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hoakge12000

Blackfising off Docks/Inlets

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I always thought black fish stick around sea bass as they tend to live near one another, but the weather got really bad and I decided to hit the docks in Long Island. Caught a couple of keepers and am rethinking now if I should even bother taking out the kayak for blackfish. I never knew they are so close to shore. Is this true of all docks/inlets perhaps, or did I just get lucky? I was always under the assumption that docks wouldn't produce keepers.

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Blackfish live around structure...they acclimate themselves to certain bottom temperature ranges. You can find them in five feet of water...or a hundred feet of water. If they are in a comfortable depth and the bottom temp is to their liking...they don't care if they are near shore or twenty miles from it. They don't feed in the near shore stuff all year and not all near shore stuff is created equal...but you should be able to find blackfish of all sizes around the right structure in the spring and fall. If you tell someone where you caught "keeper" sized blackfish from a dock, they'll be gone by tomorrow...most likely along with a bunch of their little brothers and sisters :)

 

TimS

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As tim said , you really only need structure and the right temps. to find them. Just to give a couple examples. I was fishing a new jersey tidal river a couple years ago that has a rock erosion barrier on one of the banks. That has about 10" Of water up against it at high tide. As im fishing I see a couple of blackish swimming in and out of that rock structure. Never seen them that shallow before..  I also see them on the shallow reefs of the Montauk south side from time to time. Which is exciting because aside from being good eating for people, large bass also enjoy eating them. 

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Used to get some slobs early spring flounder fishing the top of the  canals close to mtk hwy during breeding season. Fall there close in the bay feed bag on aroud bridges and close to shore structure. Used to be a submerged sail boat just past JB piers with some real beasts on the feed before heading out.

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Blackfish love Sod banks. As a hard running tide causes sod banks to erode, the Blackfish take up residency in the small caverns that are created along the wall. As mentioned in Tim's post, the residency of the Blackfish is water temperature dependent. My favorite spot is a sod bank that is about 27' deep at HT. I have observed that as water temp drops below their preferred level the fish will move off the sod banks first, yet be found 500 yards away at a seawall and at a causeway bridge - where they will be for another few weeks. Why - IMO it's because the seawall rocks will hold heat from the sun and the water temp in their caverns is a little warmer; and the bridge is 55' so they can get deeper to find their comfort zone   

Edited by fish643

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Good info here.......

 

I have observed that as water temp drops below their preferred level ......

 

What is the preferred water temps for blackfish ???

Edited by AlwaysWading

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29 mins ago, AlwaysWading said:

Good info here.......

 

I have observed that as water temp drops below their preferred level ......

 

What is the preferred water temps for blackfish ???

Two weeks before the season, I caught a keeper on clams. Water temp at surface was 70F and it was around 65 ft deep at that point. Another time I caught some at 65F surface water, but only 30ft deep. I'm guessing 58-62F would be their ideal temperature.

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1 hour ago, AlwaysWading said:

Good info here.......

 

I have observed that as water temp drops below their preferred level ......

 

What is the preferred water temps for blackfish ???

My experience is that they start moving off the Sod Banks when surface water temp is around 57*. I have caught them around seawalls and bridges with surface water temp down near 50*. Lower than that I cant find them and believe they have moved out. Never checked what the Marine Biology experts say, but that's what I have experienced in the Back Bays and Inlets. Hope it's helpful.

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1 hour ago, AlwaysWading said:

What is the preferred water temps for blackfish ???

Not a lot of actual research has been done on them...but I can tell you without question they don't like sudden or drastic changes...and those changes happen much more frequently in shallow water. Blackfish like stability :)  As the seasons change the stability they desire comes with increased depth. I know where there's a bunch of fair sized blackfish right now in very shallow water in a place that sees pretty big temperature swings...I'm gonna make it a point to throw a few crabs at them whenever I get a chance and keep track of the water temps. See if I can't figure out what triggers their departure. We are gonna see very cold temps tonight and tomorrow night...with very low highs during the day. This could drop river/bay temps enough to get more of the blackfish headed to the ocean.

 

I know they'll stop feeding completely at some point...even in deeper water. That's always a sad day :o

 

TimS

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2 hours ago, hoakge12000 said:

Two weeks before the season, I caught a keeper on clams. Water temp at surface was 70F and it was around 65 ft deep at that point. Another time I caught some at 65F surface water, but only 30ft deep. I'm guessing 58-62F would be their ideal temperature.

You caught one in 65ft of water and have no idea what the bottom temp was - and then caught some more in 30ft of water with no idea what the bottom temp was...and have established a theory that their ideal water temp is between 58-62F? It appears that you reached this conclusion by catching a one blackfish in 65ft of water...and a few others in 30ft of water on a different day - and measuring the surface water temps.  Can you walk me through the logic here? :)  

 

 

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Just now, TimS said:

You caught one in 65ft of water and have no idea what the bottom temp was - and then caught some more in 30ft of water with no idea what the bottom temp was...and have established a theory that their ideal water temp is between 58-62F? It appears that you reached this conclusion by catching a one blackfish in 65ft of water...and a few others in 30ft of water on a different day - and measuring the surface water temps.  Can you walk me through the logic here? :)  

 

 

The relation between ocean height and water temperature at the given height is argued to be somewhere between exponential and inverse; studies counter each other whatnot the regression type. In any case, water temps should drop significantly in depths of 100-200ft, and only gradually ratio wise under 70ft. If this is the case, then the water temps to drop, but only a few degrees per say x amount of ft. It could be their favorite is 55, 58, 61, or 63, but definitely in that range. Of course there is also air temperature and other factors involved, but at this time of the year when there aren't glaciers rolling through the water, that's the temperature down there. You can also take a thermometer and find out if you doubt the math behind it, but I think the trends from these models are generally true.

 

As for their favorite temperature, i'm not sure there would need to be more data, 1 fish or 40 fish wouldn't make it or break it, but I'm sure people can catch them in much cooler or warmer waters. This pattern of mine had me taking a lot of keepers, at least for the area I fish, and so I am sticking to it, and so are my buddies who come with me. You don't have to be convinced; it's just an educated guess with some backbone to it that produces well for me and would produce well for others.

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1 hour ago, hoakge12000 said:

As for their favorite temperature, i'm not sure there would need to be more data, 1 fish or 40 fish wouldn't make it or break it,

It kinda does...you can't establish their optimum temperature range by catching one - all you can tell from that is that they can tolerate whatever temperature it was on the bottom...where you caught that fish. That might have been the only one. It might have been one second from leaving...it might have been amazingly tolerant to warmer/colder water. If you caught 40 fish you could at least establish that more than one fish was tolerating that bottom temp.

 

1 hour ago, hoakge12000 said:

The relation between ocean height and water temperature at the given height is argued to be somewhere between exponential and inverse; studies counter each other whatnot the regression type. In any case, water temps should drop significantly in depths of 100-200ft, and only gradually ratio wise under 70ft. If this is the case, then the water temps to drop, but only a few degrees per say x amount of ft. It could be their favorite is 55, 58, 61, or 63, but definitely in that range. Of course there is also air temperature and other factors involved, but at this time of the year when there aren't glaciers rolling through the water, that's the temperature down there. You can also take a thermometer and find out if you doubt the math behind it, but I think the trends from these models are generally true.

The relationship between ocean height (I'm guessing you mean depth) and water temp at the given depth is somewhere between exponential...and inverse? I'm trying my absolute best to understand what this means. So if it's 80ft deep, the inverse would be 1/80th - so in 80 feet of water the temperature is 1/80th of what it is on the surface? "Exponential" - assuming the exponent is larger than zero - we can start with 1 - this means in 80ft of water the temperature on the bottom is 80(1) = or 80? I'm struggling to understand what you are saying...how did you arrive at the bottom temp in 65ft of water being 58F degrees when the surface is 70F - and the bottom temp in 30ft of water being 62F when the surface is 65F. I'm not doubting your math...I'm trying to understand what math we are talking about. I'm all for learning new stuff...I'd love to be able to figure out the bottom temp based on the surface temp and water depth - enlighten me :)

 

TimS

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