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TF-

It depends on the size of the fish and the size of the bait more than time of year. In the past four weeks most of the bait at the CBBT has been pretty small but the fish are big. With so much of the big menhaden scooped up down there by Omega, we are finding schools of big fish on 2" baits.

I like the hook on the fly to have a large enough gap to fit over the ridge around the fish's jaw. A Cape Cod guide told me your little finger should fit inside the gap. I think that is good advise, so I use wide gap 4/0 and 5/0 hooks this time of year. Also like the fish to be able to easily see the fly. Even though many of the baits are small, I am using a 7" Clouser tied with all bucktail, but with bucktail tied in at the bend of the hook like a Half and Half. You do not get very many flies out of one tail and the hair is 5". Also like a lot of pearl Krystal Flash and Mirage flash with a flash tail. The fish are jumping on that fly.

The only time I will throw a 4' Clouser to stripers is when I know they are schoolies. This time of year at the CBBT it is not necessary to stay on schoolies.
 

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Tie your flies in various lengths from 1.5 inches to 12 inches. I disagree with Wild Bill somewhat in that I think, as a general rule, a 4 inch fly is a good starting point when you're not sure what to use or what size fish are around. In fact, day in and day out a 4 or 5 inch, all white fly is hard to beat. On the other hand, if I were fishing the CBBT today I'd probably start with a 7 -10" fly because I'd know there are big fish around.
 

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Hi Dave-

You are correct as a general rule, particularly in the bay in summer, but winter ocean fish are on my mind right now. 7" to 10" flies will catch more fish and bigger fish in that situation all day long. Some of my fishing buddies are retreaded fresh water trout fishermen from our TU chapter and a 4" fly is big to them. One trip is all it takes for them to start tying larger and larger flies. I settled on a 7" fly lately because I can cast it a long way all day and it is big enough right now. Last trip with Brandon I threw a 9" fly for a while with no better results, but sometimes when the fish are on large menhaden or herring, a 9" or 10" fly is the ticket and I throw it.

You are right, tie a bunch of sizes but make sure some are big.
 

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Lefty is famous for saying "elephants eat peanuts too", but the three times he was on my boat, he threw big flies and caught big fish. You can catch fish on the flats with a 3"-4" fly and may get a big one. When the big fish are feeding on 10" herring, as they often do, I think a big fly will catch more big fish.

Opinions may vary.
 
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