Fly Fish The Surf
Stripers, Stripers, Stripers!!! They are here people and ready to play in beautiful Monterey. “West coast stripers? You guys get a bass run over there?” Yes we do, and if you look into what California has to offer, you will quickly see that it has the most amazing and divers water system and these fish have maximized on it!
Sunday morning and it just so happened to be my birthday. Low tide at 4:30am, first light at 5:20. Joined by my good friend Tom, we walked the path down to the beach and immediately noticed a shore break caused by a very close and deep shelf, some serious striper water. Loose sand and a steep beach meant we needed to be on our game safety wise. First few casts were kelp groomers (40lb leader played a big role since we were able to rip through most the kelp without snapping off flies). Once we found some clearings it was game on. 4th cast I’m hooked up, good fish 20” and she christened my Beulah surf rod. Toms next cast, wham he sticks another fun sized fish.
We kept walking and looking for clearer water and as soon as we got through the kelp it was fish on. The trick was to lay out an accurate cast to avoid landing on the balls of kelp, and giving it a 10 second count (if possible) so the fly is retrieved below most of the debris. Strip strip pause and repeat. Mix up the retrieve and allow for some hard stops that make those clousers drop if possible. This isn’t always accomplishable and depends on the waves.
The most important advice is to stay in contact with your fly, always be sure you are dragging it on the strip to detect a bite and set the hook. As the morning went on, the tide increased making the waves pounding the shoreline pretty gnarly. This began to limit our shots at good casts, but thanks to the big gun two handers we were able to continue cautiously.
totaled an incredible 8 fish all keeper sized and released safe, a session for the books. The big fish went 28” and what a battle on the fly rod, strait corked the 7/8 Beulah switch with huge heads shakes and line ripping dashes
6” clousers chart/white, white/white, and blue/white were the ticket. Stop by the shop and pick up some Steve Adachi specials and go hit the surf! It has been a bit of hit and miss on the beach, but that’s how surf fishing goes. Never give up! That next session or next cast could make up for all those blank days. Hope everyone has a great summer, we’ll see you on the beach!