Peninsula Fly Fishers

Delta Stripers On The Full Moon

by David Harris

My buddy and I caught some fresh-from-the-ocean stripers on Franks Tract in the Delta a few days ago (late August). We fished a couple of days and nights, under the full moon. Between us, we caught more than fifty stripers and large mouth bass. All fish were released unharmed. It then took all weekend to catch up on my sleepundefinedI was exhausted.

Go to striper slide show

Gear And Flies

All fish were caught using a ten-weight, lead-core line, and streamers or Clousers. I always bring along an eight-weight for poppers and surface action if it happens, which is seldom. My confidence is in lead-core down deep. In the past I have carried a clear intermediate setup, but it doesn't work as well as going deep with lead core. The wind was blowing, so casting in the dark was tricky without getting conked by lead and the big hook. That is why we fished all dayundefinedto get our system down pat and our casting stroke well practiced.

assortment of Enrico Puglisi flies

I tried a new type of fly that you might be interested in, designed by Enrico Puglisi. I outfished my buddy Steve by three to one during the day with these flies. I suspect that's because the bait was smaller than our usual large-size deceivers and Clousers, so these flies were closer to the real thing in size. I got a bunch of reject Enrico-type flies from Ed Schroder (local fly tier) last week and they seemed to work just fine.

At night a giant, black, big-headed deceiver caught the big fishundefinedno other fly came close. It really pushed the water. I don't have any big black flies left to show you, the bass ate them all.

All total, we caught more than fifty bass together. Not bad for a month too early; the best fishing doesn't start until next month.

I seldom use an eight weight (or less than a ten weight) for salt water as I am frequently trophy hunting, looking for big guys. Too many times I have caught large fish with too small of a rod/outfit and lost the fish or stressed it by not getting it to the boat and releasing it unharmed.

Before, I have caught respectable five-pound stripers and have had a forty-pound big-boy striper zoom at it, or the stomach contents the little guy tossed right in front of me just off the rod tip, so I know big fish are around. I wouldn't want to hook that big fish on a six or seven weight outfit. Use an eight weight if that is all you have, but once in a while you will get a very big surprise.

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