On board today, Mr. Dick Bowman, USMC. Fly Fishing for striped bass. Dick has been fishing with me for many years.
At first light, calm seas and a breath of W wind. High tide, water temps 72-69 degrees. Overcast clearing to a high pressure system. Lots of schools of bass, bait and birds scattered around the bay.
Bass continue to selective feed on a 2″ peanut bunker. There are other baits in the bay, but the peanuts are the primary bait they are keyed in on at the moment. This of course makes matching the bait with an artificial a challenge for fly anglers and almost impossible for light tackle anglers.
We began to run RECON around the bay, moving from school to school of fish. On top of being selective, the bass are moving VERY fast and are quite spooky of the boat. There were also a ton of boats working the fish all around the bay, making it difficult to set your drifts and not spook the fish.
We ran outside for a while and joined a lot of other boats and caught zero fish. If you fish with me, you know I would rather find my own fish than fish with another boat. So, we left all the boats behind and began to work smaller schools of fish with only a boat or two on them. We finally left all boats behind and began to move around the bay until we found what we were looking for: lots of Fall Blitz bass on bait with no other boats in sight.
When we pulled into the fish, we had boated and released 8 fish, including an 18″ hickory shad. When we left the fish, we had boated and released 22 fish. We had cracked the code on what fly to use and what strip technique, and we had a big school of fish all to ourselves for several hours.
I must admit here and now, that I had to repent of my sins on the water. The VERY selective fish were giving me fits trying to crack the code and I cussed them out numerous times! But when we finally put it all together, we began to catch a lot of fish on the fly and all was right once again. Thank you, Lord.
We ended a wonderful morning with 22 fish caught and released, and 1 gorgeous shad (I will post pics on my FB page Baymen Guide Service, Inc. Baymen Charters). We had about 7 other fish throw the hook due in part, to the small hooks we were using on the 2″-3″ fly patterns.
All in all, we had a great morning with a lot of much needed laughter and ribbing. Dick is a great angler and a heck of a fly rodder.
So, there you have it. I am back on the bay right through September and into October. Follow my daily posts here and see my daily photos on my business FB page: Baymen Guide Service, Inc. Baymen Charters.
Good luck fishing!
Capt. David Bitters, BAYMEN, www.baymenlife.com 29 Years Guiding The Bay
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