May 17 2019

“Pre-Fishing” The 2019 Cheeky Schoolie Tournament


Ryan Collins

This Saturday May 18 marks the 8th annual Cheeky Schoolie Tournament. The Cheeky Tournament is held on Cape Cod, and it's the largest fly fishing tournament in the world!

I will be fly fishing Cheeky with my buddy and MFCC member Doug Blanchard. This will be our third year in a row fishing the Cheeky Tournament.

Doug and I caught fish during the 2017 and 2018 Cheeky Tournaments, but they were too small to get us on the leaderboard.

That's why this year I decided to devote some time to "pre-fishing" in an effort to find some bigger fish!


Tuesday May 14

The weather was frigid this past Tuesday with 40 degree temperatures and winds out of the northeast at more than 25 miles per hour.

However the fish were biting well in this general area of Cape Cod.

The incoming tide was productive, with a school of bass stacked up in a nearshore rip.

I caught about 25 stripers on a white dart spin. You can learn more about this deadly new lure by reading this recent forum post from Matt Murphy.

Most of the fish were in the 20-24 inch class but I did catch four bass between 25-28 inches. 

Thursday May 16

Yesterday I returned to the same general area of Cape Cod with my fly fishing equipment and Cheeky Schoolie Tournament partner Doug Blanchard. 

The way the Cheeky Tournament works is that you measure your team's 4 biggest striped bass. The team with the most cumulative inches wins.

Yesterday a 4 inch blue and white fly fished on floating line worked well for me on stripers of up to 25 inches.

cheeky fly fishing tournament fly

Thank you Ian Bragdon from the Goose Hummock Shop in Orleans for outfitting me with fly gear for this trip!

Doug and I caught and released plenty of bass yesterday, but we didn't find any monsters. Our 4 largest stripers on the fly would of added up to around 90 cumulative inches.

I don't think 90 inches is going to win this year's Cheeky Tournament. I know for a fact that there are a reasonable amount of 35+ inch striped bass here on Cape Cod.

Doug and I just need to find the bigger fish!

Good luck if you are participating in this year's Cheeky Schoolie Tournament. Please come say hello if you happen to see me around.

Tight lines! ?

What do you think?

Let me know by commenting below.

  • Ryan,
    I was one of the 2 guys next to you at the captain’s meeting. It was a rough start to the day but got better at high tide.

    We couldn’t break 88″ for a total…. agree that 90″ won’t cut it.


    • Good chatting with you Eric at the captains’ meeting. Hope you guys had fun! We caught 96.75 inches for 14th place.

      Maybe next year will be the year for you and I. Regardless I still had fun. Good bumping into you!

  • That small blue and white Deceiver is one of my favorite flies. Seems like the dart spin is like the Al Gags underspin. A highly effective early season lure.
    Ned and I will also be fishing the Cheeky, Team Nexus. Good luck to all the MFCC teams. Should be fun.

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