Fly Fishing For Bluefish
Bluefish, called Choppers by many anglers, are one of the most voracious fish you can
catch on the fly. Bluefish are found along the East coast and the Gulf of Mexico. The
eager to feed fish are also called Slammers because of the way they will take a lure or
popper type fly. They will also take their toll on flies. They average about five pounds
most places but they are much larger in some waters, especially the waters off the
Northeastern Coast. There an average fish is probably fifteen pounds.
They create a huge disturbance on the surface when feeding on schools of small fish. It
is a sight to behold sometimes. Fly fishing for bluefish can be very exciting when such a
disturbance is going on. I have caught speckled trout in the Gulf when you couldn't get
them back to the boat without a bluefish taking the half the fish. I have had it happen on
almost every fish I caught off the Louisiana oil rigs at times.
Bluefish grow larger in cold water. They school according to their age and size. Most of
the time every fish you catch from a school are all about the same size. The prefer water
ranging in the sixties. They migrate seasonally, heading north in the summer and south in
the winter. The larger bluefish prefer the colder, northern water.
Bluefish are structure related. Reefs that are near the shore are excellent places to find
them. A typical reef that holds bluefish would be found in five to thirty feet of water. They
prefer to ambush their prey but will also circle and attack schools of baitfish in open water.
The best way to locate feeding bluefish is by watching for birds. They usually circle over
the bluefish because of the destruction they do to schools of fish. There's usually lots of
leftovers for the birds to eat.
Another popular place for fly fishing for bluefish is in the surf. In this case you just have to
watch for them. If blues are in the surf, you will usually know it. They will be chasing bait
out of the water or they will have flocks of birds over them. Most of the time you can
actually see the dark shadows of the schools of bluefish. The majority of their feeding
sprees are early in the morning or very late in the day. They seem to like low light
conditions. This makes them much easier to catch on the fly.
Bluefish eat almost anything that swims. Their favorite food is menhaden, silversides,
anchovies, shrimp, lobster, herring, worms, crabs, pinfish and butterfish. The fly pattern
isn't all that important in terms of being an exact replica of any one species of baitfish.
How long the fly last is one of the most important things. As long as they imitate baitfish
fairly well, the bluefish will usually take them. The larger, brighter flies such as our
Clousers and Deceivers work great. We sell several sizes of each of these at Perfect Fly.
The key to bait presentation is to strip the fly as fast as it is possible.. You cannot overdo
stripping when you are fly fishing for bluefish. The faster the better and higher the catch
ratio. You can use heavy mono or wire leaders. If the bluefish are very large, we suggest
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