Southeast Cape Cod Wade Inshore Saltwater Fly/Spin Fishing Report
Southeast Cape Cod Wade Inshore Saltwater Fly/Spin Fishing Report
(Marsh, Beach, Islands, Flats, Tidal Rivers)
The following fishing reports will include Tips, techniques, Habitat, Presentation, Baitology, Flies-Hooks, Moon Fazes, Flats, and even some highlights from last
year’s fishing reports. So, sit back, relax and enjoy this Truly World Class Destination Fishery!
Sight Fishing the Flats - Part 4
Imitating the natural fleeing reaction of bait with your fly will greatly increase you catch rate.
Capt. Rich Benson once told me that the hardest fly to fish is a crab, because you don’t really fish it at all. The following story sums it up.
Bass in 1 ft. water — Another day we were seeing 100's of Bass and all fish caught were between 28 and 40 in! All were caught on a Toms Rattle crab. The largest
Bass of 40 in. was taken by leading it, allowing the crab to sink to the bottom. We gave it 2-2in. quick strips to rattle the crab and get the fish's attention. It changed
direction and headed straight for it. The fly was left motionless as most crabs naturally remain stationary w/ claws up when being threatened. The Bass inspected it
for realism then tipped up on its head with its tail almost out of the water and sucked it deep into the throat. We never felt the hit but instinctively set by sight.
Ye-Haa! I haven't seen that much orange string in a while.
(This bass ate it reel good - photo)
Tom Thomas is the inventor of this unique " HOT" fly. If you haven't got one in your box it isn't complete. It works on permit and bones also. Tan, brown and green
are the colors. These can be picked up at Fishing the Cape.
Shrimp—They tend to flee in 1-foot spurts. On a side note, I created a shrimp pattern by tying a piece of no name material on to a hook and forming it into a shrimp
body. Then dipped it in softtex and rolled it in sand. Shape, size, silhouette, coloration and a good sink rate was achieved. And it caught fish! HA.
Silversides—These don’t burrow into the sand, so I normally do a 1 handed strip, 1 ½ foot, quickly, with a pause in between.
Sandlances-- 2-1/2 foot fast strip works best for me.
Ever wonder what I carry for flies in July and August? Take a peek below.
(John Halnon - Photo)
I check my fly after every cast. Through thorough study of bass and retrieval tactics, I've seen fish look at my fly with one eye, then the other, put their nose on it and
turn away. They won't give it a second glance if it is fouled and/or doesn’t look like the natural. I've even seen bass spook off a fouled fly. Stripers have incredible
eyesight and smell so check your fly after every cast. You normally are only going to get one good shot, so make it count.
Keeping in mind these fish have a brain the size of a pea, you would think they would be pretty easy to catch. But remember we are in their environment. Sight
fishing is similar to hunting deer or turkey. The amount of noise generated by you, other anglers or boats means one thing - NO FISH on the flat or at least spooky
fish who are less apt to eat. Even the water lapping on the underside of your basket will spook fish. Stand completely still or when walking move slowly. Stay as far
away from other anglers and boats that may not be trying to blend in with the sites and sounds of the natural saltwater environments as you are.
For best visibility in the morning face west. From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. face anywhere. Afternoon face east.
When the wind is blowing 15 to 30 knots you can still see them but its tough to cast a long leader into it. Find spots where they'll travel by you so you can cast with
the wind. Allowing your leader to fully extend and put more distance between fly and line.
These BIG bass are easiest to catch when they are feeding actively. What initiates this? Most of the time its speed of current moving the bait over, around or into
structure. The faster the current the more aggressively they will feed and the easier they are to catch! During the course of a day most flats will have fish on them, but
I try to only fish the ones that have moving water. This equation works ninety percent of the time. Moving water + structure = a compressed water flow.
Compressed (concentrated) water flow + bait = fish.
(Sighting fish on the flats, John Halnon - Photo)
Myself and John Knight, hard at work
Take some time and study current movement. Seek out moving water on the flats and you will be rewarded.
These fish generally travel the same route day after day taking all the guess work out of it once you've put your time into studying it. The routes they take can and will
change if there's a lack of food, too much boat or wade activity, seals or water temperature change - too warm or too cold. On the flats everywhere I fish is
structure related - creeks, channels, sluiceways, bars, depressions, holes and rips. These types of structure are their highways and restaurants.
Search out areas that give you a height advantage. The higher up you are the larger your visual cone will be, allowing you to achieve many of the pieces of the puzzle
we have already discussed.
When I go fishing, I take all this and more into consideration when deciding where to go. In my opinion, sight fishing the flats is one of the most challenging and
rewarding types of fly fishing you will ever experience. But to achieve proficiency you need to have a clear understanding of the flats you fish. Then you'll soon be
realizing the best part of fly-fishing - FISH ON!!!!
(John Halnon - Photo)
*** Get it while it’s HOT. Daily “Virtual Fishing Reports” with “daily virtual photos”. Hot off the press! (http:www.yankeeangler.com - Fishing Reports) ***
Hi Randy, I'm kind of new to fly fishing for stripers, and am frustrated so far. Several days this spring I've fished South Cape beach and Waquoit. Seen hundreds of
fish, but hooked up only a few times. On South Cape last Saturday the fish were stacked tight against the shore actively feeding, but they were REAL skittish. I must
have spooked 10 fish for every 1 that I got a cast to. These fish were very picky, too. I threw everything at them, several sand eel patterns, crabs, surf candy,
clouser's. Fast retrieves, slow retrieves, no retrieves. Nothing worked. Obviously, I'm doing something wrong, but I'm not sure what. Thanks, Brian
Hi Brian, If its shallow you could of tried a clear Int. line. Or if they were on the surface a floating line. (line does not make a splash and spook fish like a weighted
line does.) Maybe wrong fly for the bait they were eating. Maybe so much bait that they had a hard time finding your 1 fly in thousands of bait? Try something really
big next time so it stands out? Maybe leader to short and they were seeing the fly line. Maybe leader was to heavy pound test and they were seeing the heavy mono?
Maybe splashing line on surface and spooking them? Maybe you were not lowering your upper body as they approached and they saw you? Maybe there were a
number of other anglers around and the fish were spooked? Maybe you were not leading the fish enough? Maybe they were eating small shrimp or micro eels and
they were becoming very fussy? (whew) As you can see their are variables to consider and some others I have not mentioned. Don't be to hard on yourself, others
guides including myself are finding some very fussy fish also. Once the tides pick up, they will eat your fly good! Try finding an area that has moving water, that
always works best. Good Luck, Randy
Steve only had one request for today and that was knowledge. He figured he had the rest of his life to catch fish, but to be able to do it on his own he needed a
better understanding of rigging, flies, habitat and presentation for sight fishing on the flats. So we covered 7 different flats and coves. Some produce best on the
drop, some on the rise and others for a 2 hour period on different parts of either tide. We saw fish in 6 out of the seven spots. 1 spot was loaded and remained that
way for an hour of pretty steady action, others were consistent to slow. We covered about 3 miles of real estate giving Steve lots to come back too. It also helped
him understand the many different types of habitat available to sight fish. We missed a couple and had follows but none landed. The catching was tuff, but we had a
grand day of fishing and learning.
Sam, who was my guest from yesterday. Ventured out on her own to a spot we had visited last year. She caught 2 fish while sight fishing during the afternoon all on
her own! She did not venture to far as we had reports of 4 sand sharks sighted by other wade anglers in this same area.
We fished again today by ourselves with not a sole around. Just blue bird skies and about 100 or so Bass that swam by us through the course of the day. Mostly
singles and doubles. Since it was sunny, I always like to sight fish on the flats all day long. Certain area's can provide you with this even with out a boat. Why blind
cast when you have the rest of your life to do it. Later in the day we moved to another warm water flat and found the temperature to be 67 degrees! (Perfect) We
were rewarded with more fish tracking straight at us. While we did not spank'm today we sure had fun trying and learning some tricks on fishing these world class
Through this guides eyes: The tides are slowing which seems to me why the fish are a little more picky and choosy on the presentation. Im noticing shrimp from 1/4
to 1 inch long on the flat. Lately when they have been eating them you will notice a flash in the water as they turn their body side ways to eat them. This was how I
spotted several fish today. Sometimes I am not able to spot the silhouette of the fish but notice a silvery flash which is a sure give away that its a fish feeding. Once
you key in on the flash, normally you will see the fish or school. Im noticing the adult sand lances and baby ones too on the flats all balled up tight. The micro eels
could be another reason the fish are fussy. Normally when they key in on shrimp or the micros they can leave you scratching you head as to why they are not eating
you perfectly cast fly.
Today was Dons first time fishing the flats and he found out how exciting and also frustrating it can be. Challenging is the word I would use to describe sight fishing.
All the pieces of the puzzle need to all come together to be consistently successful. Im sure Don would use another "word" to describe this type of fishing. (he-he)
Sam on the other hand is a seasoned pro. It seamed that every time see threw it, a hurricane force wind would blow out of no where and keep her fly from hitting the
target. Then all of a sudden the wind would die to nothing. At least that's what see said (he-he)
Join me tomorrow for another "safari fishing adventure report." Hot of the flats!
After Sam's fish was cast too, the fish changed it's direction on the flat and charged 10 feet to intercept and slam her fly. Congrats!
6/8 Report - Feast or famine
Again today we fished an area that was void of crowds, boats and we had numerous flat's all to ourselves. The only other company we entertained were horseshoe
crabs that were trying to mate with our wadding boots and a fair number of bass. Once again we saw some big bass in the 15 -20 lb. range but could not get them to
eat. Today the fish acted more like fussy August fish and refused our flies on a pretty consistent basis. Saw less fish than yesterday but all in all it was not to bad. At
times the bass were very plentiful with us sighting fish almost non-stop. Then it would shut down to nothing for 5-10 minutes. This repeated itself all day on this flat.
So we decided to move to another warmer flat and were rewarded with a couple more sighted and landed. We all got to see the fish track our fly and then open up
wide and inhale it! Pretty neat stuff if you have never done this before.
Judy works for "Angling Adventures" out of CT. in case anyone is interested in booking a trip to some far off exotic port of call. Im booked with her company for
some bone fishing in the Bahamas this winter.
Judy had an amusing way of fighting her fish. After hooking up and the fish would go on a marathon run she would excitedly jump up and down and scream, I cant
believe it, this is so exciting, with more jumping up and down, I cant believe it, this is so exciting, with more jumping up and down, I cant believe it, this is so exciting,
with more jumping up and down. (he-he)
Judy with her first flats fish of the day and Jeff with another one of several caught while sight fishing.
Dick experienced what it was like to see fish from the time our ankles hit the water in the A.M. until I had to literally pull him off the flat at days end. While we did
not see the big schools of fish on the flats as days past. We changed location from the previous few days and were able to sight fish all day with a pretty good stream
of Bass in singles up to schools of 10. The other reason we switched location was to escape the crowds. It all worked in spades. Sun, crystal clear water, light
breeze and hungry Bass were the ingredients for a memorable day on the flats with my good friend.
Dick with a couple of 34'ish inch Bass. He used the 2 handed Orvis 14 foot 9 weight fly rod today for the first time and loved it! Not a single blue was spotted by
myself or a friend who was working an entirely different flat. Water temp. was 56 degrees in the AM. and rose to a reel nice 62 degrees at the high!
We started off blind casting into a area that the fish travel. Up until today this spot had been productive. While we did hit and miss a few, the incoming tide was not
our friend today. With hopes of sight fishing, it was off to the flats as they started to flood. While the sun played hide and seek it made sighting difficult. With a thin
cloud layer it created a glare on the water which put my eyes on overtime. It closed down my usually large window of 200 feet and more to about 60 feet or less.
Sometimes sighting them as they were upon us. We saw a fair number of fish in schools of a few to a 100. Some swam right between us. Several keepers and
schoolies were landed on the flats today. Saw some reel honkers ! (20-30 lb.'s)
Tom with a 34 inch'a taken in 3 feet of water while sight fishing. He landed another almost as big.. Congrats!
Until the next fish bites,