Boston Harbor and South Shore Stripers-8/8/99

From: B-Fast Charters
Date: 14 Aug 1999
Remote Name:


Thursday 8/5, the bluefish showed up of Minot’s Ledge with a vengeance. Pods of blues were clobbering schools of juvenile menhaden and silversides. We were on route to Boston when whirling birds attracted our attention. Both Tom Look of Newton and Fred Alt of Cambridge were immediately cut off on the first hook-ups. After rigging wire bite-protectors, the games began. On numerous occasions we were tripled with surging bluefish between 5 and 15 pounds. Poppers and sliders worked equally well as did the “Wonder” floating line. We had the opportunity to put Orvis’s Vortex reel though the paces. I found the drag as smooth as my Bogdan Salmon reel and large-arbor’s line pick-up ability was a real advantage with these speedsters. This is without a doubt Orvis’s best reel and an engineering marvel. The blues were still of the ledges on Friday morning. After a relay the news to Tom Keer on the LIZA B, we effected a water shuttle of Gordon Greer of Wellesley and his brother to the pods of breaking bluefish. The schools were more scattered, however the Greers and Keers were again into numerous doubles. We had Gordon back to Rowe’s Wharf in times for his late morning meeting. On Friday the bait and blues were moving progressively southward toward Scituate. By Saturday, just a few scattered fish were in evidence. Thursdays trips was the best fly-fishing trip for blues I have ever experienced on the South Shore. What was also interesting, is the fact that the flies and poppers out-performed other conventional artificials as the flies better matched the bait-fish. Check out Tom Keer’s “Boston’s South Shore” article in the September, 1999 issue of the Fly Fisherman magazine.

Boston Harbor and South Shore Stripers-8/14/99

This week we fished the ledges and the Harbor in the mornings and the North River the the afternoons with the University of Massachusetts Research Unit on the Striped Bass diet and growth study. From Wednesday on, the Harbor was alive with bass slurping sliversides and juvenile herring through most of the morning. If the day proved overcast, the action continued into the early afternoon. Thursday’s charter with Matt Wood, an Orvis store employee from Binghamton, NY, was just such a day. We found the fish off Rainsford and Long Island at first light. There were bass on the surface as far as you could see with little or no bird activity. Chartreuse Half and Halfs brought immediate results, however the surface action mandated switching to poppers and sliders. Winslow’s afternoon delight, Gartside’s gurglers and small red and white poppers kept the rods bent the entire morning. Orvis’s new wonder line made the casting effortless. Matt’s got to put the Vortex to work on a few of the bigger bass in the 27” range. By mid-morning, with bass still breaking all around the boat, we were casting to specific rises and fishing the sliders like dry flies, floating them over the rings and still getting strikes. After five hours of non-stop surface action, we headed the Hydra-Sport south toward Cohasset, with bass still working the bait. Friday’s trip started out in pea-soup fog. Navigating through the harbor islands to Rowe’s Wharf would have been impossible had it not been for Garmin’s G-Map GPS. We met Dave Volpe from Winchester, MA at the Wharf. With minutes we were into the bass off the anchorage. However, even with the fog, the fish off Rainsford beckoned. Once again, on the incoming tide, they were there on top. Dave’s 32” keeper was the largest of the trip. Dave’s brother Bill, a rookie fisherman, went to work with the light-spinning gear. By the time we returned the Vople’s to the Wharf for Dave’s 10:00 am meeting, it was apparent, that Boston’s Bass had hooked Bill and elevated him to Nimrod status. Check out Tom Keer’s “Boston’s South Shore” article in the September, 1999 issue of the Fly Fisherman magazine.

Capt. Mike Bartlett http://www.spav.com/progc/bfast/ bfast@bigfoot.com