Serendipity -Best Day of the Year

Serendipity – the occurrence and development of events by chance in a happy or beneficial way.  “a fortunate stroke of  serendipity”

October 20, 2023. – Yesterday, I received some intel from the scouts about the fish’s whereabouts. They reported that the fish were congregating in Portuguese Cove and Las Peidros. On the flip side, it seemed that BOP (Bay of Pigs) and the racks were experiencing slower fishing action. Frank shared with me an interesting tidbit – Roger George had trolled up a whopping 25-pounder from the depths of Portuguese Cove. This revelation ignited a spark of excitement in me, hinting at the possibility of an epic fishing adventure on the horizon.

Despite receiving advice from one of my most trusted confidants that the Bay of Pigs was slow,  I decided to revisit the spots in the bay where Dan and I had previously fished a couple days ago.   Admittedly, I didn’t approach it then in my usual solitary fishing style, where I tend to spend more time experimenting with different techniques and hunting for elusive fish while optimally positioning the boat for the best angle on the fish.   The last time Dan and I had ventured to the Bay of Pigs, fellow anglers had also cautioned me that the fishing was sluggish there. However, last week, we managed to land a couple of dozen fish in the Bay and off the dam outperforming my expectations. . Nevertheless, I was convinced that there was a more effective approach for this time of year, and with the freedom of fishing alone, I could conduct more extensive experiments.

My mission yesterday was to put some flies and retrieves to the test on the fish I had spotted using livescope along the dam. The Dam and Bay of Pigs had consistently produced excellent catches for the past month, but fishing conditions could change unpredictably in a matter of days. The Forebay had been alive with blitzes for a couple of days, but now they seemed to have vanished in the mornings. Historically, this time of year has yielded my best catches, and, through a fortunate blend of serendipity and detective work, I was able to release over 50 fish, with many surpassing the 20-inch mark.  This memorable day also included landing a double-digit  fish, making it the highlight of my year. It’s been almost a full year since I last landed a double-digit fish in the lake, although I’m confident that I’ve hooked a few this year.  Catching the big ones on flies in my opinion is a matter of statistics or as lots of old timers say,  not quitting.   There is more luck involved in hooking large fish vs catching quantities of fish.   Although some believe that if you don’t use big flies, you don’t hook big fish,  the last two big ones were hooked on small flies.   Also,  where you cast to catch larger stripers is not normally where you fish for school stripers,  so the more you are on the schools,  the less you are in the big fish zone unless you are casting to the other side of the boat.

The big one hit a size 1/0 Rainbow over pink over white clouser with small dumbell eyes, tied sparse.   I was fishing a Rio Outbound Short I/S3/S5 and bouncing the fly downhill  allowing the fly to sink all the time it was being retrieved.

I really believe that the secret to fishing the Dam this time of year at this water level is to slowly fish lightly weighted flies bouncing off the bottom.    With the right lines and flies,  fishing the bottom which drops downhill from 1 to 14 feet  has been highly successful for me over the last weeks and its been exciting fishing this method while the fish are there.  It was the best day of the year for me out there and I am looking forward to taking Dan back to this spot to get a taste of this  in a couple days.  Im looking forward to test what I learned today and to see if the fish are still there and I can repeat my success.

2 thoughts on “Serendipity -Best Day of the Year

  1. Meng,

    Great instructional video on bottom stripping & the right fly design/wgt. I am tying up some lighter weighted flies

    I and a friend are going to O’Neill on Tues & Wed 10/24/25. Fishing from pontoon boats (Scaddens). Where would you think we should start, seeing as we have limited range; 152 channel, Meidros, check 12?

    You do a wonderful service for the fly community.

    Best, Bob Bayer ,

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