Most of my fishing season is spent within a few hours of my home. I’m blessed with good access to freshwater rivers and streams where I catch trout, largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, and the saltwater fishing is outstanding. Still, I try to get away from home now and again so I can fish for other species and learn new techniques to try back at home. Finances dictate how much travel I actually get to do, and here are a few spots that I’d like to try and get to this year.
Where I live on Cape Cod is probably one of the best saltwater fisheries along the Eastern seaboard. What I find myself doing, though, is staying really close to home. This year I want to move around a bit more and fish the early season around Buzzard’s Bay. There are a lot of rocks, ledges, reefs, and inshore islands that comprise an area known as the Elizabeth Islands, and in the spring there are a lot of big bass and early bluefish chasing herring.
I also want to hit the Hancock, New York area which is the confluence of the East and the West Branch of the Delaware River. Both branches are tailwaters and that makes for an incredibly fertile river system with lots of big, wild trout. There are long, wide pools broken up by shallow riffles, and good hatches throughout the year. The river boarders New York and Pennsylvania, and the two states offer a reciprocal license which helps to keep costs down. In a perfect world I’d love to sneak over to the Delaware River in late spring/early summer.
I’ve always wanted to fish Harkers Island, NC for drum and for False albacore. I’ve read about the flats, tidal channels, and grass and shell beds that sound just about perfect. Locals call the first good storm in October the ‘mullet blow’ as it drives the baitfish and the drum inshore. Being down there at the right time sounds like a whole lot of fun, and there might be some albies and bluefish around.
Sight fishing for tailing reds is something that I have done in the Florida backcountry but I’d really like to fish in the creeks lined with Spartina grass around Charleston, SC. I like the fact that the fishing is best during the fall and winter which makes for a perfect slot on my calendar. Yeah, there are other fish to catch like cobia, speckled trout and sharks, but casting to a tailing fish is the biggest draw for me.
And like most saltwater anglers, a trip to the Florida Keys for tarpon, bonefish, and permit is on a bucket list. I’ve got to think about that one very carefully. I’ve always picked weeks with bad weather. My buddies have gone the week before or the week after my trip, and they’ve had beautiful weather and great fishing. Maybe I should try June, but if any of you have recommendations please send ‘em along. I’m all ears…..
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Tom Keer is an award-winning writer who lives on Cape Cod, Massachusetts. He is a columnist for the Upland Almanac, a Contributing Writer for Covey Rise magazine, a Contributing Editor for both Fly Rod and Reel and Fly Fish America, and a blogger for the Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation’s Take Me Fishing program. Keer writes regularly for over a dozen outdoor magazines on topics related to fishing, hunting, boating, and other outdoor pursuits. When they are not fishing, Keer and his family hunt upland birds over their three English setters. His first book, a Fly Fishers Guide to the New England Coast was released in January 2011. Visit him at www.tomkeer.com or at www.thekeergroup.com.