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Found 122 results

  1. Hey everyone, Updates I got this week from my neck of the woods (mostly Revere/Lynn): Schoolies/small Striped Bass are getting active in Revere & Lynn Harbor. These seem to be holdovers based on what I have seen or heard from other anglers and bait shops. Most guys are bottom fishing, reporting lots of down time, mostly during the day time hours. Last night one or two guys were able to bring in some slot size, no sea lice. Water temps in the channels and rivers are starting to warm up nicely, may even be getting a bit too warm during lower tides, and would suggest more open face fishing (surf) at night. I will update with more info as I get it.
  2. Hi folks, for the last few years I have been just fishing the spring run for bass and blues using bunker on the bay side, but after really getting into fishing I want to expand my horizons and to start fishing hard though out the summer and try the beach front. I am in the Long Island area and have access to the ocean, and wanted to see if anyone could give me some tips on trying to get bass and Blues in the summer months? Does anyone here still do well with the Bass blues here in June, July and august off the beach? What setup do you use? I would assume that night fishing is king in the summer months and that bunker is still probably the preferred bait? Is the day better for Blues? Also are there any true sharks here in the Summer not just sand sharks? Thanks for the help!
  3. Hey everyone, This will be my first year ever exploring Massachusetts salts to try and get into some striped bass. * Does anyone have any rough ideas of where to start looking to get started with striped bass in the Metro South, Downtown and North areas? Not looking for anyone to blow up someones spot, just trying to get a rough idea of where I can make my first moves as a guy with a crazy busy schedule.
  4. Hey everyone! New to the forum and recently moved to Chattanooga TN. I have heard of large Striper being landed in the area. Im curious if anyone has any info on how to hook into a striper above or below the Lake Chickamauga dam. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
  5. I received the email below and wanted to share on here. If you haven't done so already, please take a few minutes and compose a quick email to the ASMFC. I just sent mine. Good luck to all of us. We need it. Greetings, I am checking to see if you and your club members have gotten around to writing and submitting your public comments on Amendment 7. These comments are due no later than 4/15/22. Amendment 7 is an extremely important document as it will serve as the bible for how the striped bass fishery will be managed. Some options contained in the draft will direct the Board to take fast and decisive action when the science indicates the fishery is in trouble. Other options under consideration would provide the Board with broad latitude on when and if it needs to act. In our experience, it is the Board's lack of effective action that has resulted in the depletion of the striped bass fishery. It is very important that the ASMFC hears from the public that it must adopt options that require fast and decisive action. The process of writing your public comment will only take 5 minutes of your time: indicate why a healthy striped bass fishery is important to you indicate your preferred options (see below) include your name and your address or location forward your comment to with the Subject line: Draft Amendment 7 We have done the heavy lifting for you in terms of evaluating the options under consideration. The NYCRF recommends all of the following options: 4.1 Management Triggers Tier 1-Fishing Mortality Management Triggers Option A1 Option B1 Option C1 Tier 2-Female SSB Management Triggers Option A2 Option B1 Option C1 Tier 3-Recruitment Triggers Option A3 Option B2 Tier 4-Deferred Management Action Option A 4.2.2 Recreational Release Mortality Option A Option C1 Option C2 Option D1 4.4.1 Rebuilding Plan Option B 4.4.2 Rebuilding Plan Framework Option B 4.6.2 Management Program Equivalency Sub-Option B1a Sub-Option B1c Sub-Option B2b Sub-Option C3 Sub-Option D3 Sub-Option E2 PLEASE take the 5 minutes to submit your public comment. This is very important.
  6. For sale is a nice skin mount Striped bass. I’ve had this on my wall for a number of years but I’m relocating and need to get rid of a lot of stuff. The fish measures about 33 inches. This is not my mount it came from a friend. The condition is pretty good, but there a slight damage to the fins but overall it looks great. Local pick up from Norristown Pennsylvania area. $150
  7. Hey folks! I was going through old files and found this highlight reel from an incredible day of scuba diving in Woods Hole during the Fall Run of 2017. In this video, you can watch as big striped bass and albies work a massive school of peanut bunker up against some pilings in about 25 feet of water. One thing I took away from this experience was how these fish actually work together to concentrate the bait by making a wall, with the stripers spacing themselves out evenly and occupying different parts of the water column to ensure that the peanuts couldn't make an escape. Every now and then, you'll see the school of peanuts gain courage and drift further and further away from the structure, only to be picked off by albies screaming through with stripers lazily following them to eat the scraps. By the end, some seabass and flounder were even getting in on the action! You'll have to excuse my shaking in the video - it was COLD water that day. Enjoy!! My favorite parts: 2:00 - Albie crashing the school with a striper close behind 2:25 - 13(?) albies crashing through all at once! 3:45 - My absolute favorite shot, a nice striper parting the sea of peanuts 5:30 - Clouds of peanut bunker streaming around the pilings, running from some truly giant stripers out wide
  8. Hello all, here is the ROUGH DRAFT for my striped bass article, I will be adding to it depending on the suggestions in the comments, and please, do not comment if you are going to say something negative, only comment if you have something positive to say or a suggestion, keep in mind I am only a kid and I do not support the people talking negatively about me in my comments, but anyways, enjoy the article, thank you. Striped bass research.pdf
  9. Sorry if I haven't followed the procedure correctly, this is my first post here... Wondering how effective topwaters are in the wind for striped bass. I've been able to have luck with topwaters and bluefish when they're on the feed, but haven't had much with topwaters and striped bass in the wind lately. ALSO... If it's calm, are topwaters always the go-to lure, even if I am fishing from a boat? If not, when should I know when to switch?
  10. Can anyone ID this thing, or offer any suggestions on how I could restore it to fish it myself? The metal lip appears a bit offset, maybe it warped?
  11. Lately, I have been in a streak where I can normally catch at least a bass each outing. Got me thinking what do others on here consider a successful outing . If you are really intent on fishing? This could lead into other topics possibly? let’s go.
  12. Recently came into possession of these lures, wondering which ones are the top performers of the bunch.
  13. So, I currently have a TICA 8 footer medium-heavy action rod that's an absolute winch with striped bass, but I'd love to be casting further especially during windy days, as well as when that bait is just out of range. But, I still want a rod that makes catching schoolies a bit entertaining. Same goes for the reel, a baitrunner might be nice. Any suggestions? Fish from shore and boat, this would probably be a shore rod/reel combo. Thanks!
  14. I'm just a striper fisherman looking for a hobby, something to talk to people about and network with. Seems like collecting plugs is an interesting outlet to that... At the same time, I'm not trying to go gangbusters and blow a bunch of money. A smaller collection that I can swap and trade around would be nicer. How would I get started? Seasoned Collectors: any mistakes you made starting out that you wouldn't want to repeat? Thanks!
  15. So I have a question: If I'm out fishing in my kayak, what's the game plan? Should I be casting, chunking, trolling? Don't have pedals, so it's difficult to keep a cadence trolling. Basically just looking for tips on striper fishing from a kayak, I guess.
  16. I think it's time, a lot of the other forums on this site have's time for the Main Forum to have one Pictures of fishing, fish, fishing trips, lures, tackle, people fishing, etc, etc, etc - let's see them Couple guidelines - please don't post images that are water marked with promotional logos or URLs - please don't post promotional or commercial/advertising type images - and if you are posting pictures of girls fishing, please make sure they are appropriately attired I'll start I've got miles of pictures...I'm sure lots of you guys do - let's see some! TimS
  17. Whats up everyone, I've been fishing in New Jersey my whole life and in my 20 years on earth I have never went Striper fishing. This is the year that I will bring a monster to the bank in the Hudson when they start running through the area. Can anybody help me out with tips on what to use as bait, what test to use, and how to rig up my pole in order to have the best chance of hooking onto one. I will be fishing the Hudson County area (North Bergen, Edgewater, Hoboken). Please let me know any tips you have! Thank you!
  18. Heading to Block early June this year with the fellas. Like usual we will be surfcasting the beaches by night. This time around we'll have access to a shallow draft skiff and a push pole during the day. Has anyone tried their hand at fly fishing / sight fishing in Great Salt Pond? If you've got any stories or tips I'd love to hear 'em. God I love Block Island.
  19. Below is a good article I just read from the ASGA website. I can certainly related to a lot of what John said. I plan on voicing my concerns next month and hope many of you do the same. By Capt. John McMurray I grew up in Northern Virginia. Alexandria to be specific. Had a pretty good upbringing. Good parents. Stay at home mom, hard-working Irish dad, and plenty of friends. Of course it’s hard to remember that far back, but I was a “good” happy kid. I sure as hell didn’t come from a fishing family, or even an outdoorsy one. Yet, my summers were consumed with catching bluegills in what we called Mt. Vernon Pond. Eventually I graduated to catfish. There was that one (of course it was probably more than one) mystical fish that pulled at least one rod in the water and broke lines a few times every year. After two years of relentless pursuit, eventually I stuck it, did a full lap around the pond, and landed it. Instant legend (in my own mind). Seemed huge at the time, but it was maybe 9 or 10 pounds. To me though, at 9 years old with my bluegill gear, it was epic! That photo – bowl-cut and all – is still hanging somewhere in my parent’s house. As I got older, there were the largemouth bass that showed up, almost unexpectedly, in the Potomac River with the hydrilla explosion (an invasive aquatic plant that pretty much turned parts of the river into a swamp, seemingly overnight). A one-mile bike-ride from the house and I was throwing topwater baits at its edges and completely freaking out every time a bass exploded on them. Those were good days, man. But something happened around 13. I can’t pin-point it, cause I don’t know what specifically it was, but I found darkness, or maybe it simply found me. I won’t get into the details, but I quickly became a not-good-kid. My embarrassed mom was dragged into visits with the principal, there was a police visit to the house, and an entire summer I was grounded – confined to the house and yard until school started up. And when it did, I didn’t last long. Eventually, I ended up in, gasp, Catholic School, where they didn’t put up with that kinda ****. Yeah, it helped. My grades got better, and I became consumed with sports, and of course girls. I don’t think I touched a fishing rod between junior high and the first three years of high school. But towards the end of my junior year, the unthinkable happened. I got dumped by my high school sweetheart of two years for some other dude. Inconsequential. Happens to everyone right? But I was devastated. Anger turned into depression, and it was just a ****** summer all around. Towards the end of it, off work, hungover and feeling pretty bad all around – in an act of pure desperation, I took one of my old-ass rods out of the shed, threw it in the piece-of-garbage Jeep, and headed down to a spot at Belle Haven Marina where I used to crush the large–mouth. I wasn’t expecting much, but first cast with a swimming plug into moving current, and I could see, quite clearly, the starboard flank of a horizontally-striped fish turn on the plug and miss it, leaving a solid boil behind. Striped bass were extraordinarily rare back then, at least as far as I knew (of course we didn’t have internet). But this was in the late ‘80s, the very beginning of their resurgence from near–collapse, which I knew nothing about at the time. What I did know was that something much bigger than the standard 3 to 5-pound largemouth just took a swing at my plug, and it sure as hell looked like one of those fish I saw in the magazines. Was it a striper though? “No way man, I’m seeing ****.”. A few casts later, I saw the follow, the open mouth, gill plates flaring red… I set the hook and the fish cleared the water instantaneously. 100% a striped bass. I was on for maybe 5 seconds before that fish broke off. What did I expect? 8lb Stren that hadn’t been used in several years. Brilliant of me to bring only one plug. Didn’t matter though. That fish changed things. In that moment, I didn’t give a F about my stupid girlfriend or the fact that she was hooking up with some blueblood prep-school kid. But that isn’t the point. The familiar adrenaline rush, the sense of hope that it brought, the anticipation that those fish were gonna be there when I went back (they weren’t, but that’s not relevant) – it kinda changed things all around. How it changed things isn’t terribly easy to explain, but no, I’m not leading up to some bull**** about how I knew I wanted to be a “fisherman” then and there. The thought of monetizing it didn’t cross my mind until decades later. I remember just feeling good… Like maybe I could actually feel good. I dunno, maybe it was from there that my life’s path sprang. But let me be clear that this isn’t some Hallmark special about how striped bass kept me eternally happy, off drugs, in school and now I’m an incredibly successful charter boat captain making hundreds and thousands of dollars. Because God knows it didn’t do any of that. But as stupid as it sounds, it grounded me. Not because fishing was an escape. Naha man… It wasn’t/it isn’t an escape at all. Exactly the opposite. It was/is an engagement into the “real” world free of bull****. Where nothing else matters but the here-and-now. Just me and those gosh darn mother-F’n fish. I mean really, there were often times where that felt like the ONLY real thing in my life. The truth is that familiar feeling, that resurfaced that day, I grasped it and held on tight through everything during the next three decades. What followed were, ahem, five tumultuous years of college. Some bad decisions, lots of drinking and other stuff, a few more heart–breaks and lots of bad behavior. Generally, it took me a LONG time to grow up. (Note: I’m dangerously close to 50 and I dunno that I’ve quite grown up yet). No matter how ****** things got though – (i.e., the utter shock of stepping off a bus as an entitled college kid while some dude screamed bloody hell at me, then two months later stepping foot on a 270’ Coast Guard Cutter and shuffled right to the engine room where I wiped up oil from the bilge and needlessly polished brass – rarely seeing the light of day – while we steamed thousands of miles from where I had last called home) – I had those fish…. And I could and did always come back to them. Moving forward, like any life, there were good times and damn tough ones, some decades ago, and certainly some more recent. And while it may sound hokey to say that these fish have helped me get through all of that, well, it’s true. Because even in the darkest of times, when you’re out on the water, in pursuit, and the sun peaks over the horizon, and stripers are boiling all around you, you quickly realize that, absa-fck’n-lutely, life IS worth living. Fast forward to now, and yeah, while I might be better known as the tuna guy these days, I built a career off of striped bass. Not a hugely profitable one, and I work my ass off… But, it never gets old. To this day, I get that same sensation as I did that day at Belle Haven, every damn time I encounter a striper, whether it’s a 50-pounder or a 5-pounder. And… with every sunrise, with every boil, ya get the feeling that all the bull**** life regularly throws at ya is irrelevant, and that this… this is what matters. And my boy? He’s gonna be 12 this year. Since he was four, I’ve watched him evolve into one hell of a striped bass angler. For sure, he’s got the bug, but I hope to God he doesn’t end up the miserable prick that I am (laughing… kind of). Absolutely, striped bass have offered me a way to connect with that kid in a way I never would be able to without them. Most of the time it’s just me and him on the boat freaking out when that striper crushes a plug – just like I did with those first largemouth on the Potomac when I was his age – inadvertently teaching him new and colorful cuss words, taking smack, laughing a lot and having fun, unconstrained by rules we follow on land. Yeah, maybe at some point he’ll decide I’m a tool (ahem, like my daughter did a while ago) and that he doesn’t wanna go anymore, but right now, well, he NEVER turns down an opportunity (I take off every other Sunday to take him, but due to weather-related tuna cancelations, it ends up being a lot more). And that is something so gosh darn valuable to me ya can’t even begin to put a price tag on it. Yeah, sure, I guess you could maybe make all these connections with any recreationally-targeted fish, but come on man… If you’re a striped bass guy – and if you are reading this, I’m guessing that you are – you understand full-well that striped bass are special. I’m sure as hell not gonna try and explain exactly why here… Because if you have to ask, you probably won’t understand. But I will say this. Despite efforts to brand it as such, it sure as F isn’t just some bucket fish. Because if you stick your head into the fishing community for even a minute, you’ll understand that it is NOT comparable to fluke, black seabass, scup or even bluefish. It is revered, romanticized and, well, respected. And while I may be an extreme case, it absolutely influences lives. For those folks who still have hunting and fishing embedded in their DNA, stripers offer a profoundly important opportunity to connect to the natural world – to something we all once were, and to something many of us still need. To a lot of us, that is critical, for sanity, and maybe even for an industrialized/digitalized society’s sanity as a whole. Yes, absolutely, there are fisherman who would consider striped bass as little more than “meat,” and take great pains to label anyone who might think otherwise “elitists.” But, to be very clear – judging not just by anecdotal observations, but by the sheer volume of public comment advocating for conservation with every proposed management action – they are a fraction of the striped bass constituency. In general, folks from the recreational sector who seem to want to see striped bass managed as a bucket fish are the same folks who generate income according to how many they can kill, rather than the experience of hunting and catching them. And there seem to be less and less of those folks. The truth is that most anglers have evolved to understand that it isn’t about killing fish at all, but simply about the chase and everything that comes with it. Yeah, maybe you get to kill a fish, maybe you don’t. But it’s the reasonable opportunity to encounter that really matters. Seems pretty obvious that if it were simply about meat, it’d be much cheaper and less time consuming to just go to the fish market. While it’s probably true that most folks don’t make life decisions on stripers like I did, they value striped bass in the same way that I do. As a critical sport fish. Seriously, how else can you characterize a fishery that is 90% recreational and 90% catch and release (NOAA Fisheries numbers, not mine)? Don’t think for a minute though that I’m trying to sell some sorta no-kill or gamefish (no commercial fishing) religion here. Because let me tell ya man, we kill fish… all of us. Some on purpose, some not on purpose (discard mortality does add up). And I’m sure as hell not opposed to sustainable commercial extraction. Can the sport fishery and harvest oriented fisheries exist together? Of course they can. But coastal access and long-term health and sustainability should be a priority. It’s not rocket science. A public resource like this, where the public clearly values things like abundance, sustainable access, sport etc., well it should be managed with that in mind. And to some extent, since 2004 when Amendment 6 was implemented, it has been. Goals and objectives were created back then that emphasized things like maintaining diverse age and size classes, hedging against recruitment failure, and coastal access. Reference points were set based on a level of abundance that reflected a truly rebuilt stock. Management triggers were created to head off an overfishing/overfished situation (although it’s true they’ve often been ignored). But here we are now, at a crossroads. The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission is currently considering Amendment 7, which offers an unusual opportunity change all of these things. Yes, some things possibly for the better, but most for the worse. Absolutely there are folks interested in increasing harvest, even though we are currently in an “overfished” situation with stiped bass. Although none of it seems to be based on science, they’ve gained some traction with arguments about shifting productivity and carrying capacity. To boil it all down into the simplest terms, what’s at stake here is whether this fishery is managed as just another bucket fish moving forward – which it sure as hell isn’t – or whether it’s managed for coastal access and long-term sustainability, which is long what the majority of the fishing public has advocated for. If you’re a striped bass fisherman, you get it… It’s NOT just another fish. They are SO damn important to so many folks, for so many reasons. The public comment period for Amendment 7 starts next month. And what goes down at these hearings, as well as what sort of written comment is collected, is critical. I’d like to say with some honesty that that such comment will inform decisions, but I’m guessing some readers know that this hasn’t been the case with some past striped bass management decisions. But… I would like to point out that there are certainly circumstances where overwhelming public comment did drive striped bass decisions at the Commission – i.e. Addendum IV, which resulted in a 25% landings reduction back in 2015 and going from a coastal bag limit of two fish to one. And, well, the aforementioned Amendment 6 was indeed largely driven by an uprising/outpouring of concerned anglers. And certainly, we didn’t get a lot of what we wanted with Addendum VI but try and think about that outcome in the context of what we could have ended up with without angler engagement. However you feel about slots limits, it’s hard not to see how may fish were released this year as a result. The point is that managers DO listen, and absolutely, they need to hear from you. I know this whole fishing thing is supposed to be fun, and free of “bull****,” like I said. But this is NOT the time to sit on your ass and let other folks do your bidding. Because if you do, you could very well lose that which you hold dear. And that’s no joke. You can see the public hearing schedule here. - you can copy and paste this into your browser of you want to view the .pdf Yes, we can help. Keep an eye out here for a comprehensive set of recommendations/suggestions from ASGA on how to comment. But if you give a **** about striped bass – and if you’ve made it this far I’m just about certain that you do – please understand this. It is NOT acceptable to do nothing. It’s a publicly owned resource, and you are the public! Commissioners need to hear from you. Governors in your state need to hear from you. And you…. You need to speak up.
  20. I have never thought to throw on a teaser, but figure it can hurt. So I am wondering, what you use for a teaser? Does it depend on the trailer fly? How big should it be? How far up the leader should you tie it on? What situations would you throw on a teaser? Thanks for any info
  21. Hello fellow anglers. I just want to ask people about their input on surfcasting. Wisdom and knowledge from elites and experienced surfcasters will be appreciated. Thank you so much for taking your time to give me your inputs
  22. I came across a good read I found to be accurate and from someone I have read numerous articles from over many years. Between his PHD and his years of experience on the water, it says something about the individual which commands a level of respect as well as an ear to what he is saying. I have seen some posts on social media saying this is a great year and that there are big bass being caught up and down the coast. Well, I do agree there are some big bass being caught. I know, I caught a few of them. However, there always is no matter how bad things get but that is not an accurate depiction of the fishery. In my case my spring was horrendous, the summer I was out of commission with shoulder surgery and my fall was meh. I managed a number of slot of fish, a few over and one really big one but other than that it sucked outside of a 3 week period. The last bluefish I saw were in the spring and what I used to catch years ago could eat them. We have a long way to go and when the time comes, we need to speak up or else this is what we have to look forward to which in my opinion isn't much. This fall I should have solid action with bass and blues of all sizes from Labor Day all the way into December depending on the weather. Instead, I got 3 weeks of decent bass action with a few good fish. Sad. November 2020 by William A. Muller Clearly, recent decades have witnessed trends in both surf fishing for blues and striped bass, and to remain connected to the fish during these changes, anglers need to adapt on the run. In the last 10 years, most autumns have produced runs of stripers on the south shore. In 2010 there was a good showing of 18- to 24-inch stripers with a few giant blues mixed in. In 2013 there was a fantastic three week run of large stripers with no blues; at least that I caught or saw. In 2017 an angler could catch 60 to 80 stripers a day but they were all 14 to 20 inches and no bluefish. Finally, in 2019 there were good numbers of mostly 20- to 28-inch stripers and no blues. Do we see a trend? Do these fall runs suggest that striped bass stocks are in very good shape? Do these runs suggest a precipitous decline in bluefish? The answers are, yes, no, and yes. Trends: November Schoolies Clearly, recent decades have witnessed trends in both surf fishing for blues and striped bass, and to remain connected to the fish during these changes, anglers need to adapt on the run. As bait and fish populations wax and wane, anglers may find that last month’s or last year’s techniques and favored lures are either more or less effective. To understand this, let’s go back in time and remind ourselves what surf fishing was like prior to 1980. Of course, shortly after 1980, the striper population took a steep nose dive. The decline brought about a striper harvest moratorium that set the stage for a recovery of the species and fantastic striper fishing in the 1990s. In those days, a surf angler’s fall run began in early to mid-September after the first nor’easter or sharp cold front that initiated the mullet run. Within weeks the mullet run was exhausted and sometimes there would be a short lull in the action before peanut bunker, anchovies, or some other small bait moved west along the south shore. The second phase of the run lasted into October and was often followed by a second short lull before sand eels moved inshore. These long multi-phased fall runs were possible not only because of sequential abundant bait, but because the coastal migration was very large and there were many large schools of stripers and blues stretched out along the coast, including resident New York stripers. It was resident stripers that responded to the mullet and then moved west with them. Unfortunately, we don’t have a lot of south shore resident stripers these days due to a variety of reasons. The later stages of the multi-phase fall runs were primarily a result of many large, or mega, schools, of Chesapeake stripers along the coast, and competition would cause some of them to leave Massachusetts early when small baits began leaving the estuaries. Finally, at the end of the run were the last few schools that lingered off New England before moving south in November. These stripers arrived in our waters just in time to feast on sand eels. By late November and early December the action consisted mostly of Hudson fish that didn’t have far to go to reach their winter hang outs. Stocks: Today, many scientists and managers believe that striped bass stocks have declined significantly so that there may be only one mega school of Chesapeake stripers (largest stock) and therefore, we get fall striper runs with only one phase. Furthermore, a recent lack of blues in the fall accentuates the lulls in striper fishing. Sadly, bluefish stocks have collapsed due to many years of fair to poor recruitment, overharvesting, and a pattern of denial from the Mid-Atlantic regional Fisheries Management Council, but our catch data supports the reality. Although we began warning managers about the decline as early as the late 1980s, it took a depressing recent stock assessment to produce a management adjustment of three blues per day per independent angler, and five for anglers on boats-for-hire. New Reality: A hallmark of good surf fishermen is an ability to adapt to changes in bait, fish abundance, beach structure, and regulations. In the present reality, we must adjust to few weakfish and bluefish, and one mega school of stripers. Sadly, an historical reality is absent for many newcomers who believe that current surf fishing is as good today as it ever has been. It’s also true that decades ago more bass over ten pounds were caught throughout the long fall run. In those decades the only pure small fish runs occurred after Thanksgiving. This last push of tiny fish was the signal to surf rats that the season was over. Many old timers grouse about the lack of big fish and sometimes stop fishing because of it. However, let me suggest that since fishing is about fun, why not adapt in order to have fun under the present conditions, rather than stubbornly hold onto the past. While making the best of the “now”, we can hope for a brighter future and fight for better management. Adjusting Our Attitudes: Many surf anglers have decided not to scoff at the present reality and are attempting to adjust attitudes first and tackle second. Attitude adjustment begins with a willingness to enjoy fishing. Accepting the present reality rather insisting on a past standard that no longer exists. The old reality may return someday or, it may not, but in the meantime let’s have fun. Once we get our brains adjusted to the real world, we can reexamine our tackle. In the post WWII era, surf tackle was very different. Rods, reels, and lines were not as user friendly or dependable. When monofilament line found its way into the fishery and replaced linen line, it seemed to be a miracle. Then spinning reels, then better spinning reels, and fiberglass rods. Wow! What a difference those advances made. We used mostly 11-foot rods, and coffee grinder (because they were noisy) spinning reels, and 15-pound test mono with a long shocker of 25-pound test. That tackle caught fish, but there was a lot of maintenance on reels. Thankfully, their designs were simple so we could easily repair them. I used a Penn 706Z for decades and carried a bin full of parts so I could make repairs on the tail gate of my truck in minutes and get back in the action. No one could possibly dream of using a 9-foot rod and small reel at Montauk or in the south shore surf, and when we tried to do it on the north shore in quiet water the results were also disappointing. We employed honey colored glass rods and the reel to use was the Penn 710. The honey fiberglass was so limber that combined with stretchy monofilament line it was difficult to sink a hook. Catching a really big fish was more like taming a runaway bull than catching a fish. The Penn reel was a great reel in its day, but unless you lined up the bail just so, it would flop over on a cast and your lure would begin a joy-ride to Connecticut. Today’s Tackle: Today’s tackle is so advanced that it makes many things possible that were never possible before. For example, in recent years I’ve been using a 7-foot graphite rod paired to a VS 150, and 20-pound test braid on the north shore. This combination is so responsive, sensitive, and powerful that it has allowed me to catch and enjoy large and smaller fish alike. I don’t use it on the south shore for several reasons: a need for distance, winds in your face, the frequent need for large lures, and big waves. The demands of these factors require the use of a 9-foot graphite rod, VS 200, and 20-pound test braid. This 9-foot outfit can do what my old 11-foot gear did in the 1970s, is much lighter, and more sensitive. There are precious few occasions when I wish I had an 11-foot setup. November Schoolies It has become increasingly important for anglers to release fish carefully and reduced catch and release mortality. The advantage of this lighter tackle is obvious when one considers the runs of smaller fish that have been available in the last ten years. Even 16-inch stripers put a bend in my 9-footer, whereas the fight would have been almost non-existent on a true south shore 11-foot combo. But my 9-foot combo has the power to tame larger fish without stress. Last fall I caught a 26-pound striper on that outfit and never once felt out of control. By the way, the same outfit served me just as well in the fall of 2013 when almost all the fish were large. I’ve made other adjustments to the smaller fish trend. I rarely use anything but single hook lures so that I do less damage to the fish I release, it’s safer for me, and I can remove fish quickly and catch another one. Bucktails, feathered metal lures, metal lures with tubes, and lead-heads with soft plastic are my main stays on both shores, but the ones I use on the south shore are typically heavier. Although my 9-footer can cast almost as far as my old 11-foot outfit, I’ve discovered that it’s often a waste of time to lean into a cast in an attempt to reach the outer bar. There seem to be as many stripers close to the shoreline as there are out near the bar. Sure, there are still many anglers with 11-foot gear and I watched them lean into casts with Ava 27 and 37 diamond jigs, get near the bar, hook up and drag little fish to the beach without much of a fight. At the end of the day, they haven’t gotten the fights out of the stripers that I did and their shoulders and necks were sore. Sometimes adjustments are premature, but sometimes they are timely and better. Plug Bag: Since I’m using lighter tackle and tend to work fish that are close to the beach and at my feet, I’ve been carrying lighter lures, too. Lighter rods and reels and lighter lures mean my body isn’t nearly as abused as it was when I wielded the 11-footer, and since my bag is lighter there is much less weight on my neck and shoulders. About 90% of the time lures weighing between 1 and 1-1/2 ounces are effective. I do carry one heavy “tin” and one 2-ounce bucktail just in case, but rarely need to use them. This brings us back to an angler’s state of mind. If he/she believes that the best way to catch fall run stripers is with the big tackle, then that’s what the angler will use. If the angler doesn’t try new approaches, they will never understand the advantages of lighter gear, even when they watch other anglers catch lots of fish on lighter tackle. Perhaps they pray for an unlikely tuna fish to rumble through the trough and attack their lure, or maybe it’s just habit. Whatever the mindset, my experience mentoring new surf anglers has taught me that it is difficult to change a mindset regardless of how much common sense and visual evidence is at hand. However, that doesn’t change the facts. Today’s technologies have made light rods and reels just as effective as the bigger gear of yesteryear, and since fall runs have been, and are likely to continue to be, dominated by smaller fish, maybe it’s time for a change. I don’t want to plane small fish to the sand, rather I want to experience full contact with Nature and let those fish show off a little. Now, you are reading an article written by a guy that, as a boy, fished for big killifish with a small safety pin and mussels when no one could take him fishing. This guy enjoys big weaks, blues, and stripers, but also bluegills, yellow perch, and snappers. I just love fishing, the connection to nature, the interplay with a living creature that I don’t have to kill but must fool: it’s very satisfying. Adaptation police don’t exist, and there are many ways to “skin a cat”, but the smart play involves giving a little thought to how you might get more enjoyment out of our south shore fall runs of fish, don’t you think? After all, isn’t fun the object of the game?
  23. Hi I hope you all had a great season for 2020. I went out for a last of the season outing on November 11, 2020 to the surf with a buddy of mine. I caught a 28" on the 7th so I knew there was an opportunity to catch after the warm couple of days we had upto (21°C). It was low tide when I started about 11am and I fished about an hour with the ss needle working the beach along the structures and when I got to my last spot about 12:30pm I decided to switch to the mag darter (5inch). I made a cast and hooked a piece of kelp so I quickly retrieved to remove the kelp. Soni made a second cast next to an under water reef and was retrieving the lure slowly and once I got 20 feet from shore I had a hit. The fish made a break about 5 seconds after I set the hook before she ran the longest run of life towards the west by the reef and rocks. I was able to steer the fish and she went east towards another reef the protrudes about 100 yards but again was able to steer her away and after 9:35 seconds of pulling drag every few seconds I landed her. 51.5 inches long and 28.5 inches of girth. After the quick measurement my buddy took a couple quick photos of the fish I released her back into the (48° F) water and swam off like I didn't catch her.
  24. Currently, I'm using a 2016 Certate HD4000H on a Mojo Surf 9fter. I like the reel a lot. Silky smooth, light weight (14oz), good line capacity (almost 300yds of 40lb test), mag seals, but the max drag is only 17lb. The biggest striper I caught on it so far was a 35 incher and it handled it well. However, I don't know how it will handle bigger fish, especially in current and around structure. I fish a lot on the rocks underneath some local bridges and in these spots you have to lock down the drag and turn the fish quickly before they run your line into the pilings. I don't know if I should keep this reel or sell it and look for something stronger.
  25. so far in my fishing season this year, I have only caught one sea robin by accident. I live right off of a harbor, boats going in and out all day, and go down to my dock all the way to the end and throw plugs and swimbaits and pretty much anything. I'm in the Fairfield County area. I've even brought 4-5 rods and thrown out chunks of clams or small crabs. at this point I'm not looking for striped bass anymore, more like anything that will bite whatever I throw. even at the dead of night around 11 ish, i will watch small fish break the water and when i throw past them and catch up to them they splash on the other side of the dock. in the area where I fish its all seaweed beds or rocks so I get snagged. I've checked weather conditions, tides, water temperatures in certain areas. still nothing and nowhere. normally id go to a different pier but its been swamped with anglers recently. I've gotten fish there before so I know they are there. I just don't know whats going on. I have everything from 12ft rods to 6,6 rods. am i just having a bad season? dunno whats going on. sorry if this is in the wrong forum, first time posting.