|(Photo edit by Malachi Lytle)|
We got kind of lucky in regards to meeting the right people there. Surfcasters are a tight-lipped bunch, and rightly so. There is too much to lose by giving away information, especially these days. But the gentleman we met there was kind enough to share a bit. I wish I could remember his name. He suggested what fly I should use and pointed me towards a good spot. In the end I decided to keep away from them just out of respect, especially since there were a number of other surfcasters there. But what he told me will certainly be of use in the future, because I do want to fish this spot again. It has big fish potential. Noah and I want up into a creek to play with some smaller fish that were popping on sand eels. I swung small flatwings. Noah fished an SP Minnow. We got our Maine redemption.
The next morning we headed further north and east toward Saco Bay and another place we'd encountered stripers but hadn't caught any. We launched the kayaks under hazy skies onto hazy water. Though clearer than many portions of Long Island Sound, and colder, the water here surprised me. It was more turbid and warmer than I'd expected. I wrongly assumed that this would have a negative impact on the fishing. I was wrong.
As far north as were there weren't really likely to be many big fish around this early. As such, though there were tons of massive schools of adult bunker around and the tide, wind, and lighting were more than good enough, there were no cow stripers or big bluefish molesting them. There undoubtedly are some serious bass in Maine in July, but not where we were and not enough that bunker gauruntees a big fish blitz.
What were there, though, were extremely feisty 20 inch class schoolies. The leeward side of every rock outcropping seemed to hold a handful of willing bass. And what they lacked in size they made up for in strength. Cold, clean, oxygenated water makes for very hard fighting stripers. I've caught a lot of small striped bass. I can easily and quickly get most of them to hand without an inch of line getting taken on the 10wt. These fish though, were kicking my butt. I'd really love to lock into a 25 pound bass in Maine.
The method was pretty simple. Floating line, seven foot level 20lb leader, #2 pink and white Half and Half. The erratic, jigging action of the fly when fished with short, quick strips closely imitated the actions of the young of the year Atlantic herring that these fish were feeding on.
After I got about a half dozen goodlooking stripers, we called it quits on familiar species and headed further northeast still, towards the remarkable place that is Mt. Desert Island.
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