Friday, January 9, 2009
Bright Sky- Bright Stripes, off the sand flats.
Photo By Dave Skok
About The photo: About 4 years ago Dave Skok (many of you use his flies) and Steve Straq, Patagonia fishing product designer, and I spent a day chasing fish on the flats of Casco Bay often getting out of the boat and wading, and one of the comments that Steve said that day, that is so true!!: (A Crab Pattern is a special tool for flats Fishing for Striped Bass in Maine)
Crabs GET THEM!!!
Fishing a crab pattern requires some changes to the normal habits of the New England Striper angler. First off floating lines and longer leader are a must to do this right, the angler needs to be able to pick up the line quickly and re cast, I like a 8wt rod the Sage z axis and Scott x2s are great rods that load quick and tight .
Unless your in a crab hatch where the bass are feeding like nuts on tiny crabs drifting in the current. The name of the game is feeding the fish, here is where angling from a boat is a team effort, the fish you are casting too need to be spotted early!! the fish are often bigger and well fed using the warmer flats to digest.
Stripers on the flats spook very easy so the caster really needs to keep a low casting stroke and get the fly light and tight to the fish. Some fish will react to the fly quickly and some you need to work them with a very slow strips, Casting is key here and some flats are better fished from foot or as low a you can get down on the bow of the boat. Rod movement and fly lines whipping around, just spooks fish and all you will be casting at, are tails swimming away.
Trolling motors should be off well before you get on hard bottom clear water flats, and a good poler will set up the best shot for the angler working with the sun and tide movement.
Flies have come a long way quickly for shallow water striped bass fishing, there's a big crew of shore anglers from Portland to Cape Cod fishing the sand flats that have developed some great Crab and sand eel patterns that moved some large fish this past year. Over all Steve's Comments that day really held true this summer where you had to learn how to feed well fed happy fish.
And just like that,,,, They are here, not in number and still spotty but the baits and small schoolies are starting to show, check back ...
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