TEETERING ON THE BRINK

April 24, 2008 - So check out the most recent New England surface water temperatures… Newport-48.4, Woodshole-48.2, Boston Harbor-48.4, and Portland, ME-47.1. In spite of the rather poor fishing reports we've been fielding the past few weeks, we can assure you that within a week time this will change dramatically. Once the 50-degree barrier is breached look for fishable numbers of migrant stripers to infiltrate Cape Cod's south side and Cape Cod Bay as well.

Virtually all herring runs are occupied, with bright fish arriving daily, and all appears to be right on schedule for another stellar season. Fly anglers that have already ventured about are reporting immense amounts of bait (silversides and sand eels) occupying south facing estuaries and river mouths so everything is in place moving forward.

Here's a good speculation on when to expect "fishable" numbers of migrating species to enter Massachusetts waters during the early season… School Striped Bass - 1st week of May, Larger (keeper sized) Striped Bass - 2nd week of May, Bluefish (5-8lbs)- middle of May, larger Bluefish- end of May to early June, and Bluefin Tuna- mid to late June. Keep in mind that these are only guidelines and things are always subject to change.

ARMING THE BOX
During last season I found myself utilizing floating lines in conjunction with Garthside Gurglers (#1/0-#2/0) and Crease Flies (#1/0-#2/0) throughout much of the season. While this approach is not always the most effective, I can assure is the most satisfying, if the geography will permit you to do so. Supplement these with Olive and Chartreuse Clousers (#1-#1/0), Bon Bon Baitfish (#1-#2) in olive and gray, a good herring imitation (#1/0-#3/0), and a mackerel imitation (#1/0-#3/0). Round out your box with a clam worm (#4-#6) and a squid pattern (#2/0-#4/0) and this will put you in good stead. While the latter two flies I would not consider essentials, you'll be happy you inventoried them should you encounter selective fish feeding on these species.

Good fishing and safe wading,
JB

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