07-07-2001, 11:56 PM
Fished SB flats all day yesterday. First time site fishing for stripers. Very windy in the a.m., although the winds ceased just in time for the better part of mid-to-high. Saw many fish. Single 'subs' from behind. Fish scattering between my legs. Schools of 25-50 straight at me. Fish were very spooky. Tried everything I knew to try. Clear line. Long leaders. Fine tippet. Gentle leading casts. Eels. Crabs. Shrimp. The slightest move and they were off. Frustrating to say the least...but exciting. Heard identical stories from 8-10 other guys fishing both SB and Monomoy. Did not see/hear of anyone hooking up. The winds picked up again precisely at high, so I called it a day.
Other than the fact that in calmer (glasslike) conditions, fish will have an easier time seeing us, why else might fish be more spooky on some days than others? Anyone know the science behind this behaviour? Does their increased spookiness, for example, have anything to do with presence of so many seals?
Is there anything else I could have tried?
Hey Juro and John, why did SB look so different than the day we were out earlier this year? I saw none of those rips just off the beach. Instead...flats...all flats. Is it possible Rip Ryder's dropoff was different?
07-08-2001, 10:17 AM
Jeff, it probably was the extremely high and low tides this weekend. I don't think the structure has changed much since that time we were last out.
Glad to hear you saw so many fish. That's half the battle. }>
Questions: Were they swimming left to right or vice-versa? What direction was the tide? Would you describe any of them as wiggling like tadpoles with their chins on the bottom ("grubbing")? Did you try changing your position in addition to other things you tried?
They were finicky but could be had. Almost all retrieves were fruitless for me - panic strip = zilch if the fly was moving away from the fish; drop and dig = one pickup, many rodeo fish (around and around the fly but no grab).
Domenic and I had success yesterday but only when you got the presentation just right. With intermediate lines, big wind, fast current - this was no easy feat. The cast would need to be way up current and well past them so the fly could be swung on the money.
Domenic noticed that singles and packs of cows were tougher than larger schools of smaller fish, makes sense.
I got lucky with that 40" because it was one in a pack of three fish in really skinny water, the smallest of the three I would estimate in the mid-30 inch class. It took the first cast, sh_t luck!
07-08-2001, 04:15 PM
Tide was incoming.
Most fish (singles excluded) seemed to be moving left to right. The schools in particular eemed to be working in an undulating (wave) kind of pattern...traveling parallel to shore and then turning and moving in towards shore to forage before turning again and moving back out into deeper water. What made it difficult was that by the time I saw them, they were on top of me. The old 'jam' serve in tennis. It was difficult to lead with ample time. In terms of positioning, I did vary my proximity to shore and location between shoreline points. I also looked for slightly elevated bottom structure to stand on (a ladder and I would've been golden).
A ladder? HEHE!! I had one in the truck... it's still virgin but not for long. Should've left it with you.
Here is what you need to do:
You need to have a blue hat, half blue/half tan shirt, tan waders and boots. The stripping basket needs to be sprayed with textured sand spray paint.
Make sure you practice the no-motion cast. This is a move that originated in Aikido centuries ago. It is the art of propelling the fly line with the mind to prevent shadows moving on the flat, spooking the fish. Practice swaying in cadence with the waves.
The fly must be able to bury itself in the sand, and move in short bursts as the fish approaches. If the fish are not hitting that retrieve, then the fly must automatically adjust to the retrieve they are hitting for the day. It must be able to change shape and color as need arises.
An alternative to the ladder is the periscope. Although it can cramp the neck on windy days, with another bungee like the one on the stripping basket you can make a hands-free system.
Don't forget to accidentally step in pogie oil at the bait store. Loosen the cap, pretend you are reading the ingredients to spill a little, then step in it with felt soles. Ask Roop for more details }>
SERIOUSLY... I'll bet we've all had that same experience, I know I have. There is no panacea and you'll figure 'em out next time. I think of each experience like this as bringing me one step closer to figuring them out, gotta put the time in as they say.
07-09-2001, 12:30 PM
I was on my way out to Walmart to pick up some of that spray paint...! ;D
07-09-2001, 12:44 PM
juro (07-08-2001 05:35 p.m.):
A ladder? HEHE!! I had one in the truck... it's still virgin but not for long.
Oh where's my telephoto lens...this ought to be good..http://homepages.ihug.co.nz/~damien/unsure/DEVIL-L.GIF
Wait... add another ladder, then some boards and you've got a flats scaffold! ;-)
07-09-2001, 02:10 PM
Why just one? We could all get together and have a ladder/scaffold clave. We could line the whole of the South Beach flats and potentially be able to walk from north to south without getting our feet wet!
07-09-2001, 02:18 PM
Juro, who are you kidding!!??
I always fish with The Force.
its just that my force is not all that forceful yet...in do time.
Well that explains your legal fish per number of outings ratio this season. In that case I'm glad you had a finicky flats day just to bring your batting average back down to earth.
Do you know any levitation? Makes the ladder seem primitive in comparison <vbg>.
Hey, If you're really more into catching than fishing, you could use the technique mastered by the guys that "fish" for carp with a bow. I'm sure you could set up the rig so it would be ethically considered FF. i.e., 12# tippet between arrow tip and clear intermediate line. Who knows, you might start a new league of FF' ers.
07-09-2001, 06:18 PM
In all honesty...haven't pulled out the levitation in awhile.
Freaks people out.
So I stopped.