FLATS ETTIQUETTE [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum


06-22-2006, 06:12 AM
There has been a growing problem on the Monomoy Refuge with large numbers of uninitiated anglers who many feel some insightful discussion would benefit them and those around them. If we all fish flats with consideration then everyone wins and many anglers is not a big deal. However if we stand 12 across in approach lanes, wade deep onto flats at rising tides to blind cast the water to a froth at dropoffs, or walk in front of or through the area a sight fisher is patiently watching, we ruin it for ourselves and others.

There is plenty of fishing for everyone but the only way it can be pleasant is if those who participate understand and respect other anglers.

Half of this is consideration, and the other half is knowledge from experience.

This thread is intended to communicate some views of highly experienced flats anglers with the hope that the reader might gain understanding which leads to consideration. It is also meant to show that we are also considerate anglers just trying to get people on the same page.

To the forum flats rats, please chime in with that intent in mind.

06-22-2006, 06:35 AM
Wade back and walk behind anglers

If someone is standing on a flat without moving, or moving without so much as creating a wake, it means they are fishing even though they aren't casting.

Ever read about the karate guy who got into a match for an hour and only threw on punch while the other guy threw a flurry of kicks, punches, spinning backfists and who-knows-whats? The one-punch guy won.

Sight fishing is 99% thinking, observing and patience and 1% casting. Hours of boring anticipation interrupted by moments of sheer ecstacy. If you aren't into that, then perhaps you shouldn't be fishing the flats at all (?)

So please know what when someone is just standing there, he/she is actually fishing. And fishing in a very intense way that is susceptible to the surroundings - sight fishing.

If a group wades noisily in front or at them the whole effort to set-up could be dashed. The right thing to do is give them a wide berth so that fish approaching them will not be spooked by your wading.

Now it's impossible to know what that angler is thinking but we are finding that as the crowding increases people stomp their way right across the fishing lanes, or right at us, in front of us, or wade deep and start blind casting.

Imagine a sight fisher to be a hitchhiker standing on a roadway when no cars are coming by. Just because the thumb isn't up at the moment doesn't mean they arent' watching the road for cars, and it doesn't mean they aren't really wanting a ride. Try to imagine the road, and stay off of that as you walk past.

And don't set up hitchhiking right next to them either.

06-22-2006, 08:49 AM
If you are travelling to a certain flat - walk along the shoreline and not through the flat itself. Drives me beserk when I see someone doing that, stopping to ask every person on the flat "howz thu fishin?". Duh - it was better before you got here...

Yesterday I watched a couple of guys stomp right through one of the creeks on the flats as I was walking up to fish it. I let them pass before I made my way to the edge of the creek - which was still loaded with (nervous) fish.

Why not just walk around?

Orvis and the mags must still be pumping out the hype because the place seems to get more crowded every year. Too bad the flats have not been living up to the hype so far this season.

06-22-2006, 11:25 AM
Actually a "tough" season might just help take the pressure off - once word gets around that "Monomoy just isn't the place it used to be" - people might go elsewhere - like New Jersey:lildevl:

Seriously though, this season I'm really glad I own a kayak. Based on what I've seen so far I'll be using it a lot more than last year and giving Chatham a wide berth when sight fishing conditions look promissing.

06-22-2006, 11:38 AM
I suggest a trifold handout distributed on the Rip Ryder and especially on the Outermost ferries. You're probably preaching to the choir here.
Marketing is everything though so title it 'how to fish the flats' or somthing a bit catchy. Section I - Flat's etiquete. Keep it to short phrases to get your point across if you want to to be absorbed at all, nevermind on the short ride to the dropoff. Pictures might even be better:hihi:

06-22-2006, 11:44 AM
I am surprised that more people have not chimed in especially since I have heard a lot of complaints offline.

Here is another:

If a person or small team (2-3 friends, guide and clients etc) are working in a certain direction - watching intently in the water, walking without creating any wake... then don't run ahead of them to cut them off. If you really want to fish the same road (see above metaphor) then follow behind them or walk well past them along the shore and set up in another 'neighborhood' all your own.

If the intent is not to sight fish, then there's no reason to fish the flats. You don't go sight fishing because you're going to catch a lot of fish, you go there because you love sight fishing.

You can catch a lot more blind casting into ther depths and there is nothing more useless than blind fishing on a flat. If you come to the flats, be considerate that people are practicing sight fishing, and be respectful of them as they will respect you. Sight fishing is a fragile situation easily shattered by unknowing anglers, yet it can be shared by many who understand it.

You can tell immediately who gets it and who doesn't, they stand out like a sore thumb. :hihi: :chuckle:

Dble Haul
06-22-2006, 12:56 PM
I am surprised that more people have not chimed in especially since I have heard a lot of complaints offline.

I don't think that I do enough sight fishing to give any practical advice here, but what I've read definitely reinforces what I've learned and what I practice.

Thanks for the input so far.

06-22-2006, 01:15 PM
Another classic criticism, and something I see all the time...

On those bluebird sight fishing days, please don't wade up to your chest at the edges of the flats and blind cast into the channel, you spook fish off the flats...

06-22-2006, 01:16 PM
Maybe the solution here is to search out other areas to flats fish. How many of us travel past viable flats to get to Chatham? It seems to be the only place talked about on this forum and others so its no wonder its crowded. Now please understand I am not advocating putting together a list of other areas. I think that should be left up to the angler to figure out and its not that hard with the tools available to us today. Some are smaller, some large but there are flats all over the place. Trying to tell others how to fish seems like a loosing proposition to me. In the end none of us own the water we fish and have the right to say how it should be done. Now before someone calls me on it I will admit I have done it in the past and in the heat of the moment will probably do it again. But I am starting to learn that I will enjoy my time on the water more if I just take a step back, relax and remember its just fishing.


06-22-2006, 02:20 PM
Sean -

As always you do make some salient points. However futile it might seem to try to affect positive change, one has to try. Especially with so much disgruntal discussion offline I felt bringing it on line was necessary.

Food for thought -

If our discussions create crowding, can't they create order as well? Even if it's a break-even proposition it's better than falling behind.

Doesn't flats fishing deserve as much attention to courtesy as hunting, salmon fishing of pools, or run and gun for blitzing fall fish? If not then there's no point in those discusssions either despite being very active topics. Frankly I think they've had a positive impact.

I think a perception that it's preaching to the choir might be a little unrealistic - although the striped bass chat does seem localized to a group with a higher average experience level on Flytalk there are 26,000 unique visitors here per month and from a much broader regional / international span than most sites draw.


Dble Haul
06-22-2006, 02:47 PM
Sean -
Doesn't flats fishing deserve as much attention to courtesy as.... (snip)....run and gun for blitzing fall fish?

I didn't think that courtesy and run and gun could be used in the same sentence. :wink:

06-22-2006, 06:10 PM
Good discussion. It can only help, even if some people don't get the message. I've been guilty of fishing too deep and standing/walking in lanes because I didn't know any better. Probably still do it since I'm not as familiar with the flats as some of you. If you see me standing someplace where I'm spooking fish off the flats, please tell me and show me a better place to set up.

Here's a question: What is a reasonable distance to keep between yourself and someone else who is fishing the flats? I know it depends on the circumstances, and in most cases it's probably more important to consider where you walk/fish than how far away you are from the other fishermen, but what would you guys suggest as a general guideline? For example, if you cross behind someone who is fishing, how far past him/her should you go before moving back out to fish? How much extra space should you give if he/she is moving the same direction as you (i.e., you are jumping ahead of them)?


06-22-2006, 07:39 PM
Great discussion Juro....thanks for starting it....great input from all..I particularly like the idea of a handout on flats fishing.
The area has certainly received pressure this year, but I agree with Juro and others...it is not the #'s, it's lack of knowledge by those who may be new to flats fishing.
I would like to think that those who ruin spots for others simply don't know that they are ruining it for others and themselves as well. I would guess that to the uninitiated, seeing someone catch a fish must mean that that's the only place where fish are......joining in puts the end to it for everyone. What I've learned in my 5 yrs fishing the flats at SB is that there are fish on all of them...one has to stand still and just watch...they will come. For example...last week I was planning to go to a certain area.....about 100 yds before I got there I saw at least a dozen people in a conga line already there....so I stayed where I was and in the next 2 hrs, caught 14 fish...all sighted. Simply said, the conga line drove the fish to me....I saw no bent rods where I had planned to go initially.
The week before I was alone on a flat, caught one fish and within 5 minutes had 7 guys around me, 2 no more than 40 ft away, one of whom went waist deep to get them first I guess......result....dead flat, I left in 10 minutes and in about another 10 minutes so did everyone else. Hello??!!!!!
Re distance in my opinion for those who desire to illustrate flats ettique and be more successful themselves, is about 150 to 200 feet......this distance creates lanes, allows for a more than full retrieve if fishing in current and in the fishes' eyes, does not create a barrier on the flats.
Never stand in a crease or hole between flats....that's the fishes reference highway. It's called structure. We all like structure don't we???
Never go waist deep...I used to do that and then I finally noticed that they were behind me :-)
If you don't believe me...next time you see a conga line waist deep on a flat......go 200 ft left or right of them and stay ankle deep at most.....watch the fish come to your feet behind them...they want to eat....the seals are at the drop off, the conga line is in the middle...they have to go somewhere. Create a lane!!!!
Lastly.....on a sad note (hopefully until others read and learn from the above posts), this year I have been very reluctant to invite a stanger over when I'm on fish (as I have always done and that has been done for me as well)...the 2 times I did it this year...it seemed that 2 guys standing together meant hot spot!!!!! and within minutes we were surrounded and fish sent scurrying to God knows where.
I would really like to again to extend the "call over"courtesy that was given to me when I started and as friendships developed over time. It was always the best part of fishing.

06-22-2006, 08:52 PM
Ron- a most enlightening, informative, and well-articulated post. Should be required reading for all those heading for the flats.:biggrin:

06-22-2006, 09:00 PM
Thank you Flydoc and especially, thank you for reading it in the spirit in which it was intended....education, sportsmanship and friendship.

06-22-2006, 09:27 PM
Well Ron I know you well enough to know that you are saying it with a smile so for the sake of others the extra exclamation marks are not meant so much as criticism as they are a show of his enthusiasm.

Very good points made indeed.

06-22-2006, 09:41 PM
For those of you who frequent Jim Bender's site, his latest saltwater report mentions the same problems that have been brought up in this thread...novice anglers wading waist deep to the drop offs and casting/retrieving the water into a froth. I admit that I used to do it myself in the past, but generally stuck to the area near where Keith drops us off if that was my plan for the day. That way I left the "primo" flats to the more experienced folks who wanted to sight fish and knew how. As I plan to do more sight fishing this year, I will plan to follow Ron's Rules of the Flats (hmmm....has a nice ring to it....):hihi:

06-23-2006, 04:30 AM
For someone who is planning his first flats outing this has been very helpful. Thank you.

I generally tend to shy away or give wide bearth from other people in any event just out of courtesy.

LOL now I will look for the conga line & go from there:D

Seriously though we are still planning a July trip but work schedules & such are making any planning hard. Their just aint enought time in the day. Work is truly the fishermans curse:mad:

06-23-2006, 05:41 AM
I must admit that I am impressed with the responses to this thread and pleased that folks are appreciative of the info shared by members of this forum.
Learning successful flats techniques is a "sport" in and of itself.....even non catch days can lead to greater knowledge and enhance success on another day.
Of course.....one of the concepts I've learned is.....some days they hit and some days they don't . That lesson was learned this week. :)
I wish that I could remember who told me the following about 4 years ago while I was flats fishing..." if you want to be more successful, don't concentrate on catching fish, concentrate on learning something new each time you go out".
Truer words there could not be.
Once I met up with a sage of the flats and on his invite, we paired up for the afternoon. On a shallow flat we came upon at least 30 fish in a circling pattern. I got excited, he didn't. I casted repeatedly to fish with no success, he didn't cast at all. When I asked him why he wasn't casting he pointed to a horde of seals nearby the drop/ channel on a retreating tide. Then he said..."these fish aren't interested in eating, they are interested in staying alive and are trying to buy time"
I've come upon that situation again.....I must admit Istill cast :) But the sage has always been right.
Tight lines,

06-23-2006, 06:00 AM
Sightfishing, whether in the Bahamas for bonefish, or the flats on the Cape for stripers, has the same rules of engagement. There are travel lanes to the feeding areas on both the flood and ebb. Standing in those areas obviously inhibits passage to the prime feeding areas. Standing in the feeding areas above knee deep water either has the fish behind you or limits your field of view. Most people that break the "rules of engagement" just don't know any better. When you see someone emulating a heron on the flats, give them a wide berth in ankle deep water.

When I take someone flats fishing, I generally outline the strategy for a particular flat, and if they can't see fish, I place them 25-50 feet to my side in the direction the fish are heading. That is, if the current is left to right, then I place that person on my left so I can give them a visual on the fish.

Sightfishing isn't for everyone. In fact, for the addicted, it is downright frustrating at times. Bluebird days, the sun at your back, minimal wind, good current, but not too much, bait, and eating fish are nirvana for the flats rat; however, those days are far outweighted by marginal, at best, days on the flats. When it comes together, it is magic, and there is no greater satisfaction in fishfing.

Being observant and clock time on the water gets you there if you are perserverant, but it is not a game for the casual fisherman. It has an element of romance, and suspect that is what attracts a lot of people to the game.

Here is a subtle hint about the current fishery on the flats. Think summer mode. Right Big Dave?

06-23-2006, 06:51 AM
The train has left the station on the winter FF shows and I have not been to a flats seminar at the shows in quite some time but, do the presenters touch on this subject ? If they don't the Forum should consider influencing them in some way to have an etiquette piece as part of their discussion. The Forum might also empasize the points made in this thread at our booth next year.

06-23-2006, 06:56 AM
I agree with lots of what has been written here but I don't necessarily agree with the idea that you can have an unlimited number of people on the flats given that they all know how to behave. Although there is a lot of sand on NM and SB the really productive areas are not all that big and can only support so many people. Regardless of etiquette, the fish are eventually going to find the first set of legs and speed up.

Would you ever fish the same flat, much less within shouting range of another angler if you were after bonefish in the Bahamas? No - you would go to the next flat and find your own fish! I routinely walk by my favorite places to fish on the flats if there is someone else working there already. Walking in on a person trying to sight fish is bush-league. I don't need to catch fish that badly. I would rather go somewhere else and come back when that person has moved on.

It's probably the hardest way to catch stripers and the chances of getting perfect conditions in Chatham are always slim. These are facts that you will not seen mentioned in the magazine hype and guide websites. The visuals and difficulty factor is what makes it so gratifying when you connect. Also what makes it frustrating when inconsiderate anglers rain on your parade.

06-23-2006, 07:18 AM
Of course there is a saturation point, but that's a whole 'nuther problem to solve.

So what do folks suggest as a remedy for that?

06-23-2006, 08:37 AM
I try to avoid South Beach on weekends. Last time I went on a weekend day there was a mile long conga line set up with people wading up to there arm pits casting into the blue.

Threads like this certainly help to educate. Replying to threads on any forum to people looking for help and recommendations would help, I bet.

06-23-2006, 08:38 AM
Obviously I oversimplified my response in order to make a point and do think these discussions are useful. But as Dave has mentioned, I don't think they will get at the root cause which is too many anglers in one spot. I also think there are many who have never been out with a guide or an experienced angler and while they will sit here and read and think they understand the minute they hit the flats and don't see fish right away they will move and either slide into your zone or walk out and clog the lanes. All things I have been guilty of as well and probably still do from time to time while figuring out a new spot. Especially in the boat where things are exacerbated by its size.


I am not sure you will ever see the mags talk about the difficulties of flats fishing but it would be cool to read about it. The only medium where I have seen it discussed is in Caolo's book where he talks about changing lenses to meet conditions or the frustration associated with partly cloudy days "turning the lights on and off".

I still maintain that everyone should spread out. Nick talked about exploring the North shore flats in another thread. I was virtually alone this weekend (it was a boat spot but accessible by Kayak). I also know of a host of spots closer to home where I would have had an excellent chance of being alone. I generally find that just like finding a good trout pool the longer the walk or harder a place is to get to the better the chance of finding solitude. Lets all break out Google Earth and agree to try at least two new spots this season!


06-23-2006, 09:13 AM
Lets all break out Google Earth and agree to try at least two new spots this season!


Awesome idea!

(I have a hard time keeping them on the same continent :) )

06-23-2006, 09:21 AM
Sean - totally agree with you on Caolo's book. Taking it to that level of reading the water for pushes, nervous water, discolorations on the bottom is the ultimate test of skill in my opinion. Plus it's amazing how much better they will take the fly without bright overhead sun!

Looks like we might get the chance to test those skills this w/e!

06-24-2006, 01:03 PM
as an almost novice i'd like to say thanks for the info guys - i have Alan Caolo's book and very good it is too but nowhere does it mention about not wading to deep on the flats edge/drop off - i did that quite a lot on South Beach last June trying to reach fish, but now i know i was 'pushing' the fish out and won't do it again.

i did use common sense though and did not post up anywhere close to anyone.

There may be a gap in the market for the 'Beginners Guide to Sightfishing' :wink:


06-24-2006, 04:29 PM
The problem is crowding and it's not just on the Flats but everywhere. People only get one or two weeks away from home for some quality fishing. You can see it in the way they fish. Intense , rude and pushy. Just like their commute to work. Screw the other guy , cut him off I'm getting my fish and the hell with everybody else.
They would learn more, catch more fish and make new friends if they just chilled out and observed. You have to pay your dues to fish the Flats. Perhaps , it would be wise if they hired a guide , learn the water and catch the quality fish they are after. The guides will clue them in on the ettiquette of the Flats, and the skunk will be off .
Sadly, the kayak is looking more like an answer to the crowding with each passing season. As mentioned earlier in this thread , time to explore new water. I know of a highly productive Flat which gets very little press , time to try it out.

06-24-2006, 05:38 PM
:smile: All of the above:
First as some of you know I have been striper fishing with a flyrod since the late 1940's and fished when there was no such thing as "sight fishing" so named, if you saw a fish well and good. I would say that the last few years, maybe about 10 I started "sight fishing" in the salt ponds in southern RI, and find it hard not to do it every time I get to go down there. I have places where I can catch a few bass everytime I go there, places that I have never seen anyone fish, yet within about a half mile the place gets very busy. Boats being poled along, and even right within mycasting distance even in the direction I am casting as if they own the water. Then they always hollar out any luck?:chuckle: I wouldn't tell them even if they saw me catch a fish. The channel in Quonochontaug Pond. I have had a lot of fishers wade out to me to ask if I was doing anything? This is wrong. My thoughts are stay away from a fisher unless he invites you over to him, if you know him just hollar good luck from a good distance away and just except a casual wave. Sight fishing is a great sport, and right now the main diet is shrimp in the ponds, outside I find a squid fly a real good choice for stripers, or blues. Sight fishing is not a sport of wading in a croud.
I had been hoping to start fishing next month, but just received word 6 months after an auto accident that I have a broken lower back and have to decide next week about a lowerback fusion as the pain I have had since January never lets up. Juro, I will let you know when I will be able to take you fishing. This offer is open to anyone if and when I regain my health. tight lines to everyone, and good "sight fishing":frown: I just dragged out The sight fishing book by Alan Calo. He doesn't mention etiquette, but he does say inshore don't over look down-tide to a clam digger. I do monitor Flyfishing forum everyday as it is the best.

06-24-2006, 06:12 PM
Art....although we haven't met, I wish you well on your back issues. If I had a choice between flyfishing and experiencing the above issues and not fishing at all...I would definetly take the former.
Thanks for reminding us that everything is relative!
Best wishes to your future good health.

alan caolo
06-24-2006, 09:11 PM
Guernseybass - thanks for the kind words regarding my book on sight fishing. In fact, thanks to all on the Forum who have refered to that book from time to time, in various threads. I truly appreciate the feedback . . . I worked hard on that project and I'm very glad it's helped you guys in some way.

As for wading depths, I refered to Sight-Fishing for Striped Bass (actually had to search for copy ;) ) Please note the following passages:

p. 66, first paragragh ("Wading the Flats")

p. 68, second paragragh

p. 76, first paragragh, ("Wading the Intertidal Zone")

I hope this guidance helps.


alan caolo

06-25-2006, 05:27 AM
In recent days I've returned to fishing on clear evenings when the moon is out. The little time off from work needs to be spent with the people I love. For me, at times, the addiction must be addressed. No more long drives to the Cape. Gas prices have forced me to stay closer to home where the fishing is very good anyway.

There are several UDLs near me that see the same situations but with fewer anglers. Fishing at night aleiviates the problem of being with the family during the day and seeing other fisherman. It's great fun under the right conditions. Call it listen fishing, if you will. When the moon is out and fish are popping all around you, one can add the sight equation. Yes, blind casting to boils is not as exciting as actually seeing a 30" plus fish approach but it's the next best thing.

As night turns into day, add to the fact that you often start your day with a beautiful sunrise. A nap can be had and the family is happy to have you home while they are awake. Perhaps a Flyfisherman's Anonomous section in this Forum? I don't know about you guys but my mind is always focused on flyfishing.


06-26-2006, 07:57 AM
Art, sorry to hear about your back. You can be assured that all of our well wishes and positive fishing juju is directed at you, the beaches are not the same without you. Please get well soon and I look forward to the next time we get out on the water.

Alan's book is IMHO the definitive work on the topic and I have to admit that the first time I opened it my thoughts were "oh no how do I buy every copy to keep this knowledge from the general public" ;)

But in reality, it's knowledge that makes ettiquette happen, and I really don't mind fishing with knowledgeable flats fishermen - it's the ones who don't know thing one that can and have ruined many a stake out for me and those I take fishing.

On topic, sight fishing on the backside beaches is a blast from Race Pt south. Very different but great stuff and plenty of room; challenging and the fish are often giants in the surf.

There is a certain magic about a flat calm dawn on the Bayside (more common than one would think with prevailing SW wind) with the tide up into the marsh grasses and tailing summer fish in the shallows pushing wakes like monster bones. Doesn't happen every day but when it does it's a floating line / unweighed soft landing fly bonanza and wonderful experience that you don't soon forget.

I won't go into specifics but as someone pointed out above we are blessed with so many places to explore on the striper coast that it's a shame to get locked into a comfort zone all the time. You know you have enough spots when you can't decide which to hit because you know them all so well and they are all going to be smokin :smokin:

06-26-2006, 11:30 AM
Alan, thank you so much for the references. I will certainly read your book again ( i have read it many times already).

Juro - a question regarding the marsh grasses - where they come into the bank, should i also avoid wading ?. I fished yesterday the marsh grasses in Plymouth MA in the rain (no wind) and had one small fish in the shallows and didn't see or hear anything else in 2 1/2 hours.

as i was very shallow i waded to gain distance, was that an error ?


06-26-2006, 12:50 PM
Mark -

Things I've observed about the marsh grass shoreline fishing:

1) Bait-driven behavior

Bait exhibits trends in behavior, and the striper is amazingly attuned to it. For instance when the sand eels are shoaling offshore everything is out there with them.

I believe most fish coming into the shore grass on the bayside are looking for crabs, chubs, shrimp and other morsels. When they encounter other bait they certainly do not pass it up, but the tailing and nosing behavior doesn't strike me as a pursuit of fast prey.

If they are very active and noisy along the shore they might have silversides pinned against the shore, worms, etc.

If the bait is plentiful somewhere nearby (e.g. bunker, shoaling sand eels) they aren't going to bother coming in to hunt in the grass much after a few days of figuring things out.
So it's not an every day thing but the flat mornings they come in to tail are among my most memorable and they certainly do it often enough to warrant a peek from each access to the shore along a stretch where you've seen them do it before.

2) off hours best

First light, dusk are best for fish to come nosing into the shore grass. I am sure this is related to the calm conditions for sighting them by water movement as well as their lessened fear.

Most beach lots let you free in before/afte hours which is the best time anyway.

3) High tide, terminus of channels

I remember chatting with the harbormaster at a popular launch years back just after they dredged the channel for boaters. He said every tide the fish would ride that highway right to his doorstep, which was where they stopped dredging.

I've spent quite a bit of time observing channels at low and testing their endpoints near shore and found that although not always where you would think, there is a "gathering" at flood of fish running the channels. Those are the best places to look for off hour tailers.

4) Floating line, gentle landings

I prefer flies with stealthy materials like marabou and unweighted patterns for this type of fishing. I have learned a lot from a couple of decades of bonefish trips to the Keys and Bahamas and this is the closest thing to tailing bones north of the bonefish belt.

Foam sliders are also a good bet, I have done well with my own adaptation of Page Roger's slim jim in these conditions.

5) If not pushing water - visibility is west facing in morning, east facing in afternoon

Low angle light is actually an advantage for looking into the water from peat banks and grass mounds provided it's coming from behind you. Sometimes you see them flashing on their sides more than anything else, whether removing sealice (repeatedly in a line and rapid) or picking up food (slow, one-time, focused on one spot).

6) must be the main attraction

If there is something better for them to do, they will do it. Thus I see it as a 'gift' situation when it happens. I see crabs, chubs, silversides and on the south side shrimp in the grass. Sometimes worms, etc.

These things can't compare to sand eels, herring, menhaden, squid which are not in the grass. So if the primo foods are around don't expect too much action in the grass.

Go with the flow, they do.

Rip Ryder
06-26-2006, 09:04 PM
I try to pass on some of the does and don'ts before letting the newbies on their way, but a lot of guys just think they're it as far as fishing and don't want to hear anything I have to say. These are usually the same people coming back at 5pm pissing and moaning they didn't catch anything, and or, the same guy everyone else is pissing and moaning about at the end of the day.

Depending on the crowds and the day of week, I have in the past pointed out members of the forum, and explained that if you play your cards right and ask the right questions, you may get a free lesson today from such and such. "they would rather you ask than ruin their day".

For example, last summer I had a man get off the boat and tell me how he was heading for the "J" buoy, because that was what he had read online. Well, I new my usual Tuesday fisherman "Paxton" was planted at the "J" buoy like every other Tuesday. Asking if he had been here before and he quickly replied "NO". I told him to kindly and gently approach Ron and ask him where to go, so not to get in Ron's way. Hense the on going "white plastic thumb" joke with Ron. Little did I know the guy would find Ron and say, "you must be the guy with the plastic thumb?" But at the end of the day it all worked out for both. Ron got to keep his spot and fish and the newbie got a free lesson and a new friendship was born.

For some though there is no hope, for they are and always will be the WEEKEND WARRIOR. These people hunt the internet on Friday and seek out and destroy the host spots listed, no matter how far or how fragile the area is. As we all saw last weekend, when one NJite posted about the hot spot at Morris Island and Stage Harbor inlet. 0630am and not a parking spot to be found in the lot when I arrived. The NJ fishing club piled in there SUVS and headed to Chatham the night before. There was over 30 guys lined up along the morris island clam flats, never seen anything like it. All from one quick hit on the enter button. Best of all, the guy that posted was pissed there was soooo many guys down there. Got to love it!!

So you may want to start utilizing the PM a bit more during the blitz's at our little area of Paradise to avoid the internet surfing WEEKEND WARRIORS. Maybe think about posting that fantastic day a week or two later after your spot has died down or once your done with it. The internet has brought us together and now has the potential to pull us apart, especially when I read people writing "find a new place to fish". Remember, we enjoy 0730 to 0800 yapping in the lot as much as we enjoy 0800 - 500pm.

Once again our family of flyfisherman will have to come together to preserve what we have as a group and protect the area we enjoy most.

Capt Keith

06-30-2006, 06:54 AM
:hihi: First off, I'm sure I made some transgressions my first year on the flats, but they were approaching other fisherman to try and get some info, not trying to poach fish that they had found. I would ask and move on unless asked to stay.

Since then, as I've become somewhat proficient and started finding fish on my own I've had a lot of the same annoyances as detailed above. I even once had a "guide" with 2 clients run in front of where I was working some fish, so that they could get further down the flat and set up before I got there.

I usually go fishing with Paxton. (I'm the one with the real thumbs) I say we fish together, but in reality we're sometimes so far apart that we can barely see each other. This is for 2 reasons; the first is that Ron thinks he has the right to cut off my flies and keep them when they lodge in his ears:hihi: The second reason is that ,if we stand together too long, we must be on to the only fish on the flats and the poachers start forming the conga line. I enjoy Ron's company and we shouldn't have to do this. WHY?? There's 6 square miles of flats on SB...

Ron and I have no problem sharing info with others when they ask and we have even called over some newbies from Colorado to take a shot at some fish we had found because they had never caught any stripers. The point is, we called them over, they didn't come running over casting over our shoulders as they approached. In a way the bad manners work to our advantage as the newcomers spook a lot of fish and don't come back because the fishing is too hard.

At other times we have fished with other fisherman. This spring Amy, Ron and I spent some enjoyable time with Jim and the Simms' sons. BUT they agreed to have us join them. (at least that's what Ron told me)

Anyway, the nature of the beast is that more and more new fisherman seem to be showing up. IMHO part of this is due to magazine articles about fishing the flats, which is fine, but maybe this would be a place to start explaining about flatiquette.

07-07-2006, 06:47 AM
Why do New Jerseyites have to ruin it for everybody? No matter where you go fishing on the east coast there is going to be somebody messing it up for everybody and 9 times out of 10 it will be somebody from Jersey. Are they all stoopid?:razz:

07-07-2006, 07:15 AM
I think the NJ thing is just a coincidence.

I know some exceptional anglers from NJ, and I know some total buttheads from MA, NH, NY, MD, VA, NC, SC, GA, FLA, ME, etc, etc...

But that pink sluggo guy who drags his fish 150 feet over hot dry sand at Chatham Light... :mad: :mad:

07-07-2006, 04:52 PM
The New Jersey folk affiliated with ASWF (Steve Farrar, President; Bob Popovics, Distinguished Member) are tops in my book. They are definitely in the know. As for the others....case by case basis.....

07-07-2006, 05:30 PM
Though it's not sight fishing ,all of the reasons stated from the beginning of this thread when Juro started in mid June are why I fish at night 90% of the time.And the fish are bigger too!!!!!:hihi:

07-11-2006, 05:08 AM
Why do New Jerseyites have to ruin it for everybody? No matter where you go fishing on the east coast there is going to be somebody messing it up for everybody and 9 times out of 10 it will be somebody from Jersey. Are they all stoopid?:razz:

Yup! (Sorry Grizz) I work at a Casino (Valet) in Ct. and everyone there thinks they are still living in the 50's. A dollar was an average tip in the 50's, They just don't get it, nor do they care to. It's getting to the point now that no one wants to deliver a Jersey car in Valet. Waste of time! Shame they bring this attitude to the water as well.