After a fantastic week of striper fishing we're back into the summer pattern over the past two days. On Tuesday and Wednesday of last week we found more surface action than we'd seen in all of July combined. We were able to start the days casting to fish in very skinny water. Swirls, v-wakes, funny water, fins and dimples provided targets. After the water had dropped off of the flats the fish would set up adjacent to structure and in the channels, taking advantage of good moving water. Sustained surface feeds were a treat and we were giddy with excitement. As the week progressed the surface action diminished in duration, partially a function of brighter mornings and prime tidal flow occurring later and later. We also didn't see as much bait later in the week, but that have been due to seeing fewer fish chasing the bait to the surface. We took lots of fish and some nice fish to 36 inches.
Sunday, Monday and Tuesday of this week have been tougher days. The passage of the front and arrival of cool, dry, clear weather on Sunday seemed to put the fish down or off. On Monday we worked the flats early in the morning, seeing some small pods of very nice fish cruising inches under the surface. These were happy fish looking to feed, but cloud cover limited our light for sighting and the wind started rippling the surface by 7 AM. As the breeze increased our sight fishing opportunities ended and we stowed the fly rods. We worked the edges of the flats and then the channels as the current picked up. No surface action all morning and much less bait showing up on the sonar. There were fish that would still hit topwater plugs and Sluggos. We ended the trip running jigs over schools of schoolie stripers and blues holding in 15 feet of water. Yesterday we covered a lot of ground for only a few fish. We had little to no wind for most of the trip and poled the flats first thing looking for fish in 4 to 6 feet of water at the top of the tide. We were seeing some slow cruising pods and the usual v-wakes but the stripers were not feeding the way they had been last week. We had a couple of good shots but for much of the early morning it just didn't all come together. Once again, we finished the day picking up stripers holding close to the bottom in 15 feet of water. The 350 grain Rio line and a heavy Clouser variation did the trick.
Capt. Peter Fallon