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Everything posted by Fiddlehead

  1. MA DMF is actually working on a study that looks at where the fish was hooked, how long it was out of the water, and water temp. Obviously there are way more factors than just these but good to see some sort of breakdown. Preliminary results that are not peer reviewed are available online on the ASGA website. If a fish is hooked in the mouth and released in under 30 seconds it is about a 3% mortality. Gill hooked on the other hand has a release mortality of 55% even if it’s released in under 30 seconds. From what I’ve seen with fish out of the water for minutes for photo shoots, fish dropped, kicked back in the water etc I wouldn’t be surprised if 9% is pretty accurate. I’m not saying you do that but my understanding is that 9% is a coastwise estimate for all anglers. A lot of anglers out there don’t treat them like a living breathing animal they treat them like garbage.
  2. Most ski instructors do it because they love to teach and spread the sport. That’s why I do it anyway. Almost all are part time as a second job at minimum wage, barring your not a program director. I bet most would do it even if they weren’t paid. I don’t think that is the same with commercial bass fishing. If it was 100% C&R I bet a lot of guys would hang it up.
  3. How often are you re tying and checking leader for knicks? Are you wetting the line as you sinch it down? Are your knots tied correctly and what knot are you using? If it is different brands, and purchased at different times and locations I doubt it is the line. More likely one of the above issues. I’ve only had one bad batch of leaders (from Walmart of course). Line broke further up not at the knot. Watched as a massive LMB jumped out of the water with my bomber still in its mouth. Went home and tested it and duplicated the results, kept breaking at 1/4 of what it should have and never at the knot. I no longer buy any line or terminal from Walmart and always pull leader to near breaking strength before using. IMO if it’s properly stored inside out of light it will last a damn long time. Much longer than 2-3 years. It does deteriorate from UV light so if it’s sitting out in the sun on a boat for years that a different story.
  4. What part of Ireland? My girlfriends family is from Donegal. When I went over in July 2018 I brought a travel rod and spent a couple hours trying to catch mackerel and European bass but nothing serious. I had planned to spend more time trying but we spent most of the time running from one of her relatives house to the next. Still had a great time and I’ll never forget it. When I go back over I definitely want to get a guide, salmon specifically if the time of year is right. if you go to Dublin check out the Jameson factory. I found it to be much more interesting than Guinness which felt like a tourist trap.
  5. Girlfriend and I moved into a new place in August. Last tenants had ignored a squirrel infestation in the attic for a few years. Things were a pain to get rid of and did a lot of damage. Insulation is shredded and stinks of piss, they also chewed some wires and studs. Currently in the process of getting it cleaned up and repaired. They used one way exits to get rid of them. Not the route I would have chosen but not my call. Anyway, this one squirrel visited my basement window like clockwork for about a week once he was evicted begging to be let back in. IMG_4425.MOV
  6. I took a good spill this year for the first time after years without any. I was trying to land a large striper and kind of panicked instead of staying put where I was. One wrong step with korker spikes that should have already been changed. I went down hard on my forearm and shoulder. Luckily nothing more than some cuts and bruises. Still managed to landed the fish. Ordered new spikes when I got home. I got lucky could have been much worse.
  7. @CWitek is there any discussion on moving up or changing the slot limit to protect the 2015 year class? I imagine that in the next year or two the 2015 year class would be in the slot if they aren’t already.
  8. It would be interesting to know I’m sure it is a big number. Most mornings I lose count as they work their way down the beach. I still think it would only be a small sliver of the pie when compared to real issues facing the fishery. Rec release mortality, commercial harvest, and poaching are the main problems imo.
  9. Come on Osprey’s?! I hope you’re being sarcastic. Rebounds of predatory species like Seals and Ospreys definitely add a new variable to the equation. That said people, fisherman specifically, are the problem plain and simple. That and consistent low recruitment are why there are less small bass.
  10. I always got mine inspected on the first of the month. That way i can would get an extra month each time to get any issues fixed before inspection. No more of that, oh well…
  11. I’m sure many of you have already seen the bad news. Not really a surprise the way things have been trending for the last decade. Surprised there wasn’t a thread already so figured I would start one.
  12. Must be the headlamp guys use at the canal blinding me from the other side all night.
  13. Another important note is how you fight the fish. When targeting big fish you need a heavy rod and a tight drag. Playing big fish to exhaustion is a sure way to kill them. I fish the canal a lot for example and use a stout 3-8 ounce rod even when throwing bucktails as light as 1 ounces. I tighten my drag to about 11-12lbs or so. Most guys are probably in the 6lb range. A 20lb fish barely takes any drag even when the current is ripping. You pull a few more hooks but those fish weren’t hooked well anyway and the chance of landing them is low. I see too many guys under gunned playing big fish for far too long. Getting the fish in as quick as possible gives them the best chance of surviving.
  14. This is great advice here and something most guys don’t do. You have to move and actively find bait and fish. Change how you are making a presentation a few feet can be the difference and casting angles matters. This is even more true on an open beach when compared to a boulder field or an inlet. But, even there you still have to move and change how you are presenting your bait or lure. If you just stand in one spot and cast as far as you can making the same presentation over and over again your only chance is to get lucky that fish swim by. That is a bad formula for success. Once you find fish move with them. They usually move down a beach a specific direction. Each beach is different but once you figure out how they move down it most days are similar. As Highlander said everyone takes skunks but following his formula is the best way to be successful.
  15. I find it’s the more experienced guys who should know better that mug the worst at the canal imo. They just scurry down in groups and push you out. I don’t really blame noobs we all start somewhere and they just don’t know better. I try and explain the rotation and tell them what weight I’m using when jigging. A lot of them keep a respectable distance and take to the advice. Most of the newer guys at least try after I explain it to them. A newer kid had half his one piece end up in the water earlier this year. I showed him how to put it on so it wouldn’t fly off. You run into issues if your casting far and they just can’t yet. The timing of the rotation inevitably gets messed up. I don’t like to intimidate new guys though better to try and show them the right way of doing it. Similar with father/grandfather with son/grandson. I’ll usually happily move down or give up the spot. I don’t like to be the dick and ruin what could be a positive memory we can all relate to.
  16. Weightless and slightly weighted hooks such as the owner beasts or similar are great in the right conditions. Don’t overlook jig heads though especially in spots with more current. I like really light jig heads 1/4 and 1/2 with the giant 13” plastics. The jigheads with light rod tremors and a slow retriever give the big plastics a really seductive action.
  17. Hard to keep alive?!? I would consider worms to be one of the easiest baits to keep alive and the cheapest. Compared to baitfish they are a breeze. If your trolling tubes, worms are chump change after all the other expenses of boating and I think not worth skipping to save a few bucks. Pork rinds would work and so would a tube with nothing on it but not nearly as effective as worms. It’s the natural scent imo that makes the tube and worm great. I think the spiral of the tube makes the fish follow and scent of the worm is what makes them go in for the take. Remember, Striped Bass have an incredible sense of smell. Much better than their eyesight. They have two nostrils that can constantly smell that is separate from breathing like humans or other mammals. Something I learned from my dad was to use small pieces natural sea sponge soaked in a ground up chum of whatever bait you want. You can use frozen mackerel, pogies, clams, or mix of whatever you like or have in the freezer. Drill some small holes in the bottom of your tube and stuff a small piece of chum soak sponge in there. Needle nose pliers work great for stuffing it in there and taking it out. Cycle your sponge with a fresh piece every 15 minutes or so as you check for weeds. Put a sea worm on as you normally would or use the gulp substitute just to add length, action and most importantly confidence. I grew up trolling with my dad before seriously getting into surf fishing. Tube and worm, parachute jigs on wire, and bunker spoons are my original bread and butter. I know it gets bashed on this site but there are a lot more little nuances to trolling than just dropping down and putting around.
  18. Not trying to be mean but that might be the single most reckless **** I’ve ever heard. Depending on the tide if you missed devils foot your screwed.
  19. Believe me crossed my mind and I wanted to do it. Wouldn’t have ended well if it escalated. If we actually fought or cops got called they wouldn’t care who’s right or wrong. I just left and walked to a bolder field down the beach and fished alone. The frustrating isn’t worth it for me we’re all out there to have fun and that’s tough to do when your arguing with guys.
  20. Really big fish need a long revival time when being released. I try and spend the same time reviving a big fish that it took me to land it. My biggest this year was around 40lbs and I spent even more time reviving it than I did fighting it. I like the analogy that its like sprinting until you collapse. Take the fish out of the water and it’s like sticking a plastic bag over your head after that. Try and keep them in the water, spend the time reviving them, and most will swim off strong.
  21. Etiquette in fish everywhere is dead. My worst mugging this year was actually in a rip at an outflow of a popular salt creek not at the canal. Set up there early at 3am all alone. I expect others there and have no problem working in rotation. But next thing I know two fly fisherman squeeze in front of me to the point I can’t fish. They don’t say anything to me so I kind of call them out for mugging me. Next thing I know their telling me to relax and that everyone does it. Give me the whole they’re fly fisherman lecture over spin fishing. I fly fish too sometimes but don’t think it gives anyone a right to act like clown. Fishing everywhere is getting tougher everyone has a screw you type of mentality.
  22. The one thing I actually like flouo for flipping jigs while freshwater bass fishing. I use 15lb red label. Flouro is more dense than mono so it sinks and you get more direct contact, no bows in your line. I also prefer it over braid because it is still sensitive on a semi slack line. Braid is only sensitive when taught. This is an advantage when flipping to specific structure and the fish are hitting on the fall. You can let the jig fall naturally and still feel the strike. A lot of pros use braid to flouro leader for that now so it might be all in my head. For stripers and blues I stick to mono only because I change leaders so much it saves me money. I question the abrasion resistance argument only because I have seen a few tests done where they compare the abrasion resistance of mono and flouro in the same diameter. The results were surprising mono seemed more abrasion resistant based on their tests. Not saying it was a full proof test though. I don’t really fish for many fish that are leader shy. If that’s the case I’ll drop way down in mono line diameter. There might be a valid argument for the light refraction piece of it. Not exactly invisible but less shine to it on a sunny day. Could have it’s application in certain situations like live lining for tuna for example. I know a lot of people swear by it and use it almost exclusively so if it works for them what’s to hate. Whatever gives you confidence is most important.
  23. 100% they don’t give a crap. I see most of them walking out and off together. They all know each other I’m sure. EPO showed up and they all walked out together in a crowd of like 40 guys. Can’t poach anymore so why stay? One guy had a fish hidden in his jacket gets back to the parking lot unzips plops it on the ground and stuffs it in a trash bag. I’m sure there were a lot more fish floating into the bay on the east tide. Only way they’ll catch these guys are if they wear civilian cloths and work in teams. One guy out on the jetty pretending to fish another guy waiting in the parking lot to grab guys as they walk back. Doubt that will happen though.
  24. I was there Monday night with my brother. No one for miles the side I was fishing. One guy is riding by and sees me pull a few micros and comes scurrying down the rocks and sets up 20 ft from us and doesn’t say a word. He starts throwing an sp minnow at the end of our drift. We were throwing 1oz bucktails and letting them swing in, fish were real tight to the rip rap. Crossed our lines a couple times so we threw our hands up and moved down. A few years ago I would maybe defend my space a little more but it never seems to end well and leaves me steaming regardless. There is no reasoning with those mouth breathers. I don’t mind if I get mugged by someone who is inexperienced but this guy knew what he was doing. This isn’t only a canal problem it happens to me on the beach too. No one has any etiquette these days. It’s just a screw you I'm gonna get mine attitude.
  25. As others have said there is no way to know for sure. As you gain experience you start to pick up on little hints and can sense when fish are there and when they aren’t. More importantly you start to notice signs of when fish might actively feed at a spot and when you can actually catch them. It all starts with bait. I like to look for small bait sand eels, peanuts speering etc. This can be good for smaller bass but more importantly it attracts bigger baits that eats the smaller rain bait. This might be Mack’s, squid, snappers, baby weakfish and so on. Obviously where you live changes what the bait will be but the same basic principles still apply. I treat pogies as a bonus because they are tougher to predict, at least for me haha. I look to see how the bait is acting. Bait getting sprayed is the obvious one. Tight bait balls or just sparse? Does it look panicked or just relaxing? How much is there? Just a little bit or so much you can smell it or it leaves an oil slick in the water. There’s other bait people overlook like crabs and bottom fish. Can be tougher to catch fish keyed on that bait but can be a good time to chunk or eel. I then think about the spot itself and the tide. Striped bass are lazy so how can they use the spot and current to gain an advantage and conserve energy. Look for drop offs, bars, current seams, boulders, change in bottom type, and other structure. The bottom type part will relate back to the bait and why it’s there. Try and look at the water it will clue you into the structure. Waves, rips, slow water fast water all tell a story. Try different tides at your spots and keep a log. Some spots will surprise you how the fish use the structure a way you didn’t expect. Its not an exact science and there are plenty of times when you’ll pull fish from a spot with no signs of life at all. Some spots are good some days/tides then bad the next. Spots change and can be good one year and bad other years. Some spots are always good. This is the type of topic books are written on and people spend their whole life trying to figure out. The fact is no one has all the answers and even the best fisherman continue to learn. That what makes fishing so much fun, at least for me.
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