June 8, 2011 - The problem facing a number of anglers this weekend was not locating fish; it was getting them to eat. A cadre of acquaintances canvassed the flats in the Rock Harbor area of Cape Cod Bay and had no problem locating immense schools of striped bass and despite employing tried and true, well tested, guaranteed and cant miss patterns all but drew blanks with only a handful of well proportioned stripers to show for their effort.

Crab patterns, small sand eels, smaller sand eels, smallest sand eels and even a top water offering or two could not tempt the inhabitants of these massive flats with any consistency. While behavior like this, particularly in this area is not an anomaly; it can be quite frustrating even for veteran long rodders. The amusing component of this scenario is that a comparable day during the same week could yield many striped bass (most of them in the 30-35 inch category).

I had the opportunity to serve first mate with Captain Lenny Renauld of Sterling (more of a quahog run than a serious fishing outing) over the weekend. We witnessed an epic distribution of sand eels (4 inches) in the Stage Harbor-Harding Beach area of Chatham. At one point I pitched the comment "I literally cannot see the end to the diving birds." While my first few offerings led to a couple of boated bass leading to air of optimism, the morning would not surrender another strike.

Bluefish have begun to filter into Cape Cod Bay and are now present around Billingsgate and Sunken Meadow. These are not the "gators" that will occupy this real estate later in the season and generally fall in the 5-7lb. category. These early season marauders will often fall prey to top water offerings such as gurglers, crease flies and sliders and are superb fly rod fare.

TB in AB
Tom Blailock had the opportunity to ply his craft in Mexico this spring and files this brief report…

"Hi Jim - caught this tarpon using one of the flies you sold me before my Belize trip. This fish was caught this past April in Ascension Bay, Mexico using a Great Bay Evolution 10 weight. I will be back for more of the flies!"

Good fishing and safe wading,

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