ok, so I am laying in bed, right. and at 7:12am I get a text, “25 lb. striper” from my fly fishing buddy, Jim Solomon. So i immediately give him a call, hoping this isn’t a prank. Jim answers and says, “i did it I got a 25lb striper, wait to you see the picture” I got the whole play by play and seriously couldn’t be happier for my buddy, who deserves this fish because he puts in the time and effort every week. This is a lesson to all surf fly fisherman, never under estimate the ability to see structure, even if it isn’t very pronounced. the fishing was slow this morning as Jim and Bob Middo worked the beach. Jim spotted one small but defined little cut as he was fishing his way down the beach. He pointed it out to his fishing partner Bob and then fired a long cast into it, on the second strip, his fly stopped and was inhaled by this beautiful striper, which immediately took off towards Catalina. After and epic 15 minute battle which included dealing with a shore break, running down the beach and a dealing with a plastic bag temporarily stuck on his line, surfed this trophy to shore. the fish was photographed and released unharmed. it doesn’t get better than this folks, especially when we shouldn’t be hooking and catching stripers on flies in our home waters…i will be posting Jim’s fly, “The Solly Clouser”, stay tuned… Click here for a pdf on how to tie the Solly Clouser!
4 thoughts on “california dreaming…”
I have friends that have caught many stripers in Ventura over thirty years ago on fly in the surf. The fish Elliot are targeting have been there a long time as well. His waters tend to be more prolific than ours being in closer proximity to the Bay area. You have to put the time in, you don’t always get them. The stuff down in South Bay is also a game of perseverance. We know these fish are around every year at specific times and water temps, probably migrating south in search of food. If you put your time in and fish areas with structure and current you can connect. Jim’s fish was no fluke! I believe I told Jim about our local striper fishery years ago and to his credit he has targeted and put the time in. Over the last three years he has landed at least five that I know about. You do not need big flies, Stripers are opportunistic and will eat anything they can if they are hungry. Big flies do produce bigger fish though, but I have caught twenty five pound fish on size 4s back east. Every year we see these bass caught by conventional, spin and fly fisherman. If the fly guys fished more at night you would see more stripers caught, guaranteed. I heard by reliable sources, that a father and son in one night a few years back landed and released 27, no typo, 27 at a place I donor wish to publish. So we know they come and visit us every year! You just have to put in the time and have a little luck! 🙂
Thanks for your response, Al. I would really like to catch a big striper in the surf, but I don’t know if I have enough time to dedicate to it down here. However, my brother is moving to San Rafael (from NYC), and intend to try to catch some when I visit him up north. It’s nice to have relatives/friends who live near prime fishing areas. 🙂
Nicely done Mr Jim Solomon. Hard work paid off for sure. Thanks for sharing the play by play Al.
Why are catches of large stripers like Jim’s so rare in SoCal? Is it because the fish themselves are rare down here? Or, rather, because fisherman, particularly fly fishermen, are not specifically targeting them? This question occurred to me after rereading an excellent article on fly fishing for large striped bass in California by Loren Elliott (California Fly Fisher, August 2011). Elliott, a young, highly successful striper fisherman, says that when fishing for stripers he uses huge flies and slow sinking line (intermediate or S3); he also casts to deep holes and deep rip currents, and when he finds promising water he stays with it, repeatedly casting to the same hole or rip. By contrast, fishermen in SoCal typically target surfperch and halibut; for this they use 6-7-wt rods with fast sinking lines (S6 or shooting lines with T-11 heads) and small Clousers, crab patterns, etc. Also, when fishing for surfperch the best strategy is to keep moving along the beach until you locate a school. According to Elliott, this is a poor way to fish for stripers. Of course, Elliott does all (most?) of his striper fishing in NorCal, where striped bass appear to be far more common than down south.
Any thoughts on the above?