Mike’s Salty Blog: Fishy Sixth Sense

The irony of owning a fishing tackle business is that you fish a lot less than when you got started. And that’s 100% OK because I truly feel I am in someway fishing each time a Hogy or SI Lure is cast into the water. I’m in the business I love. I’m surrounded by awesome people and I truly grateful for my career.

THAT SAID the lack-of-fishing-factor stung a little today (ok A LOT) when I realized how rusty I’ve become in terms of how well I know my local spots and when and where to fish. I knew spots so well when I was a guide. I knew when and where to be; because when you are on the water almost every day, you get what I call “The Fishy Sixth Sense” where all the little nuances you pick up subconsciously add up to good decisions. Needless to say, the “Fishy Sixth Sense” was a sense I did NOT have with me today.

captmike

My respect for professional guides grows with each year I am out of the guiding business and in the tackle business. I watch them manage people, weather, gear boats, motors and trailers and all at obscene times in the night and morning. Their passion astounds me. The good ones, even after dozens of years in the business bring their A-games to the water each and every day. I work closely with Hogy’s pro-staff and I smile each time I hear from a guide who is telling me about a fishing trip they took on their “day-off” They think about everything that has to do with the fish: bait migrations, seasons, water temps, tides weather, weather change’s impact, lures, bait on top of pattern changes and declining fish stocks. They do this everyday no matter how much it hurts, and that’s what it takes to develop the “Fishy Sixth Sense.”

They truly deserve the jealousy the stir with their reports. They earned it.

OK, I’m a little bit of a wind bag here. Sorry about that. My “third” Cisco Whale Tail is really kicking in. I guess the point I’m trying to make is Facebook and online fishing reports can be sources of blows to one’s ego. Guides and frequent anglers are so good they make it look easy when they kick us “working stiff’s” asses out on the water, which is what happened to me today. I won’t be able to sleep as I’ll replaying all my decisions in my mind. Thinking the “I knew better than that” thoughts and generally beating myself up.

Even still I’m grateful for the torture. My humbling experience today has fired me up in a way that got me so damn hooked on fishing in the first place. Here’s to next time and to the “flu” many of us will catch the next time a bite is off the hook.

Oh Yeah, here’s my report from today. 6/4/2014

Cheers,
Mike

Early Morning in Cape Cod Bay

I set my alarm for 3:30AM so I could get up, tip-toe out of my house without waking my 2 and 4 year old, (or worse, my wife) and make it to the Sandwich boat basin to put the boat in for a 4:30 AM departure. On the way to Sandwich, I noticed the Canal was lined with cars from Bourne Bridge to Sagamore. We then suffered through the 39 degrees (according to my Toyota’s thermometer) for 45 minutes until we reached the Race off of Provincetown. I was quickly excited when I say the birds and pods of bait. Many, many pods of bait. Like Alfred Hitchcock movie pods of bait. All unmolested by anything larger than small Atlantic Mackerel. We stuck around for an hour or so before working our way back in. One of us had to be back to the ramp at 8:30 so we didn’t have much time.

On the way back in we stopped at Billingsgate where there was more bait and gannets. We made a few casts and almost caught a 12” school. Couldn’t seal the deal. We learned from a friend who arrived a couple hours after us, say 9:30, that there were some small keepers mixed in with the micro bass. We also poked into Barnstable Harbor and saw many boats but we were light on time so we kept moving. We later learned that’s where the best action was, with small keepers on the morning tide. Entering the Canal, a little before 8:30, we saw a couple anglers hooked up with nice fish on Pip’s Rip. Also, we saw some fish hanging out of pick ups driving home. I’m sure it was a good mooring on the canal, but unconfirmed by me, other than what I just mentioned.

Late Morning in Vineyard Sound

Feeling like I had something to prove, I headed to Falmouth where I keep my boat docked, loaded up my light-tackle lead core outfits. I have new wire outfits coming to me this weekend, so they unfortunately weren’t available. I rigged up with our new Perfect Squid, rigged to jig up bass that are common at L’Hommedieu in the early season. The tide was honking east with the full moon and I couldn’t get under the bluefish. I watched one of Falmouth’s best captains land a number of large bass next to me with his wire outfits. I had to leave. I wasn’t anywhere near deep enough to fish under the bluefish. Release our fish and steamed to Middle Ground.

Without a wire setup, it was tough to get down below the bluefish.
Without a wire setup, it was tough to get down below the bluefish.

Lines in at Middle Ground. The tide was still cooking. Put my weedless softbait rigs on lead core out and did my thing. Nothing but more bluefish. The water was very very weedy. As a side note, so if you are trolling there, weedless soft baits are the way to go.

We then steamed to Woods Hole and the surrounding area, picked up some schoolies and some more bluefish trolling down current with the tide with SI Perfect Squids. Feeling like I had something to prove, we went back to L’Hommedieu for the tail end of the tide and jigged up one close to legal bass.

Jigging weedless softbaits finally produced some schoolie-sized bass in the afternoon.
Jigging weedless softbaits finally produced some schoolie-sized bass in the afternoon.

Tough fishing. The moral of the story is if you want to catch fish trolling the sound in a full moon, think about heavy 5-6oz jigs with lead core or to fish with 200’ of wire line.

Lastly, It was rubbed in by my camera man, who went back out this early evening and caught a nice keeper on the very same outfit we were using in woods hole in the very same spot we were fishing. He’s fired. SI Perfect Squid in White in case you want to rub it in too!

Cheers,
Mike