FishingEnthusiast

Need Advice on Boston Harbor Striper Tactics June

14 posts in this topic

Posted (edited)

Hey Guys,

 

I went striper fishing for my first timer ever yesterday and I was able to hook 2 schoolies on a mag darter in the Deer Island/ Long Island area.

Those two bites came pretty early after we, my colleagues (all not to knowledgeable about fishing) and I, did head out. After being euphoric due to early success, we were brought back down to earth, because we wouldn't have any fish contact from that point on.

 

Not catching anything isn't a problem for me, but feeling helpless is. I honestly didn't have any clue what tactics to use or where to search for the fish. My saltwater background comes mainly from fishing in Norway or in tropical water. I feel that fishing the shallow Boston Harbor might be a little bit more different than I thought.

I will try a short summary below of what I suspect we did wrong and I hope you could comment on that, so that I will feel less dumb the next time we head out. I understand a lot of this will be hidden in this forum already, but I didn't really find what I was looking for yet.

 

1. My research told me that it doesn't really matter if we fish incoming or outgoing tide, some people like one better than the other. Correct?

2. We decided to fish the outgoing tide 10 am - 3 pm this time. This resulted in fishing in the middle of the day. My personal experience tells me that either early morning or before dark is better. What would you say is more important if you can choose. Time of day or tide?

3. We fished rather shallow at around 10ft. most of the time and that is where we had initial contact. I feel that it might have been a better idea to move to deeper water (20 - 30 ft.) as the day progressed. Correct?

4. Since we had people on the boat who are very new to fishing, I had them fish vertically because I didn't feel it would have been save for anyone to have them casting on a "packed" boat. Is there anyway you can be successful fishing vertically in shallow water? My plan was to have them drift live bait, but we weren't able to buy any unfortunately. Is that a better idea for shallow water fishing?

 

This would be all for the first part and I would be happy if anybody could share their experience and comment on my ideas.

 

TL

Edited by FishingEnthusiast

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Head out before dawn and try and find some Mackerel to jig up so you can live line them. I assume you have a fish finder so that will help. Or, head out at first light with a good pair of binoculars and look for birds diving on bait. You will almost always find stripers under them. Another safe bet is to go before dawn on an outgoing tide and try some of the outflows near the various rivers. Fishing shallow during the day is a sure way not to catch anything. It can work really well in the dark though. Keep at it. You will find them...

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During the summer is hard to fish during the day. Night time and pre-dawn is the best bet. Stripers does not like hot weather.....and moved to deeper water during the day and cruise around during the night. I've seen 30lbers pre-dawn hanging around harbor, but when I got there it was too late. They moved to deeper water.

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Posted (edited)

On 6/11/2018 at 2:52 PM, FishingEnthusiast said:

Hey Guys,

 

I went striper fishing for my first timer ever yesterday and I was able to hook 2 schoolies on a mag darter in the Deer Island/ Long Island area.

Those two bites came pretty early after we, my colleagues (all not to knowledgeable about fishing) and I, did head out. After being euphoric due to early success, we were brought back down to earth, because we wouldn't have any fish contact from that point on.

 

Not catching anything isn't a problem for me, but feeling helpless is. I honestly didn't have any clue what tactics to use or where to search for the fish. My saltwater background comes mainly from fishing in Norway or in tropical water. I feel that fishing the shallow Boston Harbor might be a little bit more different than I thought.

I will try a short summary below of what I suspect we did wrong and I hope you could comment on that, so that I will feel less dumb the next time we head out. I understand a lot of this will be hidden in this forum already, but I didn't really find what I was looking for yet.

 

1. My research told me that it doesn't really matter if we fish incoming or outgoing tide, some people like one better than the other. Correct?

2. We decided to fish the outgoing tide 10 am - 3 pm this time. This resulted in fishing in the middle of the day. My personal experience tells me that either early morning or before dark is better. What would you say is more important if you can choose. Time of day or tide?

3. We fished rather shallow at around 10ft. most of the time and that is where we had initial contact. I feel that it might have been a better idea to move to deeper water (20 - 30 ft.) as the day progressed. Correct?

4. Since we had people on the boat who are very new to fishing, I had them fish vertically because I didn't feel it would have been save for anyone to have them casting on a "packed" boat. Is there anyway you can be successful fishing vertically in shallow water? My plan was to have them drift live bait, but we weren't able to buy any unfortunately. Is that a better idea for shallow water fishing?

 

This would be all for the first part and I would be happy if anybody could share their experience and comment on my ideas.

 

TL

June-July-August- and some of September are our Trophy times up here. You can occasionally throw in May and October but truthfully June-August is my real go too.

 

With that being said, I fish at night. When you are comfortable, because it does take time, fish at night. Start out with eels and fish in under 15 in the rocks'. While you are learning the area with eels, have another rod with light jig head to fish plastics from Hogy. 3/4oz jig head is what I use with XXX strong hooks because the bass are not small up here. Also think about fishing "weightless" plastics with XXX Strong Hooks in the shallow. It's very common to see 40lb class or larger feeding in the rocks as shallow as 2'.  Keep the smaller legals if you choose and think about letting the larger go. Be safe and have fun.

Edited by The Riddler

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Go outside the harbor to a ledge a mile out early in the morning (first light is best). Jig up macks with sabiki. Bring macks to a rock, rip, or river anywhere inside the harbor. Let the mack swim away from the boat on a hook with 40lb leader. Almost too easy to catch bass this way in June. 

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I think I catch 90+% of my keeper sized bass in the harbor at night. I have gotten into 40+ inch fish in the late morning, but that’s with live pogies fished in the deeper channels Just after high tide (30-40ft). I do like the the mag darter you were using, but you will not catch anything besides schoolies with that in the middle of the day. Throw it at night in 4-8ft. Of water and it’s a different story. If you find yourself fishing that time of day, I’d drop some sea worms for some easy flounder right now. Not to mention you might be able to cull out a keeper with a tube and worm fished near the bottom even at this time. 

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12 hours ago, finefish said:

Go outside the harbor to a ledge a mile out early in the morning (first light is best). Jig up macks with sabiki. Bring macks to a rock, rip, or river anywhere inside the harbor. Let the mack swim away from the boat on a hook with 40lb leader. Almost too easy to catch bass this way in June. 

Yep this is pretty spot on. Best advice I could ever give for someone new. Finding the macks might not be easy but once you get the hang of that you'll catch big fish. 

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Posted (edited)

Thank you all for the very valuable advice!

The first challenge will be to convince my buddies to either spend the night or go out very early

I have no problems with that, but unfortunately it is not my boat.

 

I have sabikis, jigs, sluggos, different size jig heads and bucktails coming to be prepared for the next trip.

In the meantime, I will try to spend the nights and early mornings of the next weekend to catch them from shore.

 

edit: Just to summarize one thing. Time of day matters more than tide?

Edited by FishingEnthusiast

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18 hours ago, finefish said:

Go outside the harbor to a ledge a mile out early in the morning (first light is best). Jig up macks with sabiki. Bring macks to a rock, rip, or river anywhere inside the harbor. Let the mack swim away from the boat on a hook with 40lb leader. Almost too easy to catch bass this way in June. 

This. Easiest way to catch during the day. Baitrunner reels help - let the mack swim in the baitrunner mode (with real drag set tight), once the bass runs with the mack, give it 4-5 seconds, then engage. If the macks die, cut them in chunks and cast the chunks into the rocks weightless. Or 3-way the chunk straight down with a sinker.

 

If you are lucky enough to see birds working, then you can run & gun and cast lures into the jumping fish. Probably the most fun fishing imaginable.

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20 hours ago, finefish said:

Go outside the harbor to a ledge a mile out early in the morning (first light is best). Jig up macks with sabiki. Bring macks to a rock, rip, or river anywhere inside the harbor. Let the mack swim away from the boat on a hook with 40lb leader. Almost too easy to catch bass this way in June. 

Do this. Just to add to it, set the boat up in a drift and keep your eye on the fish finder. You’ll see deeper holes on the bottom and fish will hang out there. If you get a bite or catch just move the boat back to start a new drift over the same hole. I also add an egg sinker to the main line to keep the Mack close to the bottom. 

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Fishing eels at night off a boat isn't something I wouldn't do as a beginner with minimal experience. Sunrise right now is around 505am. Even if you left the dock at 6 I think you would have a good shot at finding mackerel on the outer harbor ledges. Troll ledges with sabiki in 40-80ft of water and you'll find them. We had mackerel all day long all season last summer, mostly due to the blue fish being no where to be found. Live macks inside the harbor is pretty much cheating if you swim them by some structure. I fish the Boston and south shore and have caught 12 fish in the 25-35lb range and have many 30-38" fish so far this year, all on live mackerel. Doubled up on 45" fish at noon last week, so time of day isn't everything. 

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That the night game isn't suitable for beginners makes sense. I personally wouldn't worry about the fishing aspect, but especially those damn lobster buoys everywhere look bothersome to me.

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