HIT THE BEACH
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.