August 3, 2013

Allen Afield: Making you blue or ever so happy, those bluefish

By Ken Allen

(Continued from page 1)

Anglers just troll for bluefish because the tactic covers more area, or they still-fish with bait, often long-lining. Stickbaits imitating natural forage like mackerel or pogies do well while trolling off the Maine coast.

People may argue a point with me. When bluefish are marauding after schooling baitfish, it would be difficult not to catch blues with a simple, fast retrieve of any bait choice -- live and cut fish, pieces of squid, live shrimp, hardware, flies -- or you name it. Then hours pass when a skilled approach takes fish when no one else is catching any bluefish.

Bluefish are unpredictable at times. One late July morning on the Kennebec River, word was out that bluefish were nonexistent that season along the Maine coast, so I was fishing for stripers with a 9-weight fly rod, 16-pound tippet and valuable Casa Mar Special, a prized fly that Bill Barnes himself, the inventor, gave me one winter in Costa Rica.

A bluefish grabbed my Casa Mar Special on the 16-pound tippet and fought for 10 or 12 minutes.

A 16-pound test shouldn't have lasted that long against a toothy bluefish, and it eventually cut my tippet -- goodbye Bill Barnes' fly. I'll probably never get another Casa Mar Special from the pattern's originator, either.

Ken Allen, of Belgrade Lakes, a writer, editor and photographer, may be reached at:


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