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The Mania of May

Updated: May 30, 2021

We spent a few weeks in early May in the chill of the nights with some fairly productive outings. Having a blast reconnecting with some of the holdovers in our area. Never landing a fresh fish from the local haunts. My legs began to feel like they were sinking in the sand. Staring into the starry nights had me dreaming of the "Betty Anne". Scouting for the first push of fresh fish. The ocean was calling and it was great to be back cutting the water with the Parker Center Console. A perfect inshore machine for our waters.

The first few outings had that winter chill still lingering. Water temps just touching fifty degrees. No birds other than the Osprey and the Eagles sharpening their talons with the amount of bait that was stacking up near the rivers and bays. From what I could see it was pogy slaps and herring backs milling happily on the surface in the peace from the predation that was soon to come. Then the days got warmer and my eyes and ears were getting sharper, I could feel it. It was glass calm. Maybe two other vessels on the water. My pupils dilated I could see the terns working on the horizon in the distance. I howled and hit the throttle. The bay was filled with terns thousands of them!

The songs of the birds singing the fish had arrived! Micro schoolies with some fish up to twenty two inches breaking surface on what was most likely silver sides. Just off the flats where the water was around fifty five degrees. A great water temp to target in the early season. While I was working the West locations George was getting out in the East getting his tow boat rig dialed in for the season. Low and behold I got the text! "The Fish Are Here! The Fish Are Home!"

George and I couldn't believe how quickly the migration pushed through the canal and loaded up our home bays. Under disguise with no birds on them but they were there, they're fresh and hungry, getting ready for their spring feast! Silversides, shrimp, squid, herring and crustaceans, on for the specials menu. We continued to stay on the bite with the flys and lures that they couldn't resit. Getting furious top-water strikes with plugs and big takes on some surprisingly large profiles for the flys. Big hollow fly deceivers up to eleven inch patterns for the rips where we caught fish up to twenty eight inches in the early weeks of May.

From hunches and past experiences and some chatter the word was some thirty plus inch fish had hit the shorelines. It was hard to leave the home water but we wanted the next class of fish that moved in. May brings a lot of South West wind which brings in warmer water, weather and fresh fish. Can also be challenging picking the right days to venture with our eighteen footer. She handles chop up to three feet but I don't like to push her past that... although I have. So George and I picked the day and set our alarms for four o'clock in the morning. We set off for the next quality of fish for the fly.

We are approaching the end of May and we no longer have a sense of time as it the tides and moon phases that take over the clocks.

Finding another good window for us George gave a call to close friend and client to take a ride down from New Hampshire to find some big fish. Without hesitation he was ready to go at four in the morning, with two hours of travel, now that's dedication! It was it, a fishy morning that was screaming a top water bite! Fog and rain with plenty of visibility and a lot of boats in the area. We pushed back from the crowds and honed in. Simeon tossing a large profile plug while George and I working the fly lines. Then we heard it. Sounded like a boulder hit the water from the sky. Simeon didn't speak a word. We all knew. It's a real one... we worked together flawlessly as a team. After a few runs he got her to the boat. We had the lippers and plyers ready to go. She was hooked pretty good just by her lips, we removed the hooks while she was still breathing in the water. Got her out of the water for a few shots, then swam her beside the boat for a few minutes untill she bit down and was ready to go.

We couldn't have asked for a better start to the season. More big fish moving in as most of us are sidelined until the North Easter blows through. We will be back out there at every chance staying on the bite. Targeting a fantastic class of fish in our home bays and setting off for outings for the hunt for the big fish. Big blues also are in the mix now so watch those toes and fingers. Looking forward to what June brings us and the adventures and stories to follow!

Another healthy thirty seven inch fish revived and now swimming freely... Caught by angler Mark Larosi.

-Brian Kelly

Rocks Pebbles and Sands

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