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Long Island Stripers

The Fly Fishing in Salt Waters crew sight-casts for stripers in New York

June 15, 2011
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Fly-anglers might not initially think of striped bass as a prime sight-fishing target but one trip to the flats of Long Island, New York will definitely change their mind. Captain Craig Cantelmo of Van Staal reels is a master at spotting and catching these beautiful fish. In early June, Cantelmo hosted Fly Fishing in Salt Waters for three days – what he showed us is something that all fly-anglers should experience.
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The flats of Long Island, New York provide miles and miles of sight-fishing opportunities. Despite the clear water, stripers are tricky to spot and therefore, anglers must be focused at all times.
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An angler poses with an average size flats striper. While this is an average size fish, fish reaching 20 pounds and up aren’t at all uncommon.
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A typical Long Island bass is released back into the crystal clear waters.
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Stripers caught over white sand have a distinct silvery coloration that allows them to blend in to their surroundings.
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At times, it’s hard to not get distracted by the gorgeous homes that dot many of the shorelines off Long Island.
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Stripers on the flats have the tendency to pop up right in front of you in the blink of an eye and therefore anglers must be quick and accurate with their presentations.
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Capt. Craig Cantelmo of Van Staal reels prepares to release an average size striped bass.
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Stripers can suck a fly in their mouth lighting fast. Be gentle with removing hooks that did not set in the corner of the mouth.
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Stripers caught in shallow waters make fast and strong runs much like a bonefish so make sure to equip yourself with a reel that has a smooth drag.
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During the summertime, sand eels make up a good percentage of striper’s diet. Sparsely dressed clousers are deadly if stripped correctly.
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At the end of the fight, stripers use their oversize head to bulldog anglers.
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Fly Fishing in Salt Waters publisher Gary Jennings shows off a healthy Long Island striper that fell for a sand eel imitation.
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Another striper is prepared for release after a classic eat and a strong fight.
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Sometimes, stripers are so thick that anglers can post up and wait for incoming fish but more often then not, poling is the tactic of choice.
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