Monomoy NoMo’: My Seal of Disapproval

Monomoy NoMo’: My Seal of Disapproval

  • Posted by Ed Berger
  • On October 20, 2015
  • Comments
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I was BS’ing with the guys at the Clearance Canyon sale in-between customers back in the fly fishing department, and somehow, Great White Sharks worked their way into the conversation.

I started saltwater fly fishing on a trip with my partner in, Craig.  He and his Dad Neal are very accomplished with the long rod, have a house in Marathon, FL, and fish the rivers for steelhead in Montana where Neal lives.  I was a surf and offshore guy that was looking for something new… I found it.

After getting bitten hard by the fly bug, Craig and I made a trip each spring up to Chatham on the Cape to wade the beautiful sand flats of Monomoy Island.  For those of you unfamiliar with the area, you grab a water taxi from Chatham Harbor and they drop you on the beach of the Island, which as the tide comes up, pretty much gets submerged.  As the water rises over this huge expanse of white sand flats, the sand eels start to emerge from the little creeks and channels that form, and the stripers are not far behind. This has to be one of the only places in the world where you can literally sight fish 30lb striped bass in 18″ of water.  It’s like bone fishing in the Keys… but a NJ surf guy like me, way better.  On a rising tide, it would not be uncommon to get 20 or 30 legitimate shots in a several hour wade, and the fish were on the feed.  It simply was, as good as it gets.

If the fish were not on the flats, and that did happen, the next best strategy was to work your way to the edges of the major channels and blind cast. It was a totally productive strategy and if found a spot that was holding bait, you would catch fish.  We were all throwing real sparse sand eel patterns.  My choice setup was a 10wt. Sage Xi3 with an Intermediate Rio line and Tibor Everglades.

So there I was waist deep next to a 20′ deep channel and I got a sneaking suspicion that I wasn’t alone.  Unfortunately, this was immediately confirmed by a loud snort behind me, revealing a 500lb seal no more than 5′ away. That’s it…. I’m done.

The seal problem on Monomoy Island and Chatham Harbor has gotten so bad that the seals aren’t the problem anymore.  Now it’s Great White Sharks. It was bad enough when the seals would take a few years off your life by sneaking up on you or following you down the beach waiting for you to hook up so they could steal your fish… but now, they have lured one of the apex predators on earth right into my favorite fishing spot.

So my friend and I go to Monomoy NoMo’…. along with maybe a thousand of other guys that used to make an annual pilgrimage to the Mecca of striper sight fishing.  One of the guys in our chat group at the sale has a friend that was hired to tag Great Whites out of Chatham Harbor this past summer.  In a relatively short period of time, he chummed up and tagged 27.


Stay Tuna-ed!

Capt. Ed

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