Greetings from Capt. Dave & Baymen!
This evening, November 2nd, I took Big Dog for a walk on the beach and had my 8wt fly rod with me, as usual. Good thing! The shoreline had a ton of fish quietly working up and down the beach for a couple mile stretch. The tide was high and dropping and the bay was a sheet of glass…
A lot of small baits an inch long, skinny with silver sides and dark backs, were balled up in schools all along the shore. A few birds chasing the fastest-moving schools moved on. Then the fun began! Striped bass would quietly sneek along the shoreline in 1-3 fow, slurping up the baitfish – and my fly!
I tied on a Mike Rice sand eel pattern and regretfully, I had crimped the barb on this pattern. Mashed it flat. That resulted in a ton of dropped fish this evening. Some of the fish were keepers, most were sub-legal. But all of them were very fat fish. My biggest fish was 30″ inches, had an amazing belly and was one of the most fat fishes I have caught in 2022.
After I had been fishing for a while, working my way up and down the beach, I saw a familiar face pull up and give me a wave, and asked if he could join me. It was Greg Sanchez, a fellow fly rodder that I have guided several times over the years, including a few trips in 2022. I waved him down and he hooked up a short time later on his first fish.
Just before sunset (it was a stunner), I had to walk back to my truck with Big Dog and head for home to meet up with the Admiral for supper. I don’t know how many fish I hooked up on this evening. For once in my life, I didn’t count. But I do know I dropped a bunch and landed a bunch, including a fat 30″ keeper that was released to continue on his journey to Chesapeake Bay.
Tight Lines and Happy November, and keep a rod handy!
Capt. David Bitters, BAYMEN, www.baymenlife.com 30 Years Guiding The Bay. TYL.