Cagey fish that crash bait and sniff out crabs in the mud. Expansive flats and bluewater cuts. Big rods, precise casts, and fish that make you work for every hook up. You could almost be in the tropics, until you realize the mangroves and palm trees have been replaced by sand dunes and marshy back bays, and instead of conch fritters at the end of the day you’re more likely to end up with a lobster roll. Nonetheless, the colder environs of the Atlantic coast have plenty to offer—from sight-castable stripers on the beach to reel-burning false albies just offshore. Though you might be reaching for a rain shell a bit more often, the blitzes and bait balls will more than make up for it.
Throughout North America, bass of all types are loved and obsessed over, from the smallies of the Midwest to the bucketmouths of the South. But along the north Atlantic coast, there’s no question that the People’s Choice award goes to Morone saxatilis—the Striped Bass. They’re a hard-nosed, no-nonsense fish—the perfect New England mascot—one that demands respect no matter your approach. Chasing diving terns and blitzing bass on top? You betcha. Dredging squid patterns in tidal rips for heavyweights? Why not. Sight-fishing white-sand flats with a floating line and Merkin crab? You had me at “sight-fishing.” Whether you’re running a $100K center console, a $5K new-to-you skiff, or a $5 pair of flip flops and a repurposed milk crate stripping basket, there’s a striper out there for you.
PERFECT SETUP | STRIPER
"It's a rising tide and the swell relentlessly assaults the barnacle-laden boulders and forests of seaweed making up the rugged New England shoreline. With every wave comes a flush of water back over the rocks and toward the sea, pulling disoriented prey with it. With their big powerful tails, Stripers use this to their advantage for an easy opportunity at a meal. This is one of the most effective ways to target large Bass on the fly, and the appropriate tools are needed to throw large wind resistant flies into the right spot, and keep the fly in the zone. Paired with an ENFORCER 9/10 and RIO Premier Striper WF9I line, the SALT R8 990-4 makes the perfect tool for fishing the outside walls and jetty's." - Guide Zak Robinson
For a fish with more aliases than Jason Bourne, the false albacore has taken up its fair share of the spotlight over the years, and rightly so. The chaos of a school of false albies blitzing bait amid the cascading cries and dives of seabirds is, simply put, a thing of beauty—the natural world at its most visceral and alive, and at its most heart-attack-inducing for fly anglers. But it’s about more than just the chaos. It’s about drive-by takes that rip the line from your fingers. It’s about the runs that can properly test a drag. And it’s about a fish pulling hard for the center of the earth—and feeling like there’s no way in hell you’ll ever stop it.
PERFECT SETUP | FALSE ALBACORE
"It’s cold, the “W” is howling, and the water is erupting in utter violence in front of you – it’s fall in the northeast and albies have arrived. Power is the name of the game when these “Tiny Tunny” are on the hit-list. The SALT R8 1090-4 is ideal for these quick-shots into chaos and slowing the descent of a sounding albacore. Paired with an ENFORCER 9/10 and RIO Coastal Quickshooter XP WF10I, this setup is ideal to have when “Fat Albert” comes to town." - Guide Zak Robinson