Yesterday I went back to the shore to look for some more blues and hopefully some bass. I went with Mark, not the same Mark as Friday though. I met this Mark at the Bell Pond last week. I was totally surprised to see someone else fly fishing there, as was he. We have since gone looking for carp a few times as that is what he is currently getting interested in, but when I told him there was action in the salt he was all about that. So it was that we stood on a crowded beach watching birds work a school of bait in wade-able water at about 6:00 PM yesterday. We rigged up and got in the water where we immediately found big schools of bunker. Unfortunately the bluefish that were there seemed reluctant to come in to chase the bunker and were instead focused on silversides about 40 yards further out. Before we reached our wading limit I spotted a sea robin very close to me and began working my clouser near it. It chased it around and got more and more worked up every time it ate and I pulled the fly away until I eventually hooked it. They may be considered a trash fish by many but I think they are a very fun fly rod species, and when Mark hooked into one later on he had to agree.
|(courtesy Mark Alpert)|
It really didn't take long to get into some bluefish. As the evening progressed schools would push through and Mark and I would usually double up, and then after two or three fish there would be a short pause. It wasn't serious melee, but there were plenty of bluefish smashing silversides which could often be seen leaping in the wake of their attackers.
The fish we were catching were by no means big, but compared to any other fish their size that I've ever caught their strength was unrealistic. If we had been there for the kind of blitz that was occurring last week I can't imagine how tired we would have been. I had one blue of about 17 inches get the backing into the second stripping guide. They all went airborne, and a few behaved like tarpon, spending more time in the air than in the water.
Eventually the action on subsurface flies seemed to die off, though Mark actually hooked a fluke on a quick retrieve, just as the sea robin he had caught had done. Odd behavior for a bottom fish. Once the bluefish seemed to quit hitting I tied on a gurgler and was imediately getting some unbelievable violent topwater strikes. After two bluefish to hand an three missed the surface fly got exploded on by something different. Striper! Three casts and a lost bluefish later the gurgler got gurgling about 15 feet from me and this fish was behaving differently. I knew it was a schoolie because instead of aggressive pumping headshakes it was doing more authoritative pulls. It took more line than most of the blues too.
Unfortunately that was the only striper between the two of us and once it was dark the action stopped all together. Though that doesn't really make sense, that's how it works sometimes. We left happy with how we had done. I had more fun on this trip than on any of my other salt water trips to date.