BWS OutDoors
New England Outdoors

fishing reports 2015






 

Fishing Report September 27 2015 Massachusetts

Target Species: Largemouth Bass
Location: Northern Massachusetts
Depth: 4’-18’
Air Temp: 36-60 degrees
Water Temp: 69 degrees
Wind: none
Conditions: Sunny skies
Baits: jig/pig, crankbait, texas rig worm and dropshot

This morning is definitely feeling like we are getting very close to getting the waters ready for the coming ice season. Air temperatures were in the mid 30’s and that had us dawning our Ice Armor jacket to ward off the cool temps. Upon arriving at the lake you could really tell that the water was so much warmer than the air with all of the steam rising.

When seeing this you just have to stop and stand there looking as it doesn’t last long once the sun gets higher and the warmer temperatures arrive. The birds weren’t doing a lot of moving and hoping that the fish are a bit more active than they are.

Since I only had the morning to fish, I stayed close and fished our small local pond and there are two main structure features that generally hold the better fish. Started on the first one which is a ridge that drops off sharply on either side and there is one sweet spot that has gravel and rock that the bigger fish relate to.

Had been doing fairly well here previously fishing with a jig and pig but today these fish didn’t want anything to do with it. The other main piece of structure that I fish is an underwater hump that has a lot of sand and gravel on it that the fish relate to.

I haven’t been doing very well here lately with the jig and pig and worked this area with a French fry 4 inch Texas rigged worm. Only was able to catch one tiny bass doing this and it was time to start trying more of a variety of things.

Started fan casting a shallow running crankbait and this allowed me to start connecting with some nicer sized perch and they were giving up a nice fight. Moved to a shoreline that generally produces some fish but the crankbait wasn’t able to bring anything to the boat.

At this point it was time to start digging through the baits and look for something that the fish would want to bite. I have a Vexilar FL-12 mounted on the bow of my boat and started fishing a dropshot rig vertically in the deepest parts of the lake.

I was marking fish on the flasher and catching some smaller bass by doing this, but just wasn’t able to find any of the larger fish. This fall has been a real testament for me as I haven’t really been able to put anything together compared to the previous years.

This fall the lake levels are much lower from little to no rain for quite some time and also lately the water colors have gotten much darker compared to fairly clear all summer. The water temperatures are still fairly high so the turnover is going to be a while yet to happen.

Once all of this happens, the fishing will definitely start picking up again as they are going to need to feed for the coming winter season. At the same time, we need to move onto other waters as well and head north in hopes that those lakes are much further along into the fall fishing mode.

    

    

Fishing Report September 20 2015 Massachusetts

Target Species: Crappie and Sunfish
Location: Northern Massachusetts
Depth: Shorelines
Air Temp: 65-70 degrees
Water Temp: 75 degrees
Wind: High
Conditions: Sunny skies
Baits: Northland Fire-Fly and Impulse Slug Bug

Since September is half over, our fishing is changing to more of getting ready for the coming ice season and checking out our current lakes and ponds as well as exploring waters that we haven’t been to fish yet. Having a small boat now opens up a lot of our options at the smaller waters that we were only able to fish from shore.
 
Many of our waters here in New England don’t have any type lake map of any means and now that we are using the Vexilar SonarPhone TBox, this is giving us a lot more information that we previously didn’t have. The SonarPhone TBox allows you to create instant lake maps on your smartphones utilizing the Navionics mapping app.

This particular pond I have driven by a number of times going and coming from other lakes and have always wanted to see what it has to offer. There are no opportunities for shore fishing around this water and you had to get through a swamp at the access point to get to the open water.

We didn’t even know what fish species are here as well and we wanted to target crappie and sunfish as we are always looking for that one sweet location that would consistently offer us much better fish size. We made the first pass with the SonarPhone straight across the middle of the lake to get a quick idea as to what the depths were like.

Not realizing that this lake was 55 feet deep, we switched gears to fishing the shorelines and see if we could find the sunfish and crappie. As we went around the lake, there were sections of shorelines that were steeper in water depths and also some shallower flats with heavier vegetation.

The locations that produced the better fish were the shallower flats and also out into deeper water of 6 feet or so. The bite was very finicky but that is an attribute to the weather going through with fairly strong winds and high bright sun as well.

When we were wrapping up the trip, we still had a few areas that needed to be mapped so we finished those off. After getting home and studying the newly created map, there are definite areas that I would like to target again as well as when the ice comes. The one end of the lake has a number of humps and ditches and these were the areas that we were catching our better fish from.

The SonarPhone Tbox is such a great item for creating live mapping, especially for our lakes here in Massachusetts. This is something that most anglers here don’t have with the current maps and this is going to allow us to start in much more productive areas right away and hopefully have us on the fish that much quicker.

         

    

 

Fishing Report August 13-17 2015 Minnesota

Target Species: Largemouth Bass, Crappie, Sunfish and Pike
Location: Minnesota
Depth: 4’ to 18’
Air Temp: 65-90 degrees
Water Temp: 78 degrees
Wind: Moderate
Conditions: Mix
Baits: Jig and plastic trailer, Rattle Traps, Plastic Baits, Maki Plastics

Being from the state of Minnesota, I always look forward to the time that we are able to get back again as for the locations that we fish, Minnesota offers you so many opportunities. Being that we are visiting family we are fortunate that my parents live on a lake and we have access to fishing at our door step. This works out great since we travel by air, this gives us access to a boat and also some relaxing dock fishing also for the whole family.

The lake that we are on is a smaller lake and has a good population of largemouth bass, sunfish and crappie and these were the targets that we were after. The lake is very healthy and has an abundance of cabbage weeds which is something that we really don’t have any more on the east coast. There are a few flats that we fish and one major underwater hump that we target very heavily.

This particular hump comes off of a point, so between these two features there is a well-defined saddle. On the lake side of this hump, it drops off into the deeper parts of the lake and this area was where the better fish were caught from as you would cast out past the weed edge and bring your bait back into the vegetation and the fish were there ready to ambush.

The first evening of fishing ended up being the best day of the trip that we had out and only thing that I can figure out why is that we had thick cloud cover with stable weather. We had all family members out fishing and everyone was catching fish and my daughter was fast onto the fish and ended the evening catching the most as well.

We were fishing with a variety of baits from plastic baits, rattle traps to jig and trailers. The plastic baits were the best for producing fish as a number of largemouth bass were caught. The fish were all over this hump and you could catch them on top, even above the weeds to all the way down to the bottom and outside of the weeds into some of the deeper waters.

That was a fun evening as all were catching and it didn’t really matter what you used or did with your bait. We even had a very nice smallmouth make it to the boat but came unbuttoned as we tried to retrieve it from the water. Over the years this is the second fish that we have caught that has had no indication of having a population in the lake as years ago we had caught a walleye as well.

The rest of our time at the lake kind of went downhill after that and I tribute the weather as a major factor for that. The weather gave us hot air temperatures and bright sunshine to major storms and also towards the end of the trip a major cold front plagued us as well. We were still able to catch fish but was more of a couple here or there and just couldn’t find the numbers that we had.

The overall size of fish was down quite a bit as well and this trend I am seeing on the east coast as well as we go through cycles over the years. The pike that were caught were on the small side and they were enjoying the rattle traps being burned across the weed tops. Crappie were never found and with the hot weather and high water temps, made it tough going trying to find them.

The sunfish didn’t let us down as they were hungry as ever and we were able to give my parents a few meals of them as well. My son really enjoys having access to a lake and being able to spend a lot of time on the dock, he learns first hand all about fishing for what he needs to do and how to do it. We are never there long enough but that is the way it is and we are already missing Minnesota and can’t wait to get back onto those waters again.


         

         

 

Fishing Report August 9 2015 Massachusetts

Target Species: Largemouth Bass
Location: Massachusetts
Depth: 4’ to 18’
Air Temp: 65 degrees
Water Temp: 78 degrees
Wind: Moderate
Conditions: Heavy Cloud Cover
Baits: Jig and plastic trailer

Today the weather is feeling a lot more like a fall day and not the beginning of August as the temperature is in the mid 60’s, the winds are blowing and there is heavy thick cloud cover. Back at our home lake and out searching for largemouth bass and going to be a test for finding the fish with the weather the way it is.

I am not one that likes to run the shorelines looking for fish as what a majority of anglers do here but would rather fish the deep water structure that the lake offers. There is a rather large piece of structure in the middle of the lake that will top out at 4 feet deep in certain areas and chose this location first as with the winds blowing, could be very hard to fish later in the morning.

The previous trip to the lake the weed growth in the shallower water depths was thick with a very stringy type of grass and would fowl your jig very quickly. Today it seems as if the grass has either died off or has fallen down as many areas were freer of this vegetation and allowed you to work the jig much more effectively.

Fished all around this location from depths of 4 feet out to 14 feet and just couldn’t locate any fish that were willing to bite. After spending some time here, I am getting the feeling that with the conditions that we are having the fish will be tougher to catch as well as you are going to have to fish into some of the more thicker weed patches in our searching.

Time was to move to another similar location and this underwater structure had a couple of locations that had secondary finger points that came out in a couple of different directions. The weed growth here as well was fairly non-existent and was a bit hard getting use to as we had never had this happen before this early in the season. This typically happens in the fall when the weeds die off but not at this time of year was a bit odd to us.

The first underwater point yielded the first bass of the day and was nothing big but a respectable fish. Fishing a black and blue ¼ ounce jig with a 3.25” plastic craw trailer in black seems to be the best color combination on this lake. The bite was very light and almost non-detectable but also this fish was near a clump of dying weeds.

After catching your first fish for the day, you really need to stop and think about what you were doing and what your jig was going through and try and repeat that to see if you are putting a pattern together. So with that being said, I approached another secondary point and put another cookie cutter fish into the boat doing that exact same thing. Things felt at this point as I was figuring out the puzzle and these fish were more on the deeper edges and not on top of this structure.

At this point my son was being dropped off at the boat landing so that he could come out and fish for a bit. It didn’t take long and he found out how cold it really was with the winds blowing and much cooler temperatures as well. We went right back to where I had been catching the previous couple of fish and started again where I had left off.

He doesn’t have much for patience so he typically will fish with crankbaits and spinner type baits. He was having some success of bring fish out as he was getting them to follow his baits back to the boat but they just wouldn’t commit to them. It is fun listening to him when a fish flashes him right at boat side and that gets him all excited and wanting to cast more.

As we were sliding down this structure, there is some deep water off of the side and instead of casting on top of it like I typically do I was casting out into the deeper water. Felt a tick on the bait, as they are barely touching it today, and set the hook into a very nice fish which gave up a great battle and for this lake is the nicest one of the year. This particular area of this structure I have not fished much as the few times I have in the past never yielded anything for the return.

My fishing on many lakes now is that I typically pick only a couple of locations and will spend all of my time on the water just fishing those. The more time that you put into a particular area, the more that you are going to learn and where that big fish came from, I will be looking at that location much more in the trips there in the future.

By fishing with a jig, this bait is allowing you a better understanding as to what is going on down there between the vegetation, gravel, rock and mucky bottoms. I have been fishing the jig a lot this summer and it has taught me a lot more than I have had known for over the years. Also, with a bigger bait, this is giving you more opportunities at catching nicer fish and you may not catch as many fish but the rewards are much grander.

         

    

 

Fishing Report August 8 2015 Massachusetts

Target Species: Striper
Location: Massachusetts
Depth: 4’ to 18’
Air Temp: 65 degrees
Water Temp: 62 degrees
Wind: Light/Variable
Conditions: Sunny
Baits: Inline spinners and Daddy Mac DM Minnow

We were fortunate for having a friend give us a call as they wanted to go out and try some striper fishing and asked us to go along. We brought a variety of baits along to give these fish a wide array of choices as we go out in our search. We had sand worms, minnows, eels and Daddy Mac lures along and between the four of us everyone had a different choice to fish with.

Living here for 16 years this saltwater fishing has me really scratching my head as I can’t seem to figure this out at all. I am noticing though that fishing either from a boat or the beach front, it is a bit more consistent on the boat as I have not been able to figure out the beach surf casting for these fish.

Where we went out on this trip takes us up a long river to the back side of Plum Island and we fished in the sound on the backside of the island and not ocean front. It is a bit calmer here and also we were fishing in the evening and it was an incoming high tide as well. You typically watch for the flocks of birds that are targeting minnows that the stripers are bringing to the surface but this time there wasn’t any type of bird activity.

The tougher part of figuring out where these fish are at, is this area every year the tides and currents will change the channel location and also the sand bar locations. But there are two very distinct channels that one runs near the center of the sound and the other is on the west side and has a shallow flat adjacent to the deeper ledge.

We started on the later location and the incoming tide allowed us to drift over the outer ledge with access to casting to the flat as well. There were four of us fishing and the other three will drifting a sand worm, a minnow and a large live eel. I was fan casting the Daddy Mac Elite Deluxe but after doing a few drifts none of us were having any luck and it was time for a new location change.

This new location had a grass island in the middle of the sound and deep water all around and the wind was blowing just right that allowed our drift going from shallower flats and sand bars to going over deeper water channels. The live bait just wasn’t working for being drifted along the bottom like we had heard and we were offering the fish a wide array of bait choices.

At this point I had tied on the Daddy Mac DM Minnow and was fan casting in all directions and wasn’t long and the first schoolie striper was on. The DM Minnow is a jerk bait style lure and working it erratically it dives down to a couple of feet. The straight retrieve is nothing they wanted and switching to the erratic retrieve this allowed me to be able to put a couple of these fish in the boat in this location.

These two fish were nothing to speak of for size as they were in the 20-22 inch range and quite a bit to small for being a keeper size that they weren’t. There were probably more fish in this area but the sun was setting and we only had limited more time left before we had to head back in.

On the way back in we decided to troll into the river and hug the bank edge of the high tide as the striper can coral the bait against these taller walls of the channel. We had one line out with the live eel and the other line we had an inline spinner. Wasn’t far into the river and my son with the inline spinner had another striper hooked up.

He was having a lot of fun fighting this fish to the boat and it ended up being the biggest of the night but still not of legal size. For the size of these fish it is amazing how hard they fight and gets you wanting to get out there again very soon and try for some of those much bigger fish. A lot more planning goes into the striper fishing trips but for the few hours that we had, the few fish we caught made for a very enjoyable evening.

    

    

 

Fishing Report August 8 2015 Massachusetts

Target Species: Crappie and Sunfish
Location: Massachusetts
Depth: 4’ to 6’
Air Temp: 75-80 degrees
Water Temp: 80-82 degrees
Wind: Light/Variable
Conditions: Sunny
Baits: Northland Fire-Fly Jig with a Rocket Bobber

We have many small lakes and ponds in our area that we ice fish quite frequently and can also now open water fish with one of our smaller boats. Lack of boat accesses for large boats has been a huge hindrance for us for really learning these waters but now we have a new item that is allowing us to really understand what it looks like below that water’s surface.

We have mounted the SonarPhone SP200 WiFi box and transducer into our Jon boat as the waters here in New England have very poorly made maps as well as most of them there is no map. Nice thing about this setup is that once the two items are mounted into your boat, you can utilize your tablet or smartphone for being able to use them as a depth finder and now being able to map these waters as well.

We used our tablet for the mapping feature and once you turn everything on, just let it run while you are fishing. The screen is split between the sonar unit and also the mapping feature using the Navionics app that you download to your tablet or smartphone. Depending on the length of your battery charge, will determine how long you will be able to do this unless you connect your device to a power source.

By having this option now this will be opening up a lot of new information for our fishing and we are planning on many days this fall if not sooner of mapping a number of our waters. It is really amazing at what the lake will tell you when you have this technology that will help you out considerably for your open water fishing as well as when you are on the ice.

While we were playing around with the SonarPhone we were looking at catching crappie and sunfish here as well. The crappie lately in our ponds have been getting tougher to locate with the warmer water temps and we were never able to find any of them in this pond. We weren’t seeing them on the locator as well and that makes it a bit tougher for catching if we can’t find them.

My son was determined to catch some bass while we were there as they were jumping out of the water trying to catch the dragon flies that were bouncing off the water’s surface. He had seen a number of them but no matter what he was trying to catch them with, they weren’t cooperating.

I was targeting the sunfish and mainly fishing on the outer deep weed edge and many of these areas the sunfish were thick in there. But, you could definitely tell that some areas had small fish and other areas had much nicer quality of fish. Those areas were the key for concentrating more effort on and catching a better gill on ultralight tackle is a lot of fun.

Using the Rocket Bobber and Northland Tackle Fire-Fly Jig this was a good combination for putting numbers of bluegill into the boat. You didn’t need to tip these jigs with anything and the hair on the jig gave it all the action and enticement that was needed for catching these fish. The coontail weedbeds were the key vegetation to the better quality fish as the grassier weedbeds there were smaller fish in them.

These waters are fairly small in size and this allows you to be able to fish a majority of them fairly quickly in a few hours. It is a great option for fishing if you only have a half day or so and don’t have to commit to the whole day to it like we typically like to. We were able to actually map 90 percent of the lake and next time we go back, map it again in a totally different direction to fine tune our map. The more that you map the same lake the better that the map will come out and I was watching this as we covered one certain area a few times.

    

    

 

Fishing Report August 1 2015 Massachusetts

Target Species: Largemouth Bass
Location: Massachusetts
Depth: 4’ to 13'
Air Temp: 68-75 degrees
Water Temp: 80-82 degrees
Wind: Light/Variable
Conditions: Sunny
Baits: Jig/Pig Combination

Some days you only have very limited time for fishing and having small ponds near your home always allows you to be able to get a few hours in. Plus with the heat that we are having this summer, making these early morning fishing trips is getting to be a regular scenario for beating the heat of the day.

There has been a technique that I have been employing quite a bit this summer and that combination is the jig and pig (plastic trailer). Every season I typically pick a couple of techniques to concentrate on utilizing throughout the season so that I can learn the aspects of fishing that particular lure combination in a variety of situations.

Even with fishing this lure, you also need to have a backup as there are going to be fish that will pick up the jig and drop it again before you are able to get a hookset. Typically, I have a 4 inch plastic worm rigged Texas style with a 1/16 ounce worm weight. If I have a fish drop the jig there are times that if you cast right back in there with this plastic worm, there are times that the fish will pick this up giving you another shot at the fish.

In this particular lake there are two prime areas and since I only had limited time I wanted to spend a majority of it working one of the areas. This area is a ridge that is not very wide on the top, the top gets to within 4 feet of the surface but has plenty of depth on either side of it.

I have been finding out that there is one location that has become a prime spot as typically that is where the better bites have been coming from. There is some low growing vegetation but there is also some rock mixed in as well and my electronics is showing me that it has a hard bottom as well with sand and gravel and around the outer edges is more of a muck bottom.

The winds were light and sun was in full force and this typically keeps the fish off of the top of the ridge as it is too bright for them. You wouldn’t think it would as the water quality is fairly dingy with only a foot or two max of clarity. The fish were there but they were biting very finicky as I had a good fish hooked at one point and had fought it all the way to the boat for it to take a jump out of the water and throwing my jig right back at me as I watched the fish swim away.

Was getting other bites as well as at this point I had switched over to the plastic worm but they were biting the bait only on the tail and wasn’t taking it for any type of hook setting opportunities. Made a few passes through this area and moved off to another underwater hump. Fished this location with the plastic worm and was finally able to get a decent fish into the boat.

The bite just really wasn’t on and this particular lake you either hit them or you don’t and was getting to feel like today wasn’t that day. Now I had started having boat battery problems as my main cranking battery had gone out. Luckily I carry jumper cables in the boat and that allows me to jump my cranking battery with one of my trolling batteries for getting the motor running again.

I didn’t want to spend too much more time as I needed to get the battery changed out with a new one and fished for a bit longer leaving the motor running. At this point the winds had picked up a bit and the clouds had thickened quite a bit with a few rain drops falling as well. Since the previous ridge is right in front of the boat landing I figured that I could fish it once more for a few more minutes.

Positioned the boat as I always do and working slowly down the ridge it didn’t take long and a fish ran off with my jig but had dropped the bait before I could set the hook. Then I hit that one sweet spot and worked the bait slowly through there and that was when a much better fished picked it up and ran. Setting the hook into the fish and the fight was on and I was able to land a very nice largemouth bass and was such a great feeling for ending out the morning.

For a lake that is only around 100 acres it is quite amazing for the size of some of these fish that are in there. A majority of the anglers that fish here run the shorelines but for the few that know of these couple of high potential areas, if you spend the time you may be well rewarded.

         

    

 

Fishing Report July 25 & 26 2015 Massachusetts

Target Species: Largemouth Bass
Location: Massachusetts
Depth: 2’ to 18’
Air Temp: 68 degrees
Water Temp: 76-78 degrees
Wind: Light/Variable
Conditions: Cloudy
Baits: Jig/Pig Combination – Live lining

This past weekend’s fishing trips entailed a couple of different tactics for fishing where one was live lining live bait and the other was probing the deeper depths with jigs. My son goes to a day camp on a lake and he spends a lot of his time fishing while there. He sees and attempts to catch a number of largemouth bass and has one particular one that has become his goal of catching this summer.

So we loaded his small boat and headed off to this lake and the way that he has been catching them is by using live-bait. We brought a number of minnows along and had set off for his little honey hole in search of the giant that has been haunting him. You are not able to use the camp’s docks when the camp is not being used so we had to position the boat as best as we could so that he was able to make good casts to where he felt the fish was going to be positioned.

We had a decent amount of wind, air temperatures were only in the upper 60’s and the skies were very cloudy. He was casting his bait into an inside corner of the dock and wasn’t long and he had a fish on that dived into the thick lily pads and had popped the hook off. Re-baited and kept working this small area and didn’t take long for getting either the same fish or another fish on but wasn’t able to get a good hookset into that fish.

At this point he was starting to get a bit frustrated and wanted to try the other side of the dock and see if his dream fish was over there. I had been casting my bait out into deeper waters and caught a small bass and a bit later did get a nicer sized one. He wasn’t able to find the fish that he has been wanting to catch and with that we had moved onto other locations in the lake to see if there were other fish to catch.

Trying a number of other locations, the fish weren’t going to cooperate and we ended up only catching those couple of fish. He couldn’t wait to get back to camp come Monday morning as he was back on the dock catch bass again, with lines being broken and hooks being straightened but still hasn’t gotten that one fish that he has been looking for.

Sunday comes and time to head for a small lake that has two very distinct pieces of structure that hold some of the better fish in the lake. By utilizing the “Insight Genesis” software from Lowrance Electronics this allows me to map the lake for locating features that we had known nothing about. Living here in New England, we have virtually nothing for lake maps and this software has been allowing me to map my lakes for the open water and also for use on the ice in our fishing.

The first location is an underwater ridge that comes off of a shallow sand/gravel sunken island and on one side of the ridge goes out to nine feet of water while the other side drops off to 25 feet deep. The top of this ridge is generally around the 4 foot depth mark and there are some sparse vegetation as well as a few placed rocks.

Typically I fish this lake with a jig-worm or small Texas rigged plastic worm but today was only going to fish with the jig/pig combination. From past trips to this lake there seems to be one sweet spot that the better fish will hold on and there are a few rocks amongst the vegetation in that area. This particular area also is the transition from where the main ridge tip ends and goes out to another underwater hump.

Making longer casts with the jig, and working it back towards the boat in very short deliberate hops, seems to be a better presentation as opposed to making more sweeping motions. Once I was able to reach that one sweet spot the first fish was missed but a few casts later and there felt to be a bit of weeds on the bait.

By feeling out the bait, I had started noticing that there was a possibility that this feeling was more of a fish than weeds. Rearing back on the hookset made the rod flex right over and there was a good fish on the end of the line and the battle was on. When hooking these better fish they typically want to stay deeper in the water and give up a much better fight as well. As the fish got closer we could see that this was definitely a better fish and my son helped me by getting down to the water and lipping this fish.

I had worked this particular structure and had a few other short bites that didn’t connect but had a good time fishing there. We fished the other piece of structure as well and had a couple of short bites but for the day, it was fairly slow for getting fish into the boat. Weather had rained on us a few times but with the heavy cloud cover as well, had allowed the fish to be able to spread out more instead of being confined to specific spots.

         

    


Fishing Report July 19 2015 Massachusetts

Target Species: Largemouth Bass
Location: Massachusetts
Depth: 2’ to 18’Air Temp: 85 degrees
Temp: 76-79 degrees
Wind: Light
es
Baits: Rapala ScatterRap/Rattle Trap and Jig/Pig Combination

When we get into the heart of the summer months, the fishing can go either way of hot bites or having to work very hard in finding and catching fish. This past weekend was one that humbled us as anglers as the fish that were caught, had a lot of work behind them getting them to bite and to the boat.

We started the weekend at a small pond that we had never fished in open water and had heard that there are some nice largemouth bass in there. Getting the car topper boat into the pond was a chore to start the day off as the shorelines are undeveloped and with that hoping that the fishing was going to be worth it.

After a while of fishing this particular pond, there was no evidence of any sort of structure to be able to concentrate on so we fished around the shoreline weed lines. Casting rattle traps and shallow running crank baits to cover as much water as we could as well as understand the features of the pond and finding actively feeding fish.

We spent a few hours at this pond and we did catch a handful of small bass and a rogue crappie for our efforts. We have a list of new waters similar to this that we haven’t fished in a boat yet and now that we have a small boat, this is allowing us to see what these fisheries are like and also lets us know if we want to put any more time into these locations.

So we moved onto the later part of the weekend and this day was going to be uncomfortably hot with little to no winds. Arriving at the lake at the break of day was still tolerable for being outside. This particular lake is a much bigger and deeper fishery and has a good amount of deeper structure to fish. The water temperatures are still hovering in the upper 70’s but think after this week’s hot weather may finally get these lakes to where they should be at for this time of year.

I have been having a decent jig bite here, but this lake is always different for vegetation content each fishing year. This year there is a lot of very stringy grass and this is not allowing you to make long casts with the jig and you have to fish fairly close to the boat so that you are not clogging the bait up on the retrieve back to the boat.

Typically here the bass are in the heaviest vegetation and you have to finesse the bait through the grass ever so slowly for allowing you to have the best presentation. Fished a number of spots on deeper structure but the bite was of no existence today and made for a long time being on the water.

Was able to muster up a few decent fish, nothing large, but a lot of work went into catching the ones that were caught. It was one general area that held these fish and was a smaller underwater hump and fished the jig on the outer edge of the grass for the presentation of this jig. Was hoping that the pattern was materializing but wasn’t able to get anything of significance going.

There happened to be a tournament running out there as well and watching those boats while fishing, you could tell that they all were struggling as they never stayed in one spot very long. This time of year is when I really like fishing as the fish have moved off shore and deeper and that is my style of fishing.

It can only get better and there will be days like this here and there, but it is the middle of summer and it also is what fishing is all about. Every day on the water is a learning experience and if you fish that way each and every time, this will make you a better and more confident angler for whatever species you are chasing.

Hopefully the weather here in New England calms down a little bit so that being out on the lake is more tolerable than it currently is with the high heat we are experiencing.

         
    


Fishing Report Week July 6 2015 Massachusetts

Target Species: Crappies/Sunfish/Bass
Location: Western Massachusetts
Depth: 2’ to 5’
Air Temp: 85 degrees
Water Temp: 75-78 degrees
Wind: Variable
Baits: Clam Outdoors Pro Tackle Drop Jig tipped with a Maki Plastics Polli/Rapala ScatterRap/Rattle Trap

I am very fortunate for having a family that enjoys camping and also generally we seek out campgrounds that have lake options as well. We had been to this campground last year and our campsite is on the lake and also comes with our own dock. This allows us easy access to the lake for fishing and my son has his Jon boat at the ready at all times.

He has a great passion for fishing at the age of 13 and having his boat right there, he spent almost every minute on the water. If he wasn’t in his boat then he would be standing on the dock fishing and there wasn’t anything else that he wanted to do.

Last year we had concentrated on the bass fishing and we had started this same way this year as we had figured that was the dominant fish. My son’s first outing had changed that as he was searching for bass, he had a crappie take his rattle trap and that had opened the door for a multi species fishing trip.

This smaller lake has little to no structure and most of the lake is in the four to five foot range with mainly stringy grass for vegetation. Other than some wood along the shorelines, the main lake is only five feet deep and this has the fish scattered everywhere. The mid-day bite was nonexistent so most of our fishing was in the morning and evening.

There is a very good population of bigger than average sunfish here that were caught mostly on Clam Outdoor jigs and tipping these with Maki Plastics. There were areas that yielded smaller fish so after a few fish you could generally move some and get back on the better sized fish. It was a lot of fun catching these on light spinning tackle and most of them would give up a great fight making it feel like you had a very large fish on.

For the crappie bite, that was mainly in the evening as the morning bite for them was very little and you had to really search for finding them. These were mainly average sized and all of them caught were cookie cutters of the previous one. There were no large or small crappie caught but all were at that 9-10 inch range. These were caught with the same techniques as the sunfish and mostly around some sort of vegetation.

The bass fishing was down from our fish caught last year and the size was down as well. Towards the end of the trip my wife and son had finally started catching some nicer sized bass and these were their best bass for both of them on the open water. There were two main crank baits that were used for catching the bass and the Rattle Trap and Rapala’s ScatterRap worked the best.

A few of these fish were caught randomly in the middle of the lake by ripping these baits through the grass and keeping the bait moving at a quicker rate. But most of the fish were along the shorelines and also if there was wood there for structure, those areas typically held more of the fish.

W
e were very fortunate to have fairly stable weather and also with the size of the lake the winds were not really any sort of issue. Camping is a great past time that my family enjoys partaking in and it really is amazing how fast the time flies while doing this activity. Sitting around the campfire and being able to be away from the electronics that run most of our lives makes for a very enjoyable experience.

Camping is one of those activities that brings families together and also makes you look and find things to do in the outdoors. Camping lakeside is great as you have access to the fishing right there as well as the swimming activities that all kids truly enjoy. Not sure if we are going to be able to get out camping again this year but these memories that we had this past week will be with us for many years going forward.

         

         

Fishing Report July 4 2015 Massachusetts

Target Species: Crappies and Sunfish
Location: Northern Massachusetts
Depth: 2’ to 5’
Air Temp: 73 degrees
Water Temp: 75 degrees
Wind: Non
Baits: Clam Outdoors Pro Tackle Half Ant and Drop Jig tipped with a Maki Plastics Polli

Since there was bass fishing yesterday the decision for today was to go for sunfish and crappies on one of our smaller ponds. Having a small boat for this type of fishing opens up a lot more opportunities for us that we aren’t able to get the big boat into.

Being this is the fourth of July, the pond was quite a bit busier than it generally is but still big enough that everyone can still spread apart for their fishing. The crappies are a bit harder to find these days as the waters have warmed to the mid 70’s and they are going to be much deeper now and on the move.

One thing about this pond is it isn’t difficult to locate fish but the challenge is finding the sized fish that you want to catch. You can catch fish in most locations but some are more run over with smaller fish versus the much larger ones that we would rather catch.

The typical setup that we use for fishing is starting with the Rocket Bobber for casting ability as well as the high sensitivity that it offers. The depth that we fish is between 12-18 inches below the bobber and tied onto the line is a Clam Outdoors Tungsten jig that we tip with a Maki Plastic bait. Using the plastic bait allows numbers of fish to be caught before losing that bait and also is a much cleaner way of fishing.

Color selection didn’t seem to critical if there were fish in the area as there wasn’t too much of an issue for getting them to bite. Another item that we utilized was the Vexilar SonarPhone which is a piece of electronics running through my tablet and this allowed us to locate the roaming pods of crappies that we were looking for.

Key locations that most of the fish were relating to were lily pad edges but the nicer fish were also concentrated in similar areas if there was broadleaf cabbage plants or coontail around. These areas were definitely hot but you had to be quick to get them out otherwise they would dive into the vegetation and risked losing the fish as well as your jigs.

Rod and reel with light line helps in the presentation of these tiny jigs as well as when you are hooked up with the larger sunfish, feels like you are reeling in a giant of a fish. The fishing rod is limber enough for fighting the fish that allows them to tire out a bit without having you to horse them out of the water.

The crappies were fairly tough to figure out as we were marking them on the locator, but getting them to bite was another thing. Towards the end of our day we finally located an area that the crappie were stacked up in the cabbage weeds. They were cruising two feet under the surface and when we did find them, it was fish each and every cast.

The weather was kind of a funky day with overcast skies and the sun tried to peak out a little a couple of times. There were a few rain showers mixed in as well and for most of the day was fairly dry. Right at the end the weather was starting to change as the winds were picking up a little more, temperatures were starting to drop and the rain was falling more.

The bite at this time was definitely dropping off and the crappie had vacated this location. We tried a couple of more locations before heading home and the sunfish bite was still fairly decent. Over the day we had caught a large number of fish and by fishing with the correct equipment, this makes for a great day on the water and fond memories of another great day fishing with my son.

         

Fishing Report July 3 2015 Massachusetts

Target Species: Largemouth Bass and Crappies
Location: Northern Massachusetts
Depth: 5’ to 18’
Air Temp: 70-80 degrees
Water Temp: 72-76 degrees
Wind: Variable
Baits: Fluke style plastic/Rapala ScatterRap/Clam Pro Tackle Blade Spoon

There are certain lakes that you need to fish during the week as come the weekend the boat traffic does increase dramatically. Today’s venue lake is just one of those and since today was also a holiday acation day during the week, figured that we would give this lake a go.

Lake scenario is that over half of this lake is mucky and shallow and the other half they had dredged years ago so that there is varying depths and loads of structure. This lake also is an inner city lake so that being said the water quality is very green/brown coloration with thick shallow weeds.

Best success here is generally in the fall when the bass are ambushing prey in the warmer shallower waters and also the crappies are roaming in large schools over structure. Haven’t fished here this early in the season so never knowing what the fishing will be like is always fun anticipation for the coming trip.

Arriving at the lake early in the morning typically will run the shallow bay off of the landing as there is plenty of overhanging trees and bushes along the shorelines. Fishing with a weightless fluke style plastic bait will be casted to the shoreline and twitch back through the weeds and lily pads. The baits will generally stay near the surface so adding a strip of lead tape to the hook will give it enough weight to get the bait down a bit.

The bait is hooked weedless so that you can work it through the wood and lily pads as the thicker the cover is where the fish are going to be at. You can’t work these areas to fast as the coloration of the water you want the fish to be able to see the bait and using a white or bright colored bait helps that situation.

These areas typically produce the bigger fish of the day and today was another example of that as my biggest largemouth was caught in this location. There were plenty of fish busting the water surface and if you were able to get close enough they were large carp wallowing in the shallows.

After running this shoreline pattern, the fish weren’t relating too much for the area and needed to go out and fish the deeper water structure. The deeper part of the lake the bottom structure goes from around 8 feet deep out to 25 feet and is very erratic throughout the whole area.

Fished a variety of baits all around, jig/pig, deep cranks, drop shot rigs, and jigworm, trying for both bass and crappie. Fished for quite some time but just couldn’t get anything going other than lodging the baits into the rocks on the bottom. Starting to wonder if these locations are more suited for the cooler water months or if the bite was just off this day.

There is one tactic that truly works well for this lake but typically doesn’t give you bigger fish but does give you fish. Using the Rapala ScatterRap, and fan casting the shorelines was able to catch smaller bass and also a number of perch. This is one bait that is my savior bait as I know that fishing it will save any day on the water.

When searching for the crappies I was fishing with the Clam Outdoors Pro Tackle Blade Spoon and tipped that with a Maki Plastic Mino Head. Vertical jigging over fish pods on the electronics was catching numbers of perch but just couldn’t locate the crappies.

Never did see any large fish for the day, but as I had left the lake, I have a friend that lives there and talked with him he said the crappie come to the shorelines at 6:30-8:00 pm almost every night to feed. This may have to be another trip as he said that these were large fish as well and are typically there almost every night. Even if you don’t catch the fish that you are looking for, every trip to the water is always a learning experience and that is what fishing is all about, learning and improving your fishing abilities.

         


Fishing Report June 27 2015 Massachusetts

Target Species: Largemouth Bass

Location: Northern Massachusetts
Depth: 5’ to 18’
Air Temp: 55-65 degrees

Water Temp: 75-78 degrees

Wind: Light

Baits: Jig/Pig in Black/Blue color pattern and black colored craw trailer

 

Finally the waters are warming nicely and having a surface temperature of mid 70’s gets me excited as the spawn is over and the fish are starting to relate to offshore structure. I am not a big fan of running the shorelines looking for aggressive fish but more of dissecting deep water structure for the bass that I am fishing.

Many of the lakes here in New England have their shorelines pounded on a daily basis and while I was fishing I was watching that unfold from the anglers on this particular lake. Many anglers here either don’t know the deeper structure is here, or, they may not be confident enough to fish these areas. Key to fishing these types of areas is having good electronics that are telling you what is going on at that location and also GPS for keeping you there.

As every season begins, you never know what the weed content is going to be like as they seem to turn over on this lake quite regularly. From this fishing trip I found that this year we will have to deal with the very stringy thin grass that if you work through it too fast, this will gum up your bait and presentation very quickly.

The lakes that we have to fish here, are small in comparison to other parts of the country as they are typically from 100 to 350 acres in size. These sizes of lakes affords you the opportunity for fishing a majority of the lake and also you can come back to key locations time after time trying to pattern the fishes movement patterns.

This lake for me has never really been a numbers lake but the quality is of a much better size once you figure out what and where the fish are and want. Typically I fish here with a Carolina Rig and work that through the grass at a slow pace, but the fall fishing here has been fantastic for fishing jig/pig so that was going to be my bait today.

There were only two locations that yielded bites and the first one was the front of a cove that had somewhat of a hump before going in that would top off at 4 feet deep. There is some sparse milfoil here and also a majority of the area is covered with the fine stringy grass. There are also pockets in the weed patches that will be void of vegetation but there weren’t any bites from those.

I did have a few solid bites, but they were also buried deep into these weeds. You had to make short casts so that you wouldn’t waste half of your cast clogging the jig with the weeds. You had to work the jig ever so slowly back towards the boat with small and short hops and also creating a faint dust trail in the bottom sediment.

There was one spot on the hump that had a small saddle in the middle of it and that is typically where the bites were coming from. Concentration was key, if as soon as you weren’t, that is when the strike would come and in these thicker weeds you needed all of the hookset power for getting them out. I wasn’t able to get any of these fish at this location to the boat but I made sure that I didn’t leave any bites behind before moving on.

Moving to a true off shore hump, this area had a smaller hump at the beginning that would top out at 10 feet deep and was fairly clean of weeds. Only took a few casts and set the hook into a nice largemouth bass on the jig/pig keying on the slow movement of the bait. This particular structure was the only area that offered a number of fish to be caught and most were towards the weed edges at this location.

I had targeted a few other similar areas around the lake, but the weather conditions were changing rapidly and you could tell that from the fish as well. The winds were really starting to pick up and did some fan casting of a shallow crack bait over a spawning flat but wasn’t able to connect there.

The early morning bite was the best for this outing and this is fairly typical for this particular lake. Also, offering the fish a bigger profile bait and working it pain staking slow, I felt that is what the fish were looking for instead of working a fast bait. By going deeper into the weeds as well was crucial for finding these fish and if you take your time and move your bait slowly through there, you will be able to dig some very nice fish out.

         

    


Fishing Report June 13 2015 
Massachusetts


Target Species: Largemouth Bass and Sunfish

Location: Northern Massachusetts

Depth: 1’ to 8’

Air Temp: 83 degrees

Water Temp: 68 degrees

Wind: Light

Baits: Shallow running crank baits and Clam Outdoors Half Ant jigs tipped with Maki Plastics

The area that we live in there are numerous smaller ponds that we can fish but only a couple of them have a boat landing that we can get our big boat into. So we had fished some of these utilizing kayaks in the years past, but trying to fish out of these is a bit tough especially if there is any kind of wind.

My son is into fishing big time these days and he wanted to have his own boat for fishing so he had gotten himself a 10 foot Jon boat. By having this small boat option now, this has opened up number of new waters that we can fish and also being able to fish in more comfort is always a good thing as well.

We have a list of lakes that we have fished on the ice but never have on the open water so we had picked one of these for this trip and we haven’t really fished at all either. From searching for information about the fishing in this lake, there are reports that there are some large bass here and we figured we would give it a try.

With only having the trolling motor for motion, we figured that we would follow the shoreline around the lake and see what the fishing will offer. There are two prominent weeds that you see right away and those are lily pads and pondweed. The lily pads are in only certain areas but the patches of pondweed seem to be around a majority of the lake.

Since we really didn’t have an idea for any type of structure or areas that may hold fish, we fished with shallow running crank baits to cover water faster and find the more aggressively biting fish. By casting the shallow crank baits into the pondweed patches you had to try and direct how the bait comes back through to you as if you didn’t the treble hooks would get fouled up with the weeds.

The perch bite was happening and they were chasing the crank baits and we were able to catch some nicer sized ones up to 12 inches in length. Many times if you watched your bait coming back, there were a few perch always following the bait back to the boat practically on every cast.

There was an area that we had gone through and started catching some nicer pumpkinseed sunfish on the crank bait as well. One of these that were caught had some of the most brilliant color patterns that we have seen in quite some time. We anchored up in this area to try and catch more of these fish.

We were casting the Rocket Bobbers with having the Clam Outdoors Pro Tackle’s Half Ant Tungsten Jig and having this being tipped with a Maki Plastic bait. These sunfish were not very deep and most of them were caught by casting almost onto the shoreline. Once you were 6-8 feet off the shoreline there would be no bites coming and you had to cast back to shore.

We really want to test out the bass in this lake so we moved on casting the shallow crank baits at every target and weed patch that we could find. There were a number of bass caught and a couple of decent ones but we never were able to get into the bigger fish. Pretty much was a fish here or a fish there and never was able to find a location that had numbers of them in it.

Since we have not fished this lake before, I generally will pay attention as to what the other anglers are fishing and where they are fishing. You could see that a majority of them were concentrating on the pondweed patches and throwing jigs and worms into these for digging out some of the fish. We talked to one boat and they had a few fish caught in the 3-4.5 pound range.

Since we had no idea how we were going to fish here and what we were going to fish for, we only had brought limited rods and tackle with. We will be planning another trip back to this lake and will be doing more of the digging the fish out of the weeds fishing and can’t wait to give it another try.

These smaller ponds do get some pressure but it is nothing like the bigger ponds do that have the boat landings. With such limited boat accesses here in our location, having a couple of boating options is a definite must and a plus for expanding your fishing opportunities. As the warmer weather comes, these fish will be relating more to deeper water and also thicker cover and that is the type of fishing that we really enjoy.

         

    


Fishing Report June 7 2015 Massachusetts

Target Species: Largemouth Bass

Location: Northern Massachusetts
Depth: 4’ to 12’
Air Temp: 70 degrees
Water Temp: 67 degrees
Wind: Light
Baits: Plastic worm jig worm, shallow running crank baits

Today’s trip to the lake was going to be more about my son’s experience as this was going to be his first solo fishing trip on his own. With both of our boats loaded, he could fish where he wanted and how he wanted to, while I can keep an eye from a distance from my boat.

He choice to fish along the shorelines and run a shallow crank bait and over time he actually was able to land a few bass on his own. There was a light breeze, enough that would blow you around a bit, this allowed him to learn how to use the trolling motor for keeping him in a location that he was fishing.

As I watched, he was getting good experience at maneuvering his boat near and around docks and fallen trees. It was nice seeing him come along with his boating skills and this is giving me more confidence so that in time this will build his confidence and allow him to venture the waters more on his own.

The areas that I was fishing were a couple of underwater humps with some sparse weed growth and trying to see if the fish have moved out to these. Fished the whole areas with a jigworm setup and wasn’t able to locate any bass but did catch some crappie.

Seeing that the fish were not using these locations yet, ran some shorelines with a shallow running crank bait but had little success. Today wasn’t so much about catching fish but watching and teaching my son the art of boat control and allowing him to gain more confidence while doing this on his own.

Not really sure how many times we will be doing both boats at the same time as it is a bit cumbersome, but I am sure that he has other thoughts on this decision. The waters are still fairly cold and kind of tough trying to figure out the fish yet for us. Can only get better and with some camping trips coming up as well, summer fishing will be off and running.


         

         


Fishing Report May 24/25 2015 New Hampshire/Massachusetts

Target Species: Largemouth Bass

Location: Southern New Hampshire and Northern Massachusetts
Depth: 4’ to 12’
Air Temp: 80 degrees
Water Temp: upper 66 degrees
Wind: Breezy
Rod setup: 7’0” med spinning gear with 8lb test line, baits were plastic jig worms and 6’0” med bait casting gear with 10lb line, baits were Rapala Scatter Wraps

We had the long Memorial Holiday weekend to get out and do some fishing one day on a Southern New Hampshire lake and another day on a small Northern Massachusetts pond. By fishing two bodies of waters in two different states, the fish are basically in the same mode and pattern.

The air temperatures are getting into the 80’s somewhat more consistently day by day but the water temps seem to still be on the cooler side. Between these two bodies of waters the water temperatures were fairly consistent ranging from 64-67 degrees. There were a few older beds around but could tell that we are getting into the post spawn mode and we had a bit of a tough time fishing this weekend.

We will start with our day on the water in New Hampshire which was on Sunday. Weather wise we were at the 80 degree mark and had fairly high winds to deal with as well. The lake that we fished we fish there quite often and have plenty of locations to hit. Didn’t take long and we were catching fish on crank baits while casting to 5 feet and under water depths but did also notice that these fish were the smaller males that were still in the shallower waters.

Being a holiday weekend this adds more boat traffic with cruisers and tubers around the lake but also every little nook and cranny the winds were blowing into consistently. With these winds we weren’t able to fish any deep structure and targeted more shorelines but a bit more out in the deeper edge of the inside weed line.

Being we were up visiting some family members for the day, time on the water was fairly limited and we were fishing shallow running crank baits while targeting more aggressively biting fish. You would be able to hit locations that would yield a few quick fish and also numbers of small pickerel as well. These areas were in the calmer not as windy locations with the sun warming these waters and getting these fish more active.

Did fish a few windblown shorelines and these locations did have better fish on them but they were more far and few between. Was a fairly tough day on the water and that seems to be our trend when we get in between this spawn and post spawn phase. As the waters warm and the fish migrate more out to the deeper structures, fishing will become more consistent and the sizes will be much better.

Since we were still setup with the boat attached to the truck, we went Monday morning to a small local pond and see what phase the bass are in. Luckily the trout fisherman have subsided and this opens up the lake access to those that have a boat and this pond is small enough that you can fish it in a few hours and don’t need a whole day which is a good alternative.

Most anglers that fish here generally run the shoreline in search of their fish and we did do that for a short period of time but were only able to pick up some nicer bluegills. When we fished the shoreline we were throwing shallow running crank bait and a jig worm. You will catch fish here doing this but the sizes are in the 12 inch range with very few larger fish being caught.

There are two main types of structures here with one of them is a long ridge that runs 4 feet deep on top with one side that drops into 8 feet of water. The other side drops off into 25 feet of water and there is one sweet spot that the larger fish typically congregate to. With the cooler water temperatures yet, and the weed growth just getting underway, not sure that they are committing themselves to this location yet.

Was able to pick up a couple small bass on a jig worm along with the bluegill pecking at your plastics, but the larger fish weren’t there. The other main structure is a few underwater humps that have saddles between them and the fish were on these locations. But the size was still small and the weed growth was at about six inches tall as well.

Between the two bodies of waters that we had fished this weekend, the cooler water temperatures and windy conditions, the small fish are there with the larger fish still holding off outside of these areas. We will be having warms temperatures all week this week and that is going to raise our water temperatures very quickly and this in turn should really get these bigger fish into more of their summer patterns.

    


Fishing Report May 15 2015 Massachusetts

Target Species: Smallmouth Bass

Location: Northern Massachusetts

Depth: 4’ to 6’

Air Temp: 60 degrees

Water Temp: upper 50’s degrees

Wind: Light breeze

Rod setup: 7’0” med spinning gear with 8lb test line, baits were plastic tubes, 3/0 hooks and 1/8 oz worm weights

Many of the ponds and lakes in our area are typically town water supplies and being that is the situation, they only allow non-motorized boats, kayaks and canoes on the waters. Today’s particular lake is rather large in size and we fish it a lot in the winter months but are only able to get to it a couple of times in the open water.

Lake is basically a large round body of water and there isn’t a day that the winds are not blowing here as this reservoir is elevated for this region creating breezy conditions on most days. Since that is the case, it makes it difficult to fish in our small boats and you have to pick and choice when to fish there. The other stipulation is that it isn’t easily accessible and takes some work getting a Jon boat to the water’s edge.

If you are willing to put the work in and fish hard here, you will definitely be rewarded with some larger fish than most other lake locations. The smallmouth and largemouth bass, crappie and perch are of the larger size so there is always something that draws you here to find and catch these fish.

This time of year the fish are shallower than later in the season and they are a bit easier to locate as they generally are in the 4-8 feet of water column. The shorelines are untouched around a majority of the lake and the bottom content consists of rock, sand and gravel in most locations. There isn’t a lot of vegetation in this lake so not really any weed beds to fish and this in turn the fish roam more than setup in ambush locations of weed beds have to offer.

We fished some shorelines and sunken islands and were getting a few bites but they wouldn’t stay hooked and did get a bit frustrating. Did some fishing on the windy side of the lake and being in a 10 foot Jon boat with an electric motor, made for a tough time and ended up going back to the calmer side of the lake.

This particular side of the lakes shoreline is of the deeper variety but also has a good base of sand and gravel mix and didn’t take long and set the hook into a good smallmouth bass. The tube color was a mixture of white and grey similar to that of a live minnow and we were able to pull a couple of fish out of this location.

We didn’t catch quantity of fish but the quality was definitely there and had a fun day fishing for these fish. Always fun catching smallmouth on spinning gear and doing it in small boats as well makes it that much more fun. Hopefully will be able to get out here again before they start migrating back to the depths of the lake but that will be another day.

    

    


Fishing Report May 10 2015 Massachusetts


Target Species: Crappie
Location: Northern Massachusetts

Depth: 4’ to 6’

Air Temp: 80 degrees

Water Temp: upper 50’s degrees

Wind: Light breeze

Rod setup: 6’0” ultralight spinning gear with 2lb test line, Clam OutDoors Jigs tipped with spikes and Maki Plastics using Rocket Bobbers

Today was going to be the day that we finally put the big boat in the water and make sure everything is functioning properly while catching some crappie. The targeted lake holds a great population of 12 inch plus crappie and with the weather we have been having all week, the water temps should be getting up there.

Since this is mother’s day, time will be limited and the morning started of slow and late to get going and the main plan wasn’t an alternative anymore. So we loaded the small boat up and headed to the local pond and see if the crappie there were in full swing yet.

There was a fairly good breeze blowing, with a high hot sun as the air temperatures were at the 80 degree range and this made for a hot day on the water. We headed for the cove that we have found them previously and hoping that they were stacked in there.

The weeds are definitely setting in as the lily pads are on top of the water now and this means water temperatures are rising quickly. Our setups consist of utilizing Clam Outdoors Tungsten Half Ant and Maggot drop jigs and tipping these with spikes and Maki Plastics respectfully. Using the Rocket Bobber for the sensitivity of this bobber and these are hard combinations to beat searching for shallow water panfish.

We anchored up in 6 feet of water and casting around the vegetation and didn’t take long and sunfish after sunfish were coming into the boat. There were plenty of them but after a number of them being caught in an area, they would shut down and you needed to move to a new area.

We wanted to target the crappie and you would get one here or there but just couldn’t find anywhere that they were stacked up. We moved to an area that generally has a good crappie bite in the spring but one here and there as well. But, the sunfish that were in these areas were of the much better size and had some brilliant colors to them as well.

Nothing like catching bull sunfish on ultra-light tackle as this makes it feel like you have some heavy weight fish on the line and they give you a great fight. This area that had these better sunfish is a deep shoreline that is decent shallow water next to shore but it drops off very quickly as you pull out. You had to cast right up to shore and many of these areas had some brush or other wood in the water as an attractant for these fish.

We had a few nice perch that came out of these areas as well and also we lost a nice sized bass that when it went air born, threw the tiny panfish jig and made that a bit frustrating. All in all the fishing can only get better and the handful of crappies that we did catch, they are getting very dark colored backs now and that means that the spawn is not that far away.

One thing that we have started using this season is the Rocket Bobber from Tackle 2000. These bobbers are very sensitive and will show you the lightest biting fish and gives you an advantage for catching more fish because of this. There is no need for a sinker on the line and this is always a good thing having less items on your line to cause you trouble. These bobbers are on the heavier side which allows you to cast those long distances with them but at the same time, they are super sensitive. After using these now this spring, there won’t be any other bobber in our tackle.

With the waters warming, it will soon be time to start searching for the bass as well. I am not one to fish bedding fish, so typically wait a bit before targeting them, but also fish for the bass that are utilizing the deeper water as many anglers here in New England, typically run the bank and don’t target the deeper structured fish.

    
    


Fishing Report April 26 2015 Massachusetts


Target Species: Crappie and Sunfish
Location: Northern Massachusetts
Depth: 4’ to 8’
Air Temp: 48 degrees
Water Temp: upper 40’s degrees
Wind: Light
Rod setup: 6’0 ultralight spinning gear with 2lb test line, Clam OutDoors Jigs and Rocket Bobbers

The weather has definitely gotten cooler the last few days and was hoping for the opposite as we want the crappies to get moving into spring mode. We started fishing where we located the crappies a few days earlier and quickly found out that they have moved out of the area.

The sunfish were fairly thick in their place but in this location but the size was definitely on the smaller side. We were able to catch a couple of crappie but the schools that were here before have vacated the area. This location the water depth was 4 feet deep and there was some weed growth and some current as the exit creek for the pond is here as well.

We were thinking maybe the crappie had moved back into deeper water so moved out and fished somewhat deeper but were still only catching sunfish. At this point our goal was to figure out the crappies and start searching around the lake for them.

We moved to the opposite end of the pond and didn’t have a problem finding the sunfish but the crappies were none existent. There was one location in a cove with some new green growth weed beds and the sunfish here were a much bigger size. The colors of these fish in this school was remarkable as their orange breasts were brilliant.

We went back to the area of the lake that has a deeper shoreline and wanted to see if the crappies were hanging off of there. No matter what we were doing and trying it was getting frustrating as we just couldn’t figure them out. We really need to get some stable nice weather and this will bring the fish back up and get them moving towards their spawn season.

We only had 45 minutes left before we had to be at another event, so went back to the shallow flat with the creek in hopes that the water warmed a little. The sunfish there had shut down as well this time around and we started wildly casting all around the area.

My son hit a location that he started catching crappies and finally found a small school of them. There were sunfish mixed in as well but at least we were into some crappies finally. We were using the Rocket Bobbers and Clam Outdoors Half Ant Jig and Maggot Jig utilizing spikes and Maki Plastics.

The water depth here was 4-5 feet deep and we were fishing the bobbers at around 14-16 inches deep. It is fun catching these fish on ultra-light gear as the sunfish come in digging, makes it feel like you have a monster fish on.
There were a number of boats out and the winds had died down making the water very calm. Like mentioned earlier, it will only take a week of warm weather and this is going to get many of our waters hopping very quickly.

         

    

 

Fishing Report April 22 2015 Massachusetts 

 

Target Species: Crappie and Sunfish
Location: Northern Massachusetts
Depth: 4’ to 8’
Air Temp: 66 degrees
Water Temp: 50 degrees
Wind: Breezy
Rod setup: 6’0 ultralight spinning gear with 2lb test line, Clam OutDoors Jigs and Rocket Bobbers

My son had a birthday earlier this year and what he wanted for a gift was to have his own boat to fish out of. So this week was the week that his wishes were coming true and today was our maiden voyage on a local small pond. By him having this 10’ jon boat, this is allowing us access to so many more ponds that we can’t get our big boat into and gets us out of our kayaks as well.

We fish this particular pond quite frequently on the ice and haven’t fished here much on the open waters lately. The shorelines are fairly undeveloped except one corner has a few houses as the rest of it is state wildlife management area. Half of the pond is less than eight feet deep as the other half has a deeper hole that gets to twenty feet deep.

Water temperatures here in Massachusetts is still fairly cool but we feel that if we were to get a week of sunshine and semi warm temps, that would increase the water temps very quickly and really get this pond hopping with fish doing their spawning ritual.

The winds were blowing at a good rate and were swirling in all directions so finding an area that gave you a little break was tough to come by. We started on a shoreline that had a lot of overhanging trees and bushes in hopes that the crappie were starting to move in for the spawn.

W
e were fishing two different approaches as my son was using the Clam Outdoors Half Ant and tipping that with some colored spikes. My bait choice was the Clam Outdoors Drop Jig and tipping that with a white Maki Plastic. His bait definitely was catching more for numbers but my choice was giving a bit better size over quantity.

The steeper and deeper shorelines had some sunfish and perch but you had to work for them to get a bite. We moved to a corner that was off the side of a swimming beach and this area was more of a shallow muddier flat and the bigger sunfish were fairly thick in this location. We were fishing with the Rocket Bobber and setting that for about 12 inches deep and this bobber is a must for any pan fishermen out there as it is very sensitive and shows the lightest bites.

After it seemed that we caught numbers here we moved down the shoreline and still looking for our main goal of crappies. We did finally find one nicer crappie amongst the shoreline wood but that was the only one that we could get to bite. There was one area in the location as well that gave up a number of small bass and they were a lot of fun on ultralight gear.

My son was really having an idea that we needed to check out a particular location and see if the crappies were there. This location has a creek exiting the pond, with a shallow flat of 4 feet deep with a dark mucky bottom. We only made two casts and the first couple fish were crappies. His eyes lit up as this area was definitely an area that the crappie are and going to use for their spawn.

We were able to catch quite a few crappie from this location and if we can get some warmer weather and sun, this could be a major spawning flat and the fishing will only get better as this continues on. It was getting late afternoon and we had other obligations so we took a ride to the other end of the pond and we may have also found another area that looks similar to where we just were but didn’t have time to check it out.

Like I reported earlier, if we can get some consistent sunny and warmer air into the area, this is going to get our panfish going big time and fishing is only going to get better. We now have a few other ponds that we are hoping to get into this bite with as well and hopefully in a few days we will get to try one of these again.

 

         

         


Fishing Report April 19 2015 Massachusetts
Target Species: Crappies

Location: Massachusetts North Shore

Depth: 16’ to 22’

Air Temp: low 50's degrees
Water Temp: upper 40's

Wind: straight line high winds


The ice on our Massachusetts lakes has been gone for a bit now and wanted to get out and check some local ponds for the crappie action. Since the big boat is in the shop getting ready for the open water season, took out the kayak and did some exploring.

We had record snow fall this past winter and in turn, this is going to take, getting the waters warmed up, a little longer than usual. Today’s exploration, had me on a small crappie pond that we frequent throughout the ice season and I am looking at water in the upper 40’s for temperatures right now.

There have been plenty of cloudy and windy days along with many of them having cold rain falling lately as well. This is not helping the waters warm at all and is keeping the fish deep as of right now. While being in the kayak and searching for fish, I was marking fish in 20 feet of water but with the high winds, this was making staying on top of them basically impossible.

Searched around some of the smaller coves that weren’t getting pounded by the winds but I wasn’t able to mark any fish in these locations. On the way back in I checked the swampy shallower areas at the landing but same situation of fish locations were non-existent.

The weather this coming week is not going to help as we have cold temperatures for a few days with a high amount of cold rain falling as well. We will be checking again in a few days at another location but it is looking like the Northern Massachusetts lakes will take a bit longer for the fish to start making their migration towards shore.

With the cold water temperatures right now, always let someone know where you are fishing and keep those life jackets handy and better off, wear them. Waters are cold right now and there is still the issue of having hypothermia if there was unfortunate incident that you were put into the water. Fishing is a great past time, but not one worth getting yourself injured or possibly worse over, be careful out there and enjoy the spring fishing once it really kicks off.