isleomaniac

Worm Hatches #1, #2, &#3

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Worm Hatches #1, 2, & 3, 4/22, 4/23, & 4/25/22

These involved two mini hatches, and one decent sized hatch.   Number 1 happened at 68˚ on the third sunny day in a row.  Number 2 at 66˚ on the 4th day of sun.  Number 3 on the 5th day of sunny conditions at 64˚, and all started at 5:30 p.m.  Too early for stripers yet, only a couple of herring present. 

There are a few people that would question whether: “is it really a hatch, if there are no fish present?”  Do they really count for anything?  Worm spawns can be hard to find, especially if you are a beginner.  I believe that they do count for any number of things besides catching fish.  If it is early in the season, you might be out of shape, like me, after lazing around most of the winter.  You might be walking a considerable distance to check a spot or to take a water temperature, and you might be even checking multiple locations or scouting out new locations.  So it is a good idea to get some healthy exercise and get your legs ready for the season. 

If nothing else, if you do find something, it will boost your confidence and get you back into the ebb and flow of what might turn out to be a hectic, frustrating or memorable season.  Any outing can be used as an opportunity to learn something new.  At the very least, you could discover the start time and water temperature required for your first location, and that “hatch” will happen with the same conditions every year.  That will better enable you to follow the progression down the estuary from there. 

To try and draw any conclusions or consistency from previous year’s intel out of the many different factors and variables involved could easily become mind boggling.  You might find that it is more enjoyable to be out checking when conditions warrant, and that way you will know that you didn’t miss anything. 

Worm Hatch Inspector

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The last week in April thru the first week in May are excellent for late evening white perch.  I had my 4wt in the car just in case I wanted to feel a tug.  Almost went to give it a try yesterday evening, but after hiking in to 3 different locations looking for a worm hatch, I was burned out.  Maybe soon I might give it a go?

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Worm Hatch #4, 5/5/22

Today, I combined my mind boggling collection of data,  pouring over notes from previous years of hatches for any situations that involved just one day of sun.  I found about 8 out of 140 that might have fit todays situation, and came up with 4 locations that could possibly happen.  So I combined it with just going out to check these just to make sure that I did not miss anything.  Yesterday I tried just blind casting and remembered why I didn't care for that.  Although I did catch a couple of fish.  I want to see the blitz!  I arrived at my third location at 5:30, the water temperature was 65, and a few worms were about and the stripers were just beginning to swirl.  So I put on my waders and was able to C&R 7 fish in just over an hour.  Even though it was a mini-hatch, it was a successful beginning early in the season.  

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5/6/22 Worm Hatch #5

Today, we had less than a half-day of milky sun, so I figured that if the water temp didn’t drop too much, there would be a chance of finding a cool weather mini-hatch.  So I hiked into my first location that usually started at 4 p.m.  I arrived a little late at 4:30, and as I was coming down the hill on the trail in the woods, I could see swirling fish in the shallow muddy cove tucked into the furthermost corner of this backwater estuary.  The water temp today was 62˚ and had dropped 3˚ from yesterday’s reading.  There appeared to be about 6 fish rising in the corner cove, so I walked around the edge and out to a point and began targeting fish outside of the cove.  After an hour, I had landed 6 fish and called it a very good day, as a light rain had started.  I stayed awhile and tried to take some photos of the still swirling stripers in that peaceful and picturesque cove.  On the way out, I took a different route, and discovered an easier short cut and a leisurely walk instead of a hike, adding another layer of satisfaction to the outing. 

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1 hour ago, isleomaniac said:

5/6/22 Worm Hatch #5

Today, we had less than a half-day of milky sun, so I figured that if the water temp didn’t drop too much, there would be a chance of finding a cool weather mini-hatch.  So I hiked into my first location that usually started at 4 p.m.  I arrived a little late at 4:30, and as I was coming down the hill on the trail in the woods, I could see swirling fish in the shallow muddy cove tucked into the furthermost corner of this backwater estuary.  The water temp today was 62˚ and had dropped 3˚ from yesterday’s reading.  There appeared to be about 6 fish rising in the corner cove, so I walked around the edge and out to a point and began targeting fish outside of the cove.  After an hour, I had landed 6 fish and called it a very good day, as a light rain had started.  I stayed awhile and tried to take some photos of the still swirling stripers in that peaceful and picturesque cove.  On the way out, I took a different route, and discovered an easier short cut and a leisurely walk instead of a hike, adding another layer of satisfaction to the outing. 

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Got a couple of reports of the same thing further to the east.Zipped over to said location and caught on both a "worm" and black 4" whistler.The bigger loved the whistler!

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5/12/22 Worm Hatch #6

The water temps had dropped quite a bit with the cloudy, cool and rainy weather due to a 4-day (dry) Noreaster.  So I did not expect today's water temperature to produce any hatches.  The first half of the day was cloudy, so I went to a nearby beach to do some blind casting, and at least to get some walking and wading exercise, and I did, boy those boot foot waders are heavy.  The blind casting was unproductive, not one hit, so afterwards I went to my early worm hatch location just down the road to take a water temperature.  I was quite surprised to see a 68˚ reading.  The sun did come out in the afternoon, and it was low tide, so that might explain part of the reason.  I had two early shallow muddy cove locations that are both in the lee of the north east wind, and they would receive any warming by occasional milky-sky sun.  So I thought I better check my cove with its 4 p.m. start time first, and after come back and check the second spot that has a 5:30 start time.  The water temp was 66˚, so I hung around there until 5 o’clock, and almost left, but then started to see some swirls and splashes on the opposite shore, so I went over there and started to get some hookups.  The stripers were hitting my worm fly aggressively, and they had torn it up after 8 fish, so I put a new one on, and was able to C&R another 4.  The whole time, I did not see any worms, but there might have been a few, and the fish must have gobbled them up quickly.  I seldom have much luck blind casting my worm fly, but do quite well when worms are present.  If we can get the sun to return, this and other locations should resume, otherwise it looks like mini-hatch weather, with major hatches delayed for a while?  Last year, I had two low-tide mini-hatches at this location on 5/8 and 5/9. 

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1 hour ago, isleomaniac said:

5/12/22 Worm Hatch #6

 

The water temps had dropped quite a bit with the cloudy, cool and rainy weather due to a 4-day (dry) Noreaster.  So I did not expect today's water temperature to produce any hatches.  The first half of the day was cloudy, so I went to a nearby beach to do some blind casting, and at least to get some walking and wading exercise, and I did, boy those boot foot waders are heavy.  The blind casting was unproductive, not one hit, so afterwards I went to my early worm hatch location just down the road to take a water temperature.  I was quite surprised to see a 68˚ reading.  The sun did come out in the afternoon, and it was low tide, so that might explain part of the reason.  I had two early shallow muddy cove locations that are both in the lee of the north east wind, and they would receive any warming by occasional milky-sky sun.  So I thought I better check my cove with its 4 p.m. start time first, and after come back and check the second spot that has a 5:30 start time.  The water temp was 66˚, so I hung around there until 5 o’clock, and almost left, but then started to see some swirls and splashes on the opposite shore, so I went over there and started to get some hookups.  The stripers were hitting my worm fly aggressively, and they had torn it up after 8 fish, so I put a new one on, and was able to C&R another 4.  The whole time, I did not see any worms, but there might have been a few, and the fish must have gobbled them up quickly.  I seldom have much luck blind casting my worm fly, but do quite well when worms are present.  If we can get the sun to return, this and other locations should resume, otherwise it looks like mini-hatch weather, with major hatches delayed for a while?  Last year, I had two low-tide mini-hatches at this location on 5/8 and 5/9. 

 

Had a bit of the same to a degree.Had a fly tying demo meeting from 5-730.Decidied to scout a regular spot afterward.No swirls,took water temp 60.nothing visual and incoming tide.1st cast with a white streamer.1 strip bang! 20" fish.After 4 more all the same size na-da.Changed to a lobster bouy popper 5" .Fish to 26" into the dark.Fog rolled in and na-da for the next 30 mins.Heading back out in about 30 mins.Thick fog now.............Perfect.

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5/13/22   Worm Hatch #7 

Today I had my buddy Tom along hoping for his first successful worm hatch, as we got skunked a few times last year.   We arrived at the cove at 4 p.m., at low tide, and by 4:30 started to see a few worms, and a couple of swirls.  From there things got bigger and better, with good numbers of worms and eventually about 50 stripers came in with the tide.  We tossed our flies at the boils, and by 6:30, I had 21 fish and tom had 10.  Tom lost his one floating worm fly in a tree, so I rigged him up with another one from my fly box, to insure he had good success, and he did.  I think he was blown away by our good fortune.  Today’s cloudy skies with milky sun kept the water temp at 66˚.   Photo of Tom with one on: 

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The "spot" I've been slinking around was very quiet.Only a couple of micro bass.No spawn seen and picked up a couple of big shad blind casting worm and shrimp flies.Low incoming tide temp was 63.

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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.”

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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. 

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Posted (edited) · Report post

Many thanks for sharing your years of hard won knowledge about this primeval phenomenon!

 

Most of us don't have the time or knowledge to follow in your quest, but following along vicariously is a real pleasure.

 

Tight Lines,

-Grouchy

Edited by GrouchyOldMan

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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. 

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