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STELLWAGEN BANK, MA-Cod & Haddock Fishing 5/7/2006

Virginia to Maine

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STELLWAGEN BANK, MA-Cod & Haddock Fishing 5/7/2006

Postby bfast » Sun May 07, 2006 6:24 pm

STELLWAGEN BANK, MA- Cod & Haddock Fishing 5/7/2006

The month of April was a literal blow-out to say the least. Strong northeast winds for weeks on end, very rough sea conditions and sub-par cod fishing for what is usually one of our best months of fishing on the bank, was the rule. At one point toward the end of the month, the cod boats were at the dock for almost two weeks straight, fostering repeated cancellation. On the few days when the wind let go we found the fish were scattered, very little bait was in evidence and the cod were small. Many clients were asking why we were not posting reports, now you know why; nothing good to report.

The continual northeast winds, while they killed our business, did bring one benefit: the winds blew in the bait-- sand eels and herring-- onto the shoal-water. Presently, we have the best concentration of sand eels and herring that we have seen in two years. Whales, gannets and cod fish are taking full advantage of the bonanza. With cod chasing bait-fish, jig fishing has once again become effective.

Finally, with the wind shift to the southwest on Friday, Capt. Bob on B-Fast’s JANET B, logged our best trip of the season with the Shervah Tyson charter from Long Island City, NY. Even with the newly imposed size limit of 24 inches for cod starting May 1, Shervah’s group bailed market cod between 8 and 15 pounds in the morning blitz with sand eels on the surface all around the boat.. Both skimmer clams and jigs worked equally well. Shervah’s group wanted haddock, so Capt. Bob complied moving to the deeper water and got the New Yorker’s into 70 keeper haddock and one wolfish—this is our best catch for haddock to date.

On Saturday, five of B-Fast boats, JANET B, DECISIVE, SASHAMY, KAAMA and EXCALIBER fished flat calm seas and witnessed an awesome show with whales and birds feeding on the bait concentrations while market cod gulped clams and hit jigs and teasers below. While the catches weren’t as good as the day before, the action was steady. Many fish in the 21-23” size class were released unharmed. The largest cod of the day—20 pounds, was taken by an inexperienced lad on the John Downs Charter from Stoney Point, NY after a little coaching from the skipper. Long-time client and good friend, Bob Steinmann from Lindenhurst, NY fished two days on the DECISIVE. Neeraj Ray and his group from MIT opted to leave later in the morning—7 am-- on the EXCALIBER and returned early—arm weary—catching all the cod they wanted just after noon.

JANET B, DECISIVE and SASHAMY did get out on Sunday—three days in a row---, although NOAA weather completely blew the forecast making for very rough seas in the morning and difficult fishing conditions. Hopefully, the gods will smile on us an bring more days with fair winds and seas. The table is set due to the bait concentration on the bank for the best cod fishing of the season. Haddock is just getting started and will continue right through the summer months east of the bank.

Capt, Mike Bartlett
B-Fast Charters, www.bfastcharters.com
Capt. Mike Bartlett
B-Fast Charters
Cabin Boy
Cabin Boy
Posts: 31
Joined: Mon Jun 21, 2004 7:36 am
Location: Green harbor,MA & Boston Harbor

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