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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey all, i am new to fly fishing and trying to get a few licks in before the cold freezes me out for the winter. I have a boat and the ability to get to most places in the mid bay region. Im looking for some pointers on where to find them with the weather being what it is now and with trolling being the most productive with heavy tackle. It seems that they are holding bottom now and its tough for me to get my floating line 30 feet down ;-)how do you target them on the fly. Are they in there typical close to shore locations or can they be "jigged" up in the middle of the bay. I have a 9wt rod, oversized real with floating line and some basic fly patterns. What fly patterns are working best this time of year.

any input would really help...thanks, Todd
 

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Unless you can find a whole hive of birds working, you are going to need to get yourself a sinking line or at least an intermediate. I use a 350 grain which works well. About a week ago, it was game on in Eastern Bay with rolling fish up to 41 inches in shallow water 10-30 ft, but the cold/wind seems to have pushed that Montauk-like fishing out of the area. I'd be willing to bet that there will still be some good fishing yet to come, but I had never seen it like that before. Look at the two recent posts on flies that are working now and try to get something with the profile of the 4-6 inch baby bunker that are (or were) around. Good luck and get that sinking line!
 

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I live down near the mouth of the bay( CBBT) and don't know squat about other parts of the bay.

Down here, I fish mainly at night. Any lit structure holds fish - especially on an outgoing tide/current. Bridges or back yard docks, it doesn't matter as long as there is a light. Swim a black clouser past some structure and hang on. A gurgler is also a blast if you prefer top water action.

I've found that a sinking line catches way more fish that a floater. An intermediate is fine at night and will produce during the day, but an agressive, fast sinking line is really indispensable.
Good luck. I hope some of the tactics we use down here work up there as well.

Mike
 

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I take two outfits, an 8 wt. with a 350 grain sinking line and a 10 wt. with a 500 grain line. I have not used a floating line in years. If I wanted to fish poppers on top, I would use an intermediate line because it will allow the fly to rise to the surface after you pause the strip. 3-4 feet of 20 lb leader is sufficient for full sinking lines.

You didn't say whether you fish by yourself or with a friend. That's important depending on location. If you are going to fish along the pylons between the 2nd and 3rd islands, you will need someone behind the wheel to position you. The current can move very fast there. If you decide to anchor, it's also helpful to have someone behind the wheel when you retrieve the anchor. I find it helpful to cast the sinking line opposite the flow of the current to give the fly time to get down. Otherwise, a strong current will tend to lift up your line..

As to flies, we use everything from 2/0 half and halfs in chartreuse/white and gray/white. to clousers tied on size 4 hooks. It depends on what they want. Our biggest striper on a fly rod was a 30" taken on the 500 grain line with a 2/0 half and half.
done
As to location, we've found the bridges (HRBT, M&M) to be productive for schooling Stripers. We have found our bigger fish out near the islands. Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the information. Most times i will be with one other person on the boat so positioning will be possible. Ill take your recommendations and keep at it... gonna head out sat afternoon, if anyone has any suggestions on locations to check out, it would be appreciated.

Thanks
 

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try a tan over white clouser in a 2 to a 1/0 ----- then for dredging out in the ocean us 8 to ten inch yak hair clousers in a tri color pattern generally green black and chartreuse
 

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Can't help myself from making the joke about strippers--it's way too cold for anyone to strip in the bay right now! :))

But let me answer your question about stripers (rockfish); as others have said, do get a good, fast-sinking line, and I prefer a full-sink density-compensated line. I fish with 3 rigged fly rods when I can: a 7- or 8-weight with a Rio Deep Lake 7 line, a 10-weight with a SA Type 8 fast-sink line, and a 10-weight with a floating line and a popper of some sort. 10-weight is overkill for most fish I catch but it sure helps to throw a popper in the wind and to handle the heavy full-sink line. And even an 18-inch fish can put a serious bend in a 10-weight. If you know what you're doing, you can fish shallows and structure; otherwise, you can look for birds in the air or fish marks on your sounder. Sometimes I'll throw a popper, and it's a whole lot of fun, but never as productive in my hands as fishing deeper for rockfish in this bay. I figure 30 feet deep is about the limit to fish reasonably with a fly rod; you can get deeper, but it just takes too long. If I know there are fish in 40-80 feet of water, the jigging rods come out.

Clousers always work, other flies, too.

Good luck.

FF
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I guess i had other things on my mind when posting the title (just cant keep it straight in my head, "stripers, strippers" theres a subtle difference but they are both great:thumbup:)

Thanks for the info, ill look into the sinking line, maybe get a second spool for my reel for that line.

How long do you wait for the line to sink if your on fish in the 30' mark.
 

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Todd, if you figure the line's sink rate is 9 inches per second, and that's pretty fast, then you're looking at 40 seconds to get down 30 feet. That's borderline too long for me. Maybe you can get a lead core or other heavy metal core that would go down at a foot per second, but even then you're looking at half a minute. That's why I don't fool with a fly rod for fish any deeper than 30 feet, and prefer to use it for fish at 20 feet or less.

It's a good idea to have your sinking line on a separate spool or even a separate reel, you don't want to be switching lines when the fish are biting.

FF
 

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Todd, here's an additional thought about fishing deep. Those numbers I gave you for sink rates and time to reach depths are for calm conditions. If the wind is blowing the boat, or if there's current between the surface and the bottom, then it takes longer to get down, or can even become impossible. For example, if it's blowing 20 knots, you're probably not going to get much deeper than 10 feet, even with a fast-sinking line.

FF
 

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Todd: Fishing this time of year is sort of..... "Drop everything if you get a decent weather window and go." Nothing beats time on the water... You might get skunked... but more often than not you can try some spots and techniques that will make you feel like a hero...

Yesterday there were plenty of 15 - 25 inch fish just above the gas docks. I fished a DC 250 Rio Sink and a tan and white Jiggy Fly. When the tide was right it was all the fish you want.

Dave is right... sometimes it is just too much of a PITA to fish very deep fish.. (Unless I know they are giants) If the fish are showing more than 30 feet deep or if there is a huge current and the fish are holding deep, I jig with conventional tackle.

Good luck... If the weather holds I am gonna try to get out there again this weekend.. Time will tell... Good Luck

OH !!!! and Dave is also correct about current... Watch your flyline... sometime you can achieve a bit more depth by casting UP current and letting the current take the line deep...
 

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That decent day to drop everything and go would be tomorrow. Thanks to Mike (Shortylong), I spent today at the gas docks and I had solid action for 5 hours with nice fly-rod fish to 22 inches. Green Clousers on sinking lines. I bet it will be great tomorrow.

FF
 

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Did you hear that sound??? Severe dropage. You talked me into it. Thanks for the call... Last run for me of the year... I must be nuts 22 degrees as I leave the house. God I love this sport.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Unfortunately couldnt make it out this weekend, the weather was right except for the temps...poss. next sat? Ill bring the fly rod and get me some sinking line, we'll see...
 

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I have to think it's over now, at least for this season, at least as far north as the mid-bay. It was so cold this weekend and today, and except for a rainy Wednesday it doesn't look to get warm for a while. I've had my boat pulled. of course, you shouldn't take my word for it; if you get a chance, go look, but don't be too disappointed if fish are hard to find. And be careful out there; there are few boats around and the water's getting very cold, and the days are very short.

FF
 

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New to fly fishing

One thought, if you can not get the sinking line right away. Kent Narrows Is an excellent night fishing spot (at the light line from the bridge). The current really rips through there and you need a good anchor, but have had many 100 fish nights there. Not big ones, but lots of fish with the occasional big one. I always liked the outgoing tide and anchored up current letting fly swing into the shadow line. Hit almost every time. The current, at times can be tremendous though, so watch dragging anchor. Always fish the tides. You need moving water.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Thanks for the info...i was told the same from Anglers. When the weather warms ill head in that direction.
 
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