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Old 05-17-2017, 09:11 AM
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Sight Fishing - Snook and Stripers

Challenging. Seeing fish and catching them is the most difficult and rewarding type of wade fishing Iíve done. Cruising Snook or Bass in the shallows are wary. I absolutely believe the pundits who say ďif you can see themÖ they can see youĒ. Over the years Iíve made eye contact with more than one Striper or Snook and almost invariably the fish would move away.

The Stripers Iíve seen wade fishing are sometimes single fish, sometimes in groups of two or three or in large schools. In places like Chatham, Barnstable, Plymouth and Scituate Iíve seen bass. Most fish seem to be traveling. Even feeding fish are most often not aggressive more likely to examine/follow a fly before the take or more likely turn away. I can think of only one instance where Iíve encountered Stripers aggressively feeding/blitzing in a skinny water flat. Iíve caught a few but nothing consistent to the point where I would say Iíve figured it out.

This past winter I was in Naples Florida and had the chance to sight fish for Snook. Iíve caught a few Snook over the years but never sight fishing. Occasionally Iíve seen Snook in close. Sometimes they are cruising the shore just outside the wash. Conditions have to include an off shore breeze and calm surf. If the water is almost completely calm the Snook can be seen on a distant bar or in shallow channels between bars. I got just one Snook this year sight fishing. It was in a group of three fish cruising the surf line. I cast in front of the fish, let the fly sink to the bottom and then started the retrieve all three Snook chased the fly and I hooked up. The Snook jumped a couple of times. It was all of 18 inches and skinny.

Sight fishing for Snook and Stripers doesnít seem all that different. What is your experience?
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Old 05-18-2017, 07:28 AM
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Lights

I have had a couple of opportunities to fish snook under dock lights at night. That's a blast. Different from my striper fishing for sure. Would like to try them in the surf.
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Old 05-22-2017, 01:20 PM
Les Les is offline
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sight fishing

Sight fishing for stripers is something that has been going on in a big way for well over 15 years on the flats around the Cape and other areas. If you search this forum you should be able to retrieve a significant amount of info regarding this form of fishing (plus there have been books written on the subject). Note that in the past 3 or more years the proliferation of seals in the areas that I have been fishing for about the past 20 years has really "increased the challenge" of getting good days of multiple shots at relatively unstressed cruising fish. These days, it is not uncommon to see mature and juvenile seals right up on the flats whenever fish are there....or at least soon thereafter. This makes a "reasonable game" in the spring time very difficult and a normally "difficult game" in the summer really, really difficult.

I would recommend trying to find some productive flats in areas where the seal population is low....and since I am not a local....I am not even sure if that is possible these days......maybe one of the sharpies on this board will chime in with an additional word of wisdom or two (of course, I wouldn't expect that you will hear any detailed "spot" information ....."Those who know, don't say; those who say, don't know"

Good luck with your fishing !!

Last edited by Les; 05-22-2017 at 01:35 PM.. Reason: added info...
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Old 05-23-2017, 06:29 PM
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Using google earth or nautical charts one can find a number of flats, some are quite small but still fish can be found at times. The big three are Monamoy, Brewster, and Barnstable. Momanmoy does have seals.
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Old Yesterday, 08:47 AM
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There are a lot of similarities BUT....snook running the shoreline that can be sight fished seems to be almost unique to the shorelines around Naples, while stripers running a shoreline happens a LOT.

More commonly we sight fish snook along interior mangrove shorelines and more often than not they are laid up still on the bottom waiting for an ambush situation and actually quite aggressive.

I have several locations where I regularly seer BIG stripers running a shoreline, literally 2 feet off the sand, most commonly on the upper incoming tide levels. And yes, they are definitely travelling, but why they choose to do it that close if they are NOT looking for food is a puzzle, and yes, they are tough.

I usually end up 50 feet up on the sand, running, in soft sand and waders, dragging 60 feet of flyline behind me, trying to get ahead of the fish for another shot. Seems the fish is just laughing at me, speed up, but never even bothers leaving the shoreline.

But otherwise, wading and sight fishing stripers is MUCH more productive and easier than most of the Florida fish that can be waded and/or sight fished....such as bones, permit, etc.. After the spring Florida trip I come to the Cape to restore my ego, sanity, and cancel the scheduled trips to the therapist.
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