Weekend Report - Elbow [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: Weekend Report - Elbow

08-11-2009, 08:30 AM
First pea bunker seen on southside estuaries this weekend. I haven't seen the usual shoals of silversides this year, but it could just be me. Much more of a sand eel year. Lots of baby flounder this year. Shrimp are plentiful as usual. Lots of seaworms as well.

Fish are definitely around, but not a lot of schoolies compared to the typical year as others have mentioned. I originally thought that it was unwarranted concern, but I am beginning to think this is true on the bayside especially. I don't mind a lack of schoolies selfishly speaking but not if it's going to affect upcoming year classes. South side around the refuge still seems to have plenty of schoolies and some nice big blues in close to shore. I haven't been venturing to the west much this season but will as the migration starts.

It's become that time of year when packs of really good fish are tightly locked into their feeding patterns and scorning even the bait guys who have been very successful up until this weekend. A conversation with a sand eel raker went like this:

"anything happening?" (obviously not)

"when I am raking eels and they are eating the ones that fall off, but I put one on a hook and rub it on their snouts and they won't eat it you know they're on to you"

It's amazing how clever a striper can get with a little training! During the vertical sun hours the 'resident' fish get incredibly wary. But it's also the most exciting time cause you can see them plain as day. The best approach for me has been to ignore them after a fair try and find transient hunting fish nearby, or go find a completely different situation elsewhere. I have however found a couple of techniques that led to hook-ups as a result of toughing it out even when the fresh bait guys are getting skunked that I'm glad to have in the quiver for future.

It's also funny how some fish get dialed into the sand eels, and others are feasting in open water on the young of the year herring fry. The two seem to be totally segregated in their actions, but the herring eaters still crush a deep eel so I know they are not entirely picky just using a different bait-coraling method hunting in packs to round up the fast moving herring.

I'm glad for clams, they are a lot worse and getting away :) BTW - not sure if you heard this but the softshell clam is practically non-existent on the cape this year! Scary.