Beautiful Aerial Shots of Striped Bass Schools

One of the reasons I love fishing is that it takes you to beautiful places in search of beautiful things. If you’ve ever held a tuna, or a salmon, or a trout, or any number of other fish, you know that these can be beautiful creatures.

New photos from aerial photographer Wayne Davis help make this point. Flying over Cape Cod bay recently, he spotted huge schools of striped bass. So numerous are the stripers, that they remind me of the sight of a large flock of starlings against the sky. They’re awesome, in the true sense of that word.

One of the things I love about these photos is how they elevate bass. In my opinion, striped bass often do not rise to the top of the list of “beautiful” fish. Their stripes are geometric, their color palette more limited, more two-toned, than many of their hard-tailed saltwater companions. This doesn’t diminish my admiration for them, or my love of chasing them. I just don’t think of them as stunning in the same way as opalescence of a false albacore. These photos make a different case.

aerialphotostripedbasscapecod

aerialphotostripedbasscapecod

aerialphotostripedbasscapecod

aerialphotostripedbasscapecod

aerialphotostripedbasscapecod

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Chasing Birds, Striped Bass on Cape Cod

Striped bass on Cape Cod

First, there were birds. And then, there were stripers. Lots of stripers. With the sun rising, we set out from a small harbor through a narrow channel with our guide. Safe from the harbor, we brought the boat onto plane and motored into Cape Cod Bay. The air was cold, the wind calm, and the boats sparse. It looked like a good day. But the recent news wasn’t great. Fish had been sparse. The Vineyard side wasn’t producing. Striper population levels have been down in recent years. If you followed the logic of the conversation, it was going to be a beautiful day for a skunking. And then we saw birds, and fish.

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Striped Bass in Boston Harbor

striped bass boston harbor fly fishing

In a college course on pre-Socratic philosophy, a teacher summed up one of the teachings of Heraclitus by saying: “Through suffering comes beauty.” Tonight, as I saw the first stripers of my year landed around me, that certainly was the case. The night began promisingly: a good tide, aligning with the end of the work day, and light drizzles throughout the day — conditions which, according to one, had yielded fish in the past at this spot. At lunch, the same friend had walked to the Charles River waterfront and cast a line. The stripers that followed his fly to the shore were all the proof we needed to end speculation: Fish were going to be caught this night.

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This is a hard time of year for fly fishermen living in New England. At every turn, nature deceives: It’s warm, and yet the water is still cold; the flowers are budding, but the waters aren’t teeming with fish; the birds have arrived and are breaking the silence of the early morning more loudly, and more frequently, but the stripers aren’t breaking the surface. The land is bursting, but our water bodies? Still calm, still waiting the arrival of fish.

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Cheeky Reels Schoolie Tournament: Registration & Dates

A few days ago, I got the below in the my inbox: an invitation to the Cheeky, the Boston-based reel manufacturer, for their annual Cape Cod schoolie tournament. I’ve yet to attend, but judging from the video, this is guaranteed to be a fun time, with decent prizes. Plus, the guys behind the company, Peter and Ted, are good guys. Go if you can — but don’t wait to enter. Space will fill up quickly!

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