• Shawn the Fisherman


What a crazy end to this week. As I’m typing this, the massive cold front that brought hurricane force winds to Western Mass has passed through, and I hope everyone reading this is safe and sound in the aftermath. As far as fishing goes, October is here and the Chronic Trips multispecies tourney with it. So, I’ve been targeting other species along with bass. What I’ve noticed nearly across the board, has been a light bite across the board. I’ve been able to get a few big bites and land a couple good fish, but it’s been tough. My first stop for the report was up at the Housatonic River. I was able to hook into a Perch, a couple Pike, and a handful of Smallmouth. I say “hook into” because I didn’t land any of them. I was pretty frustrated, to say the least.

The next day, I decided to head to a smaller pond in the valley. I was lucky enough to get on the water as a light rain started and was rewarded with a 20” Largemouth (pic below), a Crappie for the leaderboard, and just over a half dozen smaller Largemouth. All those fish I hit on a Ned-rig, following up on my light bite assessment.

My third trip of the week took me up to Lake Buel, hoping that the Trout stocking trucks had stopped in before my arrival. Unfortunately, they had not, and I went 0-for-Trout. I did manage plenty of Yellow Perch deep and numerous undersized Sunfish in the shallows. Day 4 of the week’s fishing took me on a walk down memory lane. I had under an hour to get a line in the water, so I decided to try to get on the Bluegill board. During my errand-running that day, I packed a spinning rod, a pack of lead-free split shot weights, some small circle hooks, and live nightcrawlers. I stopped at 2 smaller lakes with shore access up da’ ‘shires. While I was walking the shorelines, I realized that I hadn’t done such in decades. Maybe since my teens? The wave of nostalgia was pretty nice. What wasn’t nice was that I caught another handful of undersized Bluegills and a small Perch.

Finally, yesterday, I took an early jaunt to the Oxbow portion of the Connecticut River in Easthampton. I was looking for Bass, Pike, or even a Bowfin. I had plenty of company on the water numerous Bass boats and recreational boats, so I had my head on a swivel for the morning. The water was glass when I threw in, and I was able to hit a handful of Largemouth upgrades on jerkbaits. My tragic fish tale of the day was good, too. I had moved to another shoreline and tossed a Chatterbait near a weedline. Upon hitting the water, something with some weight grabbed my lure and started towing my kayak. After about 20 feet, it simply let go. Almost like a dog spitting out a chew toy it was finished with. Pike? Bowfin? Mammoth Bass? I’ll never know. But I’m sure I’ll be heading back to the Oxbow in the future to investigate.

Andy was committed to helping out with a youth hockey tourney at the start of the week but walked the same shoreline path I did. (Minus the nightcrawlers.) He reported he brought his favorite combo and a small tackle box with him on the trip and was able to fish Lake Quinsigamond in intervals during breaks in the action. Unfortunately, he didn’t get into any fish, but he did reflect on his shore fishing in a similar way to myself. From there he hit his “home” water, Otis Reservoir, and sadly reported that the skunk plaguing him at Quinsigamond had apparently followed him home. He said that he primarily ran crankbaits and topwater near weedbeds to no luck. Andy, being one of the most positive folks I’ve ever met, vowed to put the rough week behind him and is looking forward to the coming weekend.

Berkshires Brett and Cousin Jon were bogged down with work, school, and hunting prep. I know they’ll both be trying to hit the water this weekend, so we’ll catch up with them next week.

Nelson took the same strategy I did for the Chronic Trips tourney this week. He hit the Quaboag River first and caught numerous undersized Sunfish and Perch but did manage to get a Bluegill submitted. From there, he tried the Swift River for Trout, but they were suffering from a case of lockjaw, refusing both his lures and live worm offerings. On Sunday, he ventured outside the comfy confines of Western Mass and ventured off the coast of Rhode Island. Once there, he sat on top of a school of Black Sea Bass and filled up the “Any 5 Fish” category, getting between 30-40 of them to the boat. He added a Bluefish and a Scup and called it a day. Nice work and he’s sitting atop the leaderboard in the Competitor division.

Ryan headed out to a pond near his house on both days last weekend. He noted that Saturday was, and I quote, “dink city”, and Sunday was a skunk. The one thing I’d like to note is that he did get a pretty good fish on Saturday in the pic below…

…which he caught on a Savage Gear Suicide Duck.

For podcast listeners, you know that the Duck has been mentioned by numerous guests as one of the most trendy/gimmicky lures they ever seen. So nice job to Ryan for trying out the Duck and getting it in front of a nice bass. Gotta love a fall topwater bite!

Tim Jacques continues to throw (and recommend throwing) finesse plastics to the depths of Congamond. Neds and Dropshots continue to land him fish. He also relayed that the crankbait bite he’s seen some success with has died off for the time being. Yet another account of the light bite going on everywhere.

Joe from Old Glory Outdoors recapped his tournaments this past weekend. Saturday, he fished Congamond, and was limited to smaller fish in the 1 lb. range from shallow water. Nearing the end of the day, he switched gears and began targeting suspended fish deep with a spinnerbait, and he was able to upgrade his weight. (Failure on my part here, as we switched topics and I didn’t find out how he finished.) Sunday’s tournament at Quaboag ended up being a problem for Joe and 3 other teams in the tourney. With the lower water levels, they were unable to launch at the Quaboag ramp, and were relocated to nearby South Pond. Joe said that all 4 boats fishing there caught a combined total of zero bass. The skunk was everywhere. He did note that they saw Bass and stocked Trout in the shallows, and even had plenty of follows, but nothing took a hook. For the ongoing Fall transition, Joe recommended to keep searching for fish with spinnerbaits and slowing down with dropshots once you locate fish.

The last things Joe and I talked about was that Old Glory is awaiting state certification for their fishing scales. Once that process is complete, anglers will be able to weigh catch-and-keep fish for Massachusetts awards. (For hunters, the game scale is operational, by the way.) I’ll provide an update once the scale is open for business. Finally, Joe wanted me to pass along that there is still one more open spot in the Old Glory 1st Annual Fall BASSh tournament on October 17. Check out the Old Glory Facebook page for more info if interested.

That’s all we’ve got for this week. Be sure to take a look at the Chronic Trips Elevated multispecies fishing tourney that started October 1, Still plenty of time to enter and do some damage in the standings!

As always, please take the time to visit the following local Bait and Tackle shops in your travels.

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, Belchertow

Red Bridge Bait & Tackle, Ludlow

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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