NHangler87

Skunked in July

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Been fishing after work (5pm-8/9pm the last three weeks) in the piscat. Nothing but skunk for me. I did so well in June. Trolling tube and worm rigs and umbrella rigs, tossing the occasional shim shad. What should I do differently?

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Not to seem sarcastic, but you need to better understand your chosen fishing spots with regards to tides.  Most spots have a preferred tidal window and even the "best spot" can be like fishing in a desert if you're not there at the proper point in the tide...

To make matters worse, what's a good tide at a particular spot one year may change from year to year, even month to month.  My best mid-outgoing spots this year have turned into mid-incoming in the past 2 wees!!  Go figure...

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40 minutes ago, Roccus7 said:

Not to seem sarcastic, but you need to better understand your chosen fishing spots with regards to tides.  Most spots have a preferred tidal window and even the "best spot" can be like fishing in a desert if you're not there at the proper point in the tide...

To make matters worse, what's a good tide at a particular spot one year may change from year to year, even month to month.  My best mid-outgoing spots this year have turned into mid-incoming in the past 2 wees!!  Go figure...

I completely agree with Roccus

You gotta to keep exploring and experimenting through out the season.

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I tend to find that when the mackerel come through in big numbers as they have recently, it gets difficult to catch them on anything other than live bait. Anything that closely mimics a mackerel is a good thing to try this time of year.

All through June we were catching 20 fish a day in the 22-30" range. Last couple of times we've only had a few. 

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Posted (edited) · Report post

8 hours ago, NHangler87 said:

Should I stick with tube and worm?

That is really a personal judgement call on your part.

I can catch striped bass all season long using tube and worm rigs, However, I've had a heck of a lot of practice using those rigs and I know my hunting grounds inside and out.  It has taken a lot of time on the water to get to this point.

If you enjoy using tube and worms to catch bass stick with them for a little longer. But try to expand your bass knowledge and your hunting grounds a bit more. Start by looking around your current hunting ground for moving water flowing around fixed structure. Study how that flow changes during various stages of the tide. Try to understand how those changes might affect how a striped bass would feed there. Try fishing the flow to see if your assumptions are right and adjust accordingly.

Vary the types of location your fishing in, If the striped bass aren't biting on the mud flats see if they are biting around a near shore ledge, or an underwater drop off, or a fishy looking shoreline feature. 

When you start doing stuff like that your whole fishing perspective changes from one of "I must catch fish to be happy" to one of "I just need to learn something new about the fish and the water I'm fishing in" to be happy.

That's my two cents on the subject and your welcome to it. 

Edited by Crozzbow

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Posted (edited) · Report post

On July 26, 2017 at 7:32 AM, NHangler87 said:

Been fishing after work (5pm-8/9pm the last three weeks) in the piscat. Nothing but skunk for me. I did so well in June. Trolling tube and worm rigs and umbrella rigs, tossing the occasional shim shad. What should I do differently?

Admittedly July was a lot slower than June but if you're going on nearly a months long worth of skunkings than I would suspect you're either A) Too far in your comfort zone or B) Too far out of your comfort zone. Certain tactics you will find work almsot any time of the season if fish are around, one thing that remains constant are these fish are predators and spend a good amount of their time feeding, whether high tide, low tide, sunset, rain storm, heavy surf, seaweed, sunbathers, skinny dippers or surrounded by seals. Not knowing exactly where you're fishing I would first and foremost suggest switching that up, any open beach would be a good place to start especially now that things are kicked up a bit as this weather pattern blows trough. If the river isn't producing its most likely not what you're throwing but what the fish are doing/where they are. I fished a river in Maine yesterday by way of boat and there were a ton of fish chasing bait around but we caught all our fish out front. We found some mackerel and pollock out past the breakwater, few schools were of good size but I wouldn't say the bait was "thick" by any means, but plentiful never the less. Fresh bait, live bait, worms, big hunks of clam at night or very early morning off the beach will put fish on the sand. Docks, piers and jettys at night with any of the aforementioned or a small arsenal of artificials (SP Minnow, bucktail, sluggo, swim Shad) should also net ya some success, some of the most fun I have up here is watching fish swim around in front of me and below my feet and trick them into biting something. We're having a hell of a year up here in Maine, lots of fish caught and more importantly fish ranging in size from under a foot to well over 4 feet, signs of hope to come for years ahead

Edited by OOB Fisherman

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Broke the skunk last night with a 27" fish, fishing in a new area (new for this year), @ the mouth of an estuary. Got the one fish and then I lost the rest of my worms to small fish that bite only the back half of the worm off. I wonder if that's stripers, harbor Pollack, or maybe little bluefish? Some of the worms looked like they had some bite marks after they bit the back half off.  It gets kinda frustatrating when that happens because you start to go through tons of bait.

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Fish at night or early dawn. My better fishing this time of year is between 8PM-12/1AM and 4AM-8AM but also as mentioned, you really have to know the tides and why resident fish may be hanging out in the area you are fishing. 

 

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