Friday I left work early to enjoy some of what nice weather we have left and fish a strong full moon outgoing tide. I arrived at a spot in Stratford just two hours before low tide. On my second cast I felt a slight bump but was unable to make the connection. A few minutes later I was tight to a nice 20” schoolie. I managed to get another one that was about 15” long. All the action was in the first 45 minutes on the water, the rest of the outgoing tide produced not another bite. I talked to a couple other anglers and their results were similar, a few small fish.
On Saturday there were at least a dozen guys at the spot I fished on Friday so I opted to fish elsewhere. I also went out an hour earlier in the tide. There were a couple of others fishing at this spot. No one was getting anything, then after about 45 minutes I started to see some of the other anglers hooking up. They were getting fish with some regularity but I was getting nothing. Thinking I may not be fishing deep enough, I switched over to a clouser. I managed to get one fish while the others kept catching. Then one of the other anglers left so I made my way up to his spot and got into fish right away. After I landed a few I switched over from the clouser to a flat wing and continued to catch. I got about a dozen bass in the 15-20 inch range over the course of about an hour, and then like on Friday, the action just died an hour before low tide.
The little bit of action on Saturday after many less than stellar trips this fall was enough to get me to go back on Sunday. I had a feeling that it could be good based on the tide and the fact that it would be overcast and rainy. Hopefully that would keep the people away.
When I arrived at the spot, I was a bit disappointed to see another car already there. The rain was supposed to keep people away. I suited up and walked out to the spot, and sure enough there were two guys standing exactly where I wanted to be, exactly where the fish would be at that stage of the tide. Not wanting to be rude, I settled for sloppy seconds as I spent an hour watching them catch schoolie after schoolie. Finally things turned around for me. I felt a good solid tug and the fish was quick to the reel in the strong current. I was a bit surprised to find out that the bass was only about 22 or 23 inches long. Despite not being in the most favorable spot, I did manage about a half dozen pity hook ups.
I guess the other two guys must have got tired of catching schoolies because they left after about an hour. Unfortunately by the time they left the hot spot it was no longer hot. The tide drained a lot of water out and the current had gone slack. There was still a bit more than an hour of outgoing tide left and I had considered calling it a day and going home. But while the half a dozen schoolies that I landed was sadly the best fall striper fishing I have experienced in three seasons, I was left wanting for more. So instead of going home, I decided to roll the dice and walk out to a spot that can be good close to the bottom of the outgoing tide. On my second cast I had a short strike. Next cast the line comes tight to a small bass that must have been all of 9” long. I spent the next hour alone in the drizzle and thick fog catching a trout sized striper on nearly every cast. I did get one more 20”+ fish that went on the reel, but the large majority of the stripers I caught were trout sized. Not great, but compared to the miserable fall striper fishing of the past several seasons, this was fantastic action. Hopefully with each passing season these bass will get a few inches longer.