Friday, July 30, 2010

Summer Crabbin

Daylight fishing has been pretty lousy recently, so I decided to harass the local population of Blue Claws this morning.

Monday, July 26, 2010

7/25 catch & release

We hit the water at 10, the bass showed, but the action died out early. We both managed a couple fish, here is the fish of the night.

And there she goes.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

7/24 embrace the skunk

I hit the road at around 10 pm to meet a buddy and catch the last hour or so of the incoming and a little bit of the outgoing tide at a spot we seem to have a pattern on. When I pulled onto the long narrow road leading me to my spot, I was greeted by a skunk, milling around next to the roadway. "Was this a sign of things to come tonight?" I thought to myself. As soon as I rigged up and got on the water, the bass were there and feeding. Right off the bat I got a couple hits on a small rabbit strip fly, with a gold beadhead, tied on a mustad c68sz size 6.

After the tide started moving out we moved to a small outflow that drains a small pond into a small bay, there is a pipe of 15-20" that runs under a road and stripers sit inside and in front of this pipe on the falling tide. The idea is to get on a man made structure(docks) some 35' directly down current, and cast right to the base or inside the pipe, maintain contact with your fly and wait for the take. Most fish caught here have been on the smallish side(less than 20"), but I hooked up with a few fish in the 24-26" range, here is the biggest fish of the night.

While this fish's size may not seem impressive, he was a gorgeous specimen who battled impressively, leading me to believe he was a bigger fish. These fish were great fun as it differs from the norm of places we usually fish, often overlooking a small outflow such as this for a bigger place which we are familiar with. They were a blast to fight and keep from wrapping you around pilings, ropes and boats. The Bio-lume was impressive last night, as was the thunderstorm that moved through around 12:30. As lightning broke out close, the rain came down in sheets, we sought cover in my buddies car, waiting for the storm to pass. Earlier in the night there was a boat anchored nearby blaring Dave Mathews tunes, which was also nice. After the action died down around 2 am, I lit a victory smoke on the way to the diner, where I could ponder the events of the night over a hot open turkey. To me, this was a great way to spend a saturday night.

Monday, July 19, 2010

7/18 Stripers on the swing

I hit the water a few hours into the outgoing tide, right before dark at a favorite outflow. I really wanted to swing flies as I haven't in some time. I tied up a September night variant, with my full floating line, and got to swinging.

On the 5th or 6th cast I feel a quick tap, a pause and then violent pulling followed by an inspiring aerial show. It was a very feisty blue of about 5 lbs, hooked perfectly in the corner of the mouth. The marabou collar was ripped to shreds in the process of landing and releasing this little fighter, but I kept it on the line with no other action.

I changed flies after a half hour lull in the action, to a 5" white deciever with bleached peacock topping and jungle cock eyes, and this would be the lucky fly of the night.

In short order I hooked, landed and released 3 chubby vibrant stripers in the 24-26" range. The current petered out and the fish seemed to have moved out, so we decided to check out a nearby spot. I was walking back to shore dragging my fly behind me when I felt a yank and the surface exploded. While I fumbled to get the slack out of my line the fish came unbuttoned.

So we moved and found fish popping in a small channel, they sounded like stripers, but we would soon find out there were blues there as well, smashing small silversides. I decided to change flies to a small Albie Whore.

I made a dozen casts to feeding fish without a hit, and finally, a bright green glow erupted near where my fly was, and I was tight to a frantic blue, jumping and diving with an admirable attitude, I got him in close, and he finally bit me off, taking my Albie Whore as a souvenier. In my experience blues love that little fly.

Monday, July 12, 2010

7/11 worm hatch

I had the intentions to fish from 9-11 pm last night, in search of worms and microbait. Since Thursday I have been fishing a particular spot, watching stripers lazily cruising and picking off bait at will, there is so much bait at this spot right now. Here is the pattern I have noticed:
Thursday- Bigger fish, few worms, alot of juvi silversides
Friday- Smaller fish, more worms than Thursday, and alot of shrimp
Saturday- Bigger fish, worms everywhere, and the usual JV silversides and shrimp

If the pattern held true, we would see smaller fish tonight, but who knows about the worms, would it be thicker than Saturday night, or was Saturday the peak?

A buddy and I made it out and arrived at our spot around 9:30. The wind was calm but enough to disrupt the surface of the water, it also pushed alot of debris in and dirtied up the water a bit. There was really nothing happening until around 11:30, when we started seeing a few worms, and just like that the smaller fish made a push in, smashing worms and silversides with reckless abandon. When the tide slacked, everything died down and it appeared that the small fish moved out, still no worms.

We sat around for a few minutes wondering if the worms would show for the July new moon, and a little after 1 they were everywhere. Almost as if someone rang a dinner bell, a school of bigger stripers moved in and started chasing bait, mostly worms and shrimp, with the occasional pod of silversides fleeing to the skies. We brought only a couple fish to hand, but lost a few and had quite a few follows.

By 3 the action died down, the bass took off, but the worms were still at it, unmolested. It was great to experience a few nights of solid worm hatch fishing, it was enlightening and maddening at the same time, consuming my thoughts while constantly thinking of different presentations and flies to crack the code. As my buddy and I walked back to the car, we joked that worm hatch fishing is worse than drugs, alluding that most junkies were probably sleeping at 3 am on monday morning.
Here is a big shrimp I grabbed last night.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

7/10 worm hatch

Last night was a bit of a comedy of errors. First I lost both of the 3 fly dropper rigs I pre-made yesterday afternoon in the parking lot under the cover of darkness. After searching for 10 minutes, I figure I should just cut my loss and tie up another. I reach for my spool of 20 lb mono, and there is only 3' left. Luckily my buddy gave me a straight 6' shot of 20 lb mono, so I took the 3' I had and my newly acquired 6' and fashined a 2 fly dropper rig.

The bigger fish showed last night, and they were picky. My buddy(pictured) got one keeper size fish on a small worm pattern, around 1.5" long. There were ridiculous amounts of cinderworms cruising about, along with clouds of small silversides, and shrimp galore.

After we tried just about everything I went to the lonely looking chartreuse clouser left in my box. 3rd cast I see a good size fish turn, grab and flash, I set, I feel weight for split second, and its gone. We sat and watched as the action died out, cinderworms still doing their thing, all the while formulating
a plan for tonight.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

pink GP variant

While out last night I noticed alot of shrimp in the 1-2" range, so I stayed with the pink theme and tied up a few of these GP variants, pink whiting spey hackle, golden pheasant breast feathers as carapace, and JC eyes. This fly is taking up a spot in my 3 fly dropper rig tonight.

And pink was the ticket

I heard reports of bunker locally so I went out on Thursday night to see for myself. After searching a few spots to no avail, I decided to check a spot I have never fished before, often overlooking it to fish other nearby spots. Armed with my 10 wt and big bunker flies and a few other flies, smallest being a 4.5" surf candy, I hoped to see bunker with bass on them. No bunker, but I found a bit of nervous water, with small bait moving around. I could see juvenille silversides, no more than 2", and most less than an inch and a half long, there also small cinder worms zipping around, most around an inch. I had nothing in my quiver to match this small bait smorgasbord, so I decided I would go the opposite route, a big snake fly. Fished the snake fly with not even a tap for a little over half hour, so I tied on the surf candy figuring this would be the best shot at matching the bait. Nada, so I took a step back, found nearby higher ground, and watched. There is a light shining in the water and my vantage point was great, there was a school of keeper plus sized stripers lazily swimming around and slurping up mouthfuls of bait, it was quite a sight to see. After the action fizzled out, around midnight I headed home with a riddle to solve.

I just recently got a cape of whiting spey hackle in pink, and decided to put some to use. The feathers are similar to marabou, but have a higher breaking strength. I made a couple simple CCG candies, to match the microbait, and headed back out in search of feeding stripers last night.
Here are the flies:

Long story short, the stripers really liked the pink one. Interesting point of the night, there is a small outflow(15" pipe) emptying a small pond into a small bay, and there were stripers set up in and around the pipe, popping the microbait being funneled to them. I made a nice cast right to the base of this pipe, one strip and I came tight to a feisty little striper.