Bogey

Darters in the CCC?

65 posts in this topic

Never fished the canal but hear a lot about it here, pencils, stick shads, magic swimmers, jigs with rubber are always mentioned a lot but rarely, if at all, darters. I would think that they would be ideal a certain times of the tide. Am I missing something?

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There are very few times where you can open your bail and let a darter drift way out because of close neighbors. 

Maybe during a weekday when everyone goes to work and there are no people around. 

Truthful i dont need a darter in my bag to score fish at the canal.i would pick long distance plugs as a first plug choice. And others you mentioned. 

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46 mins ago, R.R. Bridge Fisher said:

There are very few times where you can open your bail and let a darter drift way out because of close neighbors. 

Maybe during a weekday when everyone goes to work and there are no people around. 

Truthful i dont need a darter in my bag to score fish at the canal.i would pick long distance plugs as a first plug choice. And others you mentioned. 

Agreed. With limited space it isn’t as effective. But, I’ve had success when fish are close and no crowds. It’s not normally in the bag for the canal.

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Darters do work in the canal, but I find it is easier to just swim a jig 10 ft down when the fish are in that range. You can get a lot more versatility with one lure to swim it deep, mid, or burn it to get it up top, and they cost a lot less if you lose them. That being said, I have done well with swimming plugs, especially the stick shad or other waverers when the fish are up higher.

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Posted (edited)

I wouldn't drift a darter in the ditch. I don't see the point in that, it's not like drifting a jig to get it to the bottom.  If I was going to fish darters in the ditch I would move from spot to spot and target specific rips, points, eddies, etc..

Edited by rbart

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23 mins ago, R.R. Bridge Fisher said:

When big fish were there any plug worked.

Next year play around with different plugs and see.

Savant 

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2 hours ago, rbart said:

I wouldn't drift a darter in the ditch. I don't see the point in that, it's not like drifting a jig to get it to the bottom.  If I was going to fish darters in the ditch I would move from spot to spot and target specific rips, points, eddies, etc..

IMHO, there's no need to drift a darter in the ditch, for all of the aforementioned reasons plus one that I will add, which is that currents of 3 to 5 knots (anywhere, not just the ditch) are hardly conducive to using darters.

 

I have had *some* success fishing darters in a handful of spots at slack +/- an hour or so.  Might I had been as successful using all of the lures that you mentioned in your opening post?  Probably.  But I wanted to try something different.

 

(and 2017 was hardly the season for trying to determine the effectiveness of various lures.)

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6 hours ago, R.R. Bridge Fisher said:

There are very few times where you can open your bail and let a darter drift way out because of close neighbors. 

Maybe during a weekday when everyone goes to work and there are no people around. 

Truthful i dont need a darter in my bag to score fish at the canal.i would pick long distance plugs as a first plug choice. And others you mentioned. 

Curious what you are referring to ... I get the drifting to give more distance (though I thought this was a technique for breachway outflows) but that really doesn't address the retrieve action ...

 

My first and only real success at the canal was with a 2.5 Gibbs Bone Darter ... AM Labor Day weekend 2016 caught 4 over 20# and lost a few more. Fish blitzing all over and everyone was catching; I tried Magic Swimmer and got nothing so switch to the Darter ... worked great.  

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Posted (edited)

When I fish at night I alternate between jigging the bottom and working the top half of the water column. There are plenty of rips in the canal where the fish are hanging mid-column, on the edge of the rip, ambushing bait. Bottle neck darters get a great pulse when they chug in the current, mid-tide.

 

This summer I got this 36" fish with a bottle darter at night. I've caught plenty of other fish in the same manner with stickbaits like Bombers.

 

bottle_deck_darter.jpg.76de09594c02ab3e9660a32604de2096.jpg

Edited by zak-striper

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1 hour ago, Southcoastphil said:

IMHO, there's no need to drift a darter in the ditch, for all of the aforementioned reasons plus one that I will add, which is that currents of 3 to 5 knots (anywhere, not just the ditch) are hardly conducive to using darters.

 

I have had *some* success fishing darters in a handful of spots at slack +/- an hour or so.  Might I had been as successful using all of the lures that you mentioned in your opening post?  Probably.  But I wanted to try something different.

 

(and 2017 was hardly the season for trying to determine the effectiveness of various lures.)

2017 was hardly the season because they would hit anything. For a 7 week period, if you showed up at night, and threw in anything mackerel length, you would have had a 40" fish.

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28 mins ago, xjclint said:

2017 was hardly the season because they would hit anything. For a 7 week period, if you showed up at night, and threw in anything mackerel length, you would have had a 40" fish.

yep

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like mentioned, 2017 was outstanding, 2015, 2016 was a little different,,,,, ok a lot different.. lol, but those years and years before that, i use a loaded NB bottle-darters, with good success, also use loaded Atom-40's, the old Bob Pond plastic ones, to target the mid water to deeper water of the water column - Butch N. 

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Posted (edited)

22 hours ago, xjclint said:

2017 was hardly the season because they would hit anything. For a 7 week period, if you showed up at night, and threw in anything mackerel length, you would have had a 40" fish.

LOL...for sure!!  One morning I went through my entire bag trying to find a plug they wouldn't eat.  I threw surface metal lip, sub-surface metal lip, magic swimmer, stick shad, pencil, bottle darter, savage, tsunami swim shad, live-lined a mackerel and drifted a dead mack...caught on every one of them, most on first attempt.  Certainly not credit to my angling ability!  It was just that kind of easy fishing (more like catching) on more than a few occasions down there in '17.

 

As for the OP question, the Northbar bottle darter (plastic) has been my most productive plug in the canal for the past three seasons.  I use them at night (when not jigging or eeling) and during low light conditions (early AM or dusk).  No need to open the bail and drift.  Cast towards middle, close bail, pump rod tip a few times, drift down into rip, hang on....

Edited by FoliFish

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