Sunday, September 30, 2007


Sunday, September 16, 2007

I awoke to a clear day. The living room floor wasn’t feeling any better with time, so an early start was in the cards for me. I was in Chip’s family’s Wellfleet house and it was full of family visitors. I stepped over a couple of them on the way to the stairway to wake up Chip and get the day started. While he got ready I drove down to “Cumby’s” and grabbed a couple of coffees and then we were really off.

We took Chip’s family boat (Saltina) out of Wellfleet Harbor and out to Billingsgate Shoals. We had just enough water to make a short cut between the shoals and the now-extinct Billingsgate Island. And through this cut we ran into hundreds of feeding blues. But we didn’t want to stop here and get stuck on the low, so we moved on to slightly deeper water. I was reminded of how vast these shallow flats are as we travelled a good half-mile until the engine could be trimmed back down a little.

Anyway, we decided to stop and drift. First cast was with my spinning rod to sniff out any potentials and on the second crank I had several blues attack and one of them hooked. “Ah, they’re right here Chip,” I said as I reeled in the feisty fish. We then rigged our fly rods with some wire leader and the contest began. Chip was using a small popper and I was throwing a clouser. It took a little while on the drift, but we had some action – not as much as we expected, however. A few blues and one 20” striper. As the morning progressed the wind picked up from the N and the fish stopped their bite. We moved around to several areas in the shoals, then to Sunken Meadow, but the action simply died. Most of the other boats out there with us disappeared too. Then after Chip’s phone began to pipe up (mine got toasted on yesterday’s tuna trip) we realized it would be best to head in. We had a large family dinner to prepare down in Chatham and early would be better than late.

The Billingsgate area is an amazing place to be – fish or no fish.

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