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Old 10-01-2004, 01:06 PM   #1
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Smile Fishing the "Shadow Line"

Most, not all but most, surf fishermen despise the moon after it hits the half full stage. Fishing the full 1/2 full to full then to the last 1/2 can be pretty discouraging. Bluefish tend to feed all night under the light of the silvery moon and bass tend to get really wary. Some guys go to minimal hardware or none for that matter and light Fluorocarbon leaders. Yellow plugs will catch sometimes but usually in the early spring and late fall when the feed bag is on.

There is good fishing to be had while the moon radiates down and makes it un-nescesary to use your headlamp or pocket flashlight. The key is patience. Rather than consult your Eldridge Tide and Pilot for high or low tide, go to the lunar tables for moon rise and set for your area. Along the outer beach in areas where the dunes are high, like Truro and Wellfleet, the moon as it travels across the sky from east to west with the earth's rotation will settle slowly in the sky until ultimately it falls behind the crest of the dunes and a shadow line grows from the base of the dunes out a 1/4 mile or so from the beach. Usually this happens in the wee hours of the night so you have to be prepared to be able to spend the night on the beach.

This is the Shadow line. To me it's a proven fact that as soon as that shadow line starts to broaden out from the beach the bass will, 9 times out of 10, come in under the cover of the darkened conditions to feed. Some nights, most nights for that matter, it's like someone flipped a switch in the bass making them go from ultra-wary to the attack mode in a matter of minutes. Low tide or High, halfway up or halfway down, it makes no difference the game is on.

We have these conditions now and until the moon goes to the last quarter this is the time when you are most apt to hook-up.
It not only applies to the outer beach but I have seen this phenomena produce the same results in the canal when eel fshing late at night and the rocky shores of Sagamore north to Plymouth. Dark plugs seem to work better in the shadow line too. Black Bombers', Yo-zuri black/blue Mag-Darters, black Mag-minnows and of course eels. The fish will tend to be right in the wash so long casts are not nescesary. Also, you want to position yourself well back up on the slope, at least 30 feet or more from the wash edge of the foam. Fish that hit powerfully and right in the first wave, with no stretch braid will tear off in that first furious moment of the battle when they hit and roll and thrash before taking off. The line parts with a shot and they are gone. Give yourself some cushion space and make sure your drag is set a touch looser than normal. Experiment with this and I am sure your results while fishing the fuller moon phases will ramp up. Flap

Why even try.........
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