Trip Report South Shore MA Stripers

Gregobr

Active Member
#1
My annual East Coast trip was earlier than usual this year due to my daughter graduating from college in MA. I stuck around for a few extra days to help her move out of her apartment, and of course do a little striped bass fishing.

The South Shore of Massachusetts can be a bit tricky to DIY fly fish due to the large amount of private land ownership and tricky beach access, especially with a rental car with out of state plates and not having the requisite local beach access stickers plastered on the windows. This is where a local comes in handy. Fortunately my wife’s cousin (which makes him my cousin, once removed I think) is a hardcore gear fishing surf and bay striper guy.

Wednesday evening was our first shot at fishing, and we hit his local beach in two spots and after only one fish (we were both fishing spinning gear) we moved to the bay side and got nothing more. The wind was blowing at 12-15, but calming down as it got dark.

Thursday morning we started at daybreak meeting a guide at Duxbury Bay. Captain Dave Bitters (Baymen Outfitters) has been at this for a long time, and I was psyched to finally be going out with him. I had tried to hire him as a guide a few times in past years but he has always been booked up. He is already booking for the 2020 season, so that says something.

I was fishing my Beulah Opal 2 hand overhead rod and started (and ended) with a simple Clouser pattern. 2nd cast I was on to a thick schoolie striper and the action was pretty nonstop for the next few hours except at low slack tide. I used an intermediate line, and a fast 2 foot strip retrieve most of the time. At the tide turn we got into a nice rip but terrible wind, and i could only cast about 30’ out so I would feed some line and get a little sink and let the fly swing while giving it a little stripping action. I thought this was going to be super productive but I only managed 3 or 4 doing this.

All told I got about 40 stripers on the same fly, while my cousin got about 35 on lures. He got the biggest, the only legal size (but first “keeper” of the season In the Bay- my cousin did release the fish too) fish that was just under 30” and about 10 lbs. Most fish were in the 18”-24” range, but thick and heavy for the length, indicating a good next few years we hope. All were scrappy, a couple made it on to the reel and pulled some line. Great times, and I can’t recommend Baymen Outfitters highly enough.
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Hem

Active Member
#3
That's a cool trip. I have fished for Stripers 6-8 times from Maine to Rhode Island. Mostly North Shore near Plum Island. Wish I could do it more frequently.
 

Gregobr

Active Member
#4
That's a cool trip. I have fished for Stripers 6-8 times from Maine to Rhode Island. Mostly North Shore near Plum Island. Wish I could do it more frequently.
Yes, it’s a blast. I hear Plum Island can be great too. On the South Shore I've had really limited success with fly gear from the beaches over the years. I do better on the bays and a couple secret salt marsh creeks that I've been turned on to.

I've used a great guide on the Cape (Capt John Curry) and had some better Out Front beach days there. John Curry typically guides out of Barnstable Harbor and always put us on lots of fish, even in the July slow time.

Greg
 

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