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Conveyor Man
10-15-2003, 08:22 PM
I got out of work at a decent hour and though I told my wife I would be home early I stopped to catch a couple of Hickory Shad that have been running in the tidal rivers in the area. I took out my 5 ft. one piece light spinning rod with 6 lbs test line and a 1/8 oz. Jig head with a little twisty tail grub on it. I would love to use a fly rod but it doesnít work in this small spot with a bridge, no back casting room, a very narrow section of water, and over head power lines. But this spot is filled with Shad and they are a great fight on this little light rod.

As I bring in my fourth shad in about fifteen minutes Iím thinking about packing it in and getting home. As I get the fish up to shore a big striper swipes at it. I start to think it might be fun to let the striper take it and feel this big striper on this little rod for a second or two. So I let the shad swim out again and after a couple more swipes the striper takes him. I play out a little line so I donít just pull the shad out of his mouth and then set the hook. As the striper feels the pull he starts to head down river with the out going tide. This little rod is so undersized I have no leverage and I have a very small reel that doesnít hold much line. This fish is just stripping it all away. Every fifty feet or so he comes to a stop and I think I can turn him and gain some line back but as soon as I start to pull he turns and heads down river again. As he comes dangerously close to spooling me I realize I must follow him. I make my way down a high bank to a point where I gained back a lot of line but there is no way I can land him in this area. At this point it has been about 20 minutes and the fish is exhausted but I have to get him back up river, to where I started, to land him. I very slowly start pulling him up to the place I started about 50 yards up river. When I get this poor fish there it is totally exhausted. As I drag it up on shore it doesnít fight at all. I realize that this is going to be the second striper I have kept in the last 10 years. I hate to kill such a beautifull fish, I do love fish so it is a mixed blessing. I donít have a very accurate fish scale (and he wouldnít stand up on the bathroom scale) but he weighed in the 20 lbs. range. This is by far the biggest fish I have ever caught on 6 lbs. test line.


I have heard some other people with similar experiences. With the lack of big Bunker in the Long Island Sound I think some large stripers have moved into the tidal rivers after this bigger bait. For those of us who are shore bound this could be a real opportunity.

calebsb
10-15-2003, 08:30 PM
You should give the hickories a try on the flyrod too; bridges are a good place to practice your roll-cast. I fish for shad off the Mystic bridge on my way to and from Weekapaug. I use an 8wt on windy days and a 6wt on calm days. I find the shad a great consolation when the bass have outsmarted me at every turn.

calebsb
10-15-2003, 08:32 PM
Come to think of it, after your story the 8wt is sounding better and better. Nice fish.

Conveyor Man
10-15-2003, 08:49 PM
You know calebsb I never thought of that. I have tried to fish this spot with a fly rod from the shore and it is totally frustrating but from the bridge I could use my 8 Weight to roll shad flies in or my 10 weight to roll a 8 in. white broad side fly in.

Great Suggestion.

calebsb
10-19-2003, 08:52 AM
It's good to hear that the hiickories finally showed up. They were so late this year I almost stopped thinking about them. They should draw more huge bass into the rivers.