From the sandy beaches of Plum Island to the rock piles of Gloucester and north to New Hampshire, Cape Ann is prime real estate for striped bass. Capt. Nat Moody fishes these waters hard all season long, and has found a pattern that catches more big spring stripers for him than any other: a huge Clouser minnow with a rabbit fur tail.
."hen the big bass arrive, this big Clouser works for us everywhere, in every part of the water column."Moody says.."e drift it deep with 400-grain lines over offshore humps, we throw it into the middle of breaking fish on the surface, and we fish it close to the beach when the fish are feeding on sand eels. The tremendous motion of the rabbit, combined with the great action imparted by the Clouser design, just seems to draw more strikes."he concludes.
Moody¿' Clouser begins with a full 7-inch long, white magnum rabbit strip tied on a 4/0 Trey Combs Big Game hook. A belly of white bucktail is added along with several strands of pearl and silver flash and Krystal Flash down the sides. The fly is topped with a pinch each of white, yellow and chartreuse bucktail and finally eight to 10 strands of peacock. The eyes are extra large, pearl with black pupils, and after applying epoxy for durability, red gills are drawn in with a magic marker.
." like to work this fly deep and slow."Moody says,."ut when stripers are feeding on the surface, this pattern will get down fast to where the bigger fish are."