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About CaryGreene

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    1,000 Post Club!


  • About Me:
    I love the Canal!!
  • Interests (Hobbies, favorite activities, etc.):
    Fly Fishing and Tying, Saltwater & Freshwater Fishing, Boating and Jet Skis.
  • What I do for a living:
    Director of North American Retail for Benjamin Moore Paints

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  1. Well, at least we know the OP is not fishing in a river lol. If the OP is targeting Branzino then what he's doing would very similar to what we do here in the Northeast, go to be clear I've never caught a Branzino personally. Still, the application is fishing with a fly line in current so it's probably a moot point because there's only so much you can do in current with fly lines. Captain Dan Wood out of Niantic would be the leading expert in this field here in the Northeast. He fishes more than anyone else I know and he's out there in the race and the sound all season long where the current is whipping. Everything I do, I picked up from him Back in the 80's. It's surprising how so many things can change but yet the basic principle stays the same. I showed up one day to fish with him with three different spools and he looked at me like I was a Martian. Of course I only used my full sinking head fly line and the other spools sat in my boat bag all day. I remember dumping my fly line into a rip that he was positioned next to in the fly line went zipping past and straightened out literally in about 15 seconds. He pointed out at the beginning of the trip that my flylines weren't going to get down very deep, 5 to 10 ft maybe he said. Well, he was just as right in 1987 as he is today. Strong currents don't allow sinking fly lines to sink all that much. That's why good captains position themselves behind stationary objects that block current - like rock piles or structure. When the current changes, big fish will stack up behind the structure and so you really don't need to be that deep which is a good thing fortunately.
  2. This advice from KironaFly his spot on. Clear cold water intermediate line is what you want. I noticed you had a tropical Orvis fly line above in one of the pictures. That'll work fine after August as the water warms up for a while and you can certainly use it but when you are fishing from shore the clear intermediate is and always has been the go-to line for the area you will be fishing. If you are fishing from shore you are almost always targeting out flows or jetties and the clear intermediate is excellent in those areas. There are times when you're in very skinny water, possibly at night in a back estuary, and floating lines can be handy in those situations all over and around the cape. Intermediate lines will absolutely run too deep in many spots, especially in summer months when you have all the really high sea grass. Also you're going to want to gently swim Gurglers and other surface patterns at times. Not to mention you may be working the shoreline and just dropping little Clousers into spots you think fish might be holding. A floating line can be useful there also. A lot of people poo poo the value of a floating line but if you fish a lot you kind of need a floating line, an intermediate line and a sinking head fly line. That's why they make spare spools! You will become a much better angler if you have options and you use those options when the conditions call for it. Generally you are targeting those estuary areas around high tide and then you're moving out towards the mouth as the tide ebbs. This may necessitate a change and you may do far better with your clear intermediate then you would if you just kept using your floating line. Generally speaking the intermediate line is really good for targeting gradually deepening depths and they begin to excel between 5 and 10-ft depths or slightly more. The reason for this is when you strip your fly line back you can maintain a nice even and consistent depth. If you have a floating line with a sinking leader you're going to be stripping the floating line back and you're going to be pulling the fly right back to the surface quickly. The intermediate line will stay down but not so much so that it will get hung up. I can think of over a thousand spots where I love and hear immediate fly line and I definitely would go with a clear one that handles cold water. You might get confident enough to take the yak out front in which case the game TOTALLY changes - especially because you'll probably be fishing near some current but from a safe spot. In that case 90% or more of your fishing will be done with a full sinking head fly line. Since you're sitting down you really don't want a long head so 30 ft or more would be not so great from a yak. Look for a more compact full sinking head fly line that has a sink rate of between 7 and 8 IPS. If you're new to casting I would absolutely avoid looping different heads on and looping sinking leaders on and all that stuff. I fish a ton of open water both from the boat and the jet ski and I really appreciate one piece fly lines. You're going to appreciate them even more and here's why. In order for you to pick the front section of your full sinking fly line up and recast it You're going to have to bring it literally all the way back to the yak. Now as you begin to aerialize it if you have a bunch of loop to loop connections they're going to click clack through the guides and then create a whole bunch of unneeded hinges within the first 10 to 20 ft of your fly line as you are trying to get it zinging back and forth and back into the water. Generally you're just going to dump it into the current and then feed out line from your stripping basket as the current takes the line and swings it. When you hook a fish you want to get tight on it and then become skilled at picking up your line and getting it back onto the reel quickly so that you can then play the fish from your reel and utilize your drag. A one-piece fly line goes in and out of the guides nice and easy and if you have a nice short compact head and you are seated in a yak, you will be very happy because it will be easy to use! When I'm standing up from a boat deck or sitting on a jet ski I like a little bit longer of a head maybe 24 to 30 feet and since I'm not dropping any running line overboard accidentally, an intermediate running line gives me the advantage of keeping my head as deep as possible while I'm stripping it back. For my purposes I also like fly lines that are 150 ft long because oftentimes I'll be fishing off a jetty from a stationary position, so the longer my fly line is, the better because I get a little more versatility in terms of the kind of distance I can cover from fixed positions. Once you dump your head into a rip you want to let it swing and you want the current to take it. The longer the fly line, it stands to reason the further away from your fixed position you'll be able to cover. The extra fly line length in this application is just a longer running line. Would this matter really to a kayak fisherman? Probably not. If you want to cover water in your yak, You can move and this is an advantage. You can just move a little closer to your target. Why then would you have any use for 150-ft fly line? Certainly this will be something for you to consider. Remember whatever portion of your fly line sinks you've got to pick that up out of the water and get it back in the air again, while basically sitting on the water's surface. I would actually find an intermediate running line to be a nuisance from a kayak also because invariably the running line falls out of your basket and then all of a sudden now it starts sinking. This is a constant and kind of unavoidable issue. You will be quite distracted because you'll be watching the rip line and you'll be trying to reposition yourself as you drift. While all of those things are going on it's easy for your running line to spill out of your basket. Also when you're dumping full sinking fly line into current it doesn't sink nearly as fast as it would in stagnant water. The fly is swinging in the current is pushing and so you're only going to get 5 to 10 ft deep on an average swing in a rip. All funnel points and currents move at different speeds but when the tide gets moving in the area you are going to be fishing, it's significant. That combines with the funnel point or the structure that the water is racing around and you're not going to get very long of a drift before that line straightens out. This makes intermediate running line much more irrelevant than most people realize. Therefore & for your specific purposes, I would look for a nice compact head with a floating running line, not an intermediate one, for use from a kayak. Lastly the jacket on your fly line needs to be able to handle wide variations in temperatures. You're going to start the season off and very cold water and you're going to end it in colder water. During the middle part of the season you're likely to have air temperatures over 90° and the water will be warming up. As a rule of thumb your tropical lines are kind of rated for 70° or warmer water temperatures with corresponding air temperatures in the 80s and 90s. Coldwater lines respond very negatively to these types of temperatures but since you're not in the Bahamas and you're fishing around the Cape, the opposite will be true. Pay very close attention to this because some lines are very misleadingly labeled. You usually have to do quite a bit of digging to find out exactly what temperature range the line you will be using can handle. What's the benefit of paying attention to that if you're going to be sitting in a yak or fishing from shore? Avoiding tangled running line mostly. Warm water fly lines will tangle in the spring and the fall. It gets to be absurdly annoying when this happens and you're sitting in a kayak. Heck it's absurdly annoying when you're fishing from shore also. You're stripping basket becomes a nightmare to have to manage as If I line you thought was going to be good in colder temperatures suddenly starts tangling for someone known reason to you. LOL. Do some digging into whatever company's line you want to buy and find out based on the charts that they usually have on their websites, what temperature range is the fly line you're going to purchase will handle. Then just look for a compact head and a floating running line and you will be in business & extremely happy. You will know that you're addicted to fly fishing when you start buying tropical fly lines for use in the summertime in the Northeast. They fish great in warmer temperatures so it stands to raise them they are great summertime lines. Tropical flylines also come in amazing taper selections and they're really fun to dabble with for Northeast fisherman because they provide some tantalizing summer fly line applications. Most tropical fishermen are fly fishing from a skiff or wading the flats and the water is gin clear, and the fish can be skittish so they need to hold that line in the air and drop that fly on the target or near the target. For this reason a lot of the tropical fly lines that you see out there are floating lines and they we'll have longer heads that are more conducive to true distance casting. Once you get your three bases covered and you have a northeast floating line, a clear intermediate line that handles cold water and a fly line with a nice compact sinking tip of at least 20 ft, adding a summertime floating line that is more of a tropics line is a really fun next step for you.
  3. 400 Grains doesn't indicate the sink of a fly line. Almost every company puts grain weight on the box. It means different things from company to company but the total grain weight of the castable portion of the fly line, which means the entire head including the rear taper and the front taper will have a measured weight. Therefore when we say 400 grains we're assuming that's the full weight of the castable portion of the fly line. Think of grain weight as a useful measurement for determining whether a rod can be easily loaded by your casting stroke. Pick a certain rod weight such as an 8wt.. now compare it to 5 other 8wt rods, each made by a different manufacturer. Try to have a few slower action rods in with a few medium action rods and a few fast action rods also when you do this comparison. Each rod will respond best to certain grain weights. When the caster fully arializes the head of the line, that's when grain weight becomes a really useful measurement. A skilled caster we'll know from looking at a flyline taper and the corresponding grain weight (for the full castable portion of the fly line), pretty much what they're looking for and this helps them purchase a fly line and then enjoy the fly line because they know it will perform on the rod or perhaps different rods they will be using that particular line on. Floating lines can be 400 grains. Intermediate lines can be 400 grains and full sinking lines can be 400 grains. In this instance in order to help the OP, we want to look at the sink rate of the sinking portion of the fly line. This is how we calculate how fast a line can sink. Intermediate lines will sink slowly, moderate sinking lines will sink a little faster and the full sinking lines will sink the quickest. Trolling lines will sink uniformly. Furthermore some full-sinking lines have floating running lines and others have intermediate sinking running lines. Generally speaking you will see full sinking lines sink at rates between 7 to 8 ips.
  4. From reading your initial post I thought you were fishing in a river. Fishing for sea bass is definitely a deeper water application. They aren't bottom dwellers and they aren't often on the surface. They're kind of a middle of the water column fish. Boat fishing guys use smaller but heavier bait fish jigs for them and do very well. You're going to need to get down at least 20 ft or more, and if you're swinging the fly line in current, perhaps drifting along the edge of a rip line where you're casting up current from your position and into fast moving water, then what will happen is the current will take the line in zing it through the zone and you only have 30 to 45 seconds or so of drift. Let's be generous & say say you have on average, a full 45 seconds before your fly swings & you're tight on it. Sink rates are calculated in "ips" or "cms" so what that means is that IN NON MOVING water, with a 300 to 500 grain line, the maximum depth you would be able to reach is well beyond 40 ft because you have the luxury of counting down as long as you like before you begin your retrieve. However, heavy current swings the fly and lines struggle to stay 5 to 10 ft down on a 45 second swing. In other words they don't perform the same in heavy current as they do in areas where there is no current. You should definitely start off with as long a fly line as you can find. 150 ft is absolutely best for this application. This will help you reach greater depths while the fly is swinging. The length of your sinking section of line isn't that important. The goal is to pick it up quickly once you retrieve it and be able to throw it again & repeat. Therefore, a head of 30' is as time tested as it is perfect for saltwater fishing in current. I wouldn't worry too much of it matches your rod either. You're only going to cast 50 to 75 ft up current and then as the fly swings you're just going to feed line out of your stripping basket or off the deck of the boat. Assuming you are using 10wt or 11wt rods. I don't target sea bass but I do a lot of saltwater fishing in or near current with fly lines, mostly from the boat or from the jet ski & I'm always around areas where there's current. 300 grain to 500 grain full sinking lines are best for this application, using 9wt 10wt or 11wt Fly Rods.
  5. Mine would be an All-Star 7' 10 to 20 # Spinning rod that gets used mostly for salt water. Can't kill it.
  6. Hi HH & to everyone in the thread. Hope everyone is off to a nice start to their week. Well, I'm going to die some day. Maybe sooner than I want to. So, I might as well spill it here on SOL. In the spirit of specifically catching big fish & being around our good friends. What more is there to life than a good breakfast after a great shift!? Time on the Water & all the other things we've been talking about in this thread, tides, moon phases, current changes & something I haven't read here but may have been said already - when low light conditions cooperate with optimal times to be fishing will increase chances at bigger fish. Time on the Water is just that, unless you put these pieces together - but you also need some type of strategy or game plan that can flex with the changes that come day to day, even in the most reliable or predictable of spots. Weather events, changing seasons, water temps, there is a lot to hone in on and over the years I've realized that catching big fish depends on all of these things and more. What has continually produced for me is a method taught by the late Charlie Graves & was handed down by Ralph Votta. I've written about this in the Tins super-thread & you can go there for WAY more info that I'm going to get into here. Each time we fish, we search the water. We pick up fish here & there. Sometimes, we locate small schools of larger Stripers who are moving in mysterious ways. They're always "on" something. Sometimes they ambush a lazy plug. Sometimes they show. Sometimes they don't but you know they're there. SOMETHING is on the menu though & figuring that out, while we are searching the water on an optimal Tide is super important to consistently getting big fish. The thing is, they're not hanging around not eating. They're going about their business - where we can't see them. On the bottom!! Near the shore!! "The Rotation" consists of 4 Charlie Graves Tins. The J7, the J8, the D5 & the 8M. Bait-fish are constantly hugging the beach. Big Stripers are working along the back sides of far off Sandbars, then as the waves crest, they move into the troughs, known as "Cuts," which are in between the Sandbars. They race into the Cut & ambush whatever is there, usually a school of bait that was forced into the Cut by the outgoing pull of the previous receding wave. Bait-fish aren't that smart, but Stripers are quite a bit smarter. I read in this post that Stripers are not that smart either really, not compared to us. I've talked to a few Stripers when I was releasing them. I've also talked to a few strippers but that's another story for another day. They both basically told me the same thing. They're trying to survive. That's it. That's all they want. Give them their piece of Bunker & they'll be on their way. Bait on the other hand, they're trying to survive too. If they venture off on their own, they're as good as dead. They'll get smacked within minutes. That said, what bait will do is that it/they/them will follow the dominant or larger sized bait, which ALWAYS swim at the head of the school. Sometimes, all the bait is the same size, but the fish at the head of the school are fighting to get back to the the cover of the shallower water near the shore & their lives, their survival, depends on this. This is something I exploit, nearly every time I fish. Let that sink in for a moment. You see, Stripers are circling sand bars. They also reverse course in a cut & move back out, then swirl back around. This is happening in broad daylight. It's absolutely happening at night as well. Flood tide brings big bass very close to shore. But big bass are within casting range almost all the time. The question is, can we catch them? The answer is Yes. Yes we can. If we give them what they're eating. Again, we're the smart ones, right? I select my Tin based on my time-tested Rotation (which I'll explain in a moment) and cast it into the Cut. What I can't see is that the bait will instantly school up & follow the Tin - IF it's the right size or very slightly larger. As the Stripers charge into the Cuts & burst into a school of bait, the bait naturally panics & they scatter. My Tin is left slowly wobbling, glowing seductively & usually hugging the bottom or close to it. It appears, to the Striper, to be the right size & shape & they have only a split second to make up their mind. They can find it very easily. WHAM! Another big fish taken by the Rotation. The four Tins in the Rotation are there for a reason. The "Belly" of one of them closely represents what you are most likely going to find, day in & day out, in the suds. It's very near the same size & shape of whatever exact bait is there, from Silversides to Mid Sized or Jr. Bunker to Sand-eels to Mullet to Herring & on and on. I "modify" the Rotation based on weather events, bait I see evidence of, or sometimes just because of the season. When you're on a shift, you are most likely moving. Covering a large swath of open beach. Sometimes obviously, you're posted up on a jetty or near a rip line also. Each time I move to a new Cut, I begin the Rotation all over again. I don't want 10 million lures with me. I need to work with purpose & I need to be able to move. I also need to be able to handle wind with ease. A bag full of plugs that's are rendered unfishable aren't of much use to me on a daily basis. Save them for days when you can use them & there may be a reason to use them. The pure Tin versions of the Charlie Graves Tins are all basically 1 1/2 ounces. Think that over. No matter the size, no matter the belly/baitfish profile, they're all the same weight. The OPTIMAL weight for surf fishing. They don't sink like 2oz bricks. They flutter down. Then, they flutter along. They go exactly where you want them to go - when you want them to go there. The first Tin in the Rotation is the J-7. Every time. It represents average sized bait & numerous species. I have taken what seems like multiple thousands of fish of this single lure. A good number of larger fish have fallen for it & MANY other surf legends swore by the J-7. The next Tin in the Rotation is always the J-8. It's Silhouette is a little bigger than the J-7. It has a wider profile & represents the dominant bait-fish in a school. It's a little meatier of a morsel and many of my biggest fish have come on the J-8. It's ALWAYS the second Tin I throw EVERY time I move. If neither the J-7 nor the J-8 works, I keep calm & I don't move. I go straight to the D-5, EVERY time. Is it a Sand-eel? Well, they're classified as "omni-present," meaning they're always around in most sandy areas. Do I throw the D-5 over a Boulder Field? Yep. I do. Why? Might be a more slender Spearing. Dunno. But it works. This change is profile is MONEY. I use the D-5 religiously. This isn't baseball. If your first 3 Tins don't work, stay in the box & throw the mighty 8-M. You might have larger Bunker, Herring, Shad, Mullet or Tinkers around. Run it through the cut a few times. The results are devastatingly effective. I will incorporate a few other Metals into my Rotation at times throughout a season. If I have lots of Sandeels & I know it, out comes the Point Jude Po-Jee with the kicker blade. I begin to fish it a certain way, opposed to slow, steady retrieves, which work by far the best with Charlie Graves Tins, I let the Po-Jee drop all the way to the bottom. Then I work it up about 5 feet, then drop it back all the way to the bottom. Then up 10 feet, then back to the bottom...all the way home. Sometimes I ditch the Rotation all-together if clouds of a particular bait are around. Some of my biggest fish have been taken during Peanut Bunker Blitzes. At which point, I call an another audible. I match the hatch with a Charlie Graves Peanut. The Tin looks like this: Why on earth would I use a large, rectangular Tin with a feather hanging off it to Imitate a Tiny Peanut Bunker? Am I out of my mind? It's even got a huge dent in it!! Well, here's why: Because #1, it catches fish during Peanut Bunker Blitzes like clockwork.The Feather imitates a second Bait-fish following the lead Bait-fish. The Striper sees the glow of the Tin but it hits the feather trailer, which is where the business end (hook) of the Tin is concealed.... But & more importantly for our purposes today - #2, when we turn it over & examine the bottom of the Peanut Tin, it looks like this: The Striper only sees the Belly of a Charlie Graves Tin. That "dent" in the middle creates the exact profile of a Peanut Bunker & as you retrieve this Tin, it wobbles like mad, thanks to the highly unstable chine of the hull. Take a front look & you'll see what I mean. The Peanut Tin is 3 1/2" long, yet it still manages to weigh 1 1/2 ounces in Pure Tin form, which is right where you want to be in order to be able to laugh at the wind & fish productively no matter how hard she's blowing. Another tactic to to get even closer to "mirco bait" size and drop all the way down to a Charlie Graves 1-W The 1-W is a Tin that's ALWAYS in my pouch. It's engineered superbly to cover very small bait-fish, yet it punches through wind with its 3/4 oz muscle. Flip it over & you get an extremely small bait profile, which again, is what the Stripers see. It's very much like the Peanut Tin, but it's a whole class smaller, so the back is not hollowed out as it is needed for casting weight. Ill also do the opposite. I'll go HUGE when I need to. Out comes the Charlie Graves Bunker Tin (not to be mistaken with the Peanut Tin). Here, we're still at 3 1/2" long but we move up to 2 oz. in pure Tin. A giant slab of beef for when we need it. As always, all Charlie Graves tails will match the length of the Tin to give you that dummy following the man effect. Many people try fishing Tins, some do well & others don't. There are several things you can do to increase your effectiveness & for more info, check out the Metals thread as I just did an update to it. First, I use Conventional reels a lot & super long leaders. Big fish can be leader shy for sure. They didn't get big by accident. Long leaders with a lot of thought put into what Test# based on time of night, or day, water clarity, presence of Bluefish all factor in. I've fished along side many anglers using Spinning reels & yet, I consistently outproduce them & get fish when they just aren't catching consistently. Even after they all head home because they think the bite is over - au contraire mon frère!! Yes, Charlie Graves Tins even work on the Canal, mid morning no less! Spending time dialing your leaders in & dropping down whenever possible is a super slick/good idea and many very big fish get snookered when you do this. Sometimes, the reason you aren't catching isn't the spot, the tide or your lure. It's that your leader is too heavy. At night, this doesn't apply so much unless you have clear sky's & a full moon. However, if you fish during the day, be aware of how leader changes can help you produce when others aren't. I use the right Terminal Connections so the Tins are free to wobble & aren't impeded. I covered all this in the update in the Metals thread. Bell-shaped Clips with Tins & other larger plugs are a great idea. Throwing teasers constantly, even obsessively, is another sure fire way to take big fish who might otherwise veer off at the last second. Teasers are a must & they're deadly. I like the Red-Gill Rascal, in Black - it's a 2" long Sand-eel imitation. It's my go-to Teaser. I will also sometimes run a curly tailed grub or a bucktail Teaser. Some guys like gulp & other small plastics. They're all FAR better than no Teaser! Lastly & getting back to expanding my Rotation. I'm trying to keep it very simple always. Along with my Tins, I carry a few Upperman-Style Bucktail Jigs, which I pour myself & make a couple at a time, as needed. I only carry four individual Bucktails, a 3/4 oz, 1 oz, 1 1/2 oz & a 2 oz. They are plain white & don't usually run a pork rind with them as they actually produce better without any kind of added trailer. In addition to my Uppermans, I carry a very small assortment of plugs that I change out based on what's been going on or what I anticipate. I don't specifically carry large Plugs either. Rather, my goal is to match whatever bait is around. This is contrary to what a lot of people in this thread may believe. However, because I've taken many big fish on small plugs, I don't feel it's necessary to always use big plugs. Let's explore this topic a bit. A Bomber style plug is usually found in my plug bag. These types of plugs are just too good at vibrating & flashing as they move water & suspend near structure without getting hung up. This style of plug is probably THE BEST all around searching PLUG there is. Not nearly as good at searching as Tins are however. Still, they do things Tins don't do & when you want to call a fish up, this is where they excell. I tend to rotate this style of plug & will carry a few different sizes. Trust me, Bomber style plugs absolutely do catch plenty of very big Stripers. I like to use them specifically for Herring imitations or for times when I want the fish to find the vibrations. Also, they are great in murky water because some of the paint jobs are pretty snazzy. For example. I love Pikies. I just enjoy fishing them. I'll pick a color I think will have some appeal & I'll stick it in my bag. Pikies can be good slack water high tide searching plugs. Normally I carry one of Mike's Classic, Custom Pikies at all times. I've caught too many big fish on these plugs to not have one on me. That said, I don't always choose a big one. If I know smaller bait is around, I will sometimes go small. Big fish don't care one bit that I may have downsized. I'm still pushing a ton of water & wobbling along oblivious to their presence. They'll come up & take a look just the same as they wood for larger wood - LOL. I also carry a Metal Lipped Swimmer - ALWAYS. They run a little differently & can be very good for certain bait like larger Herring, Mackerel or Bunker. The biggest of the Metal Lips are know as Commanders and as far as top of the water column lures go, they have a ton of Big Fish catching mojo. That said, I don't always carry commander sized Metal Lips. If I know I'm going to post up near some deeper water, I may make a decision to carry a deeper running Metal Lip, something with a sloped back can be super good on larger fish. You can also tune your lip, bend further down to run shallower, bend further up to dig deeper. Learning to fish Metal Lips is a lifetime of fun & I highly recommend carrying at least one Metal Lip at all times. Slope-Heads as they're called can be real niche big-fish plugs, providing you have some depth to work them in. This one is one of my all time Montauk favorites & it's taken tons of big fish over Boulder-fields. All of these swimming plugs I'm going over can be cast out into current & drifted far away, then worked back. Try to fish rip lines with this technique. Moving, outgoing tides are great for any swimming plug. Darters will take you down even deeper, running 5' to 10' or more down in the current. If you have the water depth, they can be great plugs for big Stripers. The same rule of thumb applies. Match what you think might be around or preferably, match what you have absolute evidence of and you know is around. As far as Darters go, you have two basic choices. A traditional Darter is going to run deepest & it has tremendous hard, thumping wobble. Darters usually float, so you can do some really cool things with them. The moment you begin retrieving, paint the water with your rod tip as you dig it in & then begin the fun of very slowly bringing it back. Just run it slow & steady. As with all plugs, I don't favor large or small. My goal is just to try and match what might be there. Obviously, there is something really cool about a large, meaty Darter but the smaller ones do the same job & handle big fish. This is one of Mike's Beast Darters. GREAT plug. Obviously a Chuckie Darter is unbelievable as well & there are a few others out there that are also really good. Big fish tend to pound this particular style of Darter so as far as plugs go, this is a big-fish magnet second to none really. Because it runs a little deeper, it tends to out-fish most plugs that can't go where these can reach. Another nice Darter style plug, for when you don't have quite the needed water depth to run a deeper diving Darter, is a Bottle Darter. They bite in & get under pretty well, but they are easier to keep from getting hung up. They can be every bit as substantial a meal ticket and it's kind of awe inspiring that so many larger bass are taken on these style plugs every season. I have caught a disproportionate number of really big Stipers on plugs that I can Zig-Zag at times and slither back ever so slowly at others. Stubby Needlefish are as deadly as they are hard to find and yes, they are a ton of work to fish on the zig and the zag. However, when nothing's showing, a submersed zig-zagging bait is dowright deadly. This is my number one secret big-fish plug from Watch Hill to the Canal. You can obviously throw it at night but it's a great daytime searching plug also, when nothing is showing but you know big Stripers should be around. It's also really good in times of slower currents, but it can be moved & stopped briefly, then moved & stopped again, even in current. It will hang right where you left it & drift. Gliders can fill this zig-zag niche also and they're really coming into vogue these days. For many super knowledgeable fisherman, Gliders are the first plug out of the bag & for good reason. Gliders have a little more side profile than a Stubby Needle and they really respond to ziging the zag. When I have larger Herring or Bunker around, I love a nice dual purpose Glider! Gliders cover other species well also, like Hickory Shad, Tinker Macks and many others. The Sinking Little Neck Popper, which swims slowly as well as it pops, is another time tested big fish plug for me. This plug is one of my absolute favorites to break out. I really like the Super Strike design on this plug & pretty much stick to it like super glue. This plug takes a lifetime to truly understand & it is absolutely an all time great plug. Thousands of huge bass have hammered even the smaller sizes of it, which is the size coincidentally, that I seem to do best with 1 5/8 oz. You can really, really simplify your plug assortment if you want to. Carry a Bomber type plug, a Metal Lip, a Bottle Darter, a Pencil Popper, a Glider and maybe one other plug as needed. Be sure to carry some Super Strike plugs if you want big Stripers on a consistent basis. Their Darter is a killer, as is the Stubby Bullet (the later in 1 5/8 oz opposed to 2 oz (a lot easier to move on the zig-zag & it flutters around a little better, even in current). Large Spooks will do damage on Big fish, there are lots of designs out there. I like ones that Rattle. And lastly, pairing everything down & carrying only the essentials is important. I use 1 Bucktails Pouch & up to three tubes, fitted with vinyl downspout (more room in the tube than circular acrylic tubes) & I like to keep everything right on my belt.
  7. I used to use a napping technique with my ex-wife, but I've long since forgotten the nuances
  8. The Plug Bag HH? Or the Rotation?
  9. Catching big fish involves being in the right spots at the right times and in general, time on the water in my opinion is the most important aspect. From shore I've caught 50 lb plus bass at night on a fly rod with smaller flies even. I've caught 50 lb + bass in broad daylight during a blitz. From a boat I've taken multiple very big fish in a variety of ways. Working structure is paramount to success. Understanding what the bass are eating is definitely the other biggest key. For example, if Herring are running, being on the back side of a cove with an outflow is a great idea. Things change a lot at night. If you're out front, know your structure. Know where your cuts are. Big fish tend to come in at high tide. If you can get everything right that we've been talking about in this thread in terms of the moon, low light conditions and a strong tide then you can take advantage of these technical factors. When the tide starts to change do you need to move? A lot of times people post up and fish in one particular spot. I'm a big believer in moving. Big fish don't necessarily want big bait. What they want is the maximum amount of calories they can get for the minimum amount of effort. Sometimes small bait in large abundances provides more calories than big bait does. Other times if a big fish is in the vicinity of a big plug, he might just swipe it simply because it's moving slowly and it doesn't take a lot of effort to grab it. If you want to specifically target big fish then getting down below blue fish during a blitz is a great way to explore what might be there. Therefore and like some have said during this thread, getting down near the bottom is really important at times. Exploring with a Pikie or a big Commander Swimmer, or a big Spook are all good ideas and more often than not you have to live with not producing as many fish if you try these tactics. One well made large size Pikie with a little bit of herring and a little bit of bunker appeal would make an excellent big fish searching plug. The more time you spend on the water the more time you have to experiment. If you want to use live bait, catching big fish is a lot easier. Big eels or live lining Bunker are slim dunks. I don't use any live bait these days so right off the bat the odds are stacked a little bit against someone who's only going to use artificials. That's the fun in fishing. Fishing can be as challenging as you want to make it. If you spend a lot of time on the water and you try different techniques you have to be absolutely prepared at all times for the fish of a lifetime. Check your connections. Make sure your knots are good. Beyond that I know your spots know the tides know the wind direction know the moon & slow things down. Most often the reason people aren't really catching a lot is because they're burning everything back. Today's reels are lightning fast. A wounded bait is clinging to life. It's losing ballast. It's many times past struggling. Sometimes a larger plug just moving very seductively and slowly is all it takes to get attention. Understand what the bass are eating and try to imitate how whatever they're eating behaves. For example if You have a nice pod of 8" Bunker around, with plenty of blue fish chopping them up, the larger fish are going to get the maximum calories for the minimum amount of effort. Which means, they're going to wait below and eat the front portion of the sawed in half Bunker. Dropping something down to them sometimes makes more since then swimming in adult size bunker plug through the havoc. Dropping a nicely weighted bucktail jig with a rind off the back end down beneath all the blues might actually look like a fish head and it might work, especially if you let it go all the way to the bottom before you bounce it up and let it drop again. It also might look like an eel? For whatever reason it also might work. Big bass will cruise structure especially at night. Slowly wobbling plugs that give off a little vibration, such as a black Bomber for example, swimming so slowly that it just barely thumps, might score a really big fish. At times when you're certain that bigger fish are pinning whatever they're eating up towards the surface then you can break out something that you can either hold at the surface and that sinks when you don't, or maybe even a larger floating plug like a big pencil. The key is to make it look alive but also be able to keep it in the zone long enough. Plugs that can stay in the zone versus plugs that have to move through the zone quickly have an advantage. That's why big Darters are effective, especially at night when you have a little current. You can wobble them back and forth and hang them in the right spot. Plugs that barely need any speed to undulate or move are plugs you should have in your bag. For example, a Super Strike Sinking Little Neck can be lethal if you just barely make any surface disturbance and then just let it wobble back and forth as you hang it. Time on the water kind of teaches all things. A plug bag filled with five plugs some tins and some bucktails could take a lifetime to really learn how to use. Some fisherman would have very little success with an assortment like that. Others would do really well. It's about experimenting and trying different things and learning how you can best imitate whatever the fish are eating & remembering to present bigger fish with opportunities the way they are eating whatever it is that's on the menu. I use a rotation actually when I'm searching the water. Sooner or later I will stumble on something that's working. The more time you spend developing a good working knowledge of whatever your imitating, the better off you are when you're targeting big fish.
  10. Glad to hear you had such a nice day on the Jetty Rock & that Charlie Graves Tin's Rotation worked quite nicely for you. All we're doing is searching the water with Tins shaped like the typical forage that we might find. Weather events can change things quickly & as the calendar days fall off the wall, bait-fish species and size change all the time, even in the most reliable & predictable of spots. You're a sharpie because you obviously read the post & honed in on the most important of all the Charlie Graves information. Which ones should I use, when should I use them & how should I use them. The Rotation does work. It's also simple. As we've noted, the key is that each Tin has a Belly that has a unique silhouette which resembles a variety of different sized forage. The predatory fish sees the Belly of the tin (not the top, which coincidentally has the tiny keel). Each Tin is designed to weigh 1 1/2 oz, which means it will cast ideally and sink slow enough as to not get hung up on most beaches. All you need to do to present effectively is cast the Tin out & reel it back slowly. The irregular chine to the belly's hull will cause it to wobble all over the place as you bring it back. You can also count down & work different depths with the Graves Tins and they will even work on the surface - making them my #1 preferred lure in my entire plug bag. The Rotation is a great way to search the water as we move from spot to spot. Let's take it to another level now and go over 5 secrets to take our Tins fishing to another level. Secret 1: Learn to read the water. A lot of guys who don't catch are casting directly at Sand-Bars all day, without realizing what a mistake this is. As we've covered, Sand Bars have waves breaking right in front of them. Look left or right & you may see multiple sets of Sand Bars. Fish in between them, as this is where the deeper troughs or Cuts as we say, are located. Baitfish get sucked into these Cuts and predators swim along the backside of Sand Bars, then into the cuts & with the cresting wave, then down into the nearest "next" cut and back around the back side of the Sand Bar. Bait is present all day & all night long and it's always hugging the beach. Secret 2: The Tin is designed to wobble erratically from the simple act of it being reeled in. However, many anglers use casting clips shaped like paper clips or they tie directly to the Tin. Make sure whatever your terminal connection is, that it's not inhibiting the Tin's movement. This is crucial. We've touched on this in the thread. As we said, there are three really good methods you can use to attach the Tin, which has a substantial amount of bulk & an awkward, but wonderful, grommet that you have to deal with in order to connect it. The Grommet acts as the Tin's "eyeball" & there definitely is something to lures with eyes. We like the eye effect that the grommet provides & we simply need to be sure not to impede the Tin's movement. Method #1 is to use a bell-shaped lure clip, rather than a typical duolock shape (which looks like a paperclip). The Bell-shaped clip gives the Tin plenty of room to wiggle, unimpeded. This gives you a ton of fish catching mojo & appeal. Here are the Catch-All clips I use. They're super heavy duty off shore clips and they're designed for fatter lures, so they have a bell shaped nose. When you buy terminal items like these, it's a good idea to go in with your buddies as many sites will have minimum orders of $25 & if you're only looking for a few bags of clips, you'll come up short. The Bell shaped nose on these style clips is a perfect match for wider, hard to attach Metals & Tins. These style clips also have two secure latch arms which provide fail-safe connections on Tins & they're great for expensive plugs also. Both the #5 and #4 Catch All Clips are ideal for Tins. I use the #5 when I'm using Clips, as it has a little more generous clearance. Here's a loo k at how the #5 looks on the nose of an 8M, which is a really substantial Tin. For those that want a smaller clip, you can certainly make the #4 clips work as well. Here is what they look like on the same Tin: Method #2 is to use a large split ring 8/0 to 11/0 and pry it open with XL split ring pliers. Goes on easy-peasy and then you can use the paperclip style duo-locks if you like. Method #3 as we looked at, is to use solid rings, snip them open with a bolt cutter, bend, fit on, bend closed & dab with nailpolish to prevent rust. Secret 3: Use Tins to deliver Teasers. From Red Gill Rascals (2 inch) to simple bucktail Teasers to wiggle tail grubs, gulp and other dastardly danglers, your catch rate will skyrocket if you use teasers and teaser use is a surefire way to clobber the doldrums of summer. Teasers work at night and also during the day so be sure to run them constantly. Secret 4: If possible, use a Conventional reel for fishing Tins. The benefit is that you can use extra long, stealthy leaders. I use 15' & even 20' leaders, usually Fluorocarbon by day & in in clear water and at night or in murky water, I'll switch over to mono. Fluorocarbon is very good in clear water & when you have clear skies also, as it doesn't cast a shadow (due to it's refraction index being very close to that of water). A long leader will give you a ton of stealth to your presentation. I use a well tied double-uni knot & have never had a single problem with this connection. I also hit this connection with a pinch of Pliobond, not because it makes the knot any stronger fellas - LOL! I do it to encapsulate the knot. Very long leaders continuously get reeled onto the spool of my conventional reel. A conventional reel will start up at a rpm of over 30,000. That makes the knot highly dangerous. A rough tied little knot might catch something also, like a guide foot, so when you encapsulate the knot in a water proof bonding agent like Pliobond, it will zip off the reel & out of the guides without any issues. Generally, I'll fish 30lb leaders in cloudy water or on overcast days. As I'm working my rotation, if I'm not catching anything, I check conditions. Am I fishing too heavy a leader? If I think I might be, I may drop down if it's safe to do so - meaning Bluefish don't seem to be present. I drop to 20lb & then down to as light as 12lb. This constant awareness of my leader adds up to hundreds of more Stripers landed every season. When bait gets super small in the fall, WOW. I might even go as light as 8lb or 10lb. On clear days, or when water is clear, I start with 20lb & go down from there, usually to 12lb. My go to material for Fluorocarbon is Yozuri HD, which has a pink hue. It's very reasonably priced, often on sale and it's time tested, reliable & easy to find. Secret 5: Expand your Rotation as is necessary for the waters you fish. For example, if Bunker get real small, go to a Charlie Graves Peanut and drop down to a 1-W if necessary. If you have Finger Mullet around, try a Mullet Tin. If there are clouds of smaller Sand-eels around, use a Point Jude Po-Jee with a flapper blade. If you have really big young-adult Bunker around, 7" or 8", try a Charlie Graves Bunker Tin (a bump up in size from the vaunted 8-M). If the wind blows a pod of Butterfish in, use a Butterfish Tin..etc. Rotations are used for searching. If you add a Tin, it means you're going to rotate through it & your other Tins as you move & work the beach. Try not to get too complicated about adding something & do it only as an absolute necessity - for times when you clearly identify bait & don't feel you have the right sized Tin. Also, carry a few larger Plugs for true Adult Bunker or Mackerel. That way, you'll never get caught off guard. I hit a Blitz recently and Blues & Bass were on 8" Bunker & Mike's Classic Custom "Ditch Witch" Pencil slammed fish for a couple of hours. As the surface activity eventually subsided, I switched to Bucktails with rinds and continued to connect, landing both Blues and Bass with impunity & very little damage to my Bucktails (2 oz, unpainted white metal heads). If I broke out Paddle Tails or White Grubs I would have been bitten to smithereens. These 5 Secret Tips along with dedication to the Rotation will absolutely help you catch a lot of fish, very consistently, over the course of the Summer & into Fall. Often times, even when I'm just not feelin' it & I'm on a shift, I just move, switch, move, switch..etc, calmly rotating through my four Tins & right back to my first one. The J-7 is ALWAYS the first one out of the bag. Every time. Like clockwork. Then, we bump up to the J-8. Then we go D-5 and then 8-M and then we move & go J-7.
  11. Aquaskins Hunter Elite Tubes can be purchased as single tubes. Great design, have been using them for years. Normally I carry 1 tins pouch & 1 tube, plus pliers & Boga.
  12. Properly warmed epoxy involves gentle heat & in fact the proper temperature probably varies brand to brand & absolutely varies from 5 minute to 20 minute to 30 minute.
  13. Very good to hear Segs & you may be in to something! In fact I have to agree.Fishing Tins in the wash is where it's at!
  14. Shop Rite bro. Private label.
  15. 11/2 oz Bean Style White Bucktails (2) $3 Charlie Graves J7, J8, D5 & 8M Tins (1 each) $35 Crippled Herring 3/4 oz (1) $6 Ava Diamond Jig 1 1/2 oz with tail (1) $3.50 Cotton Cordell Redfin Shad (1) $8 Atom Striper Swiper (1) $7 Six Pack Narragansett lager (1) $6 Mega Millions Ticket (1) $2 Black tractor trailer tire inner tube from the dump (1) free Bag of Spicy Chex Mix (1) $2 HavaTampa Cigars with Beachwood tip (1) $5 McDonald's double cheeseburger & small fries (1 each) $4 Loaf of Italian bread with sesame seeds (1) $1 Peanut butter and jelly (1 each) $6 Large black garbage bag (1) free Empty Tennis Ball Container (1) free Small Freezer Bag (1) free Total spend = $89.50 and we will keep $10 in reserve for garage sale plugs. Not only do we get some lures, a plug bag, and a Tins pouch but we got a boat, boat drinks, lunch, snacks dinner & deck, we might be able to buy our own tackle store in a few days. (Not to mention, we're actually going to be catching fish left and right all season long)