• Shawn the Fisherman

WMASS FISHING REPORT: 11/12/2020



Hope everyone enjoyed the unseasonably beautiful weather we had over the past week and got out to wet a line! No telling how many more days we’ll have of open water left to us, as the nights are starting to dip below 40 degrees. There are fish still biting, and I have a tale or two from this week. Please, cozy up to your screen with your favorite beverage and read on… I’ve mentioned numerous times between the podcast and this report that I’ve been devoting quite a bit of time to finishing up my Master’s degree, and this week was no exception. Three times since the last report, I’ve taken advantage of living on the water by taking breaks from the endless report-writing and getting a few casts in off my dock. The bite hasn’t been what I’d call “stellar”, but I did manage to land a Largemouth each time. The biggest of the three went a solid 17”, and I landed them all on a Ned-rigged creature bait. At this point I’d like to make note of the success I’ve had with that particular method this year. To satisfy my own curiosity about how I’ve done using them, I consulted my meticulously kept fishing log. It seems that they’ve landed me 166 of my 594 Massachusetts Largies this year, with 5 of that bunch breaking 19”. As expected, when using Ned-rigged plastics of any kind, they attract a lot of attention from smaller fish, which was definitely the case here. But I tend to throw them when weather conditions require such a finesse presentation, or when fishing highly pressured bodies of water. Lesson to be learned…? Keep a detailed fishing log and constantly monitor your progress with it. Just because I’ve had a spate of recent success with that particular technique doesn’t mean that you won’t have success with another, or that you’ll mirror mine. We’re all different anglers. Track all that you do and make adjustments.

Back from that tangent, I had a lone outing outside of the confines of my yard this week. Andy and I headed over to East Brimfield Reservoir. We even decided we were going to have what has been called in my circle of angling friends, a “Pickerel Rodeo”. The rules were simple, Pickerel of any size were worth one point, Pike were worth two points. Loser buys the winner a coffee. Well, we fished the recently lowered water as hard as possible for about four hours, and the only fish that graced us with its presence was a 17” Pickerel (caught by yours truly). Bites were virtually nonexistent, and the shallower depths brought massive, sprawling weed beds to the surface and constantly fouled the hooks of every lure we tossed. The punchline on this whole intro is that the one landed Pickerel hit, of course, a Ned-rigged creature bait. All good, as we grabbed a bite to eat and headed home.

I’ll be out this weekend, hitting a late-scheduled MAKB event, and will have a full report on that fun next week. For now, here’s what our correspondents had to share regarding their Western Mass fishing (or hunting) adventures…


Andy followed up our Brimfield adventure with 2020’s final bass boat outing to Otis. He noted the water temps in the high 40s, and most of the fish he saw wouldn’t even react to a lure. Except for the two Yellow Perch he picked up on ultralight offerings. The next day, his boat took its place in the garage for the winter. Andy took a couple shore walks to finish up the week but didn’t land anything. The Berkshires, and Andy, are now firmly in the “waiting for safe ice” portion of the Fall.

Tim started the week with some trailer issues and had to abandon his plan to fish the Connecticut River as he was backing down the ramp. That’s pretty awful timing for a bearing to blow. Tim recovered and was able to head out to one of his favorite Berkshire haunts, where he successfully plumbed the depths with a blade bait. Numerous Smallmouth, Yellow Perch, and White Perch all fell to the effective cold-water tactic.

Cousin Jon target feathered, not finned, game this weekend. I’m sure I’ll hear more from him once ice-up happens, as he recently inherited some ice-fishing gear that’s gotten around the family. For now, he’s working on his waterfowl game, and any fishing info I get from him is a bonus.

In the same vein, Berkshire Brett descended from his tree stand to pass along that the Trout action may be picking up, as he’s been getting reports of Browns on the move into the streams feeding larger bodies of water. Fly anglers: there’s your cue!

Nelson has also been spending more time in the woods and fields of WMass over the past week. No fishing for him right now, but I wanted to pass along that he and his daughter were out Pheasant hunting this past week. Big CONGRATS to Madi for bagging her first pheasant! (Save me a drumstick!)

Ryan has been back on the water this week and noted that while his Bass bite has soured a bit with the up and down weather, Brown Trout have been hammering jerkbaits thrown their way. Even a little cold can get the big Brownies seriously fired up!

Finally, Joe has also been in “hunting mode”, but he’s been getting plenty of reports in at Old Glory. He reiterated that Trout have still been biting, and surprisingly, reports of Crappie binging up before the winter have been rampant. Also, he’s heard that Salmon have entered Wachusett Reservoir’s streams. If you’re looking to do battle with a Landlocked Salmon, now may be the time to do so!

Of course, 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

As always, please feel free to email me at jigsandbigs413@gmail.com for any input or feedback.

Thanks for reading and stay safe this week.

-StF

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