Sunday, June 27, 2010

Sunday stripers

Headed out with John at 2:30 am this morning hoping to find a bite in the dark on the last of the outgoing tide.  It was a much different night than the last time we got such an early start.  This time it mostly clear skies under a full moon so we were able to make a quick run to where we wanted to start fishing.    I love how peaceful it is fishing in the dark.  I started with a good sized blackbird and we picked up a couple of solid fish while it was still dark.  I wasn't even awake when I landed this first fish.

Blackbird in action

Once it got to be light we decided to fish some of the outer rocky structure.  We haven't found much at all yet this year outside but there should be some good fish set up by now.  We worked some of my favorite structure without seeing a single striper.

There were loads of pollack out there which is a good sign.  I have a feeling that we will have to do a lot of searching to locate fish this summer on the structure.  I don't mind as long as we are able to pick up some decent fish here and there.

I finally hooked up fishing a grocery pollack over some sand.  I missed the first hit on this cast but this fish or his buddy hit again and I got a hook into him.  There was another striper at least this big chasing this guy around during the fight.

Off to fight another day.

A couple flies that worked best today.

Another great day to be out on the water.  We had to work for the fish but can't complain about the average size of these fish.  On the way back in we saw some massive schools of small bait at the mouth of the Scarborough marsh.  Lots of bird activity but very little fish showing themselves.  It was a good ways into the incoming tide so it's possible that the fishing was hot either side of low.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010


Spent a beautiful evening out fishing the flats with Yudi.  There were lots of fish around chasing scattered schools of juvenile herring on the surface.  They mostly stayed off in the deeper water and I never really felt like we were in range to make enough good casts to them.  There was hardly any wind and yet very few bugs.  We worked on some casting and waded around until after the sun set.

Friday, June 18, 2010


Lately I've been thinking about a new fly to tie up and use for fishing at night.  The fly is eel like in nature with a lot of movement and a couple of features to increase it's apparent bulk in the water and noise.  The fly has a rough deerbody hair collar to increase the bulk of the fly in the water and to create turbulence to activate the body and tail materials.  Not so much to increase its buoyancy to the point where the fly will float.  I was aiming for a fly with slightly less than neutral buoyancy. The fly is finished up with a big set of beadchain eyes which whistle on the cast and hopefully make a distinct sound in the water.  The first one I tied up is all black but I have some ideas for other color variations.  For dark nights I think black is the way to go.  I don't think the fish see much for color then anyway.  After tying it up and looking at it, the fly looks a lot like a blackbird to me so I think that's what I'll call it.

The fly proved itself the last time I got out fishing.  My time on the water has been very limited so John and I decided to get an early start and fish a few hours in the dark to give us some more time.  We splashed the boat around 2am but since it was such a dark night with overcast skies and fog it took us a while to get to where we wanted to fish.  We still had a good hour or more before there was even a hint of light.  Night fishing on a dark night without any moonlight or other ambient light is a strange experience.  Everything is done by feel.  I could barely make out the rocky shoreline and couldn't even begin to see my flyline as I was casting.  I hooked up about 4 fish in the dark.  They all were very weird strikes.  Most of the time I just felt the weight of the fish and set the hook.  The fish didn't move very much and I loaded my rod right up and the fish dogged it out.  I like a slow steady retrieve at night to allow the fish to hone in on the fly.  I think the fish just come up slowly and engulf the fly so that's why the strikes aren't very ferocious.  During the day the fish feed more by sight and can strike from a longer distance and continue on which can give a much more solid feeling of the take.

My supposedly good camera is having issues so most of the shots aren't coming out very well.  I sent it in to hopefully get it fixed under warranty.  Here's a couple of pics of a fish caught on the blackbird.

As it got light out I switched over to fishing some different deceiver like patterns and picked up a few more fish.  John and I ventured out to fish the outer islands and ledges but didn't find too much going on.

We headed back in to fish the where we caught the fish early in the day.  I switched over to a guitar minnow and got into a few more fish.  Sometimes with this pattern and the retrieve the fish can take the fly deep.

Got this solid stripe not long before I had to call it a day.

I have some time to fish this weekend and hope to get out and fling some flies around some of my favorite rocks.  Got the striper school at the flyshop with Lou Tabory on Sunday to look forward also.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Striper time

After all the good reports and having only one very slow trip so far this year I was dying to get back out in the salt to try and find a few stripers.  John splashed the boat at about 4am and we were off.  We knew there was some serious wind and rain coming later in the morning and we had some other stuff to take care of during the day so we tried to squeeze as many casts as we could into about 5 hours.  We pulled up to one of our more consistent spots and I was instantly into fish.  I put 3 solid stripers in the boat in the first 5 casts.

We caught a few more before the action slowed as the sun came up.

It didn't take long before it clouded up and the rain came.  We fished around some big schools of mackerel feeding on some small herring for a while.  For a few minutes a school of larger stripers came to the surface among the mackerel and were feeding on the small baitfish also.  We didn't manage to hook up any of these fish and as fast as they popped up they were gone again. 

We went off looking for fish again and found some close to our first spot.  The bite picked up as the rain intensified.  

Hero shot of John because he is my hero.


The guitar minnow was definitely the fly of the day and both John and I caught all of our fish on them.  We had a few hits on some bigger grocery flies and deer hair creations but never got a solid hookup on them.

Swimming off to fight another day.

Definitely one of the better mornings striper fishing for me the last couple of years. It still seems strange to me to be catching fish of this size this time of year without catch any little ones.  I hope we get a few good year classes of fish to fill in behind these guys.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Early start

Got an early start on what looked like a very promising day of striper fishing.  I've been hearing a lot of great reports lately.  It's nice that some people are off to a good start after quite a few slow seasons.  We didn't find much going on though.  John hooked up a couple fish early that he didn't get to the boat.  We saw a fish here and there on the surface but nothing sustained.  About 10 years or so ago all the spots we tried would almost definitely had some actively feeding fish.  I think the days are gone where we could go out and catch 20-30 fish on average on a morning tide.  The game has changed.  One good thing is the average size of the fish is way up.  When we were catching the large numbers of fish a 28" was exceptional but now that's about the average size.  I'm happy to work harder to catch larger fish instead of catching all the little ones but it does worry me a little.  Hopefully the population is just in some sort of cycle and will work itself out.  I have my doubts though.  We couldn't have asked for any better weather to start the season so if the fishing is going to be good it should be this year.