Words by Matt Smythe, AMFF Outreach Director

The 10th annual Cheeky Schoolie Tournament was held on May 22nd and AMFF had three of their own wading the shores of Cape Cod on the hunt for stripers. 

Fanning out from the canal to Provincetown, Museum Ambassador and Mud Dog Saltwater Flies guru Mike Rice and Outreach Director Matt Smythe paired up as Team AMFF, and museum social media guru Alex Ford fished with Team Chainsaw to join 269 other teams of two. 

Wind was pretty much the one constant of the day, along with very slow fishing at times. In total defiance of the chill that the northwest wind blew, and in old-school screw-loose solidarity, Team AMFF elected to wet-wade in shorts, sneakers, sweatshirts and rain shells. As long as we stayed in the water, we were just fine. A little stiff, but just fine.

We caught a couple small schoolies early and elected to remember them as much bigger than they actually were instead of measuring and entering them. We explored some new-to-Mike spots and then found a spot where fish were feeding on an outgoing tide. 

After wading to a sandbar through water deep enough to make someone in waders hold their breath, Mike made quick work of finding four nice schoolies. Having left our measuring device in the truck, we simply took pictures, had some laughs, and enjoyed the fact that we weren’t at work. I even caught two really nice shad, the first shad I’ve ever caught. An unexpected and really welcome surprise, since it had been hours since I touched a fish. 

Alex reported that they caught a ton of fish, but they were all smaller than 20”. That just sounds like a terrible time. 

All-in-all it was a great day on the water for a great cause. Congratulations to the team at Cheeky for another very well-run and successful event. And congratulations also on the $20,000+ donation to striped bass conservation. Fantastic job.