The 2010 (12th annual) Patricelli Cape Cod Striper Invitational
2010 will NOT be known as the year that it rained some, fogged some, blew some, clouded over some (all of which is true) because, quite frankly, when you are surrounded, day after day, by acres and acres of breaking bass running 34-40 inches....WHO CARES!!!!!!!
It started low key with Bill Logan and I arriving a week before the guided trips were to start. We shore fished Bass River, the Pamet area, around Sesuit harbor and Chapin beach. We caught some fish everywhere and Bill got two 30-31" fish which were sacrificed for dinners. As the rest of the 12 person group arrived from the Oregon, MInnesota, Tennessee, and Boston we girded our loins on the reports that the fishing had been great, but on the day before we were to start with the guides, they had suddenly disappeared.
No sweat. They were just playing mind games with us. There is nothing better for a trip organizer than to return in the afternoon of the first day of fishing and have group after group come in with huge GRINS on their face. From Race Point to Pleasant Bay to Monomoy to Buzzards Bay the fish were up and hungry and the guides had them dialed in. Capt Jeff Smith and Capt Gil Berke were able to find and keep us on the Race fish through wind and fog. Capt Alan Hasbacka found the Monomoy rips spotty but located the fish further north. Capt. Bill Cooling and his Beavertail Skiff in Pleasant Bay was reaping the rewards of a rejuvenated fishery due to the new cut and fresh water circulation. Capt Will Raye did his incomparable sight fishing thing on Monomoy and Brewster flats. And Capt Joe Leclair in Buzzards Bay had a private stock of HUGE bass willing to chase his teaser all the way to the boat and then challenge us to catch them!! Or more correctly, LAND them!
2010 will also be remembered for the fish that got away. Frank Cammack came unglued from a 40# fish the first day with Capt Joe Leclair. Doug Livermore hooked a fish, as his leader hit the tip top, that Capt Will Raye says was the bigget bass he had ever seen on the flats, clearly seen at 10 feet and estimated 48" 's. Unfortunately, due to fear of popping the leader with a hard hook set at point blank range the bass threw the hook during the first run. Capt Joe showed me, as in brought up in a roll on his teaser, the biggest SUV of a bass I could ever imagine. The next day, on the same rocks, the fish was there again and Bob Milbert BROKE 30# TEST LEADER on the hook set.!!! Estimated 45# Maybe more.
But WHO CARED??!! After we got tired of landing 35-40" fish on subsurface flies everyone switched to poppers AND JUST HOOKED UP FASTER!! At one point, third on the boat and standing midships against the console, unable to cast, I just THREW (as in by hand) my popper out about 8 feet and it was immediately engulfed by a 40" bass. Bill Fleming from Boston got tired of fighting fish so he just took the teaser and played with them for about an hour, giggling like a schoolboy. It occured to us that we might get even bigger fish by going deep below the surface school, but no one WANTED anything bigger, on a 10 wt, after the first hour or so.
It was a week of smiling, giggling, and sated exhaustion. The chemistry of the group was great and everyone fully understood we were experiencing something phenomenal. The three newbies in the group (to this fishery) are totally ruined.
Our thanks to Capts Jeff Smith, Gil Berke, Alan Hasbacka, Bill Cooling, Will Raye, and Joe Leclair.
And for those who wonder why these fish are more valuable as a reacreational fish, we killed exactly 5 fish and spent $25K ON Cape Cod NOT including car rental, airline tickets, and fishing equipment.