Fly Fishing For Striped Bass
Fly Fishing for Striped bass can range from fairly easy to a very challenging
undertaking. Stripers can be very selective in what they eat and matching that
food may even be necessary. They feed on a small group of foods and they
don't tend to be as opportunistic as many other species of fish - that is until
certain times of the year they seem to be just the exact opposite of that. I have
seen them get into a frenzy and hit any and everything in the way of hardware
you could throw at them. In this case, I'm not referring to flies but jigs, spoons
and plugs. It is thought that most of the big fish feed at night but there are days
when the big fish go nuts and can easily be picked up just as well.
Some think fishing with flies makes it more difficult to catch striped bass. It can in
the sense it can make them more challenging to hook and to land, but often the
right fly can attract the fish better than lures or even bait. The natural action of
some flies, especially when current is involved, makes the offering more
attractive than lures.
Fly patterns have to be adjusted for the different seasons. The fish seem to
separate at certain times and you will find the smaller school fish in one location
and the large single fish in a completely different area. In those cases, different
flies are required to catch them. Choosing the right fly isn't always just a matter of
matching the food. It also becomes a matter of adjusting to the particular type of
water the stripers hold in. Having a fly that works at various depths is also
important. There are many different methods and techniques that have been
developed over the years using many different types of flies.
Most of the time, finding striped bass is a matter of finding the bait. If the fish are
feeding, they will always be where the bait is. Other than a good fishfinder or
sonar unit, the biggest key in finding the bait is often birds. Herons and gulls will
often point out where the bait is by diving into schools of baitfish. Sometime gulls
will circle over stripers feeding on baitfish to pick up morsels of food that's left. At
other times you can locate the bait by just observing the surface. Different types
of baitfish make different disturbances on the water and you can usually
determine what species of baitfish it is just from looking at the disturbance on the
Striped Bass are most common along the Atlantic coastline. You will find them as
far south as the Gulf of Mexico but the major spawning areas are in the northern
states. The ocean is where you will typically find the largest fish although they
can also grow quite large in some lakes. Fish of well over a hundred pounds
have been taken from the Ocean.
Most of the striped bass in landlocked lakes were stocked from hatcheries. There
are some freshwater lakes where they are able to successfully spawn. Lake
Marion in South Carolina and Lake Texoma are two examples of that. Different
techniques are required for stripers that come up in the streams to spawn, those
that are in the ocean and those that are landlocked in lakes. Other Perfect Fly
articles will deal with these different locations.
Copyright 201 James Marsh
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