People don’t talk about them much, except for those of us who chase after them, sometimes successfully.
They are worms one- to three-inches in length of various colors (pink, orange, brown, etc.). They swarm on the surface of the salt ponds in Rhode Island and on Cape Cod in the late afternoons in May, and the stripers can go pretty crazy on them.
For tying purposes, the worms are black at both ends and range from 1/4 to 1/3 of an inch thick. They swim around on or just below the surface, and some people tie in one or two strands of pearl Krystal Flash to imitate the eggs being put out into the water by these swimming worms.
If you are fortunate enough to find some hatching worms, you will see many swirls of stripers. But understand that if it’s raining, cold or windy, then the worms often never appear.
I had a day last spring when it was going gangbusters on worms and fish and then a squall came through with rain and wind and everything shut down: no worms, no fish, no nothing, for about 30 minutes or so.
And, then, to my surprise, after the storm went through, things calmed down (weather-wise), and, suddenly, all those worms reappeared. The whole show went crazy again.
Warm sunny weather is the best for these worm hatches, enough to warm up the shallow water in these salt ponds enough to bring the worms out of the mud to spawn on the surface.
The best areas are those with sea-grass and soft mud; that’s where these worms live. But, they will appear in unexpected places, so, you need a kayak to move around and just look for them in the late afternoon on a nice day.
Good luck! This is a great fishery and it’s like dry fly fishing for stripers. Give it a try! Get out and search. You may be in for a real treat if you can find hatching worms….