Field and Stream - - THE MIXED-BAG CHEAT SHEET - —J.C.

Want a true cow striper from the surf? The beaches of western Long Is­land and New Jersey are the places this month. With men­haden schools just off­shore (see “Feed­ing the Cows,” p. 22), the big girls have plenty to eat, and the pres­ence of these meaty bait­fish means you can score with ev­ery­thing from chunks to large top­wa­ters like a pen­cil pop­per. The trick is find­ing the troughs on the beach. To do this, watch a wave break off­shore. As it rolls to the beach, keep a sharp eye on its be­hav­ior. If it re­mains a roil­ing line of white­wa­ter all the way in, it’s likely that the wave is rolling over a shal­low or even bot­tom, which is usu­ally not as “fishy.” If it breaks and then flat­tens be­fore it reaches your feet, that means it rolled over a deeper trough and lost its mo­men­tum. The spot where it flat­tened out is where you want to soak a chunk or pop a pen­cil. Cows use these troughs to get close to feed, so make sure they’ve got some­thing to eat when they cruise through.

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