Some resident silvers feed on sand shrimp

Discussion in 'Saltwater' started by Roger Stephens, Apr 11, 2005.

  1. Roger Stephens

    Roger Stephens Active Member

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    For the past 2 1/2 months there have been some nice sized schools of resident silvers which have locked into a broad shallow cove on Puget Sound. Every winter I will keep a few adipose clipped fish for the dinner table. Their sweet flavor from feeding on amphipods, krill, and sand shrimp makes for an excellent meal when they are sauted in wine with some chopped green onions and spices thrown in for good measure. Recently, I kept several resident silvers from that cove and they had approximately 2 1/2 to 3 inch long sand shrimp in their stomachs.

    Resident silvers are eating machines. They will feast on whatever food source that they can find. The staples of their diet are baitfish, krill, and amphipods with sand shrimp thrown in when they are available. Over the years I have found 6 locations where resident silvers will feed on sand shrimp. At 1 location they are there every year feeding on sand shrimp. At 2 locations it is every 2-4 years and the others every 6-10 years. The fish are on the prowl/move looking for the sand shrimp which makes it an enjoyable cat and mouse fishing game.

    Below are my thoughts(apparent truths) and observations(fantasies) for finding and fishing areas that resident silvers are feeding on sand shrimp:

    1. STOMACH CONTENT. I always check the stomach content of any resident silver to see what it was dining on. However, false negatives will often be encountered since after being hooked and stressed a fish will frequently regurgitate it's stomach content. It is not uncommon to see that happen close to the boat. When resident silvers are feeding on amphipods, krill, or baitfish, you can usually observe these food sources in or on the water and by the activity of the fish or sea gulls. However, when residents silvers are feeding on sand shrimp, it is not readily apparent. Over the years I would not have realized the fish were feed on sand shrimp without examining their stomach content.

    2. FISHING jOURNAL. I am a big fan of keeping a fishing journal. Over the years, it has been instrumental in pinpointing locations where I have found resident silvers feeding on sand shrimp.

    3. CONDITIONS/LOCATIONS WHERE RESIDENT SILVERS MIGHT BE FOUND FEEDING ON SAND SHRIMP. The main conditions are a broad shallow sandy flat with little/no tidal current. All locations involve either a small or broad cove situation. The fish are usually found in 2-6 ft. of water and frequently can be seen jumping. Sun will put the fish down with the best fishing being in early morning on cloudy windless days.

    4. TIDE TO FISH. The fishing is best from the start of the ebb tide to half way through the tide. After that the area usually becomes too shallow and the fish move out into deeper water unless the low tide is not very pronounced.

    5. FLY PATTERN. Baitfish patterns work well but a 2 1/2 to 3 inch long shrimp pattern works best. A shrimp fly will out fish a baitfish pattern about 3 or 4 to 1. The preferred color has been a tan. However, my fishing buddy has been very successful with a brown shrimp pattern. A slow to moderate erratic retrieve works best.

    It is worth while trying to find areas where resident silvers are feeding on sand shrimp as you will be able to have a bonanza of excellent fishing for several months. The fish will stay locked into the area since they have a good food source that is not very mobile.

    The Lord has given me gifts of serving/helping others so I hope that I have stimulated or increased your enjoyment of fly fishing on Puget Sound.
     
  2. MauiJim

    MauiJim ka lawai'a

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    Thanks for your post Mr Stephens, it's great that you keep such meticulous data over so many years... your help is appreciated!
     
  3. D3Smartie

    D3Smartie Active Member

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    they sure are tasty....
    i do miss those days when i could get after them... used to get them out of the float tube infront of the tribal center in suquamish... that net pen fishery wasnt bad either
     
  4. David Holmes

    David Holmes Formerly known as "capmblade"

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    How do you fish a sand shrimp fly?

    And what are the takes like?
     
  5. mat1226

    mat1226 Active Member

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    Campblade,

    Great question. I was wondering the same thing as I was reading his post. I know of some places where I used to dig for sand shrimp when I fished steelhead with gear. I imagine he fishes them right on the bottom similar to throwing a dragon nymph on the bottom and giving a quick strip to send up a little dirt.

    I suppose it is worth looking at on the outgoing tide in that location. Launch the boat and do some stalking.

    I for one have been stimulated and inspired by your post Mr. Stephens.

    Thanks
     
  6. Roger Stephens

    Roger Stephens Active Member

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    Capmblade and Mark:

    I fish the sand shrimp pattern with an extra fast(3.75-6.50 inches/sec.) full sinking line. The fly is tied on a #6 long shank(4XL) hook with the full length of the shank wrapped with .03 lead wire. I want to get it down near the sandy bottom where the sand shrimp are hanging out.

    I use a slow/moderate erratic retrieve when fishing this fly pattern.

    Roger
     
  7. Bob Triggs

    Bob Triggs Your Preferred Olympic Peninsula Fly Fishing Guide

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    Yah gotta love this guy! :thumb:

    Thanks Mr Stephens.
     

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