I just saw that my last report was back in early September. It seems impossible to me that it was that long ago. As I sit here trying to recall all of the fishing that I’ve done since then, I’ve come to the conclusion that I am a very fortunate person. I’m feeling blessed to have done so much fishing in the last month that I am having difficulty remembering it all. The memory failure could be the result of a well worn 50 year old brain, but I like to think it is the result of too much fishing, as if that is possible. I’ve looked back through my pictures to help with my recall only to realize I haven’t been taking enough pictures. What I do know is that all of the fishing I’ve done in the past month has been for striped bass and most of the days that I’ve spent on the water have been taking friends who rarely get a chance to fish. Many of them are novice fishers and all get as excited about fishing as any old salt I’ve fished with. On those trips I rarely ever throw a cast. It’s so enjoyable to watch them catch fish that I find myself working harder to get them a bite than I do when I fish alone.
I’ve also had a few experienced fly fishers on my skiff this past month. Three weeks ago I had Jax McKay and his dad Kevin out for two days. This is Jax birthday striper trip and he is the only one who fishes because that is his birthday gift. At nines years old, Jax is one of the most intensely focused fishermen that I’ve shared a day on the water with. When he’s not wielding his bubble wand or using a critter catcher to scoop up any sort of life form that floats past, he is all business with the fly rod in his hands. While site fishing, Kevin and I were straining our eyes to find a bass for him to cast to when Jax yelled, “Hey, there’s one right there”! Without any prompting from kevin or me, he quickly cast a Crab Pot fly perfectly ahead of the striper, let it sink to bottom, and then started an ever so slow retrieve. That bass scrutinized the fly for several seconds and then sucked it in. Jax hooked and landed it like a pro. It was a beautiful thing to watch. In one day Jax landed 9 stripers and his first bluefish, all on flies that he tied for this special trip. I can’t tell you how many little critters he scooped up but I know he went through a whole bottle of bubble juice.
This past Wednesday I fished from “can’t see to can’t see” with my friend Bryant. We had a great day of striper fishing. We were into stripers right from the get go and after landing a bunch of small to slot size bass we left breaking fish to hunt for cows. Four bass from 32” to 35” were landed and Bryant lost one striper, that might have been 40” long, after a lengthy battle.
Local striper reports have been very good for the past two weeks. We actually have some small schools of baby bunker around too. Old Tom’s been driving the coast on his way to work each morning and he’s seeing surface activity almost every day . Most of the stripers being caught are from small schoolies to slot size with the occasional 30”+. Some fishermen are reporting that they are catching 30 to 50 stripers or more on each outing.
I have one more week of striper fishing to do before I head north to celebrate Eldredge Bros. Fly Shop’s 20th Anniversary with five days of trout fishing. Hopefully, I will have something worthwhile to report.