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The Hunt For My First Kayak Bass of 2016

Steve O'Malley

I was woken just before dawn on Sunday by the sound of a thousand blackbirds on my lawn, in the trees and on the telephone wires.

It seemed as though every one of them was calling, announcing that spring was here and encouraging me to do spring things like spruce up the yard, pull out the bicycles, and go fishing.

This calling aligned well with my plans for the day which included kicking off the 2016 fishing season at the MFCC breakfast.

​After a good breakfast at the Brookside Club with my wife and dozens of like-minded MFCC fishermen I set my mind to getting a line wet, and hooking that first striper of the year.


​I was going to hit the rocky shores of upper Buzzards Bay at dusk, looking for those early migration schoolies as they search for the inlets to the estuaries where they will lay up for the summer, gorging themselves on tiny baitfish, safe from the jaws of deeper water predators.

First Try

​Around 5:00 Sunday evening I packed up my rod, a few 1-2 oz. swimming plugs, and a light gear bag. I started my hunt on a north facing rocky shore where I imagined the stiff north wind may have pushed some bait.

North facing shore in upper Buzzard's Bay where I had hoped to catch my first of 2016.

I fished for about 3 hours, trying to punch light lures into the wind and beyond the rocks where I would slowly retrieve through the boulders, hoping to be ambushed by a lurking bass. After picking my way along half a mile of rough shore I called it a night without any sign of fish.

​But I felt good. Things felt reasonably fishy, spring-like, and I had just put in a solid fishing effort. Within one day the fishing season had begun and winter was behind me.

Try Again

Monday at work was a long day as I now have the fishing bug.

​Feeling that I wanted more mobility than I was getting from shore I made plans to pull the kayak out of the weeds and rig it up for fishing. I cut out from work a little early and made up some brackets for a paddle rack. After cleaning up the hull I tossed the yak into the car and headed back to the rocky shores.

My old kayak now rigged for fishing. Nothing fancy, but it does the trick.

Again the wind was from the north and I found myself with my hands full managing the kayak in a wind-blown chop while fishing near rocks. Keeping in mind that the water temp was still below 50 degrees and that I was alone I spent the next 2 hours wrestling with the kayak while trying to cast.

​Soaked from the waist down, tired and a little discouraged I called it a night just after dark.

After a shower and getting some warm clothes on, I sat with Google Earth and found a potential kayak put-in spot about a mile up into a nearby estuary. I was going to keep pushing hard and my plan for the next night was in place.

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  1. Steve nice report! I was at the east end of the canal Sunday morning watching the birds working some bait fish. Didn’t have my rods with me. Great start to the season.

    1. Thanks Richard. Good luck out there!

  2. Great report, great writing! I was actually going to be mad if you didn’t catch anything. Thanks!

    1. Thanks Wedge. We’ll save a few for you.

  3. I`m jealous Steve. I put in a few hours myself Sunday morning kayak fishing an upper b bay river with no luck. Great report. Thanks

    1. Thank you Peter. I’ve been back to the spot twice since report… skunked twice. That’s the way it goes.

  4. Great report, Steve!!!! Great start to the season! Hope it continues for you. Planning on kicking my fishing off this weekend!

    1. Thanks Ryan. Good luck out there this weekend.

  5. Great report! Sounds like your season if off to a successful start. Congrats!

    1. Thanks Ryan. It was good to meet you at the breakfast, and thanks for sharing tips on terminal tackle and Power Clips.

  6. Awesome report. Really enjoyed reading this. Congrats!

    1. Thanks Matt. Go get ’em!

  7. Great stuff, Steve. A lot of useful details in the post. Bet your daughter was thrilled her Christmas gift got you your biggest bass of the day. Congrats on a great start to the season. See you out there!

    1. Thanks Jim. She was pleased, I sent a pic minutes after catching. Gave me a reason to “bug” her while at college. I’ll see you out at the west end grounds in a couple of weeks!

  8. Nice report! That bass in the first pic almost looks like a hold over. Did you notice any difference in the color of the bass or if some were covered in sea lice and others not?

    1. Thanks Brain. All fish caught had a couple of small orange hitchhikers on their bodies. I guess these may be the sea lice you mention? Color was about the same. Good luck out there.

      1. Steve, a nice report that shows persistence pays off. Well done and the start of another season with lots of promise.

        1. Thank you Ron. Persistence coupled with a ton of good advice from MFCC members.


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