One of the more agreeable aspects of fishing salt pond outflows on a dropping tide is the conveyor belt effect: everything that was inside comes rushing past you on its way to the sea. Bait. Stripers. And sometimes, sadly, weeds. Lord, did I have my weeds Saturday night. Two of them were quite pleasant, a Cabaiguan Guapos on the drive down, then a Saint Luis Rey Corona Gorda for the trip back. The middle, not so much.
From an old, not-so-famous poem: “But all the outgoing tide decreed, was piles and piles of stringy weed.”
Jon and I started out at dusk at Salt Pond A. We could see multitudes of bait in the water. But the only predators feeding on them were jellyfish, ranging in size from a salad plate to a more ominous-looking small platter. Off to Salt Pond B. Jammed with silversides, smaller unidentified baitfish, pods of worried mullet, needlefish, and — alas — precious few stripers. Jon managed a few small hickory shad, while I experienced a first: a mullet on a fly. I was fishing a team of three small bucktail baitfish patterns, ranging from two to three-and-a-half inches. Oh. I also caught weeds. Lots and lots of weeds. Dropper rigs excel at finding weeds. A 3/0 shot above the middle dropper provided a partial remedy, but I still got my limit of aquaflora.
On the way to Salt Pond C, disaster. Clumpthumplit! “What was that?” Jon asked, and immediately answered his question: he had left his rod on the roof of the car. A more fortuitous tumble might have kicked it into the breakdown lane, or even the grassy median. Positive waves were sent as Jon went off into the night to retrieve the fallen warrior. But no. DOA, including the reel. Last rites were given to both roadside, and Jon’s car, now playing the role of hearse, began the long, sorrowful journey back to Connecticut. But not without a detour. Salt Pond C still needed to be investigated. I made quick work of backing up the pool along a short channel. No fish. Several weeds. And lots of biolume.
So, it didn’t happen for us. Don’t bum out, man. Soon, those ponds will be holding.