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  #1  
Old 06-26-2001, 07:59 PM
Bob Pink Bob Pink is offline
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flats question(s)

Had the opportunity today to fish one of the bayside flats. Bait was a consistant presentation of 2" sandeels. Fish working pretty consistantly on the morning dropping tide and were willign to take larger flies and sluggos ( yes ssully! )
Once the tide changed we were drifting over VERY large schools of fish but could not get them to hit anything. Small-large, white -dark, deep or surface. Needless to say it got a little frustrating.
Water conditions were almost glassy-smooth. Bright sun. Water depths from 4 - 10'
Any observations from the experienced 'flats' crowd that I might learn from?
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  #2  
Old 06-26-2001, 10:29 PM
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juro juro is offline
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I have something to say... I WANNA GO!!! ;-)

I assume you are talking about the turn at 10am-ish, and we also saw great hordes of bass in a similar situation very recently - high sun, similar timing (although two hours more into mid-day) and I was able to hook fish the whole time by sight and I think I know why. I could be totally up my own butt but let me take a shot at it...

The fish were going west to east, with the exception of those seen grubbing like tadpoles in no particular vector. I didn't catch todays wind but I would guess S/SW. You were drifting diagonally from shoals to the 'blue line' or dropoff. No wait you have an electric motor so you were holding over the intermediate flat (step-down flat) that the majority were traveling over.

They were in water that was too deep for Monomoy style presentations - meaning intermediate line, panic retrieve (unless you found the blondies on top of the lightest, highest shoals past mid-flood) You used the panic (fleeing bait) retrieve and got no reaction from fish passing under the fly and line.

You tried sinking line but the lead fish in the pod would flee from the dark line as it sank or a fleeing retrieve still elicited no chase, no pursuit and thus no strike (with an occasional exception - probably a schoolie from a pack of cows).

Does any of this match the situation or am I all wet?
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Old 06-27-2001, 04:19 AM
FishHawk FishHawk is offline
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Bob, try a shrimp pattern and see if that works. Popovick Tan or Olive*might dothe trick. They also might be on Isopods which is a scud like pattern. Tie it*very small.
Flats fishing is the midge fishing of saltwater flyfishing any fish you get is well deserved.FishHawk
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Old 06-27-2001, 06:18 AM
artb artb is offline
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Bob, I think that FishHawk is on to it. This time of the year, in the early 50"s, fishing with Al Brewster in Warren RI found that the bass were on shrimp, and would touch nothing else. This condition lasted about a month.
Two years ago, while fishing the flats of Quonochotaug Pond in Charlestown RI, from a canoe, I found the same condition. The bass were there, but hard to catch. I was standing, and poling the canoe watching schools of fish working the edge of channel, while trying to sneak up on a school, I dropped the anchor while travelling to fast. The results were that I fell in the canoe, causing the bow to go under, filling the canoe with water. While bailing out the canoe, I couldn't believe the number of schrimp that were in the bottom of the canoe. The fish again were feeding on shrimp. Any good shrimp pattern, WORKS.
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Old 06-27-2001, 07:13 AM
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striblue striblue is offline
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FishHawk , I will look foeward to seeing you Pop Shrimp. I have been tying those as well and will be using them during July on the Monomoy flats. Take a look at Erico's as well..very similar
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  #6  
Old 06-27-2001, 07:14 AM
Ishmeal Ishmeal is offline
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Art...As I recall, that particular method of collecting bait samples was never covered in any of the how-to books I've read...I think you might be on to something!

Bob...When bass focus in on shrimp, they will pass on most other offerings...last year I found small olive and/or tan grass shrimp on a #4 or #6 hook to be quite effective.

See you on the flatzzz!

p.s.
Another great technique is to fish with Juro, take good notes, and do what ever he does! You WILL catch fish!
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  #7  
Old 06-27-2001, 09:00 AM
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grego grego is offline
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Bob,

I agree that trying a shrimp fly is a good idea.

Also, Terry & I had a similar experience two weeks ago while drifting the Flats off Joppa. Later in morning the fish got much more selective, but for some reason they would still hit a sparse Ray's fly (#1) on a clear intermediate!
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Old 06-27-2001, 09:08 AM
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Correction on the above, the fish were primarily traveling east to west. The boat I was on was traveling west to east. We drifted for miles seeing pods approaching.

Because we would often get 'jammed' by fish coming right at us, the technique required the ability to spot the pod way in advance and 'set up' the fly in a particular strike zone similar to sight fishing steelhead that are not really interested in chasing anything.

So if we saw a pod at 11 o'clock, I would cast to 8 o'clock and throw a big mend as the boat drifted forward at the approaching school. Even still if the line had not gone beneath their column the first few would scurry off to the sides but I would leave it on it's approach and twitch it as more followed suit and watch the trailing fish pick up the fly with a flash.

Pods were also to the sides, especially the shallow side, where they could be seen 'grubbing' erratically in no particular direction. These fish were gimme's, almost guaranteed to hit the fly if it was in their down-turned attention span.

The majority were in deeper water, avg 5-6ft in our case. There was no chase in them in an upward vector, period. This made it tough. The first few of the pod would veer away if they saw the descent of the fly, in particular the dark sinking head. Intermediate lines would work but only if you had a set-up distance long enough to get it beneath the fish. This was not practical so I settled for turning off the leading fish of the pod to pick up the middle and trailing fish, which would greedily gobble up the deep eel if it was beneath their column of travel.

Lances tied with subtle colors worked best. These had no angel hair, traces of chartreuse, and rootbeer-pearl flashabou blended underneath the ultrahair.

Occasionally you would be able to set the cast so that the lead fish would only see the fly below them and take it. With some wind riffle on the water that was the exception rather than the norm. I was able to target and land some lone singles when our position and the fish's approach allowed it. Multiple legals up to 33" but most were 24"-28", I only recall a couple of smaller fish. In the bright sunshine of mid-day, can't beat it. Only one was not sighted.

We spotted some submarines during the course of the day. I lost a couple that were deep in my backing. We fished about 3-4 hours total. We called it a day when you could no longer spot them easily, although you could blind cast for them in various locations closer to shore late in the flood.

Bob, I am not saying I could even catch a micro in the conditions you had but only mean to convey that we had a banner day by ensuring that the visual contact point between the fish and the fly was always in their downward cone of vision. All other presentations did not produce.

Great topic!
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  #9  
Old 06-27-2001, 09:13 AM
JeffSod JeffSod is offline
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Bob- I ran into those exact same conditions last week while out on the Brewster Flats. Unfortunately I don't have an answer to your riddle but can tell you were not alone in being frustrated by these schools of working fish. I saw a lot of popping, slurping and boils and had a lot of follows but no takers. These fish were mostly in the deeper waters past the drop off and working up and down along the drop off. A shrimp fly is definetely worth a shot I was just convinced they had to be on sand eels for obvious reasons (they are everywhere). I might have tried a shrimp fly had I stuck with them long enough but opted to move to the flooding flats where I know I had a better chance of hooking up (and did).
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Old 06-27-2001, 09:40 AM
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Lefty Lefty is offline
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Go gettum Bob!!

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  #11  
Old 06-27-2001, 09:55 AM
Tod D Tod D is offline
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Terry - nice shrimp. Can you post the recipe?
Thanks
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  #12  
Old 06-27-2001, 09:59 AM
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juro juro is offline
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I disagree, the problem was not shrimp but presentation - and I insist that Jeff, Bob or both give me the chance to prove it!

I'll see you at the dock at 5am on.... }>
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Old 06-27-2001, 10:26 AM
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Lefty Lefty is offline
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Recipe as requested:

Peel and devein 12 Jumbo Shrimp. Peel and chop (fine)4 cloves of Garlic. Heat saute pan and coat bottom with a fine olive oil...oops wrong world.

Try this:
hook: size 2
thread: white 3/0
Body: Long polar fibre and flashabou wrapped on shank
Legs: Light grey polar fibre, a few strands red crystal
Eyes: 80 lb. mono, melted beed (cool)
top shell: plastic straw piece
tail: same polar fibre, grey bucktail, cyrstal flash

Lefty
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Old 06-27-2001, 10:31 AM
JeffSod JeffSod is offline
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Juro- I don't doubt that with proper presentation that these fish could have been caught, as I said I was getting follows. And anytime you want to show me how its done.......
By the way this coming Tuesday morning tide looks good 5am would work just fine, No kidding.
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  #15  
Old 06-27-2001, 10:40 AM
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juro juro is offline
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Jeff -

I was being rhetorical to get onto a boat }>

Besides, I'd hate to have to live up to that! All that being said, Tuesday 5am would be pretty darn good timing in all respects except the sun would not be very high yet. The morning calm may make up for the low angle sun.

I have an appointment in the early afternoon but if you are serious I'd love to do a few hours in the morning - and I've got breakfast at the Marshside and some gas money covered.

West or east lot?
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