On board today, I had Lt. Col. Richard “The Machine” Comstock (Ret.) for Fly or Die striped bass fishing. At first light, overcast, chilly, and SW wind. It was looking very promising when we left the dock and it went down hill from there.
A smattering of fish on topwater – about 6. I saw one huge explosion on the surface that had to be a BIG bass. We went to it and fished it and never saw it again and marked nothing. There were no other fish in the bay that we would find on topwater or on structure. It was hard fishing and after three hours we had not hooked up on a single fish.
Then we hit one of my spots and it was STACKED with bass and bait with a couple of very big bass in the mix! Drift, after drift, after drift… and not a single hook-up. A school of pogies swam over the bass and I thought we were about to witness mayhem on the bay! But the bass DID NOT TOUCH THEM! “We’re going in!” I told the Colonel. “This charter is over!” We will set out sights on a new day…
We stood around on the deck drifting and frustrated. The Colonel had driven many hours to be here this morning. I said we would try one or two more spots a couple miles across the bay and then I was calling the trip. We ran across the bay and did not get a hit. We tried another spot. Nothing. We drive to another spot. Nothing… We were frustrated, cold and done. I looked down the bay and saw what I thought was another school of pogies. I fired up the engine and we went to investigate… STRIPED BASS ON TOPWATER!
WHAM! Fish on! Whzzzzzzzzzzzz…… A very nice fish slammed a Baymen Universal. Then another, and another, and another. Four fish out of that school and our sprits were once again soaring high! After many more drifts without another fish, we decided to move on. We found more topwater fish a little over a mile away. Micros with a couple very nice bass in the mix. Lots of short strikes so we changed the Baymen Universal to a Baymen Clouser and that did the trick
WHAM! Whzzzzzzzzzzzzzz…… Another very nice fly rod bass in that school of fish. And another. Just amazing. We had fished the morning for three solid hours without a single fish. I had called the trip and we were heading in. Then, we found fish and over the next couple hours we landed and released 13 striped bass on the fly!
“Every day is different and no two tides are the same.”
Capt. David Bitters, BAYMEN, www.baymenlife.com 29 Years Guiding The Bay
TECHNICAL NOTES: TFO Ticr -X 9 foot 9 wt, TFO Lefty Kreh BVK 9 foot 9 wt. Orvis Hydros, Orvis intermediate and sinking lines 350 gr. RIO 20lb leaders. Baymen Universal,Baymen No-Eyes, and Baymen Clouser. Fast strip with cast & count method. Water depths 4 feet to 24 feet. Most fish today in 7 fow. Winds SW, overcast and cool to sunny and warm. Very little bait and very few bass in our bay at the moment. Marked a couple big fish today and a couple yesterday. – Capt. Dave, baymenlife.com Never, ever give up!