“Anticipation, or being enthusiastic, is an emotion involving pleasure, excitement, and sometimes anxiety in considering some expected or longed-for good event.”
This word pretty much sums up how most of us are feeling. While some folks have struck gold on holdover fish in my area, and many more are finding joy on bright fish just to the south of us, we here on Cape Cod and in Buzzards Bay are still eagerly anticipating the first big push of fish.
It’s a certainty that the table is set, and if the water temps creep up just another 2-3 degrees it should blow wide open!
On Friday, April 13, Capt. Shaun Ruge and I went out for the 3rd run of the season on the Riptide. The first 2 trips were shakedown runs to work out any winter bugs from the boat, but this was more of an exploratory trip, with a modest expectation of finding some new arrivals.
Ruge and I hit the water around lunchtime and found ourselves in a howling Southwest wind. Not ideal conditions, but we were determined to poke our heads into Buzzards Bay and get a look around. Having been out 2 times prior, we have been able to see the progression of things in the area. On the first trip out a couple weeks back we had water temps in the 45-46 degree range and saw almost no bird life, other than sea ducks, and very little bait in the water. Last week water temps were 46-47 degrees and we saw a fair number of gulls and even a tern or two, with some bait beginning to show. On Friday we had water temps from 48-50.5 and we found tons of gulls, plus a solid number of terns and cormorants, and they were working large schools of bait all around the upper end of Buzzards Bay. We marked several fish around the bait schools but never managed to get tight.
It’s a certainty that the table is set, and if the water temps creep up just another 2-3 degrees it should blow wide open! I normally look to May 7 as my go-to date in this area to find new arrivals in good numbers. Last year was the earliest I’ve ever seen the first big schools of bass moving through Buzzards Bay, and that was on April 27. This year I predict we will beat that date by at least a week!
With air temps forecast in the mid-70s here for the coming week, we should get a bump in water temperature, and the fish that are off the Vineyard and RI should come pouring into our waters, where they will find all the food they could want.
The next time you hear from me (and it won’t be long), rest assured that it will involve our having landed our first bright fish of the season.
Gentlemen, start your engines!