• Shawn the Fisherman


Subtle signs of the end of summer are appearing in Western Mass. Water temps are starting to drop with cooling nights, and the fish seemed to have shaken off their recent funk.

As always, it’s time to get lines in the water.

Personally, I don’t have much to report from WMass waters this week, with one exception. I was able to meet up recently with Andy, and fish in my kayak alongside his bassboat. An odd arrangement, on the surface. But Andy has a couple limitations preventing kayak use, and I needed to be in my kayak in case I hooked into any larger fish. While the Chronic Trips Tourney doesn’t mandate where the submitted picture of your catch is taken (shore, boat, kayak, dock, etc…), the Kayak Bass Fishing (KBF) tourneys I participate in require your kayak to be in your picture.

Ruler? Identifiers? Kayak? Hawg? Check, check, check, and CHECK.

All being said, it was a slow bite to dusk, and I was able to introduce Andy to a friend of mine named NED. Business (in our lingo, "BID-ness”) picked up from there. Biggest I landed was a firm 17”, but I was able to cull out a smaller Chronic Trips fish with it. A good time, and then I headed out with the family for vacation.

Just a couple final notes before I do some podcast recording with Mr. Roast Beef: I really haven’t changed up my offerings too much since the summer heatwave ended. Weighted creature baits thrown at ledges and weedline edges have produced for me. Mainly mid-sized fish in numbers, but that has picked up recently, particularly the fish in the pic above. Also, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that the Chronic Trips tourney is winding down, and there have been some serious leaderboard changes in the Largemouth and Smallmouth categories as of late. Check out the podcast or FishDonkey for more detailed info.

Now, onto this week’s STF ABBREVIATED VACATION EDITION report.

As always, I’d like to thank the following Bait and Tackle shops for their gracious voluntary participation in this report. Please take the time to visit them in your travels and mention that you got their report from our site. I don’t want anyone to burn a spot or technique, but please try to relay any fishing info you can to the shop owners. We’d all like to keep this report coming!

BG Sporting Inc., Westfield

Ben’s Tackle Shack, Brookfield Flagg’s Fly & Tackle, Orange Granby Bait & Tackle, Granby My 4 Sons Bait & Tackle, Lee Old Glory Outdoors, East Brookfield R&R Sport Shop LLC, Belchertown


As I mentioned earlier, Andy and I hit a smaller Berkshire pond for some nibbler action with our good friend NED. Prior to that, he had met up with an old military friend of ours, Mike, for some fishing at Otis Reservoir. Andy noted that even though the water temps there were dropping rapidly, they were able to start the day with some topwater Smallmouth action. Once that cooled down, they went to work on dropping weighted curly-tailed grubs to the bottom to continue production. The very next day, Andy, Mike, and Mike’s son shot over to Lake Metacomet (Belchertown) to see if a similar Smallmouth bite was present. By throwing Rapala DT-6 crankbaits around submerged structure, they found it. Mike’s son got into the biggest Smallie he’d ever hooked (see pic below) and was rewarded by Andy with the crankbait he used to catch it with as a trophy. Andy texted me later that putting him on top of those aggressive Bronzebacks “seemed to expand his interest and he never stopped (casting) the whole time. Every cast could be his next fish-attitude.” After that awesome trip, Andy finished his week on a down note. He headed to Laurel Lake (Lee) on a solo jaunt and texted me the following accompanied by a pic of a disgusted-looking Rock Bass: “It’s like fishing in a salad bowl.” So, if you’re planning on heading to Laurel Lake anytime soon, it sounds like you should bring punching and frogging gear.

Not much better than a Smallmouth on light tackle. No sir.

Berkshire Brett, My 4 Sons voice of the mountains, shifted gears away from topwater this week due to the blustery conditions. Even so, the Bass action out west has picked up, and he noted that even shore anglers have been landing more than the usual panfish selection with worms and shiners under bobbers. He also mentioned that he, too, is seeing temps drop across waters, but hasn’t seen the Trout bite explode yet. More to come on that in the coming weeks, surely.


Joe at Old Glory Outdoors had some good info this week. While catching fish has been sporadic for some, the search-bait bite has picked up for others. Running crankbaits, in particular, above and alongside grasslines and deep structure has been key lately. Be sure to know the depths of the waters you’re hitting to make sure you bring the appropriate depth divers! Joe also noted that finesse baits continue to hook fish. Ned rigs, dropshots, and weightless weedless plastics have been great once placed in front of finicky fish. Finally, Joe noted that with the cooling temps, the Trout bite, particularly of the Brown variety, has picked up. Getting live shiners down to them should do the trick.

Rodney up at Flagg’s in Orange turned the tables on me this week by questioning me off the bat. He asked me if I’d seen the online pics of the massive Brown Trout caught in the Deerfield River recently. The beast went 36” and weighed in at 17 lbs.! I let him know that I had not (if anyone has, please email us the pic at the address below). Rodney let me know that he’d heard the fish was caught on one of his own Flagg’s streamers, great to hear! For other action, Rodney reported that angler feedback continues to be slow, but the info that has come in has been similar to recent reports. Salmon and Lakers continue to haunt Quabbin’s thermocline at 40’-50’ and can be taken with deep minnows and streamers. Smallmouth reports have also been scant, but Rodney added that fishing pressure has been light, so get out there and fish!

Please feel free to email Bobby Roast Beef at jigsandbigs413@gmail.com for any input or feedback. He makes sure it gets to me!

Thanks for reading, stay safe and rip some lips this week!


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