Quick trip out and it wasn't a bad looking morning when I got to the beach just as dark turned to light. A few hours into the incoming had the water at a perfect level for fishing from the rocks. Soon the waves would begin crashing hard on the beach and the sweep would increase making it for difficult fly fishing.
As light arrived I saw how off color the water was and figured I'd be skunked today. I had on a chartreuse and white Deceiver (again) and worked it slow back to the beach. I was surprised to go tight and then even more surprised to feel the good pull on the line. Landed the bass on the rocks and noticed it had a ALS (American Littoral Society) tag in it's back. That is cool as I always like to get the history on the tagged fish from Jeff Dement who runs the program over at the ALS.
Now, I'm blind as a bat for anything up close. I tried like hell to read the numbers off the tag but couldn't. It was still gray enough out where the numbers didn't pop. It was raining so I had my camera in the stupid water proof housing which was fogged up and the front was rain-dropped covered. I figured if I put it on marco I and held the camera super still I could get off a quick frame and get the fish back in the water.
After a bit and with the surf building and it becoming more off color I called it a quick morning. I was anxious to get home and edit the images and get the numbers off the tag and call Jeff. Well, if you look at the above tag...you'll see the numbers are clear as day........the zip code numbers!
So the story of my December 23 rd striped bass, which went 25 inches, while have to be left for the imagination. People ask why I would continue to fly fish for schoolie bass into December. The truth is I love to fish for them, and, every time I go out I learn something and always leave the beach with a good story or picture, like the one above.