a caolo

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About a caolo

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  1. Uptick . . .
  2. Wow . . . RJ, thank you very much for that review - and many others over the years - all much appreciated. Have a great weekend . . .
  3. Hi rafolo, I breezed through this thread and want to weigh in with a bit of advice . . . While I utterly enjoy fishing crab patterns - to any crab-eating game fish- and I consider visually playing crab flies to game on the flats to be one of the highlights of outdoor sports (it’s without doubt the Champagne of striper fishing), we must not lose sight of one of the fundamentals of striped bass fishing: they can be highly selective eaters. On the flats, they may become maddeningly picky. Crabs are certainly a staple for them on nearly all flats and beaches, but anglers must read the feed . . , and “match the hatch” for consistent success. That said, no matter how much I want to feed them a crab or experiment with a new crab imitation, when they’re on baitfish, I do not argue with them and adapt to their behavior and toss ‘em a suitable baitfish imitation. With the advent of so many fun-to-fish crab, shrimp and flounder patterns developed expressly for stripers on the flats, it’s become easy to overlook Clousers and Bob’s Jiggy, and many anglers try to force feed them crabs when they really want sand eels or silversides. It’s become a very common mistake today . , . Don’t lose sight that in the very beginnings with striped bass fishing in the clear shallows all we had were Bob Clouser’s fabulous baitfish pattern. That was it. Many people became frustrated with a lack of consistent success with the Clouser Minnow, but for the very reasons I’m describing in this post - stripers just aren’t focused on baitfish all the time. With the solid and exciting success many anglers have come to know with crab flies and other atypical patterns, now I find its become a common error to overlook Clousers and Half n Half’s as passé and marginally effective. They are not. The Clouser Minnow, Jiggy and all their derivatives are still - and always will be - excellent and essential sight fishing patterns. I don’t argue with the fish . . , in recent years I’ve been extremely successful with weighted baitfish imitations throughout the season.
  4. Hi 55555s, Please refer to my website (alancaolo.com) and click the Fly Patterns page. Scroll down a bit to the Beach Bug. This is a simple-to-tie and very effective pattern that imitates the mole crabs you’re referring to. This fly consistently catches in the surf, as well as other sand bottom environments where Emerita talpoida is found. Good luck . . .
  5. salvadore33, these guys have posted some terrific advice and insight on fishing the Brewster Flats . . . JRT, thank you for the kind plug on Sight Fishing for Striped Bass . . . Very much appreciated. alan c
  6. Btw, the leader setup I described with the 30# mono shock has become my preferred leader for bluefish in the Northeast. It stands up very well to one or two blues under10 pounds and it’s more convenient and easy to work with than most wire options. We’re not seeing many bluefish over 10 pounds (from shore) these days, but I would jump to a 40# shock for bigger blues.
  7. Hey ... I have limited experience with snook - just blind casting Oceanside Keys flats at dusk in the fall, but here’s what’s worked for me. An eight- or nine-foot straight shot of 20 pound-test for fish under 10 pounds. For fish over 10 pounds, I use 12 # or 16 # with an 18-inch 30 # shock attached to the main leader with a slim beauty. I concur with Local66 on no cut-throughs, though I’ll bet with big fish in a more vertical fishing scenario than beach or flats (ie boats, deep water, etc) the gill-cut issue is real. Yeah they scrape it up pretty good . . . Just re-tie after each hook-up and replace the shock when it shortens to a foot or so. If you’re sight-fishing, i strongly recommend fluorocarbon, and I’m guessing nine or 10 feet would be preferred. Plain mono should be just fine in low light.
  8. Just a quick note of thanks to all who have recognized my work in this topic . . . Very much appreciated and it means a lot to me. A little late on my post here, but things have been hectic this winter. Best of luck to everyone for the upcoming spring run . . . : )
  9. Nat Ragland's Puff in various shades of brown (chocolate, mocha, sand, etc.) using grizzly hackles throughout . Daiichi 2546 1 - 1/0 or Gamakatsu SC-15 1/0 for fish under 50 lbs, and Gamakatsu SC-15 2/0 for bigger fish.
  10. Bendbacks . . . Foul-proof, highly weed-resistant, and they catch very well when the fish are on small bait (sand eels, silversides, etc.). Simple patterns to tie, too.
  11. I'll second that . . . ac
  12. Just viewed this thread - let me weigh in in with a few ideas to complement the great tips and pointers already contributed (I'm always listening and learning): 1 - elevation ... the higher your eyes are above the water the better your vision will penetrate the surface glare to observe what lies below. Even just a couple of inches by standing on your tip toes will enhance your viz to momentarily better inspect an unclear target. Rocks, sod banks, casting platforms, ladders . . .whatever means provides additional eye height above the surface will give you an advantage. 2- stripers are frequently encountered grazing flats that are strewn with objects that can, at a glance, appear fish-like: rocks, grass (attached or adrift), bottom scares, etc. often look grey and can easily fool a newcomer. The key is to train your eye (and your mind) to sense movement. If you spot something and you're just not sure if it's a striper or not - shoot first, ask questions later : ) Bass will hold steady and feed in currents (motionless), and though not common, they will at times lay-up like tarpon (usually deep) - both are ripe, viable targets that lack movement. But most often, they (like bonefish) are moving . . . 3 - use pale tint glasses (I realize some guys have limited options, as bonefishdick noted). While you want to knock out the glare, you also want as much light as possible reaching your eyes in order to see the fish, which are often well adapted to their surroundings - you need contrast to discern them. Yellow and amber lenses provide this and are ideal for flats fishing . . . anywhere. 4 - practice . . . like putting or hitting a curve ball - very, very few people just step up and do it well . . . it takes practice to hone this extremely important flats fishing skill. RJ - many thanks (as always) for your kind acknowledgements - much appreciated . . . alan c
  13. Thanks, HillTop - appreciated . . . nice looking bugs for serious : )
  14. TFeuts, - if possible, could you post an image of that fly? ac
  15. Just to round out my "go-to" crab fly box for striped bass, I'd add two more: Skok's Mole Crab (for wherever mole crabs are found), and the late great Del Brown's fantastic Merkin Crab (tied in appropriate sizes, colors, and minus the flash).