Category Archives: Stripers
This past Spring was a rough one for me. After surgery I spent April and most of May in some type of cast. After I got rid of “the boot” and spent a couple weeks in PT, I started getting on the water again, although always in some type of boat. Then late June came with a chance to head down to Cape Cod and cast at big stripers cruising the beaches. I’m pretty sure walking on soft sand for several hours at a time isn’t good for my recovery but you don’t think much about the pain or consequences when you see these fish cruising in inches of water.
The majority of my experience striper fishing made me believe they are some of the easiest fish to fool on fly. Since starting to sight fish to them I have learned that they are also one of the most difficult.
At first I assumed a sand eel pattern would be the ticket, since that was the prominent bait. After making some decent casts (including to an absolute monster) I learned my sand eel pattern was not, in fact, the ticket. In these situations I usually try to change to a more subtle pattern, which I did without luck. Not sure what to do, I eventually settled on a big, ugly woolly bugger-looking thing that was suppose to resemble a crab. The next fish I cast to instantly charged the fly, then spooked at the last second. After a couple hours walking up and down this beach I finally had a positive reaction, even if I still hadn’t hooked a fish.
Shortly after extending my leader and dropping to a lighter tippet, I saw another fish cruising about a yard off the sand. I laid out a cast and watched the fish blast up to the fly, turn on its side and then I was tight with backing peeling off the reel within seconds. The adrenaline that had been stagnant for months was now coursing through my body. It was good to be back.
Peter Laurelli has put together a full video from the shorts he cut from this past season fishing the NE salt. Like the season, the action builds through the movie, with a final crescendo at Montauk during the Fall. It definitely gets my blood pumping and I hope to be fit enough to take part in the action this year, either in the NE or back home on the Chesapeake Bay.
Do you remember back to elementary school and the picture of several fish lined up smallest to largest with their mouths’ open? This simple image is how we all first learned about food chains and how natural systems are comprised of many parts.
Finally, the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC) has taken that lesson to heart when they voted on protective measures for menhaden, an important bait fish that is believed to historically be the primary food source of striped bass. They are also important filter feeders and an increase in their population can help aid oysters in efforts to filter the Chesapeake Bay.
Instead of chasing hardtails, a small craft advisory had Pete and I rigging up the kayaks and paddling to a small island in one of RIs bays. The plan was to camp out on the beach and fish the deep channel adjacent to the island. When the sun came up we would fish the flat on the inside. It’s early in the season, but we figure we could get at least one good striper out of the effort.
With a couple fish landed and a “mini blitz” by the next morning we head back to the mainland and drove east to one of the salt ponds in this area. Pete got another striper while blind casting a flat at the entrance of the pond and then we found some schools of bluefish as we paddled further in with the tide… lots of fun on poppers. We definitely made the most of the tough conditions this trip.