April 4, 2000 - As of this writing, we have yet to receive reliable reports of fresh migrants entering Massachusetts coastal estuaries and river systems, but, I assure you, this is only temporary. The Capes herring runs have been teaming with fodder for some time now and I wouldnt be surprised to receive word on "fishable" numbers of stripers being present around mid-month.
As most well informed anglers are aware, the states recreational length limit has been placed at 30", one fish in possession, for the balance of the 2000 season. Im not sure I totally agree with this current legislation but would admit its a compromise in the right direction. A more logical scenario would be to protect our breeding stocks, adults in the 30-34" category, to insure sufficient propagation of the species in the future.
The Massachusetts rod and reel commercial limit has once again been placed at 34".
If you are contemplating a mid-April venture in search of early transients, as always, concentrate your efforts on the south side of Cape Cod. If tradition holds true, and it should, the first areas to "light-up" will be the Waquoit section of Falmouth, Mashpee, Cotuit, Yarmouth and W. Dennis. While early action can be somewhat spotty, wading anglers should be able to scare up a few fish at Bournes Pond in Falmouth, South Cape Beach and Popponesset Gut in Mashpee, Oregon Beach, Loop Beach and the Cross St. access in Cotuit, Parkers River in Yarmouth and the Bass River at West Dennis Beach.
In general, fishing should improve dramatically toward the end of the month as more migrating stripers enter the system. In the past few seasons it has not been uncommon to begin carousing the shores of Chatham and Pleasant Bay as early as the first week of May and be assured of modest success. The dramatic climatic changes that have occurred in the Northeast over the past few seasons seems to have advanced the migratory schedule a few weeks to the delight of every saltwater fly angler.
If inspiration strikes, and the need to "air it out" is overwhelming, you may want to visit a few of the more popular early season haunts along the Rhode Island coast and Seakonk, MA area. Try the Lees and Coles Rivers along Rt. 103 in Somerset, the Kickomuit River bottleneck off Rt.136 in Bristol, RI, or Mill Gut, which is located in Colt State Park, also in Bristol. All of these areas are within ear-shot of one another making it relatively easy to relocate in search of consistent action.
If you would like more specific information on these areas please contact us by phone or e-mail an we will be more than happy to obligee.
Anglers new to saltwater will want to check out our Saltwater Equipment Rx page located within this site. Its packed with information on leaders, gear maintenance, rod selection and various other topics of interest.
Good fishing, and safe wading
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