I wanted to start off with a story in the town of Chatham. Single mom and Navy veteran Kate McCoy's family was displaced by a fire at her home. Kate and her three children have been at a local motel since the incident. Various avenues have been available for donations and I have heard of several instances of generous donations being made. MyFishingCapeCod and its members have sent donations and established that the entry fee into a fall surfcasting tourney will go to the family. Great job by Ryan and the MFCC members. There is a also a GoFundMe. I personally have no affiliation with the family, but the story is close to home for me as Chatham is where I spend a lot of time. I encourage anyone that can give, does so, as it will be greatly appreciated by the family.
Like perhaps many people, I have spent part of this week looking at mainstream and social media looking for any reports of fishing activity. My early season focuses on Haddock so I'm looking in CCB and parts North, but I am also looking at other general areas looking at the general pattern:
I'll watch the Striper Migration maps that are published and this gives an idea of the movement of the fish in terms of spawning, bait, and water temperature. On The Water has a good Interactive Map of the migration and they are actually fairly accurate with their depiction.
I look for any posts of herring being sited at the various runs. Captain Bruno posted a great short video of herring present in Brewster along with the seagulls overhead. Captain Bruno is a bit religious about looking for these herring and for him the herring signals the official starting gone of the season.
I look for posts about Tautog. I don't personally target Tautog very often, but I'm interested hearing about those who do, because the presence of any fish active south of Cape Cod gives a sense that things are stirring.
The reports on haddock have been slim. Not many people have been able to get out due to the weather. The reports that I have seen seem to have been fish up North on Jefferies ledge. I've seen photos some haddock and some Redfish. A couple of charter captains and recreational captains have posted catches at Jefferies and at Tillies Ledge. The reports I have seen from those fishing further North also indicate that quite a few cod have come up. This was good for the limited window offered to take Cod in April.
The reports on Stellwagen and areas inshore off Scituate/Marshfield have been very quiet. I expect (and hope) that the presence of fish near shore changes, because the last couple of years, its been really nice not to make a long run north.
Other news and notes:
Everyone should remember that the speed of travel is reduced this time of year due to the presence of Right Whales in Cape Cod Bay. Everyone should take great care to allow these beautiful visitors a wide berth and observe the speed regulations.
Goes without saying the water is really, really cold right now. I usually don't bring my children with me this early in the season out of a general caution of having one of them fall over and get instant hypothermia. Have to be careful out there.
I made a post in MFCC earlier last week and it bears mentioning again here that these early season trips are part fishing trip, part shakedown cruise on your boat. After picking up my boat out of storage, it was discovered that a60 amp fuse link had broken. There was no evidence of a surge, but the wire had just clipped. I happened to have a spare right in the engine housing provided by Yamaha. I carry extra fuses on me for just about every single size/amperage on the boat. I encourage everyone to do the same.