Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Chatham/Orleans 2012

It has been such a busy year with work, and before I knew it, family vacation was upon us. It was so great to get away for a little over a week. Most years we stay in Chatham, but the house we had grown accustomed to staying at wasn't available for our time, so we had to look around and found a great place in Orleans, right near pleasant bay.

As soon as we unloaded our vehicles upon arrival saturday afternoon, I took my nephew to scout out a few spots close to home base. It was a gorgeous day, with high sun, no clouds, and no wind, which made it bug city. We didnt find any fish the first night of fishing, so I was eager to get a few hours sleep and get out for first light. I decided to check a spot in Chatham Harbor, unfortunately no signs of life, but it was an amazing sunrise coming up over North Island.

The weather continued to be great for going to the beach for another day, but the weather shifted and the wind picked up. I was poking around Stage Harbor and found some fish popping on something, I couldnt tell what it was at first, but turned out to be small squid. That night I got a few hits and I could see there were some good sized fish mixed in, but couldnt bring any to hand.

I went out the next evening, right before dark with my 7 wt and a yellow gurgler to fish sod banks as the tide was moving out. On my second cast I'm working the gurgler pretty quick and as I got it within 10', I always pause before recasting it, as soon as it stopped the fish below smashed it.
 I caught another fish and the action died down after the second fish.

The remaining days would be cloudy with the threat of rain,( no more beach days) so I did some day time fishing in a little tucked away spot on Pleasant Bay. I tied into a few fish around the size of the one above, including some feisty blues which took some of my gurglers with them. Interestingly enough, the only color that worked was yellow...after losing a yellow gurgler to a blue, I tied on a white one. No action, no follows, nada. Put on another yellow gurgler, first cast, fish on!

One of the nights I was out I hooked into something that went nuts, jumping and thrashing more wildly than a typical blue, it turned out to be the biggest Shad I've ever caught(I dont catch alot, but they are fun bycatch), it must have been 24" long, it ate a spawning shrimp.

The last night was the best, not in terms of size, just an interesting scene. I arrived at one of my favorite sod banks in Chatham, only to find it flooded by about a foot higher than normal. The full moon was building and the tides were growing...the fish were there, tailing and popping at the same time. The water was 1.5-2' deep and I believe the fish were rooting around the grass chasing shrimp and small(dime size)crabs, and the ones fleeing to the skies were being targeted as well. I tied on another spawning shrimp and on my first cast, a feisty striper of about 24-25" nailed it and took off towards deeper water at the edge of the sod bank. After a quick release, next cast, fish on! This continued for another 15 minutes as the tide dropped and the fish moved on.

All in all, I didnt tie into anything sizeable, but I caught fish most days and fishing gurglers is alot of fun. I also came back in one piece, crazy whats goin on with the shark situation up there.

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