A Hot August Night
It was one of those hot August nights on the California surf when everything played out just right. There was a new moon, a light westerly breeze, moderate wave conditions and the always welcomed presence of bait. I left the house at about 10:00 pm with my choice of plug already attached to my line. It was going to be a solo night for me since my usual surfcasting comrades were busy attending to other matters. It’s always nice to fish with friends, but when the bite is on I have no issues fishing alone.
When I arrive at the spot, I was surprised to see it empty. Not an angler in sight. The tide had just started to turn, but the waves were so calm that it looked like a lake. This was the perfect water to throw one of my favorite plugs known as the Fish Arrow Salty Jack. The Salty Jack is jointed balsa wood plug that dives 1’ – 2’ when reeled slowly. The foil finish, along with the jointed body causes this thing to reflect and flash like a strobe light underwater.
After an hour had passed I was about ready to pack it in. At that point I was somewhat frustrated that I didn’t even get a bump… I decide to back track to fish this area where a small outflow from a freshwater creek feeds into the surf. When these waters collide it forms a small rip that meshes with oncoming waves creating the perfect sheet of whitewater to shield stripers as they stalk their prey. “The last cast” I said to myself. As the plug splashed behind another oncoming wave I began to reel in very slowly. After about the 3rd crank, my rod was jolted by lightning when a monster striper inhaled my plug. “Fish on” I yelled into the darkness as the drag on my van staal began to sing that all too familiar song of a striper peeling away line in a fit of rage.
When finally landed this brute, I praised her unmatched beauty. I then unhooked the defeated beast and gently released her back into the dark ocean surf. She had no trouble regaining her senses as she swam briskly back out to the deep. Hopefully we will cross paths again one day to do the same dance. Perhaps if you present your offering in just the right manner, she might dance with you too…;)
Up to about 2009 I had absolutely no confidence in topwater lures. I viewed topwater as a technique to employ only when fish were busting in massive numbers. Never would it be my first choice out the bag until I stumbled upon a (read more)
This article is based on my personal experiences in using the SS little neck in surf fishing for striped bass. I would say 90% of my striper surf striper hookups were enticed by the (read more)