Today was a perfect day to catch my first Cape Cod stripers of the 2013 season. The sun was shining and I could definitely feel spring in the air. Nevertheless it is still very early for striped bass fishing, so I had my doubts regarding whether or not I would find any fish.
I set off around 3pm to fish Buzzards Bay. More specifically, I planned on fishing a few Buzzards Bay spots that have produced well in the past for me during mid-April. As mentioned in yesterday’s post, the plan was to fish estuaries and inlets. More often than not the first Cape Cod striped bass of the season are caught in these areas.
The breeze was cranking at least 20 mph out of the south east when I arrived at the first estuary of the day. The tide was dropping and the current was moving at a reasonable clip. There were a few birds working here and there, but no significant life showing on the surface. It felt pretty good to be outdoors with the wind whipping in my face. Man I am glad that spring is finally here.
I decided to work the deepest area of the estuary, which was a channel that small boats can easily navigate through. I would estimate that the depth of the area was around 10 feet – plenty of water for a nice school of stripers to stack up in.
In years past this particular area can be inundated with schoolie stripers and small keepers. Soon the water here will be too warm to support a striper population, but for now the water temperatures are near perfect. Way too cold to go for a swim, but pretty ideal if you are a bass.
Most estuaries are on the murky side and today was no different. Even with the polarized sunglasses I had a hard time seeing bottom. I have no idea if there was any bait in the area, but I would guess that there was some small bait around – and of course plenty of crabs and other crustaceans.
After about 15 casts without any love I switched up tactics and began casting a white grub on a 1/2 ounce lead head. My idea was to chuck the lure up current and let it tumble down through the water column. Once I reached bottom, I began slowly jigging the white curly tail grub up and down. Unfortunately there were no takers, so after thoroughly working the area I decided it was time to move on.
Instead of continuing to focus on the lower reaches of the estuary, I decided to make a move way back up the creek. Often times the upper reaches of Cape Cod’s estuaries are a few degrees warmer than the area closer to the ocean. This is particularly true in Buzzards Bay during April. If you don’t find any love by the mouth of the estuary, considering going on a trek way back into the marsh.
I actually ended up a few miles away from my original fishing spot. The water was much warmer, plus it was nice to get a little cover from the stiff SE breeze. I chose to setup shop at a bend in the creek that had very little tidal flow and an extremely muddy bottom. The sun began to sink lower in the sky and I felt as if the stage was set for something to happen.
My casting muscles needed a little loosening up so I reared back and fired my small offering straight across the creek. A few cranks of the handle and I felt that oh so familiar WHACK! that I have been waiting for all winter. I reared back, the rod bent and low and behold I was on!