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Matt in VA

first try @ stripers - Wells area

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At the end of July my family and I are going to be in Wells for a week. This is an annual thing for us. I'm a mediocre freshwater angler with no saltwater experience. Every year I see guys in Wells fishing for stripers in the surf at night (and I assume that's probably what many of the folks on the jetty are doing during the day, too), and I tell myself that I need to try that sometime. This year I want to actually do it. I don't have very high expectations; I'm not looking to catch a trophy. I'd just like to land a legal fish or two. And in case it isn't clear, let me reiterate that I really don't know the first thing about catching stripers. At this point I'm not trying to learn striper fishing inside and out; I'm just looking for a fairly simple approach that has a reasonable chance of catching a fish or two. I don't personally know any fishermen up there, so I'm hoping some of you might be willing point me in the right direction.

 

So my questions are these:

 

(1) Can I press an 8' catfish rod and spinning reel into service for this purpose? Naturally I don't want to spend a lot of money on gear for my first time.

 

(2) If I do, am I pretty much limited to fishing from the jetty? I understand surf rods are usually a good bit longer than 8'.

 

(3) Would plain old 20# monofilament be adequate to start with? How important is line color? Do I need a flurocarbon leader or anything like that?

 

(4) Any guidance on bait? Live bait vs. lures? Is one likely to work better than the other from, say, the jetty? Or at night?

 

(5) Better to go during a rising tide, a falling tide, or something else altogether?

 

(6) I realize someone at a good tackle shop can probably help a lot with some of these questions -- so what's a good tackle shop in the area?

 

I know folks here take their striper fishing seriously, and I'm taking a very simple, not-very serious approach to it. I'm also asking a lot of questions that have probably been answered a hundred times, if only I'd search the archives. I don't mean to offend anyone. Please understand that I'm just trying to get away for a few hours and have a shot at catching a fish or two on what's basically just a family vacation, without having to make a huge investment in time or money.

 

Thanks!

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Others can add more to this... but here's my .02

 

View PostAt the end of July my family and I are going to be in Wells for a week. This is an annual thing for us. I'm a mediocre freshwater angler with no saltwater experience. Every year I see guys in Wells fishing for stripers in the surf at night (and I assume that's probably what many of the folks on the jetty are doing during the day, too), and I tell myself that I need to try that sometime. This year I want to actually do it. I don't have very high expectations; I'm not looking to catch a trophy. I'd just like to land a legal fish or two. And in case it isn't clear, let me reiterate that I really don't know the first thing about catching stripers. At this point I'm not trying to learn striper fishing inside and out; I'm just looking for a fairly simple approach that has a reasonable chance of catching a fish or two. I don't personally know any fishermen up there, so I'm hoping some of you might be willing point me in the right direction.

Hey, it's fun even if you dont catch a thing... not many days are "bad" when you on the ocean smile.gif

 

So my questions are these:

 

(1) Can I press an 8' catfish rod and spinning reel into service for this purpose? Naturally I don't want to spend a lot of money on gear for my first time. I'd say yes. Just rinse it off well after each use, and oil the reel when home.

 

(2) If I do, am I pretty much limited to fishing from the jetty? I understand surf rods are usually a good bit longer than 8'. Absolutely not. sure, you can probably huck further with a 10-12 footer... but then again, I bet your 8' cat rod will out cast my double haul fly cast so I'd say your good from the beach or Jetty... My first 5-6 years surf fishing I used a 7'-6" because it's what I had... Your fine on the beach to check it out, learn, and sure could catch.

 

(3) Would plain old 20# monofilament be adequate to start with? How important is line color? Do I need a flurocarbon leader or anything like that? 20# mono is fine. Ive used green or clear. no noticable diff. A lot of hard core surfies go with braid, but I'd say your good with 20# mono - keep it simple! You could use a flouro leader but it's not essential.

 

(4) Any guidance on bait? Live bait vs. lures? Is one likely to work better than the other from, say, the jetty? Or at night? I just like artificials, so I'd say have some sluggos in 6 and 9" in black or white and then a couple topwaters like a pencil or popper and a swimmer or two and a couple metals (kastmaster and a hopkins) and a couple bucktails. Good to go. If you opt for bait - which is probably the best way to get a keeper or two - chunks of mackeral or clam often work well. Eels are awesome. If you are on the jetty and can catch some Mack's you can live line them which is awesome as well.

 

(5) Better to go during a rising tide, a falling tide, or something else altogether? My prefrence is falling... but it feels like different folks will tell you different things...

 

(6) I realize someone at a good tackle shop can probably help a lot with some of these questions -- so what's a good tackle shop in the area? Saco bait and tackle?? I think that's sort of close... I'm a MA guy who fishes Maine though... The Maine guys will have better advice here...

 

I know folks here take their striper fishing seriously, and I'm taking a very simple, not-very serious approach to it. I'm also asking a lot of questions that have probably been answered a hundred times, if only I'd search the archives. I don't mean to offend anyone. Please understand that I'm just trying to get away for a few hours and have a shot at catching a fish or two on what's basically just a family vacation, without having to make a huge investment in time or money.

Just get out and have fun with it. Dont worry about catching, just start to get a sense of how the tide moves, how the surf affects things, and enjoy being at the ocean. As you aclimate to the conditions and present well.. the catching will happen.

 

have fun!

Thanks!

 

 

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Hey, thanks a lot! That's really helpful.

 

I did find the name of a tackle shop in Wells, in an old post here. Seven Rivers Bait & Tackle. That report's a few years old, so here's hoping it's still around.

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Webhannet Bait & Tackle (1-207-646-9649) is right in Wells Harbor and will have everything you need, Seven Rivers is closed. Good Luck!

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a definite "non expert" here. Your 8 foot rod will work just fine. I'd say bait is probably going to give you an edge, especially as a novice. Saco Bay Bait & Tackle OR Webhannet will hook you up (no pun intended). Get a "slider" to attach a sinker to. They'll know what you mean. That way there is little resistance when a fish picks it up. I know that there has been some controversy regarding circle hooks, but I have had good luck with them. You don't really yammer back and set the hook, but just feel the tension, "lift" the rod and start reeling. Most fish I've caught on these have been in the corner of the mouth, making release very simple, and keeping handling to a minimum. Cut chunks of mackeral make ok bait, as do the large sea clams you can buy at either of these shops and other places. Staff at the shops are very helpful. 20 lb mono will work.

 

Keep It Simple.

 

Advice (probably worthless) from a guy from a state with no ocean.

 

Good luck and keep us posted. Remember there is a slot limit of 20 - 26.

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I think your 8 footer would be more then adequate especially if your going to fish on the jetty there. I had pretty good luck fishing Hogy's and also bunker colored Tsunami or Storm shads a few weeks ago but you may want to try your luck with bait. Parking can be tough there until after sundown though. I live and fish mostly in Mass but I head up to Wells a couple times each year and usually do alright. I did a pretty good job on my Lami and myself on the jetty there earlier this year after I trusted my nightvision rather then using a flashlight,lol.

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Striperfanatic and Kivva King, thanks. We're heading up at the end of this week. Looks like my brother-in-law and nephew will be giving it a shot with me. We'll try the jetty (wife can drop us off @ the jetty, so parking won't be a problem), and maybe a little casting from the beach.

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