Shadfest Update! [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: Shadfest Update!


bonefishmon
07-09-2005, 05:42 PM
I'd like to thank all that have gotten involved in this tremendous opportunity to catch a personal best striped bass on a shad design. I'd say we're off to a good start with the first attempt by Grizz070 (Chuck), who gave it his best shot with two strong hits on his monsterous 15 inch patterns that are absolutely beautiful, all synthetic and VERY realistic in the water. The fish were hitting the center of these large patterns. He has added stinger hooks to the center for his next visit. He wanted to come this past Thursday but it was his birthday and a party was in the works. He was glad he was armed with his Atlantis after seeing these large fish chase the live (flyrod) lined shad to our feet. The shad were pulled and his new pattern was cast into the frenzy. A dead drift with short tugs seems to do the trick. We did learn that the fly needed to be deeper.

Next in the batter's box was Doublehaul (Mark) on Thursday night armed with his Altlantis. We srated at 8pm with a 10pm high tide. I tried with great difficulty to hook only two shad for the bait and switch technique of the previous week. They showed rather late. Mark was throwing patterns of his own design of the feathered variety with stinger hooks. Very colorful and a bit shorter being only one foot in lenght. I'm sure he can give you a fine description on how to tie his pattern. His did not get a take during the bait and switch but shortly after the shad lessened their appearance on the surface he got a VERY strong fish blindcasting that put the Atlantis to the test. A 5-10 minute battle bought to hand a very fat 37 to 38 inch ( I think it was longer) personal best for Mark. I took some photos and they will be posted shortly. Just after the release of that fish Mark hooked another bass on his first cast! A very strong 32 incher. No knicks on the 30 lb. leader and the fly held up very well. First of the two was hooked on the chin and the second in the jaw. Both on the forward hooks. We called it quits at 10pm.... slack tide. The Atlantis is the ONLY way to go!!!!!!!! A nine footer simply can't hold the fish off the bottom structure and weeds. Thanks Juro for the advice and proper tools to get the job done! Mark did you very proud with the Atlantis and his fish fighting ability. He really knows the down and dirty of turning a large, hot fish! It was headed for the pilings around the bend. He's a very happy man! I've lost numerous HUGE fish to those dock pilings.

A 40 lb.+ fish is waiting to be fooled. Who's the next batter??????????


Phil

juro
07-09-2005, 06:41 PM
Alright Phil,

Curiosity has definitely killed the cat. I'll contact you offline for directions... and no matter what happens THANK YOU in advance :smokin:

sean
07-09-2005, 11:12 PM
Hey Phil,

How long will these fish be around? Seems your place cannot be too far from providence and I would like to take a crack at these fish. However I am still a month and a half away from moving out there...


Still looking forward to taking you steelheading in August if you are going to be around.

-sean

bonefishmon
07-10-2005, 07:10 AM
Hey Phil,

How long will these fish be around? Seems your place cannot be too far from providence and I would like to take a crack at these fish. However I am still a month and a half away from moving out there...


Still looking forward to taking you steelheading in August if you are going to be around.

-sean

Sean. Thanks very much for the offer! Still undecided on a PNW trip yet. If airline tickets come down in the last minute I'll be very tempted. The shad should still be around in late August-early September and you are only an hour away from Mystic. Please give me a shout when you are ready!

Phil

bonefishmon
07-10-2005, 07:26 AM
Alright Phil,

Curiosity has definitely killed the cat. I'll contact you offline for directions... and no matter what happens THANK YOU in advance :smokin:

Juro........ Come anytime but incoming tides are best. The outgoing forms a rip that is very strong and makes for a shorter swing. I know that your schedule is very tight so just come when you can. You are welcome to bring the family if they are up for a trip to Mystic. If the shad don't show and the fishing is slow, there are other spots.

Phil

Dble Haul
07-10-2005, 06:21 PM
Phil-

First, thanks again. :wink:

Second, I've arrived at 37 inches for the length of that fish by observing the photo where I'm holding it against the Atlantis. The first stripping guide is at the 40 inch mark, and the fish appears to be five inches below that. Since a couple inches of tail were actually still on the ground as I held the fish, I arrived at 37 inches (40 minus five, plus two).

I got your message about the e-mail with the pics and will sort things out. Thanks for the trouble of getting them to me.

bonefishmon
07-20-2005, 07:04 AM
Sean M. is in the batter's box for this evening. Going to be a real challange. After all the pea soup weather and very few shad showing this full moon tide will hopefully fulfill his mission of an all time personal best. I spent the last two nights casting larger flies(dripping wet!) without trying for shad with no results. I'm not the best at tying these huge flies so perhaps Seans patterns will look more appetizing! Let's give Sean a High Five and wish him the best!

Report to follow.

Phil

Dble Haul
07-20-2005, 07:43 AM
Go get 'em guys. :cool:

Swordfish
07-20-2005, 08:30 AM
Nice going!

Smcdermott
07-20-2005, 10:38 PM
Thanks to Phil for having me over this evening. Shad made their appearance right on schedule but were busting a little far out. Phil managed to hook one shad that eventually got the attention of a nice bass. We tried the bait and switch but it was unsuccessfull. After about an hour with the big fly I decided to downsize to a 7" bunny deciever style fly and managed to hook a small keeper to end the night. All in all it was a fantastic night to be on the water in a beautiful spot. Already looking forward to round two.

Smcdermott
07-20-2005, 10:40 PM
And the release...

grizz0707
07-21-2005, 05:24 AM
good fish congradulatons

juro
07-21-2005, 07:43 AM
NICE!

The hitting streak continues :smokin:

I am warming up the bat...

bonefishmon
07-21-2005, 08:40 AM
It's odd that the images on the back of these digital cameras are so much lighter than they look here. Sean's release shot, which I took, clearly shows the fish in hand. Juro? Any fix when transfering via usb cable from the camera as an attachment to this site? I'm a photographer but somewhat digitally challanged.

The full moon was just clearing the horizon over Fisher's Island when Sean and I arrived at the spot around 8:30 pm. 'Good God' what an evening! Bright orange, almost full moon and a slight breeze. The tide was almost slack and very high. The wakes from the occasional boat traffic were washing over our feet as the Hickory Shad started their aerial acrobatics. Again, not as many as usual but a showing none the less. Managed to hook two and it was Deja Vu. After the boils stopped and Sean gave up on his Shad pattern the skunk was gone. The small keeper only felt that way on Sean's 12 wt. T&T. It wasn't until we lipped it that we realized it was acually larger than we thought.

The Shadfest learning curve is begining to throw hints at us. The synthetics have proven useful but not successful. Sean got a few hits but no hookups on his synthetic Shad pattern. The stinger was fouling the fly so he cut it off. Mark, however, has a proven pattern in his feathered Shad fly. It is double tiered meaning a second set of feathers are tied on the snelled stinger hook to make it longer. My personal observations lead me to believe that this design allows the fly needed movement as it appeared to swing back and forth on the retrieve.

The bait and switch technique has been unsuccessful. These cows know their grass and Astro Turf does not work. LOL!!!! The only thing lacking in the curve is the fact that I have been throwing bigger flies and not feeding them live Shad! Hmmmm?
Perhaps if I feed them more often???????

Batter up!!!!!!!!!!!

Phil

bonefishmon
07-21-2005, 08:45 AM
It's odd that the images on the back of these digital cameras are so much lighter than they look here. Sean's release shot, which I took, clearly shows the fish in hand. Juro? Any fix when transfering via usb cable from the camera as an attachment to this site? I'm a photographer but somewhat digitally challanged.

The full moon was just clearing the horizon over Fisher's Island when Sean and I arrived at the spot around 8:30 pm. 'Good God' what an evening! Bright orange, almost full moon and a slight breeze. The tide was almost slack and very high. The wakes from the occasional boat traffic were washing over our feet as the Hickory Shad started their aerial acrobatics. Again, not as many as usual but a showing none the less. Managed to hook two and it was Deja Vu. After the boils stopped and Sean gave up on his Shad pattern the skunk was gone. The small keeper only felt that way on Sean's 12 wt. T&T. It wasn't until we lipped it that we realized it was acually larger than we thought.

The Shadfest learning curve is begining to throw hints at us. The synthetics have proven useful but not successful. Sean got a few hits but no hookups on his synthetic Shad pattern. The stinger was fouling the fly so he cut it off. Mark, however, has a proven pattern in his feathered Shad fly. It is double tiered meaning a second set of feathers are tied on the snelled stinger hook to make it longer. My personal observations lead me to believe that this design allows the fly needed movement as it appeared to swing back and forth on the retrieve.

The bait and switch technique has been unsuccessful. These cows know their grass and Astro Turf does not work. LOL!!!! The only thing lacking in the curve is the fact that I have been throwing bigger flies and not feeding them live Shad! Hmmmm?
Perhaps if I feed them more often???????

Batter up!!!!!!!!!!!

Phil

Smcdermott
07-21-2005, 08:52 AM
Phil,

Not so sure I am ready to give up the larger synthetic patterns completely in favor of the feathers. I think that will require a few more failed attempts to convince me. The nice thing about the stinger hook on that fly is that you don't have to cut it off. It works just like a loop to loop connection and can be added or removed at any time. I may try a larger version of the bunny style deceiver as the bass seem to love the way that tail wiggles.

Sean

bonefishmon
07-21-2005, 02:09 PM
[QUOTE=Smcdermott]Phil,

Not so sure I am ready to give up the larger synthetic patterns completely in favor of the feathers. I think that will require a few more failed attempts to convince me.


Sean


Excellent Sean!!!! Improvise we must! The old pork rind on the bucktail jig trick has proven itself to be a winning combination over the years. Transfer that to a fly pattern with crosscut bunny strip teaser. Excellent concept which was proven last night. It just keeps getting better all the time! Thanks again for coming out Sean. Your input is very valuable. I have a few bunny strips leftover and will try one tonight after work.

Phil

Striper
07-21-2005, 04:33 PM
Funny that Bman and Sean and Dhaul all are doing exactly what I have been thinking about doing for the last 2+ years. I am glued to these posts wondering how you are making out. I was in Mystic last weekend with the boat and my budy Rick and I were catching shad for bait to take out to the reefs. Problem was the monsters were all in the harbor with the shad. We watched a boat near us with two guy's in it that were catching shad and then immediately putting them back out on heavier gear live. It didn't take more than a couple of minutes and they were tight to some truly huge bass. I was not too excited to live line shad right in the middle of the harbor but my buddy Rick is not nearly as discerning as I and it didn't take him very long before he had a shad swimming in the "die" zone. He dropped several fish before he finally hooked up solidly and this fish was quite large. He landed it rather quickly and it taped 47.5" and weighed 37.5 lbs. I did finally attempt to live line a shad but promptly dropped the fish that took the shad. The guy's in the other boat must have caught 8-10 really large fish while we were there and finally left and docked close by to off load their catch, yes you heard right offload their catch, I did not see them release any of the fish and this was disturbing to say the least. If there is a next time and I see them again I will be on the phone to rat them out to the DEP. Anyway one of the things I noticed them doing was just swimming the shad next to the boat so as to make it splash and struggle. The bass would come right up to the side of the boat and destroy the shad right in front of their eyes. Awesome show of power I must say. This might be the way to make the bait and switch work, keep the shad close and struggling and have the flyrod ready to deliver the fly as soon as the fish is really heated up. Not sure what you guy's have been experiencing and I have not had the right opportunity to experiment with this yet. We had many bass chasing hooked shad on our light gear back to the boat so there were good numbers of large fish in there. I have kept it quiet and this is the only board I have posted anything about it on. I may be giving it another shot on Saturday morning with a good friend who is a flyrodder, I will post back with any results should we be successful.

juro
07-21-2005, 04:56 PM
Sad to say we might have already said too much.

Sounds like we have not said enough to the EPs though :mad:

Cole
07-21-2005, 07:46 PM
Its just crazy how differently people approach 'game' fishing... From what I see here on the board, you guys are truly attempting a sporting and unique approach to catching fish. Unfourtunately, there are always people that just get greedy...8 bass???! What are they selling them at the dock? Tha'd feed a family for a year...

Quentin
07-21-2005, 09:37 PM
I wonder if creative use of a dropper fly would do the trick? (catch a shad on the dropper and hope a bass hits the big fly?) Sounds like a great place to test your theories about how to get a big bass on the flyrod!

As for the poachers, they'll probably be back. Hope the EPOs are there to greet them the next time they try to offload their catch.

Q

bonefishmon
07-22-2005, 07:22 AM
Sad to say we might have already said too much.

Sounds like we have not said enough to the EPs though :mad:


The shad fishery here is no secret so I doubt we've said too much. The secret spot is still unknown to those who have not visited it on foot. Most people reading these posts are not the meat fishing variety and respect what we are trying to accomplish. I could have easily landed many 40+ plus fish by simply transfering a flyrod caught Hickory over to a hardware rod but this is not the point.
We have a world class opportunity here as some of you have been following. A shad pattern is in the development stage. If we can find one that works consistently I will have died and gone to the cow pasture in the sky!

Phil

Dave17
08-08-2005, 10:23 PM
Phil,

I'm heading home to see my parents this weekend in Norwich and was wondering if there is any more shad action happening up there? :lildevl:

bonefishmon
08-09-2005, 07:18 AM
Dave17. I have not been out lately but reports from those that have said they are jumping all over the place! Low tide on the 9th is 7pm.

Phil

bonefishmon
08-19-2005, 08:21 PM
Shad are in thicker than I've ever seen them! Hooked and released a dozen in twenty minutes tonight. The Cows ate well! Did not throw the Shad flies. I don't own a rod big enough! All of the shad required a speedy landing. One was cut in half barracuda style. Did not land it quick enough.

Sean R......if you are reading this you are only an hour away! Welcome to East Coast! Hope you get that BBFT before they leave. Choppers are in thick and may scare them out past Block if they have not done so already.


Phil

Striper
08-21-2005, 10:06 PM
Phil,
Did you get out this weekend? The tuna seem to have vacated for the time being so I am going to be back in regular bass mode once again. If you would like to partner up we can try these fish from a more suitable platform i.e. my boat and I think we would have a very good chance at finally succeeding at fooling one of these huge behemoths. I want one on the fly so bad I can taste it and I agree it is the perfect opportunity to finally catch one very large bass on the fly. Let me know what your schedule is this coming weekend as I have cleared the big birthday weekend and can focus again on the fishing. Did nothing this weekend but work on the damn trailer and go to parties as myself and 2 of three sisters have birthdays one after the other 20,21,22nd of August has always been a nightmare.

bonefishmon
08-22-2005, 07:10 AM
Mike. I did not get out this weekend but a few buddies did and there are albies out there to be caught. I sent you a PM. Thanks.

Phil

bonefishmon
08-23-2005, 08:53 PM
Every night since my last post I have been out with the seven weight hauling in shad after shad even at dead low tide. I love how these little creatures JUMP!
Not as many cows near shore on the low but I did get a few grabs. I'm still puzzled as to why it must be dusk at this spot before they bite. Tiny one inch Decievers on #4 cad hooks are working every cast.

Mike. I have an inkling to call out sick on Thursday! Get that trailer working?

Phil