The strains of the song echo in my mind- “Nobody on the road. Nobody on the beach.” Was Don Henley singing about the beginning of the second half of the Striped Bass migration in The Boys of Summer? Not likely, but the passing of Labor Day marks the departure of summer residents and beach goers- a welcomed sight for fishermen looking to hit the beach and start their “fall run” fishing. Anticipation is high for some good bites before its time to hang up the equipment, and hibernate for the winter.
So the tourists have done their part and left. Now, what can you do to make this fall a productive and memorable end to your season? First, check all the equipment- your line, hooks, rods & reels, etc. Equipment failure can make for a miserable day. Next, check where you will be fishing. There may be changes in structure that might have occurred over the summer due to storms and beach replenishment- especially where you have sand bars, cuts, holes etc. on sand beaches. Meteorological activity such a wind driven rip currents or hurricanes, can change these places in an instant. The best time to see what the structure looks like and if any changes have occurred is low tide during the day.
Third, continue to do your homework when it comes to winds, tides, moon phases, and bait patterns. This research always helps put the percentages in your favor when it comes to catching fish more consistently. Which winds, tides, moon phases, and bait patterns are most beneficial in certain areas will vary, so you’ll have to put in your time to figure out which aspects of these conditions work the best for the area(s) you intend to fish.
This brings me to last piece of the puzzle. If you are going to be successful, you have to get out as much as possible. The more you’re actually on the beach and “in the game", the better your
chance of figuring out the necessary information to put you on the fish more consistently. By being out there as often as you can, you’ll have more opportunities to hit those daytime “blitzes” when temperatures drop and the bait moves out the bays and into the inlets and outer beaches. There’s no substitute for putting in the time. It’s what makes you better and gives you more experience. It has been said that you either catch or you learn. Sometimes you will feel you are learning more than you are catching, but not catching tells you what doesn’t work and hopefully points you towards what will work.
In closing, since summer is over and “there’s nobody on the road and nobody on the beach”, make it your beach. Make it your time, your opportunity to learn, and in doing so, have a the
opportunities to make some great memories with family, friends, and fellow anglers. Take pictures and make notes in your journal. Both will be appreciated in the future. Lastly, make time to take the kids fishing. Get them started on the “right foot”. It could be a time to make a “New Beginning” to what could be a life time of fishing the beach. There is nothing like a good fall “blitz” to get a kid hooked for a lifetime. Get them disconnect from the electronics and connected to family, nature, and this great sport! Live Authentic! Live the Passion! Tight lines!
Guide with over 30 years of experience fishing the legendary waters of Long Island. He is well known for his informative seminars at saltwater shows in the Northeast. Bernie offers trips along the outer beaches and inlets of Long Island, as well as Cape Cod Canal, Cuttyhunk, and other Northeast Striper locations. He is a pro-team member for S&S Bucktails, ODM RODS, and KastKing, as well as a member of the Long Island Beach Buggy Association and the Montauk Surfcasters Association. You can contact Bernie on Facebook through Bernie Bass Surfcasting Services, on Instagram @Bernie_bass, and through his website at https://www.berniebass.com/