I wonder if you can overfish, like overeating? I can’t get enough of the Oneill Forbay. I took a Friday off and decided to try the Oneill Forebay again after that great day with Ken Oda last monday. I had been watching the winds in the mornings and noticed a new pattern . Its pretty windy early in the morning, but about 8:00, it dies down till about 1:00 and then it builds. This is tomorrows chart. Looks good for tomorrow morning.
Friday was an exceptionally calm day surprisingly. I called early in the morning all excited to go out and the wind lady told me that is was blowing 20mph at 5:00am. I went back to bed and checked again at 6:00. Still, it was blowing around 18. I figured that the day was shot, and got up at 8:00am to do the “wife” list. I called wind line out of curiosity and low and behold, it was blowing Omph. I thanked the wind lady, we sometimes have nice conversations, and hitched up the boat and left the house at 8:30. I was on the water by 9:45 and went strait back to the channel between the North island and shore. First four cast , I landed 4 cookie cutter school stripers about 15-17 inches. I spent the day catching over 30 stripers before I left at 2:00. I promised my wife that I would be back early to take her to the Beach Boys Concert that evening or I would have stayed longer since I was still catching fish. It was a bit hot though –100 degrees. Thanks to my Yetti and Arctic Ice, I had cold water to sip all day long and I didn’t mind the heat much.
Again, there was current in the channel, Check out the video and you can notice the weeds moving at different speeds around the channel. I think the fish are actually holding where the current rips – the differential. The forebay is really shallow and the weed wacker boat was working overtime just to get out of the dock. The normal channels I move in are now treacherous, go slowly and get high so you can see the clots of weeds waiting for your prop.
The tricky part about fishing that channel is holding the boat in the current. It is conditions like this that make me glad I upgraded my Ipilot Trolling motor. You can see from the video that it does a good job of holding me in the current. I would anchor, if I didn’t have the IPILOT. Of the thirty plus fish , only a half a dozen fish were over 18 inches, the largest was 22 inches. I decided to fish the 6 wgt. TCX just to have more fun. Last week, Ken Oda was using a 9 weight that was bent into the water on these fish. Even though it is shallow (10-20 feet) , I would use heavy lines and bigger bead eye flies since it seems most the fish were very near the bottom. The “angry strip” and “the pause” seemed to do the job. I decided to not move around as much to see if the schools of fish came to me vs me chasing them. The fish seem to circle this area looking for minnows and they seem to come back to the same areas. I caught fish in waves.
Another technique that worked well was to fish the channel like a slow river. Cast slightly up stream and mend your line up current. This lets the fly and line sink faster. By the time the slack straightens out, your ready to strip the fly up off the bottom as it swings down current. Two hard strips to ring the dinner bell, and hang on during the pauses.
Steve Horminge is fishing the spot on Saturday. Im going to try to go again Sunday and possibly Monday.
You would think that after 150 stripers in one week, that at least one would be over 10 lbs. Maybe I need to use larger flies and just target big fish. Ken was using a 1\0 fly and catching nearly as many fish and so was Dan Blanton a couple weeks ago. But, thinking about why I fish, I don’t mind catching a lot of fish in the 15 to 22 inch range. They are a wonderful fish to fight on light tackle . One time last year I caught over 100 fish all under 14 inches. It would have been way more fun on a 5wgt than an 8, and thats why its in the boat, as is a fly rod for carp and one for shad. Len Bearden’s favorite fly was yellow closer size 2 tied with buck tail, sparse with med eyes. He caught many fish over 20 lbs on those tiny flies as well.