stripers during the nor'easter - pt. 1
I’m back to Syracuse after fly fishing for stripers last week and through the weekend in Cape Cod. It was windy and wet… very windy and wet. A gale warning was issued from Wednesday through part of Saturday as the nor’easter became a named subtropical storm. The rain and wind were relentless. While I knew chasing stripers and flinging flies with my guest would be a challenge, it wouldn’t be impossible. Fish were found. Fish were caught. Fish were released. I’m splitting this into two separate entries. It will be days 1-3 in the first and days 4 and 5 in the second. In addition, I’ll have articles in the near future more specific to striper fishing in the fall. Stay tuned!
Days 1 and 2
Having a guest with me Friday, I spent Wednesday and Thursday scouting and fly fishing with my cousin and good friend, Alan. Wednesday, we found schools of stripers, mostly small schoolies, with some bluefish mixed in. The storm had started and though conditions were rough, they’d only continue to deteriorate.
Thursday was rotten. We spent the day looking for new areas, birds, bait, and blitzes. It wasn’t happening. Fishy spot after fishy spot yielded no results. It was productive in that we did find some more places to check out in the future. I’ve talked about scouting trout streams during the low water conditions in the summer. Scouting anything is part of the process in finding future success. A day that seems slow and lost now can prove productive for future outings. Whether it’s trout fishing, striper fishing, duck hunting, or deer hunting, scouting areas that you’re familiar with and not familiar with is an important step toward success.
As we fished places we knew and places new to us, we were hopeful and confident our lines would go tight on each cast. For the most part, we stuck with protected areas, such as harbors, looking for schools of bait with predators following. Find the peanut bunker and find the stripers. They were pretty locked in on the schools of bunker all weekend. The few times we got into wind exposed areas, we couldn’t stay long and we went with surf-casting rods. A long jetty with stinging, drenching rain blowing 50-60mph is not a place to hang out. After walking back to the truck, and receiving a number of comments and looks questioning out sanity from folks watching, we stuck with the harbors and bays. It wasn’t until high tide at sundown we were able to find fish on Thursday.
Friday was a good day. We got to a protected harbor at the morning high tide that was alive with peanut bunker. Find the peanut bunker and find the stripers. The weather was still rotten, but with the harbor being in a cove, it was fairly well protected. It was still breezy, gusty, and rainy, but fly casting was very doable. My guest made the most of it, landing quite a few stripers. He did a great job casting a heavier rod and line than he was used to. Most of the fish were in the 15”-20” range. Schoolies are a blast! We had some follows from stripers approaching 30”, but could not get them to commit. It was an enjoyable day nonetheless.
Stay tuned for Days 4 and 5. Saturday was my birthday and I spent the next two days chasing stripers, landing my personal best, and watching the Yankees with family and friends. Thanks for reading and as always, feel free to like, comment, share or shoot me a message with questions.