Baitology [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: Baitology


RandyJones
07-24-2002, 03:18 PM
Baitology


Matching the hatch as well as the natural fleeing reaction of bait is an important ingredient to successfully fooling big stripers on the flats. Matching the fleeing aspect of bait will usually mean the difference between hooking up or not

Not sure what fly to use?

When I used to guide for trout, the first thing I would do before wetting my line would be to study the shoreline. Id let Mother Nature tell me what fly I should be using. Id look at spider webs, underside of leaves, tops of rocks and sometimes underneath them. Look up into the air for spinners, duns, and birds flying from one side of the stream to the other picking up insects.
Fishing the flats is no different. Next time your out; look on the shallow edges of the water. What you see is what you should try.

Here on the Cape youíll notice small sand colored Shrimp Ĺ inch to 1-1/2 inch., Chubs 1-3 in., Sand lances 1-5 in., Squid, Silversides 1 Ĺ - 4 in., Spearing 3-4inchís and Crabs. Try to duplicate coloration and profile w/ your fly selection.

Iíve been watching 10-20 lb. bass feeding on all the above. Study of baitfish and there imitations is one of the most important pieces of the puzzle when casting to educated resident bass on the flats in July and Aug. in 1-3 feet of water at high noon. A great book to help you is called, Saltwater Imitations and there Naturals. Fishing the Cape has a large inventory of this book as well as others to help open up the incredible world of inshore Saltwater Fly-Fishing.

Squid.
(See Photo)

Ever thought about the variety of ways different bait react when fleeing or escaping a predator? All the above-mentioned bait flee differently. Try stepping on a shrimp or throw a pebble into a school of bait and watch the speed, pauses and darting movements they make as they swim away. Scare a crab and it will normally borrow itself into the sand and stay still. This action should become a normal tactic when imitating different species of bait. The action you impart to the fly should imitate the naturals exactly to be consistently successful. This is exactly the same idea when trying to imitate an aquatic insect, floating along on the surface, subsurface with a drag free drift. Maneuvering (or not) the fly line in such a way to impart action and a lifelike look to your imitation.

Does the bait borrow itself into the sand for protection on the flats?

Sand lances:
(See Below Photo)
I use a Orvis Depth Charge fast sinking line w/ a weighted fly (clouser) and drag it along the sandy bottom, using a 1 handed fast strip in 1 Ĺ ft. strips. This imitates the naturalís fleeing movement as well as where it tries to hide. What Iím trying to do with the fly is drag it into the sand so it puffs up clouds of sand. Iíll also use a clear Intermediate line when the fish get real spooky on the flats. This technique helps when casting to big bass when.

1. They re not feeding aggressively
2. Casually scouting for food.
3. Not in a hurry to feed.

This leisurely approach to feeding normally occur's when there is no moving water, or when the tides are not running hard.
There eye sight and sense of smell is so incredible that it also helps camouflage any imperfections in the fly and also helps mask the sent. Ive watched them inspect my fly with 1 eye, then the other and then put there noses right on it before swimming away. They donít get big by being dumb.

Shrimp:
(See Photo)
They tend to flee in 1-foot spurts. On a side note, I created a shrimp pattern by tying a piece of no name material on to a hook and forming it into a shrimp body. Then dipped it in softtex and rolled it in sand. Shape, size, silhouette, coloration and a good sink rate was achieved. And it caught fish!

Silver sides:
(See Photo)
These donít borrow into the sand, so I normally do a 1 handed strip, 1 Ĺ foot, quickly, with a pause in between.

I hope you have enjoyed this brief but fascinating world of Baitology.

Randy Jones

I wonder how many of you just read this and said to yourself, Boy, I think this guy has WAY to much time on his hands. Fascinated by bait fish. Hmmmm. (he-he)

Roop
07-24-2002, 03:27 PM
Randy,

Fostering observation and independent thinking among the flyfishing masses, nice job.

Keep it coming!