cheech

Do bunker play with kayak fisherman?

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I spend about an hour per trip seeking/LL or chunking with Atlantic Menhaden, but at times I feel they are playing with me. I do realize it’s just bunker being bunker,....but. How come they pop up all around you the second you remove the snag and quit chasing them. How come when you motor towards a huge school in the distance they completely disappear before your even in casting distance?  When you give up on a school and move on why do they instantly start splashing directly behind you. How does that bunker you thought was swimming hundreds of feet off your starboard sneak back under you and wrap the rudder or another line. I know they are not evil but...

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And even when you do liveline one, there's nothing down there on them. :confused:  I've more or less given up on trying that in the W sound in summer even though there's plenty of pods. Do you find it works when you do snag one?

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As bizarre as this may sound I think they have some of the best vision in clear water when in medium size schools to small.  They can be hard to snag.  I feel they can be even harder to snag at night sometimes than day time. 

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I have the most success snagging the little buggers when pulling in on an upward angle. Cast over the pod, let it sink to the bottom, reel in normally until  you feel that first ‘tic’ ... then jerk and wind as fast as ... being mindful to stop sub-surface. Never jerk the rod directly up (towards your nose), rather across your body ... a weighted treble flying through the air is a scary thing!

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I ‘donate’ 60+ hrs per season on my bunker buddies because sometimes it’s the only midday action around. They must see or hear well, they often splash and scatter before the snag even hits the water. I agree they are sometimes impossible to snag when in small schools, although at times it’s peanuts and the snag is too large. With LI Sounds huge schools they are indeed often useless, chunked or live lined. But when huge bluefish are crushing them there is no thrill like a 36” gorilla with two 8/0 hooks in its gullet. Plenty of cocktails around now,  but so far this season the big Yellow Eyed Devils have been no show.

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Im not very good at snagging bunker yet, but my go to snag is usually a hammered diamond jig with treble hook.  Last year i was snagging bunker and 'live lining', leaving them on the treable however they were snagged.  Well one day i was jerking the poor bastard while he was near the surfcace and the lure came loose and sling shotted right at my face!  Lucky reflexes had me block the lure with my rod, twas not skill.  I take that as my one free pass, and remind other to be careful while snagging bunker in a kayak.

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2 hours ago, Africaster said:

I have the most success snagging the little buggers when pulling in on an upward angle. Cast over the pod, let it sink to the bottom, reel in normally until  you feel that first ‘tic’ ... then jerk and wind as fast as ... being mindful to stop sub-surface. Never jerk the rod directly up (towards your nose), rather across your body ... a weighted treble flying through the air is a scary thing!

 

I've seen some bunker snagging shenanigans on the beach...guys whipping their rods as soon as the bunker snag hits the water, full Olympian strokes all the way back to shore...9/10 sans bunker. The curious thing is that's all they bring...a rod with a bunker snag. If bunker aren't around, they just sit there staring at the water. 

 

Once I saw 2 guys walking down the beach with hard hats on. I turned to ask my cousin WTF are they wearing hardhats for when the first guy dings the second guy right in the head with a 2oz bunker snag. Trips like that have me running back to the reservoirs on my kayak. 

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Sometimes the weighted trebles are too much, keeping it in the right place in the water column to actually be effective can be a challenge at times... Ive had good success with an unweighted 4/0 or 5/0  treble, most of the time they're just right below the surface anyway, you can keep it up high with little effort but  of course your snagging rod needs to be able to cast light stuff....

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47 mins ago, tj7501 said:

I believe the correct terminology is "pogies" :)

Depends where you're from..... Here on L.I they're almost always called bunker

 

Unless its an out of stater that just moved here ;)

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Old timers often refer to these filter feeders as ‘moss bunker’. The lowly bunker are often cited as the most important fish in our seas.

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Snagging technique? Sure. I used to do it a bunch when it was legal to take herring; every May was spent at the foot of a dam.

 

I didn't use a weighted treble, but a standard 1/0 or 2/0 treble snelled with a 1-2oz bank or bell sinker 24-36" below it on the tag. I concur on casting over the school, allowing the rig to sink, and then sweeping up into the pod. 

 

Last time I was snagging was earlier this year, we were out after black sea bass, and tight pods of bunker were all around. I figured I'd take a few for bait, but didn't have a treble, so I just used the jighead and rubber body I had ready for sight casting. Worked at least half the casts, so I'd say the technique is more important than the terminal tackle,

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