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Eastern Ma Fishing Reports

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Thanks Dogbone,

I know Hinkleys well. 

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30 minutes ago, JAB50 said:

Thanks Dogbone,

I know Hinkleys well. 

It's usually my first stop when I'm down there.

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Got out yesterday for some smallie and largemouth action! Got a hanfull of smallies and one brick largemouth! Lost a big fish up shallow! Fish were on drop offs and up shallow. Tubes were the ticket for smallies. That’s what I missed the big fish on. Few hits on a Texas rig. Got the brick largemouth on a weedless swimbait up shallow in some weeds! 

All fish were fat and pregnant!  The smallies were fighting good! Biggest fish was a smallie a hair under 3lbs 

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Cape Update: Bed-side Manner

I scouted a smaller pond in the Mashpee area Saturday (water temp 56-58). The interesting development was spawning smallmouths, a minority of which were "locked" fish, but plenty had smaller males somewhere along in the process. Have to imagine some warmer weather will push a nice wave in within the next week or two. Maybe even the sun will come out, but that might be asking too much...

While I did pester one or two into biting just to see how'd they react, I left the rest alone just because I'd rather let them do their thing, ensuring more fun for the rest of us for years to come. Anyhow, I spent the rest of the day focusing on (still) pre-spawn largemouths...and managed to get a handful of decent ones in the 2-3lb range in the 8-12ft depth-range. Got most on a C-rig (3/8oz sinker, "18 leader), something that I never have had a ton of confidence in, until now. Fished a finesse worm and a beaver-style bait on it...any other tried and true soft-plastics you guys/gals would recommend for this technique?    

 

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7 hours ago, Dunks N Dinks said:

While I did pester one or two into biting just to see how'd they react, I left the rest alone just because I'd rather let them do their thing, ensuring more fun for the rest of us for years to come. Anyhow, I spent the rest of the day focusing on (still) pre-spawn largemouths...and managed to get a handful of decent ones in the 2-3lb range in the 8-12ft depth-range. Got most on a C-rig (3/8oz sinker, "18 leader), something that I never have had a ton of confidence in, until now. Fished a finesse worm and a beaver-style bait on it...any other tried and true soft-plastics you guys/gals would recommend for this technique?    

 

 

I was actually gonna ask the same thing. I am really confident using C-rigs and T-rigs in the summer, it's one of my go-to's. My favorite is probably a curly tail 10" power worm and last year I started using bigger straight tails. Lizards have always been a favorite too. 

 

But this time of year what is everyone using for plastics? I usually have the jig tied on until after the spawn but I haven't been doing so hot lately and want to switch it up. 

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On 5/4/2019 at 3:14 PM, MassYak85 said:

My dad and I got out on Webster today for about 6 hours. All that yielded was one keeper (barely) smallmouth on a 2.8 keitech on a ballhead jig. My dad managed a few pickerel but man, what a slow day. I don't think I've had a worse day on that lake. We started in a cove with jerkbaits seeing if any were up in the new weed beds yet, no signs of life. Tried one of the really shallow coves, again no signs of life. So we headed out to some of the deeper drops outside the coves where I would have guessed they were at by the 55° water temp, but still no luck on jigs, spinnerbaits, chatterbaits or jerks. Kind of losing hope we went to the other extreme and tried some of the deeper structure and marked a few fish, thought maybe we could squeeze a couple out on blade baits or underspins doing that but they weren't having it. 

 

Pretty sure we passed by you, @Janderson45 around noon. Hopefully you had a better day lol. 

 

Yup!  I turned to my buddy when we passed you and said “hey another Lund!  Wait, that one has an Evinrude too... I think I know that guy from Bassresource” Haha..

 

Your day out there sounds very similar to mine.  I found 3 largemouth and 1 smallmouth, they were all +\- 12” - I also caught probably a half dozen pickerel and some perch to round out my day 🙄.  Jerkbaits and paddletail swimbaits did all the “damage” for me.  My buddy had two small largemouth on an underspin as well.

 

Heading to Candlewood (CT) to fish 2 or 3 days Friday through Sunday.  I’m hoping to break out of a bit of prespawn funk I’ve been battling the past few weekends... going to be the first time down there for me, will be nice to break down a larger fishery, hopefully the learning curve isn’t too steep and the weather cooperates at least part of the time..

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3 hours ago, MassYak85 said:

But this time of year what is everyone using for plastics? I usually have the jig tied on until after the spawn but I haven't been doing so hot lately and want to switch it up. 

I fish the Fat Ika with a lot of success all year 'round; I use it instead of a tube and SMB eat it up. I tend to fish mostly plastics: menace, paddle tails of various sizes, rage craw/lobster, sometimes creature baits or the ned rig. I rarely fish lizards or traditional worms (not counting the ubiquitous wacky rigged senko). I've started fishing jerkbaits, rattletraps, chatterbaits, and spinnerbaits more often. I still mostly reach for my proven plastics, which have worked well for me since I started fishing again a few years back. 

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Gonna try and get out in the kayak on Wednesday somewhere. Might try A1, haven't launched the kayak there yet this season. 

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Strike king coffee tubes nuff said! Love it! Got a lot of good fish on it in the spring

Weedless weightless Flukes and Texas rig craws! 

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10 hours ago, Mr. Aquarium said:

Strike king coffee tubes nuff said! Love it! Got a lot of good fish on it in the spring

Weedless weightless Flukes and Texas rig craws! 

I'll definitely start working in the T-rig. That brings up another question I had...what are you guys using for tube jigs? I can't seem to find any that aren't lead, so I've just been using ball-head jigs. 

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Go to lead free bass jigs! Made in MA! Lead free, great price. Sticky sharp hooks! I was using eagle claw tube jigs but they are cheap and sucked! I kept missing fish on em! 

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Went to A1 for about 4 hours this afternoon in my kayak. Weather called for 5-8mph winds when I checked yesterday and nice sunny skies...I was less than pleased to get chased off the water around 4pm by near white-caps coming across the lake. I decided to go without the outriggers when I launched to lessen the wind resistance, and while that helped a lot...it's also playing with fire in my kayak on A1 with all the stumps. All it takes is to ride up a wave and come back down onto a stick to flip me. So I decided to call it when the wind really kicked up. 

 

I started out on the northern shore because it was protected by the wind and I have done well there in the spring in previous years. The water was surprisingly warm and the spawn was definitely underway there. Saw a few beds and one spawning pair actively gaurding a bed. TONS of small bluegill up shallow that were getting spooked so I tied on a frog and went as shallow as I could. Caught two fish in like 6 inches of water on the frog, both right next to laydowns. Both were probably about 2.5lbs but were very skinny fish. Had two other blowups that seemed to be bigger fish but one hit my frog after I cast over a branch so there was no way to get a good hookset, and another I missed in open water. Thought I might be able to get some bigger fish if I pulled off the flat and fished the drop. Got a nice 3.3lber on a spinnerbait doing just that and missed a bite on a jig. Then I went to the southern shore which was windblown and is a little sandier, thinking I might be able to get some more action over there. I got a small bite cranking down a slammer but it got off. 

 

That's when the wind really kicked up, and coming out of the north the shore I started was really my only option for staying out of the wind. Tried another cove but again, wind was bad and I was getting blown into stumps and could really only make like 1 good cats before the wind had me going backwards at a good pace so I just called it and paddled back to the launch. Wouldn't you know the wind started to calm down a bit as soon as I got to the launch but I had had enough lol. Overall a good day and the first time in a while I felt like I could actually pattern fish. 

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Couple rough weekends, but had a lot of luck in the lower charles yesterday. 

 

Herring were spawning like crazy... how does that affect the bass? Seems like the adult herring are too big/fast for a lazy larry, but do bass eat the fry?

 

I got a lot of practice at telling the difference between a herring splash and a bass swirl last night. 

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Come to think of it, are the gazillions fish I’m seeing splashing around in the shallows actually herring? They look bigger and more slender than the pictures of alewife and bluebacks that I’ve seen. 

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2 hours ago, markvan said:

Couple rough weekends, but had a lot of luck in the lower charles yesterday. 

 

Herring were spawning like crazy... how does that affect the bass? Seems like the adult herring are too big/fast for a lazy larry, but do bass eat the fry?

 

I got a lot of practice at telling the difference between a herring splash and a bass swirl last night. 

Find a choke point! The bass will sit there and wait for a school of herring to pass through making it easier to grab a herring

17 minutes ago, markvan said:

Come to think of it, are the gazillions fish I’m seeing splashing around in the shallows actually herring? They look bigger and more slender than the pictures of alewife and bluebacks that I’ve seen. 

They are either suckers or shad! Both are spawning as well

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I dropped into Ponkapog for a while this afternoon, starting in the northern shallows and working west with the current.  I tossed a 5" wacky Senko, T-rigged black/blue Chigger Quad, and a couple different square bills.

 

When it was all said and done, I managed 5 pickerel and 2 LMB.  One pickerel and one bass came in around a pound and a half.  Everyone else qualified as a dink.  The Chigger Quad and a chrome/red Rapala BX Brat worked best.

 

Water temps started at 64.x at the north bank and were 62.x when I left.  BP was 30.3 with a stiff wind from the S/SE.

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Yesterday I went out for only my third time this year and was surprised by the way it went down.  I had planned to target some spawning fish with t-rigs but ended up throwing mostly spinnerbaits, chatterbaits and square bills.  Caught 10 largemouth and about an equal number of pickerels, mostly pushed up shallow along the banks.  

 

Lunker of the day was this 5.1lb largemouth that came on my third cast of the day.  A light bulb went off and I decided to start the day with a white double willow spinnerbait with a keitech 3.8" swing impact trailer.  This fish came out of weed cover and smoked it!  No big fish was caught after that but two of the catches were pushing 3.0lbs.  All fish except two were caught on white spinnerbaits and bluegill colored chatterbaits.  I am already doing better this year because I did not even crack the 5.0lb mark all last year!

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I fished Monday and Tuesday this week and caught about 15 fish total between the Quabbin and the Cape.

 

Fish on the Q were primarily caught using a Fat Ika. The one in the pictures below was the best fight of the day (and also the first fish I caught). I also caught a huge SMB that was a minimum of 4 lbs, but before I could weigh it and take a pic, it got away when I dipped it in the water to give it a refresh. Tom can attest to its size. I think it was probably pushing 5 lbs. Next time I'll use a net when dipping a big fish. 

 

Things were quieter down on the Cape on Tuesday. I caught a few on a chatterbait, the largest was 3.8 lbs, but it was very quiet otherwise. I think the wind hurt our chances. 

 

I'm looking forward to fishing next week, maybe Thursday. 

 

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Went out tog fishing today! We got  a bunch, lot of short fish! We got a few big females full of eggs so we let them go! Kept 3 fish! I got to bring home one! Grilled it up! Came out amazing! I love fresh seafood in catch! 

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Another day, another hurricane...Me and my dad got out for a few hours this afternoon to some more whitecaps. Water was getting around 60 on the northern shores. Didn't see any pairs on beds but fish were definitely shallow. Couldn't get any big ones, we got some smaller males. I missed a good bite on a t-rigged rage bug near a rock...then after fraying my leader and thinking it was still good enough, broke off another good bite on a jig. Tied on some 25lb leader after that lol. I had other plans later so we pulled off the water around 3. This week's weather looks pretty crappy again. I think it's gonna push them back out to pre-spawn locations again at least on the lakes I've been fishing. Seems like it's been a few weeks of this, where the weather gets the fish aaaaaalmost there and then we get a reset and try again. 

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Cape & Derby Report: Fizzled Out
 

Fished a team derby on Johns Pond Saturday. Weather improved steadily throughout the day, from 54 and rainy to 65 and sunny. Wind was almost non-existent from the N, which had fish up shallow, but somewhat spooky. Caught two smallmouths off deep beds right out of the gate, which had us rolling...but the momentum really fizzled out despite conditions setting up right.

We focused primarily on smallies, catching 6-7 keepers, but nothing larger than 2lbs...which had us scrambling in the last few hours, switching to flipping shallow cover for large-mouths (docks, weed-beds, trees). The one moment i wish i really had back was a 3-4lb class fish that i hung up on a ned rig, which snapped my leader off on a dock post after i skipped up under the walk-way. That was a huge let-down and we didn't get another bite of that quality for the rest of the day. We finished the day with 11.5lbs and missed 4th place by a half pound. The top three teams however, really had it dialed in, with 2 teams >17lbs in weight. Both focused on pre-spawn larrys and one team noted that they had seen a >6lb quality fish w/ a male fanning a bed just prior to the 3pm cut-off time.  

 

   

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Got out for a few hours this evening. Fished a northern shore where I had some luck last time. The rain has dropped the temperature a good 5 degrees back into the mid-50's. I got about 5 bites on a jig, missed a few. They were veeeery strange jig bites, almost like I would expect to feel from bluegill pulling on the trailer. Tick-tick-tick-tick-tick-tick and then I would finally feel some weight. Usually I just feel one good wack and then they swim away with it. Got a decent one on a stick-o too, but even that fish only hit after it had sat on the bottom for a few seconds. They definitely seemed a bit lethargic and wouldn't hit any moving baits. I'm hoping to get out tomorrow, hopefully the sunshine after all this rain and clouds gets them back in the mood. Next week looks great for getting the water temps back into the 60's.

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12 hours ago, MassYak85 said:

Got out for a few hours this evening. Fished a northern shore where I had some luck last time. The rain has dropped the temperature a good 5 degrees back into the mid-50's. I got about 5 bites on a jig, missed a few. They were veeeery strange jig bites, almost like I would expect to feel from bluegill pulling on the trailer. Tick-tick-tick-tick-tick-tick and then I would finally feel some weight. Usually I just feel one good wack and then they swim away with it. Got a decent one on a stick-o too, but even that fish only hit after it had sat on the bottom for a few seconds. They definitely seemed a bit lethargic and wouldn't hit any moving baits. I'm hoping to get out tomorrow, hopefully the sunshine after all this rain and clouds gets them back in the mood. Next week looks great for getting the water temps back into the 60's.

 

These water temps at Webster you’re talking about?  I’ll be out there again on Saturday for a little club tournament, hoping it goes a bit better than my last few trips out that way...

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9 hours ago, Janderson45 said:

 

These water temps at Webster you’re talking about?  I’ll be out there again on Saturday for a little club tournament, hoping it goes a bit better than my last few trips out that way...

No it was on Lake Maspenock, shallower lake and the north end of it is rocky/sandy and shallow so it warms up fast. 

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I found candlewood tough this past weekend by the way - water temps were in the high 50s and I think a lot of the smallmouth had started to bed, but water clarity was a lot worse than I anticipated - I thought I’d be greated with 10-15’ or so of visibility but I had more like 5’ or less... smallmouth were the target on day 1 and they did not cooperate at all.  I ended up with 3 smallmouth for about 6lbs total in 10 hours of fishing on the first day.  

 

Second day I switched up my approach and targeted docks for largemouth - I had more success than the previous day but it was still a tough bite...  ended up with a limit (hey I can still do it!!) of largemouth for just over 13lbs.  I caught all but one of them on a 3/32oz hair jig... never thought I’d be turning to hair so late in the season but I rigged it up on advice from a local and it was the ticket... 

 

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I’ve had a pretty humbling spring - I was on them pretty good early to mid April for a few weeks and have really sputtered since.  I’m realizing my first spring with a boat that I don’t have nearly as much experience or confidence fishing this time of year as I thought.  I think I’ve been too reliant on reaction baits recently when I should be soaking soft plastics in higher percentage areas.  I’ve been doing a lot of force feeding with jerkbaits, spinnerbaits and swimbaits because it’s what I like to throw but I think it’s been costing me lately.  We’ll see if I can get over this mental hump and break some bad habits here this weekend...

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