Springtime Strategies for Stripers [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: Springtime Strategies for Stripers

02-07-2004, 09:27 AM
I know you've all noticed the strength and length of daylight, we've gotten over the hump. It's still a ways off before the games begin but it's a good time to be devising the years new patterns or thinking of spots that you've ignored in 2003, or otherwise setting some strategies for the season. It comes and goes in the blink of an eye, sadly.

I have numerous 2004 striper strategies to fulfill.

> Start promptly in April

Each year I begin my scouting trips on the Cape upon completion of tax returns. I feel I deserve it after that hassle :) By mid-April, things are happening along the seaboard and the trout angling in the ponds on the Cape is excellent. Some years have been outstanding although it's hit or miss fishing as these are scout fish themselves in most cases. I don't fish for holdovers although I do catch them this time of year on both sides of the cape. Just to look at them I feel sorry I hooked them, what a contrast to their bright migrant brethren.

> Sandy Hook NJ - Two-hander Clave

If things go well I will look at doing a two-hander conclave in New Jersey or Long Island (Montauk?) in the early spring. It will be nice to get the first shot at Mass stripers before my neighbors :D The Jersey guys are excellent shooting head anglers and I am on a quest to reach high proficiency with shooting head use this year. They are interested in the Atlantis, so this will be a good information sharing session as well for both sides.

> Show me the herring!

Over the years the biggest bass I've hooked during the spring have been herring eaters. Yet the live-liners standing next to me are kicking my butt. My 9ft 9wt just isn't presenting a live herring effect to these cow bass, plain and simple. This year I will have the rod, lines and flies to fool these smart stripers. :smokin:

> Migratory Madness

I have earned the knowledge of some spectacular spring migration stake-outs over the years, but they are getting discovered and I need to add more that are unknown to my inventory of such spots. I want to add several new spring migration ambush points to my arsenal this spring.

> Spring Cape Clave - 2004

The spring kick-off has got to be one of my favorites because there is such a huge reason to celebrate when old man winter leaves town and the linesiders roll back in. Lodging is cheap until Memorial and the fishing is easy... what more could you ask?

> Landscape recon

Without a doubt this winter has re-sculpted the sand formation I tread all season. This is the same every year, but I want to re-callibrate my mental picture of the flats by end April again. It's been interesting to overlay GPS tracks from year to year, showing the features that change and those which do not. The most important thing to note are danger spots... hotspots remain to be seen as the season progresses.

> Fly completion

I've had success with my own flats patterns for several years but never really finalized these designs. Before the spring is out I want to have my final prototypes proven out on spring fish to see which ones make it through August. So in other words, rather than indulge in spring fishing with flies I know will work I want to use the opportunity to work out bugs with my existing new original flats flies and get the short list ready for summer flats fishing. Last year had some big surprises I need to follow-up on!

> Two-handers, two-handers, two-handers!

The earliest ATLANTIS prototypes did not arrive in time for the bulk of the spring migration and herring run last year, but thanks to the late migration I did indulge in some incredible cow bass action with the rods (as images on the site demonstrate). But this year I will be standing flat-footed on the beach with the big gun ready to fire!

I will use the time to tweak out the perfect herring launcher (fly of course bro!) and be tuning the loop connections on shooting heads to allow quick-change fishing with floaters, clear intermediates, tungsten lines, and even T-14 / LC-13 heads for those ripping inlet tide currents.

Big fishing, little energy. Flyfishing at the next level. That's a key theme for me this spring.

Doc Duprey
02-07-2004, 10:54 AM

Great plans! Inspires me to start planning my season as well.

The Jersey 2-hander 'Clave sounds like a great idea...please let me know if I can be of help. I'll be there, for sure! The Sandy Hook area may provide some very interesting fishing opportunities, including herring feeders, and somes pretty serious rips.

Best regards,


02-07-2004, 11:00 AM
Yes..great Plans Juro and well thought out. I will be down the Cape more this spring and your spot is reserved at CAC.

Arthur Robert
02-07-2004, 06:28 PM
I'm planning on getting an Atlantis. and need to kmow what line I need. I have a fair amount of experience with cutting lines and making shooting heads of different lenghts. What line ( a stock line) would you suggest for fishing places like Souith Beach or the Norset beaches? I want to start out with one line and will branch out from there. Thanks

02-07-2004, 11:10 PM
Arthur -

Glad to hear you are taking your flyfishing to the next level. Since it's an overhand casting rod it's quite forgiving as long as it has enough grains to feed it. For shorter lines around 30ft it will cast well with 450-550 grains, which include the Airflo shooting heads, Wulff tarpon lines, and homemade lengths of T-14 or LC-13.

But when you go to longer headed lines like the 45 ft shooting heads or the Hardy Salmon lines which I like a lot on the rod it will handle 600 grains with ease.

The real short 550's (like the Cortland QD) turn over too quickly and thrash around like a medusa head when you cast over 100-120ft. They do however balance out with a huge herring fly, so there are good times to use just about any line.

For fishing stripers as a starting point I would go for a shooting head system because the shooting line is only about $20 and the heads are not much more. You can swap the heads and get the depth, distance or stealth you need on the spot without extra spools.

If you don't like that idea the Wulff tarpon 12wt intermediate is a good factory line to start with, but it's not a great line in cold weather.

That being said any heavier 11wt or 12wt will go like heck on the rod.

Are you talking intermediate, sinking or floating line?

Arthur Robert
02-08-2004, 07:54 PM
Juro, Thank you, for the nice reply on lines for the Atlantis. Just as I supected there is no one best line. I'm most interested in sinking and intermediate lines. I do have a grain scale and have used a varity of heads in the last 16-18 years; starting with floating heads used in atlantic salmon fishing. The last 10 years I have fished mostly in the salt for stripers, blues and false albacore. I do have a number of sinking heads from 240-500 grains. These heads are relatively short; 24 to 30 feet. I guess I'll try some of the heads I have using Rio Powerflex shooting line in 0.035" on the Atlantis and build from there. I do have some concern about how much line I will have to strip in before pick up. Have you tried the new Rio Scandinavian Spay Line Shooting Heads? I did talk to the rep. from Rio,Simon, at the Marlborough show and he thought that these lines might work well on the Atlantis. They are 44' and could be cut back. They also make an interchangeable tip shooting head: with an floating body, intermediate mid section and 4 different tips from 1.5 ips to 8 ips. The total length is 44' with 4 tips of 15' each. A very interesting comcept: will it work?

02-08-2004, 08:10 PM
I am certain that it will work, I've tried the tri-color Scandinavian head on the rod and with about a yard cut off the back it loads the rod very sweetly.

If I lived near a salmon or steelhead river I would use that line a lot but to be honest in striper country a sinking line is a sinking line and an intermediate is just that so the combination of floating-intermediate-sinking in one (fixed) line is lost on me while in the striper fishery.

I am very glad to have that line because I fish often in steelhead country and that line is great for underhand casting. The floating, intermediate and sinking line provides the ultimate density compensation in rivers when swinging flies though, but that's another fishery.

For me the ideal line is between 28-32 ft long in the head and 140ft overall length. It should be effortless to cast to the backing knot with a single backcast, like a 45 ft 12wt shooting head on braided running line is today on the Atlantis. The head would probably have between 525 and 550 grains. I would like the shorter line and coated running line to be almost as easy to cast as the long head and thin running line because the grain, taper and characteristics of the running would be up to the task.

Ideally, I would like the heads to be exchangeable between clear interm. float and sinking with a loop connection that does not even get my attention while fishing, a light tick through the guides and that's it.

I think this is quite achievable especially when you factor in the type of loop connections great line companies are providing today, very non-intrusive to the line going thru the guides.

I've always stayed away from buying the heirloom saltwater reel because of the lousy spool change features and cost of spools. If I get the loop connection down to that light tick I will have to spring for a top dog reel for the Atlantis since I won't need to change spools or buy extra ones for that matter!

For decades in steelhead country I exchanged the forward tapers of hybrid lines with one spool. The only thing that kept me from continuing on that track out here were the loops hanging in the guides. For me it's high time to revisit that problem and see if it can't be eliminated, thus re-opening the door to configurable line systems in striper country for myself.

I have recently met an avid shooting head group from Jersey, I hope to hook up and compare notes this spring around Sandy Hook during the migration.

02-08-2004, 09:44 PM
At times I fancy myself a "striper fisherman out of necessity"

I work near the sound...late nites....1:30 am...kids and wife home asleep.....Cant fanagle the dawn to dark trip to fish the delaware ou of the bride....river behind parking lot where I park my car is alive with slurping bass June until October....peanuts, worms, all the things that can keep a soul out til dawn, without a care in the world other than those linesiders that obiously Juro and all of you maniacs above and in this world are seeking....you all ought to be ashamed of yourselves and seek some counseling....

tee hee


02-09-2004, 12:04 AM
OUT PATIENTS!!! :eyecrazy:
Psych counselling only made it WORSE! :whoa: