picnic dinner at the beach.  On the way home, I stopped at 3 locations to take water temperatures to see what the progress was to 64˚, and they were all at 63.  At the third location, there were even a few worms, so I quickly headed home, threw on my fishing pants, and jumped into my fishing car that had all my gear rigged and ready to go with the kayak on the trailer.  It took me 5 minutes to get to my backwater bay that has a shallow muddy bottom that heats up quickly.  I arrived to find the whole shoreline of the large cove full of busting stripers, a school of about 100 stripers, most of them within 5-20 feet from shore.  My first fish was the largest one at 26-inches, then as the hour advanced, the fish got progressively smaller.  I paddled the kayak over to the far end of the cove that seemed to have the most fish swirling, and pulled up on the beach so I could wade and fish along the shore.  There were a number of fish that were swirling not 5 feet from where I was standing.  I was able to C&R a dozen stripers in that hour, and even had on a jumping American shad for a while. 

I am lucky to live in a striper paradise, surrounded by water, with Vineyard Sound to the south, the Atlantic ocean to the east, on the north and west, Cape Cod Bay and Buzzards Bay, and even a canal at the shoulder, with numerous estuaries in between. 

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Cinder Worm Hatch #8, (5/7/21)

Today I was hoping for size instead of numbers.  I had checked this location 6 times since April 20th, waiting for worms to show.  On the fifth check I was sitting on a rock along the edge of the salt pond, and watched a 30-inch striper cruise by me just 10-feet out, what a tease.  I didn’t want to miss the first day because these big smart fish are easier to catch then.  So on May 6th, I missed the first day, because I didn’t pay attention thinking that it wouldn’t happen with just one day of sun, and ended up going to another location at the last minute.  So today I found about 8 big fish blitzing on worms in a small cove right close to shore.  It was exciting just approaching this spectacle.  This was on the windy side of the pond and I was casting into the wind with no back casting room, so I had to sneak past all these fish to get to the opposite shore where I could wade out on a sandbar, and cast with the wind.  I spent an hour casting into to this melee with no luck kicking myself for not being here yesterday.  Then finally I got a solid hookup and landed a 30” fish, took a quick photo and released it.  OK, then fifteen minutes later after a couple of missed hits, hooked up with a 27-inch fish.  But no luck with the really big fish that were making some massive swirls.  I was happy with that and started heading out.  Upon approaching the lee side of the pond I noticed more fish coming in and starting to swirl, so I waded out and gave it another try.  I caught my last fish which was 26 inches, and called it a very good day. 

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I have never gone to RI for hatches, only the Cape, besides, I have a mild phobia about crossing the bridges and leaving the Cape.

Cinder Worm Hatch #9 & #10, (5/8/21)

I went back to yesterday’s location to try for some more big fish.  As soon as I saw the first splash, I headed straight over to the cove.  On this cloudy day, the hatch started off slowly with just a few worms and an occasional swirling fish.  For the first fish, I hooked up with a 24-incher.  The next two fish were big fish, probably in the high 30-inch range, a guesstimate because I never did get to see either one of them.  The worm fly I was using had a number 2 hook, and I kept saying to myself that I should put on the fly with the larger hook that I tied especially for this pond with the bigger fish.  I was thrilled to have both of these fish hit my fly, and fight them for a short time until the hook pulled out.  This had happened to me a number of times before at this location.  By the time I got around to tying on the fly with the #1 hook, the numbers of worms had increased to the point where I knew that I was not going to get any more hookups.  This all took place within 45 minutes.  I will look forward to trying again for those big smart fish next year, with a sharp hook that will stick into their big bony jaw and hold them.  I had planned to start at this location, and then head to another spot where my buddy Gary would be in his kayak.  We both had radios, so when I got to the parking lot, I called him to see if anything worthwhile was going on before I hiked in through the woods.  He said the hatch started at 5:30, so I hoofed it in on the trail, huffing and puffing the whole way.  Within 15 minutes I had caught and released 5 schoolies, then the same thing happened, the numbers of worms had increased, and the fish stopped hitting.  Even though these were small fish, the side benefit or bonus comes when I close my eyes to meditate, or go to sleep, I still see the hypnotic calm waters and the ever expanding rise-form-rings of swirling stripers. 

Cinder Worm Hatch #11 & #12, (5/9/21)

Today it was really windy, and after first searching two other spots, I ended up finding a mini-hatch at a third location at a protected lee shore cove.  It was unusual in that it took place during a low tide.  The hatch began at 4 p.m., and there were only a few worms, and about 20 stripers present.  It was enjoyable being out of the wind, so after catching 10 fish, I sat down on a log at the edge of the marsh and had a picnic dinner, before walking back out in knee boots on a trail through the woods.  Gary was in his kayak, and had a long and difficult paddle against the wind and tide heading back to the launch site.  On the way home, I decided to stop at a completely different estuary where I had always seen hatches before, but there was never any fish present.  This was also a lee shore cove, and I was surprised to find another mini-hatch going on with a few stripers swirling, so I was able to easily catch another 4 fish there.  This was a day of “two-firsts,” finding hatches at low tides and actually seeing fish present at the second location.   

 

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Cinder Worm Hatch #13 & #14 (5/10 & 11/21)

Today, one day before the new moon, at medium outgoing tide, the worms got started just before 4 pm.  The stripers were further out, and out of fly casting range from the salt marsh bank.  Most of the worms were coming out of a small cove with the tide, and passing close to the tip of a peninsula, so I headed over there.  After several days of gorging themselves with worms, these fish were not interested in hitting at all.  I even tried a two-fly rig to no avail.  Eventually I was able to catch just one, and then headed home early for a steak dinner.  I had worked up a good appetite because I had walked my legs off checking different spots today. 

Tuesday, #14 was a repeat of #13. 

Edited by isleomaniac
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Cinder Worm Hatch #15, (5/12/21)

I almost didn’t go to the same location as the previous two days, but I knew that it was one of my best and most consistent spots for worm spawns.  I arrived there late, because I had walked in and checked two other locations without finding anything.  So I trudged in on my trail to the third location, and as soon as I got to the marsh, I saw splashes in the channel, 200 yards in the distance.  A big school of stripers must have come in with today’s tide, and unlike the last 2 days, they wanted to eat.  I was able to catch, and quickly, and carefully release 12 fish in a little over an hour’s time.  By then, it was 7 pm, and there was an ominous looking cloud front approaching, so I headed out to avoid getting soaked, and on the way home it did start to rain. 

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Cinder Worm Hatch #16 & 17, (5/13/21)

My kayak buddy Gary and I were planning to fish a tidal river, the whole length of which was private, so we had to use yaks to access it.  The water temperature was 62˚ at the landing, so it was a simple matter to paddle upriver to find a cove where it was 63 to 64˚, and there you would find the worms and stripers.  The hatch was just starting at 3:30, so I pulled my yak up on the salt marsh bank, so I could fly cast and strip in my line from solid ground.  At this early stage, the worms were close to shore and the fish were within casting range.  I could tell after a few casts that these fish were not in an eating mood, and it would be difficult to get many hookups.  I managed to get 5 fish within an hours-time, and then there were worms everywhere, so we packed up and left early.  After that I had time to check a salt pond to see what was happening there.  So I hoofed it in there with knee boots, and I was looking for fish instead of watching where I was stepping, and both boots landed in a salt marsh mud hole.  Immediately I lurched forward and lifted my boots in the air so that no water would go down inside, and so only got mud stains on my pants at the knees.  Yes, I have been there and done this before, but this was the first time with no wet socks for the rest of the evening!  There were worms everywhere around the whole pond, but not a sign of fish anywhere.  Yikes, this was usually a good spot and I had never seen it dead before, although it did happen a week sooner than previous years.  A week could make a big difference in the arrival of more fish.   With all this sunny weather, the rest of the hatches might all start sooner or all at once, and throw me off my schedule, so I will be trying to find as many as possible before it is over. 

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Cinder Worm Hatch #18, #19, & #20, (5/14/21)

The first two locations turned out pretty much exactly the same as yesterdays.  Although the salt pond had a few fish today, but they were way out amongst millions of worms and most likely uncatchable even if you could reach them.  Number 20 was a backup location that had saved the day a few times in the past.  On the way home, I pulled up to a landing with a shallow muddy cove, and right in front was a worm hatch going on.  There were only a few worms present, so these fish were hitting readily, and I was able to catch another 12 fish from 6:30 to 7:30.  I think that I will hang out there this evening, and take it easy, no paddling, and no forced marches involved. 

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Do you need high tide in the marshes for success, or is it time of day and temperature .

I live on Long Island, with plenty of back bay marshes, does anyone know if cinder hatches occur here, i've never seen one or know what to look for.

 

What do you look for ?

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Yes LI will have worm hatches, shallow muddy coves, med to high tides mostly, occasionally/rarely low tides, water temps etc.  3 main factors, 9 or more variables.  It could take you years to figure all that out.  Mysterious and challenging.  I think most people don't have the time to put into it to be successful, family and dinner hours, wife won't let you go fishing etc. 

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