2007 Season in Review|
As many Draggin' Fly clients will attest, the 2007 fishing season will go into the books as one of the best in recent history. Stripers were available throughout the season in good numbers. Trophy bass over 40 inches were caught on light tackle and flies almost on a weekly basis. And some real monsters were caught during the season. Bluefish were certainly not as numerous as in the past few seasons, at least not until the fall, but the ones that were boated in July and August were bigger than those usually encountered in Boston. It was not uncommon to catch jumbo choppers over 3 feet.
Again this year fly rodders, Damon Reed of Vermont and John Kieley of New Hampshire contracted with Captain Bill to fish every other week as they have for the past 8 years. Fishing during every part of the 2007 season, Damon and John had the unique experience to see the many different faces of Boston Harbor. John and Damon will be the first to admit that the fishing this past year was not always easy like it was in the spring and during the fall migration. But whether they were stalking bass in skinny water during the early morning hours of July or chasing fish along the rock ledges of the Inner Triangle, it was a season to remember even for these harbor veterans.
This spring, the wind blew and the rain came, putting a damper on the early season. As the weather improved later in May, the Harbor fishing broke wide open. By May 20th, anglers were able to target jumbo fish on the surface. When The Draggin' Fly was able to get out, the fishing was truly awesome. There were the usual massive schools of juvenile bass, but this year, big bass arrived much earlier. While most herring runs across the state continued to experience major population declines, Boston Harbor's rivers and estuaries had an ample supply of herring to attract bass throughout the early season. With a state-wide prohibition against the use of herring for bait, pressure during the early season was not as great as it had been in past seasons.
Although the spring mackerel run was a big bust, bass continued to move into Harbor's bays and rivers throughout June attracted to schools of herring that were making their way to their spawning grounds in the Harbor's rivers. Light tackle anglers and fly fishers had good luck in terms of numbers and size of fish during the month. Bluefish also made an early appearance in the Inner Harbor. Our first encounter with them was in mid-June. However, much like the 2006 season, the large schools of blues that Harbor fishermen have counted on for years during June never came into the Harbor or the off-shore ledges this past season. It could have been the lack of mackerel or the strong northwest winds that blew throughout the month.
Much of our efforts in July were concentrated on fishing the shallow waters of the Inner Harbor. This month provided challenging angling experiences for Draggin' Fly's clients who enjoy stalking and casting to fish with light tackle and flies. On most trips, anglers jumped big fish and had opportunities to cast to trophy bass in very skinny water. Although fish in the shallows were easily spooked and difficult to hook, several anglers caught very large bass and bluefish during the month. Patience and accurate casting were required. Huge schools of mature pogies made a major come back this season and returned to several bays in the Inner Harbor, attacking large fleets of boats on a daily basis. Again this season, the success of The Draggin' Fly during this time was very noticeable among the fleet. Captain Bill believes that the success of his clients during this part of the season was directly related to their commitment to be on the water before dawn, long before other anglers, and sticking with the strategy of hunting the shallows.
August began as July ended. While many boats continue to snag pogies and live-line them, Captain Bill stuck with his strategy of fishing the shallows for selective bass. During the early dawn hours, clients stalked the skinny water and were often rewarded with explosive action. As bait became more plentiful in mid- August, fish that were elusive just days earlier became very aggressive. The Draggin' Fly began to fish some product waters of the North Shore. Since peanut bunker were not as plentiful as juvenile herring this year, the fishing was more on the eel grass flats than along the rocky shorelines as it has been in past season. At the end of the month, peanut bunker began to invade the Inner Harbor. The bass were bigger and more bluefish were in the mix. Many trophy fish were caught during the month and most were released.
gotten out about the huge schools of pogies in Boston Harbor and pressure was
at its peak during September and continued right through to the end of October.
During this period, schools of bluefish and bass could be found from the Fore
River right into downtown Boston and in every estuary in between. On many trips,
anglers aboard The Draggin' Fly caught bass and blues at every stop from
Boston, to Hingham, to Winthrop, to Revere. From mid-September until the season's
last trip at the end of October, the fish seemed to feed endlessly. This year,
the weather cooperated and bait was available throughout October, providing the
longest season on record. The Draggin' Fly finished striper trips the last
week of the month. And there were still fish in the Harbor, but it was time to
store tackle, clean the boat, and make plans for a winter season of skiing.
October 21, 2007
Mid-week Captain Bill was back on the water after time off to attend an out-of-state. Bob Ricci of Attleboro and Larry McDermott of Medway were aboard for an early evening trip. Bob wanted to fish eels so The Captain decided to trailer to the Canal and splash the Draggin Fly in at the boat basin in the Canal. Fellow charter skippers had been telling tales of big bass off of Sandwich. Within minutes of making the corner of Cape Cod Bay, the crew was into fish. For the next hour and half, Bob and Gerry cast swimming and twitch baits to bass up to nearly 36 inches. The crew had some very good luck on MirrOlure suspended twitch baits that radio host Ed Novak had given to Captain Bill a few weeks back. At dusk, techniques were changed and eels were drifted along Scorton Ledge. On the first drifts, the eels were attacked by bluefish that bit and held on only to drop the bait by the boat. Moving closer to the beach, a school of big bass was located that moved into the shallower water under the cover of darkness. Gerry was the first to score with a trophy fish weighing 28 pounds and measuring almost 45 inches. But it was Bob's turn to shine as he caught and released a 34 pound bass just before it was time to head back to dock.
Friday's cold front and its accompanying thunderstorms passed over the South Shore well before dawn. But the morning winds were too strong to make an attempt to get outside. NOAA posted a small craft warning that would last until Sunday so Saturday's trip with the Paul Gallagher crew was scrubbed.
October 13, 2007
Sunday, Frank Farraye of Medfield invited Michael Callahan of Connecticut and his teenage son Andrew to join him for a light tackle trip. Frank fishes with Captain Bill several times a year, but this was the Callahans first Harbor Experience. Ironically, Michael had spent several years at the Coast Guard Boston Command but never realized the quality of fishing the Harbor offered. Despite a nasty NE wind, it was one of those "Dream Days" where the birds and the fish seemed to be everywhere. Heading to the Inner Triangle, Captain Bill saw a massive flock of birds just outside Deer Island. Frank, Michael, and Andrew worked Bass Assassins on the surface. It was difficult working these jerk baits in the 20 plus mph wind that really kicked up the seas. The fish were hungry and very aggressive. Seeking some shelter from the wind, the crew headed to Thompson Island, but on the way they ran into a big school of blues off the Sugar Bowl. Frank, Michael, and Andrew used several other lures including poppers and needle fish to catch a few fish, but the best action was on Captain Bill's go-to-lures .twitch baits. The next stop on the west side of the island, the crew found a lee from the wind but not the fish. As the wind continued to build, everyone knew it was time to head back to dock. It was another great day despite the weather.
Avid fly fishers, Wayne Perry and Charlie Fortier of East Bridgewater met Captain Bill before dawn on Monday just as the rain began. Since the weather prediction was for occasional showers and there was little wind, the crew decided to give it a go. Running through some heavy rain, the Draggin' Fly reached the airport flats just at sunrise to find that the fish decided to sleep in this morning. As the tide began to pull, the fish came to the surface in search of bait. It was nonstop action all morning. Both Wayne and Charlie used small Clousers on sink tip lines to catch fish after fish. Many times both fly rodders were hooked up at the same time keeping the skipper pretty busy throughout the morning. There was also an occasional encounter with a bluefish. No one seemed to notice that the occasional shower was now a steady shower and an occasional downpour. At slack tide, Captain Bill positioned the boat to drift the shallows with the SE wind. Again, Charlie and Wayne were tight to fish. Wayne hooked a big fish that did not pull like its size, but when this fish saw the boat it suddenly erupted. Unfortunately, the hook pulled before Wayne could get it back to the boat. On the tide turn, the crew headed to Carson Beach and found even larger schools of bass that were ripping up peanut bunker. Wayne switched to a floating line and a Crease Fly to catch his fish while Charlie stayed with the Clouser. Wayne and Charlie caught and released more fish on this rainy morning than many anglers catch in a season.
Captain Bill took time to attend a wedding in
New York City. The wedding was on the East River and yes there were fish breaking
on the surface. From his vantage point, it looked liked big blue fish working
pogies, but since the Captain's wife had all rods removed, there was no tell tale
October 6, 2007
Seasonal clients, Damon Reed of Vermont and John Kieley of New Hampshire invited outdoor writer and radio personality, Ed Nowak to join them for their last trip of the season. These two expert fly fishers have been chartering The Draggin' Fly for 10 seasons and schedule trips every other week. After winning a quick bet, Captain Bill headed to the Inner Triangle. Just shy of the intended target, the crew was into a major blitz of fish just off of Thompson Island. Since it was mid-afternoon, these anglers had this school of bass and blues all to themselves. John worked a Mush fly and Damon used a Crease fly to catch numerous fish. Ed used his favorite, a MiirOlure suspended jerk bait. Risking mutiny and the wrath of Nowak for leaving fish, Captain Bill headed to Dorchester Bay to look for bigger fish. Luckily, the crew was soon into fish again, but again theses bass were on the small size. After the tide turn, the crew found a massive school of bass that had bait pinned on the Long Island shoreline. Damon and John pulled bass after bass out of this skinny water on their flies and Ed got his on swimming lures. While Damon and John have many memories to get them through the long off season, Ed has plenty of copy and pictures for his articles.
Gerry Toomey of Worchester booked Wednesday's trip to entertain a friend and business associate, Mike Stanley. This day a small fleet was fishing the school of bass that Captain Bill was on the previous day by Thompson Island. After catching several school bass, it was decided to head offshore to see if the bass were in the North Channel where the morning charters had had them. The crew found flat seas but no fish. Captain Bill decided to try along Revere Beach. Moving into very shallow water, the crew saw that bass had peanut bunker trapped in inches of water. Gerry and Mike caught several on surface lures including Bass Assassins and MirrOlures. The biggest bass was almost 35 inches, a nice catch in shallow water. Prior to the trip, Gerry who had fished with Captain Bill in the past had asked the skipper to pick up some eels so that they could finish the trip by casting eels at dark. Drifting some structure off of Rainsford Island proved the ticket, as Gerry and Mike caught three bass with the biggest stretching the tape at 44 inches. That fish earned Mike bragging rights until next season.
On Saturday, Rob Austin of Holbrook met Captain Bill before dawn with fingers crossed hoping his teenage daughter, Sarah and his 10 year old nephew, Aidan, would get into some fish. The Fishing Gods were smiling as the crew was greeted by flat seas and no wind. It was a spectacular sunrise when the crew found the Mother Lode of bass on the airport flats. For the next several hours, the crew kept Captain Bill busy rigging and releasing bass. These fish were loading up on peanut bunker but chased Bass Assassins worked on the surface. All of these fish were in the 22-24 inch range. After catching and releasing several bass, Rob tried his hand at fly fishing and switched to the long rod. Rob used a Mush fly to land his first bass ever on a fly rod. A huge fleet of boats was working the area so it was time to explore the North Shore. For some unknown reason, Revere Beach, a perennial fall hotspot held no fish this day. Reluctantly, Captain Bill headed back inside. Trying to avoid boat traffic, the crew decided to try some shallow water off Snake Island. Again, Sarah, Rob, and Aidan were into bass after bass, and this is just how the day ended. It was another good day in Paradise, Boston Harbor.
September 30, 2007
It seems that the fish God's are unhappy after some great weather, it was a week of crazy weather. Mid-week temperatures were like July but the temperature was the least of our problems, as we had to battle the wind throughout the week. Friday's cold front decided to sit on coastal Massachusetts on Saturday dropped the morning temperatures almost 25 degrees and bringing with it very strong North West winds. The wind caused the fishing trips scheduled for Thursday afternoon and Saturday to be cancelled. Traditionally, the Harbor fish move south soon after Columbus Day. This is usually preceded by a feeding frenzy that last around the clock. And this is what we have been witnessing on all recent trips.
Tuesday afternoon Mike Sheehan of Boston, a recent transplant from Ohio, and his son John of Cambridge were aboard for their first saltwater fishing trip. And they experienced some great fall fishing. Peanut bunker is really loaded up in the inner bays and rivers of the Harbor. The first stop produced some quick action on bluefish in Quincy. Mike and John used Mirro Lure twitch bait to catch fish up to 8 pounds. At the next stop in Dorchester Bay, it was all bass. While John tried his hand at fly fishing with one of Captain Bill's Soft Tex poppers, Mike switch to Bass Assassins. It seemed that it was a fish a cast, and these fish were not small schoolies the biggest to the boat was 37 inches. Mike and John also had some shots at bigger fish. Now, that is not bad fishing especially for newcomers to the salt!!
September 23, 2007
An afternoon trip with Eric Dorsey an avid trout fisherman from Utah who was in Boston to attend a sales seminar and booked the Draggin' Fly to experience his first saltwater fly fishing proved to be non-stop action. Eric had done a lot of research about Boston Harbor's fishing but was still unprepared for what he encountered during this trip. Within minutes of being picked up in Boston, Eric was casting a Gurgler to bluefish off of Castle Island. These fish were very much cooperated, and Eric landed several mid-size blues including a 10 pounder on an 8 weight rod. After the fish broke up, Captain Bill moved inside of Quincy Bay. Between Long Island and Rainsford Island, a school of bass had bait trapped and were tearing them apart. Eric was mesmerized by the crashing fish and diving birds. Until it was time to return to dock, Eric hooked and released bass up to 33 inches on Mush flies and Gurglers. What an introduction this was to the Habba! Eric is trying to figure a way to schedule more trips to Boston next year.
On Saturday morning Captain Bill headed to Boston once again to pick up out-of-state clients. Today, it was Todd Llewellyn and Bill Griffin of Florida. Captain Bill left dock well before dawn so that he could make the pick up and get on fish before the morning crowd. With the crew on board, The Draggin, Fly headed right to the Deer Island Flats. Upon arrival, Bill and Todd were greeted by an incredible sight-a good size school of bass had peanut bunker pinned in shallow water. Todd who is a professional kayak guide in his home waters was the first to hook up on a soft plastic jerk bait worked in among the breaking fish, and Bill was soon tight also. These were the first striped bass caught by these veteran anglers. For a short time, the crew had the fish to themselves but all good things will come to an end. Unfortunately, the fleet began to assemble with boats charging into the fish. Captain Bill moved to deeper water and Todd and Bill continued to catch fish despite the traffic. Todd commented on the unsportsmanlike behavior of some of the boats. As the tide went slack, the bite turned off so it was time to check out other areas. Obviously, the word had gotten out that the Harbor was producing because at each location the crew went, there was a pretty substantial fleet. Captain Bill decided to head outside and explore the North Shore. A decent school of fish was found by Nahant Rock in Broad Sound. These fish were bigger, up to legal size and blues were mixed in. Both Todd and Bill caught their biggest fish here, mostly on Bass Assassins but when the fish went down, they used swimming jigs. Moving closer to the shore, the crew found a few more bass and Bill also caught the biggest blue of the trip. Both Bill and Todd were impressed with our fishery.
September 16, 2007
Sunday Frank Sannella of Scituate invited Kevin Callahan, and Shawn Sullivan to share a light tackle trip. Frank fishes with Captain Bill several times a year and has had some great trips. Kevin has also fished with us before, but this was Shawn's first time ever fishing salt water. The crew met just after the early morning thunderstorms passed over but did run through some rain on the way to the Inner Triangle. The first stop was the shallow water off of the Sugar Bowl. At first the crew found only a few fish working the surface, but soon the area erupted with fish. Since the fleet had found fish on Sculpin Ledge and in the Anchorage, Frank, Kevin, and Shawn had these fish for themselves for over an hour. Most of the action came on soft plastic jerk baits worked on the surface. The catch was a mixture of school bass and medium sized blues. After this bite began to die, the crew headed to Deer Island where they hit a few more pods of fish, but there was just too much boat pressure on these fish. On a hunch, Captain Bill headed inside to Hospital Shoal where he had found fish on the previous trip. And yes they were there in BIG, BIG numbers. Kevin missed a large bass that followed his lure to the boat before deciding to attack. Kevin just ran out of real estate. Meanwhile, Frank hung a nice bass on an Assassin. On the next cast, Kevin was onto a big bass. While Frank released a 30 inch fish, Kevin landed a fatty that measured over 38 inches. After a quick picture, Kevin released his trophy. Shawn also kept Captain Bill busy releasing several bass. While the fleet chased birds, The Draggin' Fly crew was onto bass for the next hour. As the wind turned east and built, Captain Bill headed to the lee of a nearby island where fish were working the peanut bunker along the shoreline. Here the catch was mostly big bluefish. Finally, the wind became the villain and forced a retreat. It was a great day!!
Gerry Sullivan twisted Captain Bill's arm to get him to run his 27 ft. Sport Fisher, Knot Again to the tuna grounds. It had been quite some time since Captain Bill had fished tuna, but he spent a few days digging out lures and rigging tackle. Joining the crew for the trip were Ed Brandt and Kellie Ettenson. As Knot Again headed offshore, several charter skippers called to tell of a great striper bite in the Harbor. But no one was tempted to change course. Just shy of the Bank, the sea began to come alive there were lots of birds, whales, and pods of bait. The crew set out squid bars and a bird with a Zuker on the middle flat line. Within minutes the rod in the right rigger went off, but as Ed picked it up the line went slack. Several schools of juvenile fish began to crash bait on the surface but showed no interest in the rigs. Just when a change in tactics was being contemplated, Killie was tight to a fish that put on a respectable fight on the 50 class outfit before Captain Bill could slip a gaff into it and hosted it aboard. The next fish also attacked a pink flash squid bar that was handled by Gerry. It was time to try some casting. Captain Bill brought along some Deadly Dick's that he had modified with welded split rings and heavy hooks. It was nearly impossible to stay on the tuna long enough to get more than a cast or two before they disappeared, only to surface 500 yards away. Ed did hook a fish that tore the Power Pro line off his spinning reel like he had hooked a small car! After several tours around the boat, Ed brought the fish to the boat where it was released. Before loosing the tide, another bigger fish tore up the gear the final tally was three fish up to about 75 lbs. to the boat and three more missed.
The Draggin' Fly and Captain Bill was back to chasing bass and bluefish.
Aboard were fly fishers, David Deitz of Sharon and his son, Andrew of Boston.
These anglers fish with Captain Bill several times a year. Since the wind was
down, the crew was not going to let the rain bother them. After a quick run across
the Harbor, David and Andrew were casting to surface bass, and it did not take
long for both to connect on Gurglers. This would be the story throughout the morning
with David and Andrew catching and releasing bass after bass. At times both anglers
were fighting linesiders at the same time. Most of these fish were in the 24-26
inch range. While Andrew continue to catch fish on a 9 weight rod, David tied
a Crease fly on his 7 weight rod. Last season, David caught a 30 pound bass on
an 8 weight fly rod, and the outfit he was using this morning was even lighter!!!
However, this proved a deadly combination. David figured out that just a twitch
of the rod would get attention. Pushing into 4-6 feet of water, the crew found
bigger fish. After several bass, David and Andrew switched rods
and you guessed
it, Andrew hit a big bass on the 7 weight rod that immediately took him into his
backing. Playing it carefully, Andrew got it to the boat and Captain Bill used
the Boga grip to pull it aboard before it could break the leader. But before the
day was over, David managed to land a bass of almost 36 inches bested Andrew's
fish by a few inches and making claims as high rod. Andrew has one more trip left
this season to wrestle this honor away from Dad. As the cold front began to whip
up the waters and another rain squall approached, it was time to make a hasty
exit. Oh and we left the fish!
September 8, 2007
Seasonal client Damon Reed of Vermont was aboard for his bi-weekly fly fishing adventure minus his regular fishing partner, John. Within minutes of clearing the no wake zone in the Back River, Damon was casting to the first bass of the day. These fish were exploding on schools of yearling herring dropping out of the Fore and Back Rivers. Damon worked one of his hand-tied small poppers on his eight weight rod. These fish were difficult to stay on so after a few fish, it was time to check out the Inner Triangle. At the Sugar Bowl, more bass were found attacking huge pods of peanut bunker. The Draggin' Fly was the only boat within a mile of these fish. Damon caught and released several bass up to legal size on a small lavender Clouser and a white Mush. After the turn of the tide, bluefish invaded the area and began to drive Damon and Captain Bill crazy!! The fish would pop in one area crashing into pods of bait and then disappear, only to reappear a few minutes later a half mile away. These fish cooperated long enough for Damon to hook several nice sized blues on his fly rod. Captain Bill decided to move back inside to see if any fish had moved in with the tide. Damon was soon casting to bass again, first in Quincy Bay and then in Hingham Bay. These fish were between 22-28 inches, but they were also strong bright fish, covered with sea lice. Damon will be back again in two weeks.
The Draggin' Fly has no mid-week charter dates available for this season,
we still have the following weekend dates available: Saturday, September 29th,
Sunday, September 30th; and Monday, October 8th. This is prime fall fishing time.
Be sure to experience Boston Harbor's bass and bluefish fishing at its best.
September 2, 2007
Sunday Dr. Frank Farraye of Medfield invited 3 of his medical fellows from Boston Medical Center to share some time on the water. Dr. Frank is an accomplished light tackle angler who fishes all over the world. When fishing aboard The Draggin' Fly which he does several times a year, he likes to target big bass in shallow water, but today it was time to catch fish for his guests, none of whom had ever been salt water fishing. At the first stop in the shallow water of Deer Island, the fish held fast to the bottom. Every once and awhile a fish would follow a lure, but they showed no interest in hitting it. Captain Bill headed north to fish some shallow water outside of the Harbor that had been very productive during the week. A nice pod of bass was located in 6 feet of water. The crew cast Bass Assassins which were attacked by several big bass, but not one was hooked. Even the Captain missed fish. Just as frustration began to set over The Draggin' Fly, the crew hooked up on a school of bluefish, and in the mix, Frank caught and released a nice bass. Before the end of the trip, all 4 anglers caught and released bass up to 30 inches and some nice-sized bluefish destined for the grill.
Bob Foley of Hopkinton arranged a two day Labor Day trip aboard The Draggin Fly. Joining him on Day One was Karl Jacobson of Boston. Pushing off at dawn, the crew headed to the Crow's Flats in Hingham. There they found a huge school of pogies being pushed by big bass. Both Bob and Karl cast flies into the battle field, but there were no takers. The only other boat in the area snagged live pogies and let the bait free line. He caught a bass well over 30 pounds and had several other runs. Captain Bill told Bob and Karl that once bass get keyed into a school of pogies, they are not interested in anything else. The crew agreed that it was not going to happen for them and headed to the airport flats. In the shallow water along Deer Island, another school of bass was working bait. This time it was peanut bunker so Karl and Bob could present flies and plastic jerk baits with a realistic chance of catching fish. On the turn of the tide, the fish moved around the Inner Triangle. A Mush fly produced well when the fish were on the surface and a small lavender Clouser Minnow worked when the fish went deep. Looking for bigger fish, Captain Bill headed north to fish the shallow water outside of the Harbor that had been holding fish for the past few weeks. Some big bass had bait trapped in very skinny water; conditions looked good for fly fishing, but .and it's a big but!! Floating patches of eel grass were so thick that as soon as a fly hit the water, it picked up weed. The anglers could only watch and know they could not catch these fish. Given these conditions, the crew decided to go back inside and concentrate on the fish in the Anchorage where they caught several more bass before the end of the trip.
Day Two, Bob brought along his 11 year old son, David. This morning, there were
no pogies in Hingham so Captain Bill headed to Quincy Bay where they found a school
of bass working schools of silversides that had been undisturbed for most of the
week. Casting a Bass Assassin, David caught and released his first bass, a 25
inch fish. His next fish was almost 30 inches. But as quickly as they appeared,
the fish were gone. The airport flats were not as active as the previous morning,
but both Bob and David managed to pick a few bass before loosing the tide. Just
when Captain Bill was contemplating a move to the North Shore, thick fog rolled
in limiting visibility to less than a tenth of mile. The crew was on Deer Island
Flats which should produce on the incoming tide. Just as Captain Bill predicted,
huge schools of bass began crashing into peanut bunker on the tide turn. As the
fog lifted, David worked a Bass Assassin to catch bass and his first ever bluefish.
When the fish were off their surface bite, swimming jigs got their attention.
Bob alternated between a surface fly and a Clouser to catch his fish including
his best ever bass on a fly that put up quite a battle on his 8 weight rod. David
and Bob finished the trip catching bluefish for the grill in Hingham Harbor. The
Foleys will remember their morning on Boston "Habba" for sometime to
August 25, 2007
It was a full week of charters aboard the Draggin' Fly. For the most part, the weather co-operated and so did the fish!!!
It was a spectacular sunrise on Sunday when Paul Ponicherta of Hingham assembled his crew for a light tackle trip. Joining Paul were his son Eric of Scituate, Bruce Person of Sheffield, and Colin Kearney of Scituate. At the first stop in the shallow water of Quincy Bay, it was all bluefish. After catching a few, the crew agreed that it was time to move. Rather than stay and have their plastic jerk baits get beaten up on bluefish, The Draggin' Fly headed to the flats on the North Shore that had been very productive before Saturday's blow. Today, there were much fewer fish than previous days, but the crew managed to jump a pod of nice size bass in 3 feet of water. Paul was the first to hook up and Eric made it a double. While Eric's fought a very large bass that grey hound across the weeds, Paul brought his fish boat side so that Captain Bill could grab it. This 30 inch bass was released at about the same time that Eric's fish released itself by snapping the line. This is a common occurrence in this shallow water where floating eel grass is dragged across the surface by a hot fish seeking freedom. Bruce was the next to bring up a big fish that jumped clear out of the water in an effort to get the Bass Assassin, but it missed the lure. Colin landed his biggest bass ever before the fish scattered. With the tide dropping quickly, it was time to get back to deeper water. The crew caught and released school fish throughout the Inner Triangle. With time running out, Eric once again earned honors as top rod by landing a fat 36 inch bass.
Old friend, JT Rosnock of Milton and his 13 year old son, Jack were aboard on Monday. JT is an experienced fly rodder who has fished with Captain Bill for over a decade and Jack has been his dad's partner since he was a just a little guy. During their trips both father and son have caught some impressive fish. The bluefish where still on the prowl in Quincy Bay. Looking for bass, Captain Bill moved the boat to drift over a mussel bed. JT caught a school bass on a Mush fly, and then Jack was tight to a hot fish that inhaled his plastic jerk bait. After working the fish back towards the boat, Jack's fish decided that it did not want anything to do with the boat and made another run. Again, Jack worked it back to the boat, but at the last moment the hook pulled befor Captain bill could grab it. JT landed another bass before it was time to catch the dropping tide on the flats. JT and Jack jumped some nice bass. JT used the Mush fly and a Soft Tex pooper to catch several school-sized bass while Jack worked Bass assassin across the surface to catch his fish. With the exception of one big fish that exploded on JT's popper, the fish were on the small size and the wind turned to the NE making it difficult to hunt fish. It was time to explore new waters. At each stop, the crew caught bass, but none would break the legal limit.
Tuesday, Captain Bill left dock before dawn to pick up one of his regular clients, Adrian Jackson of Lincoln in Boston. Today, Adrian had invited his friend Bob and Bob's teenage son Zack to join him for a light tackle trip. After a little casting instruction, it was time to hunt for fish. It took awhile to find fish, but Zack landed the first bass at the Sugar Bowl. It was also his first saltwater fish ever. On the airport flats Captain Bill found several schools of bass. When the fish were on the surface, the crew used Bass Assassins, and when they were deep, it was Vivif jigs that got there attention. At times, Bob, Zack, and Adrian were all hooked up and to keep Captain Bill hopping even more, bluefish were also in the mix. Before this bite was over, all three anglers caught numbers of bass and a few bluefish. Zach released the biggest, a bass of almost 3 feet in length. It was a trip that Bob, Zack, and Adrian will remember for a long time.
Frank Sanella and Bob Nelson were aboard Wednesday. Pushing off well before dawn the goal was to target big bass on eels. This strategy did not pan out too well as the eels did not produce, but Captain Bill found a nice school of bass chasing silversides. Most of these fish were small bluefish, but several near legal-sized bass were also caught and released. Most of the fish came on plastic jerk baits. Thick fog began to form so it was time to head north to keep in front of it. On the airport flats, huge schools of bass were crashing into peanut bunker that were pushed in with all the East wind that has been hanging in all week. For almost two hours, action was none stop. Frank worked a Bass Assassin to catch his fish and Bob alternated between a jerk bait and a swimming jig. After a quick picture, Frank released the biggest bass of the trip a fat 38 inch linesider. His next fish was almost 32 inches. Captain Bill was even able to deliver Bob to Boston in time for a late morning meeting.
Thursday, Ed Davis of Charlestown invited friend, John Hennessey to join him for a light tackle trip. After picking up the crew in the North End, Captain Bill headed back to Quincy, but by the time they arrived the bite was over even Captain Bill makes a mistake!! It was time to turn around and run back to the airport flats. On the flats big schools of bass had peanut bunker pinned on the surface. For over two hours, Ed and Bob learned first hand what great striper fishing Boston Harbor offers. Most action was on plastic jerk baits, but when the fish were off their surface bite, swimming jigs got their attention. Finally, Captain Bill suggested that they try for a bigger fish, and he had an idea of where they might be. Working Bass Assassins over eel grass in 5 feet of water, Ed landed a nice bass. Then John was onto a big fish just before this hook up, a friend in a nearby boat released a 40 inch bass. Suddenly, John's fish jumped which bass sometimes do in skinny water. But the crew saw that this fish was a very large bluefish that made several more runs and another big jump before John brought him close enough for Captain Bill to grab with a Boga grip. After some quick measurements and some photographs, John released his 38 ½ trophy blue. The crew was able to entice a few more bass and another bluefish over 30 inches before heading back to dock. Ed and John will remember their morning on Boston "Habba" for sometime to come.
On Friday, David Deitz of Sharon and his son, Andrew of Boston met Captain Bill at dawn. David and Andrew are avid fly fishers who fish on the Draggin' Fly several times a season. With the wind predicted to build throughout the morning, the crew decided to head right to Deer Island flats rather than to hunt the shallows in Hingham and Quincy which was the original game plan. Upon arriving at the airport flats, fish began to get active. Using a floating line, David worked a Gurgler on an eight weight rod and Andrew used a Mush fly on an intermediate line. For awhile, this worked well, but then the fish began to yoyo up and down. Only a few times did they stay on the surface long enough to pull more than a fish or two form these schools. It was time to switch techniques and fish below the surface. This seemed to produce better as David and Andrew caught and released several more bass in the 20-24 inch range. At slack water, this bite was over. There was no way to target the fish on the eel grass because of the wind. It was time to re-rig again, this time for bluefish. In Quincy Bay, David and Andrew attempted to throw fly rod poppers into a 25 knot wind to fish that were moving almost as fast as the wind. It was a good attempt, but all knew it was time to call the day. Boston Harbor's bass and blues have not seen the last of the Deitzs who will return in late September for their last trip of the season.
Saturday, it was a return trip for Bob Nelson of Scituate who had fished with Captain Bill earlier in the week. Today, Bob was joined by his brother-in-law Matt West also of Scituate. The plans were to drift eels for big bass until dawn and then hunt fish in the shallows. The eels produce only one bluefish that Matt managed to get to the boat before it cut the eel in half. At dawn, bass and blues began to work bait on the surface. Matt used a Bass Assassin and Bob used a swimming jig to catch their fish. This bite lasted until the boat traffic increase, and then the crew headed to the flats. Like the previous day, the bass were moving quickly across the flat and were difficult to stay on. Both Bob and Matt caught and released several fish before losing the tide. At slack water, Captain Bill headed to the North Shore to fish some flats that he thought would hold fish. Once the tide began to drop, the fish became active. Matt worked his jerk bait just above the eel grass in 5 feet of water to land several good size bluefish and some nice bass. Bob hit a bass in the 30 inch range before he decided to work a surface bait. The fish would follow Bob's popper but never really hit it. As soon as, Bob switched to a Bass Assassin, he was tight to a big fish. As nearby, charter boats looked on in envy, Bob's fish took to the air and all could see that it was a big bluefish. This fish put on quite a show before Bob could bring it close enough for Captain Bill to grab it with the Boga grip. Bob's fish pushed the 14 pound mark. As the heat increase, the fish moved off the flat, and it was time to head home.
August 18, 2007
Sunday, Vinnie Freudenberg of Holliston brought along his teenage son, Harrison for a light tackle trip. Vinnie and his son surf fish for stripers along the coast of Maine. On his first cast in the shallows of Quincy Bay, Harrison, Harry for short, had a quick encounter with his first ever bluefish. This fish cut right through his plastic lure. Captain Bill decided to continue to use these lures because this area was holding some big bass. True to his word, a big bass blew up behind a Bass Assassin that Vinnie worked slowly along the surface but never got the hook. With the tide beginning to rise, it was time to explore the Inner Triangle. Today, the bass were moving fast and were not very cooperative. At the Sugar Bowl just off the Castle Island ledges, a school of bass had bait pinned on the surface. Both Harry and Vinnie were soon tight to bass. When Captain Bill grabbed the first fish, it spit up several small peanut bunker. This was the year's first sighting of this bait in the Harbor. Before this quick blitz was over the crew caught and released bass up to 26 inches. Harry also caught his first bluefish that was destined for Dad's smoker. After this action died, Vinnie and Harry worked hard to catch a few more fish.
Old friend Dan Shea of New Hampshire invited Glenn Case of Pembroke and his 12 year old son, Tyler to spend the morning aboard the Draggin' Fly on Monday. It was a late start as Captain Bill waited for the tide to begin rising before pushing off of dock. Again this morning, the fish were attacking peanut bunker at the Sugar Bowl, and the crew did not waste any time. Casting Bass Assassins all three anglers caught and released several bass from 22-26 inches. Dan also caught a decent bluefish in the mix. After this bite, Captain Bill moved to Governor's Flats to search for more fish. Just as the crew arrived, a few fish were found working the deeper edge of the flat. Looking for bigger fish Glenn used a jig to get a little deeper. Meanwhile, Tyler and Dan worked Bass Assassins to catch their fish. A number of times, schools of bass crashed into bait on the surface. This bait was not peanut bunker but silversides. Once this action was over, the crew decided to head to the North Shore where peanut bunker tends to make a strong appearance on the New Moon tide in August. However, there were no signs of any big bait schools. The crew finished the morning hunting fish in Quincy where Tyler caught the last bass of the trip.
Tuesday, it was a reunion as long time friends, Gerry Feeley of Hummarock, Jay Bourgeois of Beverly, and Paul Ryan of Marshfield were aboard. The crew was greeted by a stiff NW wind making sight fishing very difficult. Working jerk baits along the surface in very shallow water, a number of fish were brought up but avoided the hook. Gerry was the first to score landing a nice bluefish. Then for the next two hours, blues were the name of the game. Finally, Paul caught and released a 30 inch bass. Today there were no fish on Governor's flats. The rest of the trip was spent working structure along the Inner Triangle for a few more bass.
Philip Strazzula of Norwell invited his teenage son Michael and neighbor Bob Maynard to join him for a light tackle trip on Wednesday. Today, there was much less wind, but the forecast was for building wind throughout the morning. Captain Bill headed to the shallows just before dawn. Right from the first cast, the crew brought up a number of fish that avoided the hook. It looked like this day was going to be a repeat of the previous day. Then the fish became a little more cooperative. It was a mixture of bass and blues. Michael was the first to catch and release a big bass. Then Philip hooked a very big bass on his jerk bait. Big bass tend to fight all over the surface when hooked in shallow water, and this fish certainly made its presence know. Before other lines could be cleared, Bob hooked another good fish. This is when the problems began. There was no way that Philip could turn this big fish on 12 pound tackle. As Philip's fish greyhound across the surface trying to get to a nearby rock pile, Bob's fish got tangled and that was all it took to break Philip's line. The bite tailed off, but not before Bob landed a big bluefish over 30 inches. By now the wind was building so the crew headed to the Deer Island flats. Captain Bill found a nice pod of bass in 12 feet of water. Switch techniques to swimming jigs along the bottom, Phil, Bob, and Michael were into fish again. Michael ended the day as high rod.
Draggin' Fly regulars, Dan Fallon and Brian McLaughlin of New Hampshire invited
new comer Ken Donahue of Grafton to join them for their annual light tackle trip.
Again today, bass charged jerk baits before dawn, but as the sun rose the crew
hooked both bass and blues. Ken landed his first bass and bluefish before the
tide quit. At slack low water, Dan surprised all by hooking a hot fish on a Bass
Assassin. This fish fought just below the surface and made several powerful runs
before Dan could bring him to the boat. After a quick photograph, Dan released
his 44 inch trophy bass.
As the tide began to move
Tim Wern of Connecticut made his yearly trip to Boston on Friday. Joining Tim were his 7 year old son, Jake and his dad, "Papa" Dave. The first stop in Quincy Bay produced several bluefish attacks on soft plastic jerk baits, and the crew even managed to hold onto a few. Before loosing the tide, The Draggin' Fly headed to the flats. When the crew arrived, they were greeted by schools of breaking fish. Today, the fish were in a little deeper water than the previous day. It was easier for Captain Bill to maneuver the boat, rig lures, and release fish. Several times Tim, Jake, and Dave were hooked up at the same time. While most of the bass were in the 20-24 inch range, some big bass were brought up on Bass Assassins but missed the hook. Bass Assassins are not the easiest lure to cast and work correctly. Jake did a wonderful job casting and retrieving his lure. Jake also won honors as top rod, releasing the biggest bass of the trip. At slack tide, this bite was over, and it was time for the crew to work some structure in the Inner Triangle where a few more bass were caught and released. Captain Bill got the crew back to dock in time for them to get in a quick nap back at the hotel before heading to the Red Sox's game.
Saturday, Day 1 of a two day charter with Paul Ponicherta's crew was cancelled because of serious wind. When, the crew met before dawn, the wind was already blowing over 20 MPH.
August 4, 2007
The Draggin' Fly fought the weather during the week rain, fog, and heat.
Captain Bill checked the Doppler radar on his computer well before dawn on Monday. What he saw he did not like so he called today's clients who were about to make the drive south from southern New Hampshire to let them know that a series of strong thunderstorms were baring done on the Boston area. The radar indicated that a morning trip was going to be out of the question so the trip was rescheduled for later in the month. This proved to be the correct decision as one cell after another proceeded to whip over the Harbor bringing several downpours and big wind throughout the morning.
Tuesday Vermont fly fisher, Damon Reed who fishes with Captain Bill ever other week scheduled an extra trip to introduce two fellow Vermonters, Traffton Crandall and Jeff Lynn to Harbor stripers. Facing a 4 hour ride and an early morning minus low tide, a 7 AM start was agreed upon. Just before dawn fog began to settle over the Inner Harbor, and it was so thick the push off was delayed. Captain Bill insists on a half mile visibility because of the morning commuter boat traffic. Just three weeks ago, two commuter boats crashed into each other at the Long Island Bridge. The crew remained on hold as Captain Bill talked to a fellow captain who sails from Boston. Captain George told of cleared skies in Boston and breaking fish. It was over a two hour delay before the Draggin' Fly left dock. Once the crew reached the airport, it didn't take Traffton and Jeff long before they were tight to bass. Both caught and released several school sized bass on jerk baits worked slowly along the surface. Meanwhile, Damon used a small Mush fly to catch his fish. This action lasted well into the afternoon.
Repeat client Joe Lebens and friend, Rob Roland of Connecticut stayed overnight at a local hotel so that they could meet Captain Bill before dawn on Wednesday. Today was a picture perfect day with light winds and clear skies. The crew started the trip hunting big fish in the shallow waters of Quincy Bay. It didn't take very long to locate a few fish. Fish in these shallow waters are difficult to hook, but today these fish proved even more difficult to catch than usual. Joe hit the first fish of the day, a mid-size bluefish on a Bass Assassin. This would be the only fish that could be coaxed out of the shallows. Massive schools of silversides and big pods of pogies were slowly cruising the surface between Hangman's Island and Squantum Head. A few bass rolled on the surface, but for the most part the bait fish were undisturbed. Rob managed to pull one small bass from the bait balls and the Bass Assassins were also attacked by a few Harbor blues. Arriving at the airport at slack low water, some good pods of bass were located, but no matter what were offered these bass refused to eat. What a difference one day makes!! It was finally time to admit that this round would go to the fish. But Joe returns in three weeks for a return bout.
Thursday, Damon Reed made his second 4 hour trip in a week from Vermont, and this time he brought along the husband of his wife cousin and best friend, Tony Richey. Tony is originally from Texas so that explains the relationship. Damon worked a Gurgler on his 8 weight fly rod while Tony cast a Bass Assassin. Not a fish was raised in the shallows in Quincy and the Bay was void of bait. The silversides and small bluefish that were there just 24 hours before were also gone. It looked like Captain Bill was in for another long day, but the next spot at the Deer Island flats started well with the first bass hitting a Vivif jig. Both Tony and Damon caught school bass up to just shy of legal size before loosing the tide. The trick was to work jerk baits slowly over the eel grass. At slack water, Captain Bill moved to the channels around the airport, where Damon and Tony found some nice bass. Tony took honors landing his biggest bass and first ever keeper. They also brought up a few blues that tore up their bait. Damon will be back again next week with his regular partner. Tony told Captain Bill that he had seen the last of him!
On Friday, Captain Bill put together the boats for the Skadden Office Tournament. Every year, this downtown law firm completes its summer intern program with a little Boston Harbor fishing event. This year, Captains Wayne Frieden, Larry Cook, Gene Kelly, and Tom Koerber joined the Draggin' Fly. Believing that sleep is for the young and old, Captain Gene and Captain Bill decided to fish there way to Boston so left dock just after dawn. They found small bluefish just off of the Long Island Channel. A search of Dorchester Bay did not produce, but they did find a nice school of bass just off of Castle Island. In four casts Captain Bill landed 3 bass up to 26 inches on Bass Assassins. After picking the anglers up in Charlestown, the boats headed their separate ways. This year, the Draggin' Fly had Team Rookies with summer interns, Lara Rogers, Athena Cheng, and Allison Barrows aboard. None of these lady anglers had ever fished before. Team Rookies was the first to strike with Lara earning bragging rights by landing the first fish of the tournament, a good size school bass on the Deer Island flats. Allison was next, releasing a small bass. Athena missed a few opportunities before she landed her first fish. After the change of the tide, the fish moved into deeper water but the bite continued. Twice the Team doubled up, but the fish continued to be on the small side. With 30 minutes left to fish and looking for the big one, Captain Bill moved to the rocky shore line on the eastern side of Long Island. There Lara hit a much larger fish. She was able to turn the bass and work it back to the boat. But before it could be landed the hook pulled. Athena, Allison, and Lara enjoyed their day on the water in Boston Harbor.
July 29, 2007
Monday, JT Rosnock a very experienced fly fisher from Milton and Rich Torelli of Newton were aboard. The anglers were met by the predicted NE wind that was blowing a strong 10-15 MPH. The skies were overcast, and the crew knew that it might be a short day. This was the second year in a row that these experienced anglers had weather issues, and again this year, there would be no sight fishing. JT was the first to score, catching a small bass in 4 feet of water on the Deer Island flats. JT was using one of Captain Bill's Bombers on an intermediate line, and this proved to be the right combination for the long rod in this shallow water. Meanwhile, Rich caught small bass on Vivif jigs worked slowly just off the bottom. At slack water, Captain Bill decided to explore the approach channels at the airport. JT and Rich caught and released several bass with the biggest approaching the 3 foot mark before the rain force a hasty retreat to dock. It was a not as wild a ride back to dock as the previous year, but it sure was wet. JT will return in a few weeks to do battle again.
Tuesday season client, Adrian Jackson of Lincoln entertained a few of his clients from Central Massachusetts: Barry, Peter, and Phil joined the crew for the day. The first stop at Sculpin Ledge produced a few small bass. On the airport flats, Phil was the first to connect with a bass on a Vivif jig. Then the crew got into the action catching and releasing several school sized bass on jerk baits and swimming jigs. It was time to look for bigger fish. Trolling tubes and worms along the edge of the channel, the crew caught and released several larger bass, just shy of legal size. Peter lost a much larger bass that took him deep into the Dacron backing before the hook pulled. Unlike many other charters, Captain Bill uses steelhead rods to troll tubes. These light weight rods are ultra sensitive and pick up the slightest bite. The crew had a fun morning, and they all learned some good pointers from Captain Bill.
Senior staff writer of The Fisherman and WATD radio host Ed Nowak was aboard on Wednesday. This was the second week in a roll that Ed did his live radio broadcast from the Draggin'Fly. Again this week, Captain Bill started the trip hunting big fish in the shallow waters of Quincy Bay. It didn't take very long to locate a few fish. As Ed began his broadcast, Captain Bill hit a hot fish on a Bass Assassin that threatened to dump his reel. Under normal conditions, Captain Bill would start the engine and keep up the fish. Since Ed was live on the radio, this was not possible. Luckily, the fish finally was turned and worked back to the boat. Ed and Bill were not too surprised to find a 36 inch bluefish at the end because these jumbo blues had been cruising the shallow for over a week. The rest of the morning was spent testing some samples from Berkley and MirrOlures. ED finished the day catching one of the largest bluefish that he ever hooked in his long fishing career. Unfortunately, this trophy fish bit through the fluorocarbon leader as Captain Bill attempted to tail it so it could not be weighed. The next time you see Ed Nowak at one of the sport shows ask him to relate the story of this catch.
Thursday, Guy Nichols booked a light tackle trip aboard the Draggin' Fly for his teenage son, Paxton. Pushing off from dock before dawn, the crew was excited to hunt the shallows for the jumbo fish that Captain Bill had been on for the past week. It was not long before a big bass was brought up on a soft plastic jerk bait that had been soaking all night in Berkley Gulp Alive. The fish missed the hook as did several others before Paxton put the first bass into the boat. Bluefish also attacked cutting through a number of plastic baits. Paxton did land another bass before the sun came up in the Eastern sky. While Guy and Paxton brought up numbers of fish, a nearby charter boat did nothing as their anglers retrieved lures much too fast. It was slow for much of the morning, as the crew found several pods of bass, but most refused to eat. On the turn of the tide, the fish became a little more cooperative and Guy and Paxton landed a few more bass and bluefish. It was a long day starting before dawn and lasting until the heat of the afternoon drove the crew back to dock.
The weekend's forecast was wind, rain, and dense fog. One of Draggin' Fly's regular fly rodders from upstate NY was scheduled to travel and stay in Boston so an early call was made to rescheduled this trip for later in the season.
Sunday, it was a full boat as Draggin Fly regulars, Paul Ponicherta of Hingham, Scott Lightfoot of Milton, and Bob Kizelewicz of Holbrook were aboard for a light tackle trip. Newcomer, Ed Raymond of Scituate joined the crew. Weather was clear as the boat pushed off, but the forecast was for the winds to build during the morning. Moving right to the Deer Island Flats, a number of small bass were caught and released in 4 feet of water. The trick was to work jerk baits slowly over the eel grass. Bob hooked a nice fish that immediately went air bound. This large bluefish tail walked all over the surface in an effort to throw the hook. When Captain Bill finally tailed the fish, it measured a healthy 31 inches. As the wind increased in strength, it became obvious that drifting and casting was not the best approach. Captain Bill had put on tube rods and fresh sea worms just incase. Unlike many other charters, Captain Bill uses steelhead rods to troll tubes. These light weight rods are ultra sensitive and pick up the slightest bite. Trolling the edge of the channel, the crew caught and released several bass and another large bluefish. Ed lost a very large bass that took him deep into the Dacron backing before the hook pulled. It was a wild ride back to dock.
Senior staff writer of The Fisherman and WATD radio host Ed Nowak was aboard on Wednesday. Joining Ed was Jack Sheppard, the Director of Fishing and Boating Access for the Massachusetts Department of Fish and Game. The hunt began in the shallow waters of Quincy Bay. It didn't take very long to locate tailing fish, and these fish were more aggressive than they had been in recent days. The first fish hit the Bass Assassin and the fight was on. When the fish was brought boat side, the crew was very surprised to find a 34 inch bluefish at the end. The next fish was also a large blue. As Ed prepared to broadcast live on WATD, Captain Bill took over the bow of the boat and worked a Bass Assassin ultra slow in front of some big bass. Just as Ed began his show, Bill hooked up on a big bas that he fought on 12 pound spinning tackle and released while Ed described the fight on the air. After saying his good byes to the audience, Ed was back casting an Assassin, and he hooked a nice bass also on a spinning rod. This 38 inch, 25 pound bass would be largest landed during the morning. A much bigger fish was able to throw the hook before the crew lost the tide. On the tide turn, Jack and Ed caught and released several more bass on Sculpin Ledge and at the airport. As the rain approached, it was time to get back to dock and for Ed to file the pictures of the trip.
Friday's forecast was wind, rain, and dense fog during much of the morning. The Berkes would be coming from upstate Maine and staying overnight in Boston so the call was made the night before. This trip has been rescheduled for September.
David Deitz of Sharon was aboard on Thursday for a fly fishing trip and was greeted with a strong NW wind. The cold front that was supposed to pass during the night was sitting over the Harbor. David fishes with Captain Bill several times a year and likes to sight cast. As a matter of fact, last year he landed the largest fly rod bass caught on the Draggin' Fly. On that same trip his son, Matt caught and released the biggest bass of the 2006 season. Pictures of their trophies can be viewed on the archives page of Draggin' Fly Charters' web site, www.fishboston.com. There would be no sight casting today. David gave it a valiant effort, casting a Gurler into the stiff wind, but found no takers. A few fish were caught and released at Deer Island Flats, but these were taken on Vivif jigs and on one of Captain Bill's specially rig shad. The biggest was about 30 inches. Back in Quincy, David managed to catch and release another bass before deciding to head back to dock. David will return in a few weeks looking for revenge.
Friday Jay Young of Plainville and Ian Burford were aboard for a light tackle trip. Jay had fished with Captain Bill a few weeks back and had set up this trip for his dad and friend, Ian. Unfortunately, due to a family illness, Dad could not make it up from Kentucky. The crew managed to jump a few bass in Quincy's skinny water, but these fish should little interest it what was being offered. Moving to Deer Island Flats, Captain Bill found some bass finning on the surface. Ian was the first to score. But it was Jay's time to shine. After releasing a schoolie that fell victim to a Bass Assassin, Jay hooked a hot fish that first fought on the surface and then sounded. All aboard knew that this was a big fish. Finally, Jay brought it boat side and Captain Bill lifted his 39 inch bass onto the deck. Another big fish was missed before Jay landed a bass just over 30 inches. Ian's best fish was just shy of legal size. As quickly as the bass came, they disappeared. It was time to explore. A small pod of bass had pogies pushed up tight to the rocky shoreline of Gallops Island, and by the amount of bird activity, it looked like it had been going on for some time. However, these fish did not even look at the lures that Ian and Jay threw. By the time the crew got back to Quincy, the wind had picked up too much to allow for any accurate presentation of lures. Jay and Ian agreed with Captain Bill that it was time to return to dock.
Kevin McLaughlin of Medfield and his college-bound son Joey were joined by Uncle Brian of New Hampshire for Saturday's light tackle trip. It was a very early start with plans to drift eels at the end of a big outgoing tide. Captain Bill had a hunch that there were a few big bass that might like one of these snakes. On the way to the target area, the crew stopped to make a few casts in the shallows, and Brian and Joe both landed small bass. It was time to try eels and continue the journey. On the first drift, Joe hit a big fish that put a major strain on the 12 pound spinning rod he was using. The fish fought deep and took a lot of line against a strong drag. When the fish finally tired and Joe worked him to the boat, all were surprised to see a very large blue with an eel hanging out its mouth. After a quick photo and measurement, Joe released this 36 inch bluefish back into the water. This fish topped Joe's big blue of a few years back. Unfortunately, Joe's bluefish was the only fish interested in eels.
to a Bass Assassin, Joe hooked up again. This time everyone knew it was another
big bluefish because it took to the air in the shallow water. Joe did a great
job handling this fish and was able to get him to the boat without getting his
mono leader cut. From then on it was all bass. The fish were finning on the surface
and would only attack jerk baits worked ultra slow. Brian landed the biggest,
a 30 inch bass. Looking for bigger fish the crew worked as close to the runway
as was legal. Kevin was the first to find a pocket of nice size bass
they just swirled on his Bass Assassin. In frustration, he began a very fast retrieve
and that was the ticket to success. Captain Bill was able to stay on these fish
until the wind picked up. When it became impossible to drift and avoid the exclusion
zone set up around the airport, the crew headed back to dock and made plans for
the August trip.
Draggin' Fly regular, Bob Moss of Lexington put together a two boat charter.
Joining Bob onboard the Draggin' Fly were Gerry Wolf of Medford and Rex
Henderson of RI. On the Irish Ayes, Captain Gene entertained Jim Kearns of VT,
Craig Young of VT, David Paprockl of NH and Bob Ferguson of VT. Weather-wise,
this was by far the best trip in recent days. The wind finally turned to the Southwest
and diminished. The first stop in Hingham Bay was very productive for the Draggin'
Fly. On the first drift, Rex landed a 30 inch bass on a Vivif jig. For the
next two hours, the crew caught a mixture of small to medium sized bass on jigs.
The crew decided to search for bigger fish and headed to the airport where Captain
Bill had been into bigger bass before the blow. Bob was the first to score with
a fat 32 inch bass. After a few more bass in the two foot range, Rex hit a very
hot fish that tore line off the reel fast enough for Captain Bill to turn and
chase it down. Unfortunately, this fish was able to find freedom among a rock
pile as he broke Rex off. After catching a few more bass, it was time to head
back to dock and make plans for the next trip.
clients, Damon Reed of Vermont and John Kieley of New Hampshire were aboard on
Friday. These veteran fly fishers make the long run from the North Country
to fish with Captain Bill every other week, but this year's weather has force
a number of these trips to be cancelled. A brisk northeast wind greeted the anglers
and all knew it would be difficult casting flies into this wind. The first stop
in Quincy Bay produced a few small bass on Clousers. Looking for bigger fish,
Captain Bill moved to the airport flats, but today there would be no sighting
fish on the surface. The wind had kicked up a two foot chop and the dark sky provided
little light to spot fish. Blind casting, John and Damon brought up numbers of
bass. The fish would roll and chase flies but getting them to eat proved very
difficult. The fish to hook ratio was among the lowest that Captain Bill could
ever remember. John had limited success with a small white snake fly. Damon brought
up numbers of fish on one of his unnamed tyes. Frustrated, John and Captain Bill
tried casting Bass Assassin shad with the same results. Bass would rise to the
lure when it was worked fast along the surface, but ignored it when retrived slowly
as this lure is meant to be fished. Although more fish were actually hooked on
these jerk baits than on flies, most fish managed to avoid the hook. Finally,
admitting that the bass had won this battle, the crew finished the trip in Hingham
taking a few more bass and blues.
was a busy week for The Draggin' Fly Charters which not only battled fish
but had to contend with severe winds and sea conditions throughout the week.
Brian Shura of Norfolk put together an experience crew for Saturday's light tackle trip. Joining Brian was old time friend, Mark and Eric Johnson, a tournament bass angler. The wind which had not laid down in the last three days was predicted to turn around and diminish during the early morning. Today there were no signs of fish in Hingham or Hull where they had been chasing bait the previous mornings. Captain Bill moved to the back of Sheep's Island and began to drift over a mussel bed. The crew was soon tight to bass. This was repeated drift after drift. Looking for larger bass the crew decided to try and get outside. As the Draggin' Fly approached the Gut, it became obvious to all that this would not be a wise choice. As the wind continued to build, drifts became too fast. Finally, admitting that the weathermen had lied about the wind diminishing, The Draggin' Fly headed back to dock. Brian and his friends will return later in the season to battle these fish again!
Once this front finally pushed further off shore the weather broke and the Draggin' Fly sailed again on Friday. On board were Bob Foley of Hopington and his dad, Bob Sr of Conn. It was a late start because of the minus tide. The first stop at Castle Island produced a few schoolies on jigs. Suddenly, Bob Sr. stuck a big fish that dump line faster than a runaway freight train. Bob managed to hold on to this fish as it took him around the boat trying to reach one the day markers. As suddenly as it began, the battle was over when the hook finally pulled. On the change of the tide, the crew moved to the airport flats where schools of bass were crashing herring along the flats. However, these fish showed little interest in anything that the crew offered. Bob and Bob had little to show for their effort other than a few more schoolies another dropped fish.
On a hunch, Captain Bill moved back inside to the flats in Hingham. A lot of bass were located, but most held on the bottom. Switching to swimming jigs the crew caught and released several more bass before the tide quit and the bite ended. Young Bob has booked two more trips later in the season and will be seeking revenge.
Saturday, it was a full boat as Draggin Fly regular, Paul Ponicherta of Hingham put together the four person crew for a light tackle trip. Joining Paul were Scott Lightfoot of Milton, Tom Aceravatti of Quincy, and Bob Kizelewicz of Holbrook. The morning started slowly with the crew picking a few fish on jigs in the Sugar Bowl. Bob also caught the first bluefish of the season on a Vivif jig. At low water, the crew move to the airport and switched to shad bodies trolled along the deep troughs by the runway, as close as the new regulations would allow. Tom hooked up a hot fish that fought all over the surface trying to throw the hook. Unlike the previous day's trip when the big bass won the battle, Tom was finally able to bring his trophy fish boat side where Captain Bill was able to grab it. Tom's fish was over 40 inches and weighed over 30 pounds. That was only big fish hooked. The rest were schoolies.
After a brief encounter with bluefish in the inner harbor, the crew finished the
trip casting to tailing fish in the shallows. Tom caught a 32 inch bass on a Bass
Assassin and a number of other fish were brought up but none were hooked.
Friday, Captain Bill talked with Bob Sutherland, a Draggin' Fly
regular and accomplished fly fisher, who was traveling from upper state New York
to fish the Harbor. He told Bob that the weather was not looking too promising.
However, Bob, always an optimistic, decided to continue on his way and wait for
Captain Bill's call at dawn on Saturday. The heavy rain predicted for Saturday
morning did not materialize, but the patchy fog was even thicker than what was
forecasted. Since Bob had made the long trip to Boston, Captain Bill decided to
give it a try. Bob was waiting in Boston as the Draggin' Fly arrived, and
Captain Bill headed to Governor's flats. On the way a school of bass was encountered
at Lower Middle. These fish were very hard to stay on as they chased bait up and
down the channel. Plastic baits out fished flies, but Bob managed to pick a fish
or two on small Clousers. Moving into shallow water in search of more cooperative
fish, it was the same scenario
the fish were not interested in eating. On
the way back to Boston, the cannons from Fort Independence on Castle Island were
heard as Old Ironsides passed by on a turn around trip. Captain Bill thought that
was what was needed on this trip
gun powder. Bob will be back next month
looking for revenge!!
June 3, 2007
Fly regular, David Gail of Sharon brought along Sarah, his oldest daughter
for their first trip of the season. The crew decided to wait out the thunder storms
and catch the incoming tide. David is an accomplished fly fisher and an avid fly
tier. He brought his winter arsenal of new tyes. David had his 9 weight rod rigger
with a Teeny fast sinking line but was hoping to break in his new custom 7 weight
rod that his wife had made for him. This rod was rigged with a floating line for
surface fishing. Sarah is about to begin her first year in graduate school and
has had little time for fishing. But today she proved to all that she is quite
adept with spinning rods.
Long time friend Bob Hennessey of Hanover met Captain Bill just after dawn for the first trip of the season. The wind was blowing out of the East, but Bob was willing to give it a go. The water was good and dirty from the fronts that had passed through the area over the last several days. Since it was slack tide, Captain Bill decided that it would be best to do some bottom fishing before the tide and the wind would make it too difficult to drift across the structure that he though should hold fish. This proved to be the right decision since both cod and flounder were holding court off of George's Island. Bob and the Captain continued to drift worms and score on these find table fare. Once the seas picked up and the waves approached the three foot mark, the Draggin' Fly headed back to dock to prepare the fillets for dinner.
Fly rodders, Damon Reed of Vermont and John Kieley of New Hampshire were aboard for the start of their eight season fishing with Captain Bill on an every other week basis. The crew could tell by the birds that they had missed the bite at their first stop in Quincy Bay so The Draggin' Fly headed to the Inner Triangle in search of fish. Surprisingly, this area was barren. Moving to Hospital Shoal a school of bass was located and soon both John and Damon were into their first bass of the season. As the tide continued to drop, the fishing really heated up. John was using a small Half 'N Half and Damon was using one of his new "unnamed creation" that he had tied to swim like a plastic jerk bait. Damon fished this fly-like thing on an intermediate line which proved deadly. Captain Bill watch in amazement as Damon caught and released fish after fish on this new creation. The biggest fish measured shy of 28 inches, but these fishermen didn't care since they caught and released more bass on this trip than most anglers can catch in a month. Both Damon and John agreed that this was a great start to the season.