Delta Report- A day with Steve santucci, the big fish Guru

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Posted by Charlie Bisharat on 2009-02-05 14:49:54

I got the chance to fish with Steve Santucci yesterday on the delta.What a pleasure to have an afternoon with the quiet and unassuming big fish guru.
What brought Steve and me together was an inquiry I made to learn a bit about his experience and undisbuted success with black flies.

Steve is in his early sixties and for many years now has been chasing trophy stripped bass with a fly rod. He has put his hands on 3 fish over 40#'s, 20 fish over 30#'s, and 50 fish over 20#'s. Those are staggering figures and ones that I had to pry out of him while fishing together.

I fully admitt that I am not a smart guy but I am smart enough to know that Steve has had a lot of experience with big stripers, a passion we both share, and that if he was willing to share some of his ideas about the black flies that have done well for him ,that I would have won the fly tiers lotto.

We launched his pride and joy, a 20ft North River inboard jet totally decked out with all the best of everything at 11:30 am and fished the whole afternoon into in early evening.To say that Steve had the hot rod was a bit of an understatement as he did nearly all the catching.
We fished some of my favorite spots and some of his but it didn't matter much, he was the chosen one yesterday. We were nearly at the end of the day and had stopped to fish where we had done well earlier in the afternoon and as Steve stopped the boat he asked me to hand him his rod. There were 2 rods and I asked which one, he said the "I" line and as I started to hand it to him he said "no,no, give me the one with your big black waker fly"
Class was in session as he had made the correct "big fish "choice once again. He said "I have done really well right here on this berm and I just know they should be up on this flat about this time of night.
We both started casting and fishing and were discussing the way big fish behave once they are hooked. We were both describing our experiences when a huge wake formed behind Steve's fly.The unmistakable sucking sound that bigger fish make when they are power slamming a meal soon followed, and the very same big fish behavior that we were just discussing was now happening right before our eyes.
There was a lot of serious head shaking going on and I could not see how big the fish was. As it turned out it was a fat and healthy 13- 14# fish.Perhaps not the 20# type of fish that it's behavior had suggested but a beauty none the less.
As we reeled up and headed for the launch, I was acutely aware of the powerful lession that I had just learned from a guy who once again when faced with a simple choice of rods and flies relied on his vast experience which told him which one he should fish.
Steve, thanks for the day, the time to get to know you and the amazing big fish lession. I wish you the best in your new guiding endevours. Congratulations on having done all the Capt liscense work as well, you were a great Captain yesterday for sure.Maybe you can post a couple of pics from yesterday.

Cheers Chas

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