— Captain Mike Roy Describes His Gameplan for Cooling Waters —
The striped bass migration along the Atlantic Coast is one of the most culturally significant and economically important fisheries in North America, drawing anglers by the thousands to rivers, jetties and nearshore waters for the opportunity to tangle with this dynamic sportfish. Captain Mike Roy, owner-operator of Reel Cast Charters, has been guiding clients to trophy stripers in the Connecticut waters of Long Island Sound for over a decade. Captain Roy has carved out a unique niche in the Northeast sportfishing community by specializing in shallow water striper fishing with light tackle – and he loves chasing stripers in the fall.
“By the last week of August, we’ve reached the summer peak of water temperatures,” reflects Roy. “Rivers running into Long Island Sound can be pushing into the upper 70’s, while deeper water in the middle of the sound can be mid to low 70’s. These conditions set the stage for the fall run. There is a lot of smaller bait in the water, especially peanut bunker and menhaden, which generates a lot of surface activity. I like to target stripers popping peanut bunker on the surface with the CURRENT SNIPER Splash Walk, which is an outstanding walk-the-dog lure. Because it sits with a tail-down posture when at rest, the CURRENT SNIPER Splash Walk has an excellent hookup ratio. We bump into some big bluefish as well during this time. While there are some big striped bass in the area, this is a window when they can be challenging to catch. Those trophy-caliber fish are frequently associated with the bottom. With live bait or eels, you can get them to bite, but generally, the fishing for big stripers can be slow at the end of the summer.”
Better fishing, however, is just around the corner: “The first Nor’easter of the year will start everything up,” reflects Roy. “Once we get through the first week of September, the fishes’ aggression levels begin to peak. The prime fall bite window covers September and October and often extends into mid-November. Every predator is on the chew – bonita, blues, and of course, big stripers. All of these fish are feeding aggressively as they get ready to travel south, completing their annual migration up and back down the Atlantic coast.”