A Huge Fish AGAIN! [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: A Huge Fish AGAIN!

10-01-2006, 11:23 AM
Well I know the site is flyfishing but I also know you all appreciate a big fish no matter how it's caught so I hope you all enjoy a couple of pics of the fish I got yesterday. She measured 52" had a girth of 31" and weighed in at a svelte 56.5 lbs. beating my old record by a full 2 lbs. For reasons I won't get into it had to come home with us and will take it's place on the wall next to my other beast. We took 12 fish total this morning all but one were 40" or better and we had fish breaking all over the place all morning. All the fish had sea lice on them making me think they are new arrivals inshore from offshore. We were free lining the bunker on 50 lb. braid with a 5-6 foot 100 lb. mono leader tied to a giant Frenzy circle hook which was unfortunately stolen on the next drift by a large bluefish. The water temp was 64-65 deg. and the water depth was 10 ft. Hooked the bunker through the nose and let them do their thing. This fish had what looked like a birds scull in it's stomach and that was it. I filleted it last night and the meat was no different than a 30-40" fish same texture and consistentcy except a hell of a lot more of it. We will be having some of it for dinner at some point and I have several friends and neighbors who have been begging for some fish fillets so the fish will not go to waste like my last one which makes me feel better. There were fish breaking all over the place all morning, bass, blues and albies all in the mix, we did attempt to cast to some pods of Albies and Bass/Blues but honestly could not pull ourselves away from the unbelieveable big bass bite for very long. All the fish we caught yesterday 12 total and all over 36" had Sea Lice on them making me think they are new arrivals from offshore to the inshore waters. Let me hear what you all think about that theory. It was an awesome morning and I finally broke out of my fishing slump in a big way. And now back to your regularly scheduled programming..............:hihi:


10-01-2006, 11:30 AM
For perspective we took a shot of a 39" fish that we did release after the picture next to the big fish it is a silly comparison and gives you a real idea of how big a fish a 50+ lb. bass is. As you can see there were some very large bluefish around as evidenced by the 1/2-3/4 eaten bunker in the back of the transom. All of those were one bite misses....:whoa: The morning bite was almost all bluefish except for the big fish, we went back later in the afternoon for the incoming tide and under a bright sun it was all bass. Packs of them chasing the live bunker around on the surface, I wish I had video of it because it is a site to behold. No exaggeration the bunker never lasted more than 1 min. once they hit the water, just an unreal amount of fish around right now.


Jim Miller
10-01-2006, 12:17 PM
WOW! :eek: :)
Hey Mike ....... ummmm ahhhhhh ......
I can trailer down that way on a days notice. :D

nice job!

10-01-2006, 12:45 PM
You wouldn't be thinking of going to the dark side now would you?????


But I will assure you it is a blast and it is FISHING! We did some flyfishing yesterday but frankly I will never see a fish like that on the flyrod PERIOD! So being the consummate all-tackle all-technique fisherman that I strive to be I fed them what they wanted and viola 2.5 yrs. after my first huge bass I had lightning strike twice on me. I put in many hours and miles in pursuit of these big fish and if the deal is that you get to catch one every couple of years I can live with that. But there is a guy I have read about up in RI who has well over 50 bass over 50 lbs. to his credit so I think if you practice your craft and put your time in you will be rewarded. What made this possible is the fact that the bunker are finally making somewhat of a comeback and this is only the second year in my life I have seen bunker east of say Branford, CT. There are huge amounts of bunker in the eastern sound and this is very good for the fishing and for the fish. And believe me when I tell you it is a bit more difficult than just snagging some live bait and throwing over the side. There is a bit more knowledge that goes into it. But I will admit it is not bonefish on the beautiful flats of Belize, or Permit in Florida those pursuits take far too much patience than I have left in my weary body.

Jim Miller
10-01-2006, 01:06 PM
Ahhhhh Mike

I too am truely a universal man....
pogies and eels have seen the end of my "other" fishing rods. ;)

In fact my son got a 42 lber on a eel a few years back!
But..... I do have some nice 12" bunker flies!

In any event .... looks like a great outing.... and what a fantastic photo!

10-01-2006, 02:37 PM
If I had a different crew it would have been quite possible to tease some of these fish with the live bunker and then toss them a huge big eye baitfish type pattern and I bet you would get bit. They were getting all fired up in packs of 6-10 fish everytime we would throw another baitfish out, the packs would come up and play volleyball with them until the biggest one decided to end the fun and run away with the "toy".

10-01-2006, 04:56 PM
OMFG...the side by side photo is ridiculous.

Nice work my man.

It would be an even better picture if you put my largest fly caught bass of the season next to those 2 bass. I haven't caught a keeper all year.

Thanks for the post,


10-01-2006, 05:27 PM
Hey Striper... Great catch, no mistake and a red letter day for sure.

Would you mind if I use that photo, for a rear cover shot, in a UK based magazine?

10-01-2006, 05:29 PM
PS: I'll send you a free copy of the Mag! :smokin:

10-01-2006, 05:46 PM
holy fajole. that's one big mother *&$%@#^ fish. congratulations

10-01-2006, 05:53 PM
Send me an email address and I will send you the original high res photo and some others that you are welcome to use. And do please mail me a copy when it is finished.

10-01-2006, 07:42 PM
Unbelievable! That's UUUU..ge!

Could not have happen to a more deserving fisherman. Nice guys do finish first.

10-01-2006, 09:37 PM
Thanks Ray,
You are the BEST! It still gives me some sorrowful feelings to have been the hand that dealt the final blow to this beautiful fish but I guess if you fish you will kill some fish at some point. The only real way to keep from killing these or any fish is to not fish at all and that is not happening in my lifetime. I will keep trying to find a way to catch and release really big fish successfully, this one was solidly hooked in the jaw with a huge circle hook but still did not survive. Maybe just too old and grey to survive a hook and line battle. I am convinced that if hooked and landed on fly tackle this fish is a sure goner after taking two now on heavy tackle. At least this one will not be watsed like my first fish which was molded and thrown in the garbage, that hurts worse than anything won't make that mistake again.

10-02-2006, 04:43 AM
Great shots Mike , glad your back in action, beats wearing that neck brace.
FishHawk. :D

10-02-2006, 05:25 AM

Amazing beast... congratulations!

10-02-2006, 02:04 PM
Hi Mike,

What a beauty! Nice fish and great photo's...
I too love that side by side comparison just as much as the Happy Fisherman one.

Congratulations Mike...


10-02-2006, 03:19 PM
Greg and all,
Thanks for the kudos and thank you all for letting me share my decidedly non-flyfishing content on the board. I have 2 people that want to use the photo for magazine covers. Steveo and a guy from Noreast Saltwater Magazine emailed asking permission to use the photo for the cover. It is a beautiful shot with the sunrise in the background.

Dble Haul
10-03-2006, 03:05 PM
Dear Lord, that fish looks like it's from Chernobyl.


Sean Juan
10-04-2006, 08:21 AM
Anybody have a good pattern for a 30" striper fly...

10-04-2006, 11:05 AM
Hey Mike,
That is a huge fish. I wish I knew how to "photo shop" my mug onto your head and rub it in my buddies face (he just landed a 52" Northern- and is wearing the photo out) !! Most folks never even see a fish that big!
Anyways, I sent him your photo and it has quieted him down, for now!!

10-04-2006, 12:37 PM
Hey Mike,
That is a huge fish. I wish I knew how to "photo shop" my mug onto your head and rub it in my buddies face (he just landed a 52" Northern- and is wearing the photo out) !! Most folks never even see a fish that big!
Anyways, I sent him your photo and it has quieted him down, for now!!

:hihi: :hihi:

Sean Juan
10-05-2006, 10:12 AM
Just a question...

Seems the concensus is that a fish that large could not be taken with fly tackle.

Why is that?

Is it because a fly rod would be incapable of landing a beast like that?

That you could not cast a fly big enough to entice a fish that big to get him to bite in the first place?

Or because you simply can't get fly tackle deep enough in a heavy current?

A fish that large and old is just plain too smart?

All of the above?

Just curious what you guys think because I personally believe it can be done. I did it last night....in my dreams, the Burger King high-fived me.

10-05-2006, 10:37 AM
Hey SJ,

I too believe stripers that large can be landed on fly, though not sure about whether it's possible in the same location. When I lived in CA there were LARGE stripers in a freshwater impoundment that were picked up on fly...look for the freshwater tippet class records per IGFA....as an aside, many of these fish were taken by guys in float tubes! Imagine the ride.:eek:

check out Dan Blanton's board, tackle and techniques page, san luis stripers on fly for a picture of Al Whitehurst and his 54.5 pound striper on 16lb tippet...float tube in background. Water there can be DEEP, but no real current.

We've also all seen pictures of Tabory's beach fish.

Not frequently, but I think it can be done...


10-05-2006, 12:23 PM
I don't think it impossible to catch and land one of these large bass on fly tackle. I think you need some serious luck and the absolute right scenario to make it happen. A friend of mine took a 48" 40+ lb. fish last week with Joe LeClair out in the Elizabeths so it can be done successfully. In my own experience I have not been successful at getting one of these monsters to hit a fly. I know they were there because I caught them the same trip using alternate methods. I was deep enough had a fly I think mimiced the forage, presented it appropriately but did not get bit. That's fishing. I have another friend who took a 49 lber. on the fly from shore in CT a few years ago now that is something to crow about. But it is rare and I think you really need to put in some serious time in thr right places to make it happen.

10-05-2006, 01:20 PM
Sean it can be definitely be done but few anglers have the knowledge and skill to do it with any regularity. Truly large bass from the shore , and by that I mean > 35lbs , are the penultimate challenge in the northeast. Much harder than tuna on the fly.

It really takes years of experience and knowing the environs and patterns of large bass. It is really a mindset thing. It is working hard to find that one big bass and walking away from smaller fish cause the big ones do not hang around the ones we normally find with our fly rods. As you can see from Mikes picture a 30 inch keeper may just be food for a 50 pounder.

I am not there yet. Not even close. I do not expect it to happen for me anytime soon. Too much to learn about presentation and locations that wil put me in the right place at the right time. I am intrigued though. So much so I have decided not to buy a boat and am sticking with shore fishing for awhile. I want that 40 pounder from the surf.

Mike's fish is really an awesome achievment on any tackle. Not many people in the 50lb club.

Oh and start fishing at night...


10-05-2006, 09:31 PM
there goes the nieghborhood....:wink:

10-05-2006, 09:41 PM
Oh definitely fish of that size can be taken on the fly and as mentioned above they have already, Ed Mitchell's fish is in that holy cow class too. But I recall back when I was not fly-only the best weapon always got the nod when the call to battle came. Let's put it this way... if you have a gun and a sword and the enemy approaches, you are going to use the gun. The only way you learn to win the battle with the sword is to leave the gun at home.

Meaning no disrespect, but if you go out there with only fly gear long enough you could very well become the authority on huge bass on the fly, if you can bear the dry periods while you figure it out. You might never figure it out who knows.

So IMHO it's a matter of whether that's important enough for you to figure out or not. If it is, the spin gear will stay at home long enough to achieve it. As long as it's on board it'll never happen.

That's why I sold 100% of my non-fly gear at a garage sale one day on a whim. Have never turned back.

Wish I didn't have to sell my boat in Seattle, I would have set a goal to figure it out here. I might never figure it out who knows. Who cares, fishing is the exploration of possibilities.

Just my .02

That's not to say the fish isn't amazing regardless of method, in fact it boggles the mind and Mike I really appreciate you posting it. I've been really inspired by these giants of yours.

10-06-2006, 04:31 AM
If I was after that fish on a flyrod I would use a 14 wt Blue Water rod. Of course I would tease in the fish then give it a try. Perhaps your right ,that those fish would only hit bait but it would be fun trying.:lildevl: FishHawk

Dble Haul
10-06-2006, 09:15 AM
Meaning no disrespect, but if you go out there with only fly gear long enough you could very well become the authority on huge bass on the fly, if you can bear the dry periods while you figure it out. You might never figure it out who knows.

So IMHO it's a matter of whether that's important enough for you to figure out or not. If it is, the spin gear will stay at home long enough to achieve it. As long as it's on board it'll never happen.

Very well said Juro. It's the dry spells that are tough to endure.

10-06-2006, 11:29 AM
Thanks for the post. I love how that things so big you have to stand on the rear seat to get the picture. Thanks for the GPS co-ords too.

10-06-2006, 11:40 AM
Check out the thread on reel time "huge striper on a fly... now I am ruined"

Certainly shows it can be done- last week.:eek:

10-06-2006, 12:31 PM
Very well said Juro. It's the dry spells that are tough to endure.

Well I'm sure there would be plenty of paltry 34", 38" and even a few 40" fish to keep you busy in the interim. ;)

October Caddis
10-06-2006, 12:51 PM
That is one fantastic fish. I'm sure you will remember not only the fish but every single thing that happened on the water that day leading up to bringing it aboard.
I was lucky enough to be in similiar situations way back in the early 70's fihing live Pogies under huge schools of bait with big fish around like Mike's. I still not only remember the fish hooked but watching huge fish appear on the surface for a few seconds around the schools of pogies only to dissapear again and again. Most likely they went below the pogies again to wait for one to drop below the main school. We didn't have fly gear in those days big enough to take on fish that size but we always talked about it and were convinced in such situations it could be done. We also realized hook ups would not be as frequent as snagging a pogie and letting sink below the school of bait on conventional gear. But if you put the time into it as hard as that may be when you know fishing conventional gear will most likely mean hook up. I think those short periods of time when those big fish do show themselves is when they will take a fly. They are moving very fast and are going in every dirrection you can think of. One of those fish is going to make a mistake.
Now is the time to do it, Fall is here, so go do it! Even if you don't hook up you will see some of the most amazing big fish behavior you will ever encounter. Just find the pogies and hang tough. If you are in the Boston area go out just beyond the outter Harbor and look for those big pogies they still have to be their at this time of year and I promise you every big bass from up north stages there also feeding heavily before heading south. They hang untill that really big storm drives them out.
Gosh dang wish I could come and show you all how to do it.:roll: Remember if you find the situation above just being there is as good as Hooking up the action is beyond belief, your stomach will be in your throat.
Good luck

Dble Haul
10-06-2006, 02:00 PM
Well I'm sure there would be plenty of paltry 34", 38" and even a few 40" fish to keep you busy in the interim. ;)

The 34s and 38s yes, but I'm still looking for that 40. :cool:

10-06-2006, 03:07 PM
Personally I think one of the toughest situations to get a big bass on fly is when they are keyed in on big bait like the bunker. Especially when they are hanging around the offshore reefs like Mike was fishing in relatively calm water. Plenty of time for those big fish to inspect and find the week link in pack. I have yet to get a fish over 20lbs or so on fly but the ones I have gotten have either been on the flats or in the surf. A few in the spring on Silversides or shrimp. I believe the fish on RT was taken fishing structure with whitewater and that's where I believe most big bass fly guys have found success. I have tried the bunker schools a number of times with flies that were 12-14 inches as well as smaller stuff and have very few fish to show for it and none that I would call "lifetime" fish. As for the tuna on fly vs. big bass I personally think it is a bit of an apples and oranges comparison with different skill sets required for each. In either case both are worthy pursuits and neither should be taken for granted or belittled in their achievement.


10-06-2006, 09:48 PM
As usual you are spot on!!! But it is SO HARD to not use what you know you can catch them with:) I agree 1000% with you leave the other gear at home and you will be forced to figure out what OBI-WAN already knows. I am not there yet in my fishing progression, I had to get the big fish first which I have now done so maybe in the coming years I can focus on achieving the next milestone and posting a pic of a 50+ on fly gear. Boy would that really get some press...:Eyecrazy: But I am not looking for press just like to share my accomplishments with a select few folks I like and respect.

Jim Miller
10-07-2006, 07:18 AM
You have put your time in .... and you seemingly know how to find them.
I think you will be able to catch them any which way you choose! :)

Just a fantastic fish! Almost 25 lbs bigger than my biggest (33#). Probably 25 lbs bigger than any most of us "experts" have caught. (by any means ... )

10-14-2006, 07:39 PM
You always pump me up...:D But seriously I humbly thank you for the lind words. I am just addicted like the rest of us and love to be on the water fishing by whatever means seems to light my fire on that particular day/outing. Not out there to prove anything or set records just out there to relax decompress and relieve some stress that seems to always be there. Been working on my trailer today to prep it for all the new suspension parts I will be getting on Monday. It has been excruciating not being able to use the boat the past 2 weeks since I broke a spring. Plus there have been some seriously large fish around my usual haunts and hearing others catching and not being able to get out there has been cruel and unusual punishment. Maybe the fishing gods deemed it necessary to cool me off after my big fish adventure. I was out last night fishing from shore around some of the eastern CT. rivers and bridges and took 8 bass all over 20 lbs. on large wooden swimmers. I wanted to flyrod these fish but unfortunately these spots do not lend themselves to even a roll cast. There have been some serious numbers of large fish chasing the bunker upstream in all of the coastal rivers at night and some of the things I have been seeing are unreal.

Bob Pauli
10-15-2006, 06:01 PM
Incredible fish! Hearty congratulations!

When managing attachments, this board's .jpg limit for acceptance is stated as 60KB, but your image is 112KB.

How do you do it?


Dble Haul
10-16-2006, 09:20 AM
Mike probably used the IMG tags for pictures that he has on image-hosting websites.

Bob Pauli
10-16-2006, 02:14 PM
Mark, Anyone:
How does one accomplish a change from .jpg to .img? ?Delete .jpg and add .img? Are there other tricks/knowledge for getting images into a posting?

Thanks for your help.


10-16-2006, 02:58 PM
Contrary to popular belief - I think many of those fly-caught monster bass (not 50# but 25# + fish) are taken in broad daylight, near the surface with a not-so-huge fly that doesn't neccesarily imitate a pogie or herring :confused:

Mike seems to have a good handle on where they live, which is half the battle!

Congratulations ,Mike!

Dble Haul
10-17-2006, 08:15 AM
Mark, Anyone:
How does one accomplish a change from .jpg to .img? ?Delete .jpg and add .img? Are there other tricks/knowledge for getting images into a posting?

Thanks for your help.


There's no need to change from jpg to img. Simply put at the front of your specific web address for the picture, followed by at the end of it. That should do it.

10-21-2006, 04:46 PM
This is how it is done just put a bracket at the beginning and end of this line of code.