Saturday, September 24, 2016

Skinny Water Stripers

My fishing buddy Dan and I covered some different types of water this morning on the hunt for stripers, but where we ended up finding them was some of the tightest, and definitely some of the coolest water I've caught stripers in. I've caught stripers in a river, I've caught them on a flat, I've caught them in the middle of a bay, and I've caught them in a channel along a rocky shoreline. Today, I caught them in a salt marsh tidal creek.

We started out on the flat which was a little too deep to wade at high tide. We didn't stay long.

I remembered looking at a tidal creek at a bridge crossing thinking "there has got to be some big fish there". It just looks good. There's a large deep pool on the shore-side of the road, and somewhat smaller on on the inland side. The creek splits a short ways up from the road and both channels looked deep. Since the tide was going out we started on the shore side. Dan discovered very quickly that a fly hanging in the current would attract some bluefish. There were a few big ones down there and he actually hooked one of those, but I only caught a small one.

There were some mid-to-large size schoolie stripers that would come off the bottom and follow the fly every now and then there too, but after a bit the fish stopped showing. We fished the marshy shores both upstream and downstream for a while, and I had a number of big blow ups on a popper. I even missed the hook set on a gorilla blue and the first keeper size striper I've had take in a few weeks. The important thing to understand with stripers and large barbed flies is that one rod-lift hook set is not enough. I try to do four strip sets in quick succession. On that big striper I forgot everything.

After once again not seeing anything happening on the flat I thought we should go back up to the marsh. Sure as hell, it didn't take long for me to catch a good striper on the popper. These fish were hitting in shallow, skinny water and those takes were unbelievable! It wasn't like the crazy fish a cast chaos that Dalton and I experienced but it was fairly consistent and the fish were all good size. The odd thing... Dan was doing exactly what I was doing but he didn't get so much as a boil! I don't know why, but I got lucky.

When that action died down Dan headed out and I stayed to fish the flat a little while longer. I had a good chat with a surfcaster before setting up in a rip to target robins and fluke. I caught one frisbee, which honestly was more than I was expecting so late in the day. It made for a slam and that made the day all the better.


  1. Entertaining trip, fellas. Looks like The Force or Guy Harvey was with you today, RML. Thanks for sharing.
    - G.