Hudson River Flats... [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: Hudson River Flats...

05-03-2004, 09:02 AM
Been out there quite a bit lately on the Hudson with some really banner days. Alot of fish around but picky at times. Best night so far was 4/28 with around 40+ fish landed. Biggest was 16lbs. Most fish in the 18-24 inch range with a few little twinkies thrown in for good measure.

This past weekend 5/1 and 5/2 I saw some pretty good fishing. Not the best Ive seen but some quality fish that I worked hard for.

On saturday I watched as 2 Kayakers trolled Husky Jerk Rapala's inbetween the boats and one came up HUGE!!!!! The guy was trolling along when a MONSTER came up and smacked his plug. I mean a BIG fish. I saw the splash heard the tail slap and watched his kayak get jerked 180 degrees and watched the fish start to tow him towards the Tappan Zee bridge. By the time he finally wrestled the rod from the rod holder and started to gain line the fish snapped him off. I can still see the smile on that guys face... PRICELESS. I guestimate that the fish was pushing the high 20's and maybe into the 30lb mark. Really great to see.


On the water by 7:30am. Wind.. Rain... More Wind. Managed 7 fish all about 3-5lbs and lost 4 that snapped 15lb test leader and took 4 NEW lures that I bought the night before. Ahhhh nuttn like loosing $30 bucks in 10 minutes ... I think gambling is a cheaper sport.


I do have a question for all those a little older and wiser out there.

Has anyone run accross fish that charge a lure or fly... smash it with thier tail or head but not turn and eat it??? This problem plauged me all morning. I would get HELLACIOUS hits... I mean they would cream the plug but wouldnt get stuck. I watched some of the fish come to the boat like a bat out of hell turn and smash the lure with thier tail, but they would'nt come back for it. I must have had this happen 100 times yesterday. Any solution or insight to whats going on?

05-03-2004, 11:26 AM
i have seen the very thing you describe (stripers in a spawning river hitting plugs wth tails) many times on the Roanoke River. we do a lot of fishing with topwater flies and plugs. you can watch it happen. you will actually see the fish's tail as the lure flips out of the water. very exciting! i think it is because they are in a spawning river and are trying to kill as much of the competition for their progeny as possible. i may be reading too much into it but it is as good a reason as any. i have hooked them right in front of the dorsal spines too, so i think they use that area as well. it could also just be because they are mean and want to kill, kill, kill!:)

05-03-2004, 12:10 PM
I've had them slap at bangers with the tail before. Last summer I had a fish tail-slap the banger into the air, turn back around and grab it (saw it on the flats)

My guess would be they are trying to stun the bait with the force of the tail...but i doubt anyone knows the real reason.


05-03-2004, 12:42 PM
If they are trying to stun their quarry maybe you could try leaving the lure dead in the water after the tail slap and see if you get a hit then. .02

05-03-2004, 01:31 PM
I tried all kinds of tricks... I left the lure dead in the water, slowed my retrieve...... quickened my retrieve.. no retrieve at all.. changed colors.. changed depth... UGHHHHH it was madening.

05-03-2004, 01:48 PM
My experience has been (and this only works if they hit it out away from you) just to keep it moving. They may come back for it.... or not.

05-05-2004, 08:37 PM
Sorry I missed your call the other day, try me again tomorrow I have an interview (second) in Greenwich at 3:00 for a computer gig. Try a super fast retrieve next time they are in that slapping mood. Reel very,very fast and when you see one chasing stop abruptly and hold on. Sometimes nothing works when they are doing this. I am of the belief that they are trying to subdue the prey before eating it, I have seen them do this time and again while live lining bait and they use this tactic quite alot when fishing live bait. I have seen a bass sit and play with a bait for 10+ minutes before finally devouring it. Usually though the really fast retrieve gets them agitated enough that they dispense with the pussy footin and just eat it without thinking about it.

Mike M.

05-06-2004, 06:52 AM
The other thing that might get the fish to inhale the fly (aside from the suggestions of others so far) is to change the direction of retrieve. I used to do this all the time with fickle largemouth and pickerel and it got some previously "lock-jawed" fish to play. If the fish are playing with the lure or fly and your retrieve gets no real hits the first time, make a second, side-arm, cast to the area and give a slight tug to the line with your rod tip and hauling hand (this works with fly line, but with spinning tackle you'll just have to change the angle of the rod on the x-axis after making the lure move a few feet) as the fly lands; this causes the line to bend in the opposite direction that you tugged the line. It's better to be able to spot the fish as they're charging the fly initially and get it moving, since you want the "bait" to appear as if it's making an attempt to take off; when the fly gets to the curve in the line and starts to make the change of direction it seems to really draw strikes. At least, this has been my experience.

05-06-2004, 10:14 AM
Went out again on 5/4 @ 7pm. Marking loads of fish and bait. No hits at all. Water temps were down 8 degrees from the weekend. Could be playing a factor.:(

05-06-2004, 10:42 AM
last week we had a great topwater bite on the Roanoke...the past few days the topwater has not ben working. it got colder. the next few days will improve with the warmer weather.

05-06-2004, 01:29 PM

Yeah these fronts are the kiss of death!!! Last night the Temps Dropped into the high 40's and low 50's with Torrential rains and lightning. Today..... high 60's and low 70's and blue bird skies.

I always chuckle when Im at the dock after I spent the last 3 hrs knocking the fins off fish and the " Grady Bunch " comes rolling back saying they got skunked or they got 2 fish around 10-15lbs. I think to myself .... dumbasses... if they only would throw light tackle in water shallower than 18ft they would have a blast!!! I almost always get one close to 20'lbs and on good days all the 10-15's you can count. Granted they all arent nice fish all the time but hell .... Ill take 25-30 schoolies in 3hrs vs 1 fish over 20lb in 14hrs.

Although the chunkers had a banner weekend with 8 fish weighed in @ over 30lbs and one beast @ 44lbs at the tackle shop.

* No offence to those who have Grady's*

05-06-2004, 01:55 PM
What section of the river are you fishing?

05-07-2004, 08:36 AM

I fish around Piermont and Croton. That area is roughly 40 miles from Raritan Bay.