WMASS FISHING REPORT: 8/6/2020
What a roller-coaster we’ve been on out here in WMass.
A tornado. A full moon. A violent tropical storm. And some fishing.
Since last week’s report, I’ve been relegated to the role of “quantity guy” every time out. Lots and lots and lots of undersized fish. But then, the “quality” bite seemed to pick up during the 2nd half of last weekend for all species. Was it the approach of Tropical Storm Isaias? The full Moon? Both?
Don’t care. Hooked into some decent fish. I’ll take it.
I pressed the dusk and night bite as the weekend approached and ended up with a number of small fish and a couple decent pics of the moon. Meh. Then things began to heat up a bit.
Nibblers at night.
Check out this week’s podcast for details on the jaunt Bobby Roast Beef, Berkshires Brett and I took on Sunday. We each caught a good fish (Bobby matching his personal best Largemouth) and had plenty of action from smaller fish at a new water body. This outing also marked the start of the August Chronic Trips Elevated multi-species tourney. Good stuff from all involved. Saw some really nice Trout and Bass submitted this weekend. I was also planning on continuing my fishing that day out west, but storms were moving in. I decided not to chance the weather, and made the right choice, as Sandisfield was hit by a tornado that evening.
The next trip out, before the storm hit, I got out with my cousin Jon again. We hit a water body that he has, frankly, been handing me my ass at recently. Not that night, though. We matched nibbler for nibbler, until dusk. Then I put things away by matching my personal best Smallmouth. Not a giant, but I’ll take it. If I sound overly competitive on this, there’s a reason. Jon and I have a rule that whoever catches the lunker of the day is responsible for buying the chips and soda on the way home. He’s been paying for a lot of junk-food lately, and I’d had enough. I happily paid that night.
Fishing aside, I’m typing this now with my generator humming away outside. It’s Wednesday, and power still hasn’t been restored to my neighborhood. While we lost power and had more than a few branches that needed to be removed from our yard, there are a lot of folks out there that aren’t as fortunate. This storm sucked, and I hope everyone is helping family, friends, and neighbors out with cleanup or whatever they need. I’d like to thank all the tree crews, utility crews, and all the first responders that are out getting things back to normal. We all appreciate your hard work and please stay safe out there!
Now, onto this week’s 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
Again, Bobby and I covered our trip with Berkshires Brett of My 4 Sons to an unnamed water body “up da ‘Shires” on the podcast. Feel free to check that out. Bass were on fire for jigs, all manner of plastic creatures, bladed jigs, and wakebaits. Between then and the storm, Brett went out for some moving water Trout and was successful. He landed a nice Brown Trout and had follows on lures before they developed lockjaw. He did have a chance to check some of the smaller waters nearby today and noted that the surface temps have cooled quite a bit. The Housatonic and larger streams are higher and muddy, so he suspects that Trout will be harder to find but biting once they’re discovered.
Jan at BG Sporting was the first, and not the last, person I spoke with that noted fishing has begun to slow down and reports as well. She said the combination of the recent heatwave followed by the storm have taken casual anglers out of the mix. She also noted that the Westfield River is a bit higher now, and Trout baits are in stock. If targeting Bass, she recommended trying Otis Reservoir and 2020’s possibly most popular lure: Whopper Ploppers.
I landed a new correspondent this week. A longtime military cohort and civilian coworker, my buddy Andy has just recently purchased a new bassboat. This has led to him texting me reports as he hits various water bodies with it. This week, he hit Otis and Colebrook Reservoirs. Colebrook was a quality day for him. He reported the water was low and warm, and managed over 20 Smallmouth all under a lb. each on small minnow-patterned lures thrown to the bottom at 6’ deep. Otis, however, was a different matter. He launched on 2 different days, both before and after a tornado dropped just outside of Otis. Pre-storm was a blast, and he hit for a state pin Sunfish and a good 17+” Largemouth. The effects of the tornado calmed the bite down quite a bit, and he ended up with some smaller fish there on his 2nd trip. Looking forward to hearing more from him in future reports!
Andy: 1, Slab Sunfish: 0
Ryan from Ben’s Tackle Shack was available on his way to work today for a chat. He and I texted back and forth this week, as he was looking for a shoreline to walk or some clear water to wade with a friend. I suggested they follow the Rt. 20 and the Westfield River into the Berkshire foothills and see what kind of shenanigans they could get into. He let me know that he took my advice and were rewarded with 80-100 (!!) incredibly aggressive Smallmouth between them for the day. Their lure of choice? Heddon Tiny Torpedos. I became jealous immediately, as I used to comb the same sections they fished using Heddon Zara Puppies in the hope I could achieve the same. Never got that many! Ryan also noted that he stopped over to Hampton Ponds (Pequot) in Westfield for the first time in a while. He let me know that he wasn’t there for long but did manage to enrage a couple smaller Largemouth on (what else?) a Whopper Plopper.
Joe at Old Glory Outdoors reiterated that angler reports are slow due to the storm damage, but urged everyone to get lines in the water as soon as possible! He’s seen baitfish moving and larger predatory fish are following them. I asked for specifics, but he laughed and said that anglers will catch “everything on everything” in these post-storm conditions. He then added “Tell everyone to get out and fish, they’re hungry!” Alongside surface lures like Spro Rats and Whopper Ploppers, Joe recommended for anglers during this time to start using new lures and techniques to build confidence. We closed the call talking about Old Glory’s new Give & Take Life Preserver program. Preservers are available for anyone who needs them outside of Old Glory and are cleaned and sanitized by staff-members daily. I’ve talked about my preserver use numerous times on the podcast and urge all anglers in boats to wear them at all times, regardless of swimming experience.
Rodney at Flagg’s in Orange echoed the drop in reports. At the start of our call, I asked if Flagg’s sustained any damage from the storm. In typical Rodney fashion, he responded “No! But we lost power and I ended up filling a huge crawler order by flashlight! Never done that before!”. Dude is epic.
Getting back on topic, Rodney noted that the Trout bite at the Swift is still hot, and the river is mobbed at all points by anglers that know it. Your best bet is to get there early to secure a spot. Quabbin’s Salmon are still biting around the 40’ depths on live shiners, streamers and dodgers, while Lakers are on the bottom, feasting on shiners. The Smallmouth have retreated deep and are picking off shiners that the Salmon miss. If Largemouth are what you’re after, the bite at Rohunta has picked back up. Live shiners under bobbers will do the trick.
Please feel free to email Bobby Roast Beef at firstname.lastname@example.org for any input or feedback. He makes sure it gets to me!
Thanks for reading, stay safe and rip some lips this week!