JJ2602

Needlefish Newbie

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Needlefish are a tough nut to crack, I think we've all been on the beach a long time ago thinking what the hell a needlefish does to entice a fish in the dark....or at any time.  The reality as I discovered it was an enlightening perspective into more than just the plug in question but bass behavior and surf fishing as a whole.  We often equate a lure's potential with visible action, who dosnt run down to their nearest haunts to "test" the new merch they grabbed at the local show? We all do it and some for different reasons than others but it speaks to what we as humans tend to appreciate in, a lure.  I kept a fish tank in marine biology in my high school years, I was bold enough to catch a short black fish from a local bridge and keep him as my specimen/ pet for the year where I promptly discovered his appreciation for my classmates spiritless killifish, which I gladly poached from neighboring tanks in my mission to feed the relentless beast.  (Yes, black fish love live killies) and with that said I observed his behavior, the killi fish too.  When fish hunt, and when fish want to HIDE, they dont wiggle, twitch or dart around, until being pursuid of course which shines light on the reality of why a needlefish is so wonderful as a lure.  Statistically speaking, a prey item likely spends more time drifting motionless and silent with little movement  than it does running from a predator, which presumably would require some erratic action in a lure to imitate.  Larger fish regularly culled by needlefish are likely intelligent enough to recognize the unnatural nature in a needlessly iratic fast moving lure when no other predators are in the area....so they key in on and hunt the silent prey who's attempts to remain just motionless enough to the fish you're after, futile.  The simple answer if you so admirably read this far is a needlefish's mute action (not unlike a bucktail) is exactly what big smart fish look for.  Weather or not it looks good to you, it's what they want and if you fish one slow, steady and long enough....you'll see what im talking about....just like a bucktail.

Edited by DeepBlue85

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16 hours ago, TimS said:

Buy some Choopy 1 1/2oz and 2oz needles - olive/white, yellow/white and black/purple. They'll serve you very well in NJ all season long :)

 

TimS

 

16 hours ago, 27conch said:

I am a Stetzko needle fish guy.  What is a big misnomer is that needle fish have no built in action.  So untrue.  I swam some of the Stetzko's in my pool and the slow seductive side to side roll was incredible.  I fish both the 7" and 9" models which are both sinking.  Favorite colors are solid pink, green/white and black/purple. Needle fish are not meant to fish in heavy surf, more so in moderate to calm conditions.  Images are of some Stetzko's.

 

The surf asylum flat glides are pretty awesome as well..

tony1_jpg_b7339118e45badf9e4ecae03cefca429.jpg

Thanks for this info.  In my quick internet search for both the Choopy & Stetzko they seem to be hard to find?  I have 4-5 tackle shops near by Ill have to pop in to see what they carry.  Thanks for the info!

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15 hours ago, Buckscorider said:

When I first got into this sport about five years ago I quickly realized I needed needles for the NJ surf. 

 

I quickly acquired five S&S super and fish needles.

Yellow 1oz, green 1oz which I loaded to about 1.75, blurple and black 2 1/2 and 3oz heavies.

Even got a stubbie in copper. 

 

Havnt caught a single bass of any kind on any of them.

 

There I said it.

I have noticed two distinctive camps on this....people either love em or hate them. 

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12 hours ago, Seabassplug said:

also a good idea for some winter days to read D. Zambrotta book, lots of things about needlefish and a good book to read.

Yes I've seen that title listed a few times on the site.  Ill pick it up....Thank You!

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You won't find Stetzko's in any store.  They haven't been manufactured in a pretty long time and since Tony's death, I am not sure where the rest of his inventory wound up.  You can still find them on the secondary market.  I sold some of my stock a while back but still have quite a few in my inventory, including a rare signed model..

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2 hours ago, JJ2602 said:

 

Thanks for this info.  In my quick internet search for both the Choopy & Stetzko they seem to be hard to find?  I have 4-5 tackle shops near by Ill have to pop in to see what they carry.  Thanks for the info!

Last  time I was in the hook house in TOMSRIVER he had Choppy needles, He will ship .

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13 hours ago, DeepBlue85 said:

Needlefish are a tough nut to crack, I think we've all been on the beach a long time ago thinking what the hell a needlefish does to entice a fish in the dark....or at any time.  The reality as I discovered it was an enlightening perspective into more than just the plug in question but bass behavior and surf fishing as a whole.  We often equate a lure's potential with visible action, who dosnt run down to their nearest haunts to "test" the new merch they grabbed at the local show? We all do it and some for different reasons than others but it speaks to what we as humans tend to appreciate in, a lure.  I kept a fish tank in marine biology in my high school years, I was bold enough to catch a short black fish from a local bridge and keep him as my specimen/ pet for the year where I promptly discovered his appreciation for my classmates spiritless killifish, which I gladly poached from neighboring tanks in my mission to feed the relentless beast.  (Yes, black fish love live killies) and with that said I observed his behavior, the killi fish too.  When fish hunt, and when fish want to HIDE, they dont wiggle, twitch or dart around, until being pursuid of course which shines light on the reality of why a needlefish is so wonderful as a lure.  Statistically speaking, a prey item likely spends more time drifting motionless and silent with little movement  than it does running from a predator, which presumably would require some erratic action in a lure to imitate.  Larger fish regularly culled by needlefish are likely intelligent enough to recognize the unnatural nature in a needlessly iratic fast moving lure when no other predators are in the area....so they key in on and hunt the silent prey who's attempts to remain just motionless enough to the fish you're after, futile.  The simple answer if you so admirably read this far is a needlefish's mute action (not unlike a bucktail) is exactly what big smart fish look for.  Weather or not it looks good to you, it's what they want and if you fish one slow, steady and long enough....you'll see what im talking about....just like a bucktail.

What can I say but thank you for sharing this in depth perspective.  It clearly explains why these should work and do work well for some.  I understand after so many tries people loose confidence but after reading this well written insight what angler could resist trying to finesse a stick with hooks on it slowly through the water for that big bass!....that is of course if there any any still around in casting distance.

 

Thank you!

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1 hour ago, 27conch said:

You won't find Stetzko's in any store.  They haven't been manufactured in a pretty long time and since Tony's death, I am not sure where the rest of his inventory wound up.  You can still find them on the secondary market.  I sold some of my stock a while back but still have quite a few in my inventory, including a rare signed model..

I just found some that appear to be NOS for sale on an auction site.

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19 hours ago, Buckscorider said:

When I first got into this sport about five years ago I quickly realized I needed needles for the NJ surf. 

 

I quickly acquired five S&S super and fish needles.

Yellow 1oz, green 1oz which I loaded to about 1.75, blurple and black 2 1/2 and 3oz heavies.

Even got a stubbie in copper. 

 

Havnt caught a single bass of any kind on any of them.

 

There I said it.

I like you have had them sitting in my bag convinced they don’t work in NJ. But, last week I threw the entire bag at day break-  one 27” fish on a sister strike neede.  

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If there are sand eels around throw needles.  My last 10 fish were on SS needles. one on the black big one at night and 9 on the 6 inch yellow one the next day.   All brought in very slowly. probably the slowest presentation i have ever done.  

 

Match the hatch i am sure the metal lip guys would have a hard time on the fish this year in nj while the ava and needle fish guys are catching. 

Edited by crazybellringer

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1 hour ago, crazybellringer said:

If there are sand eels around throw needles.  My last 10 fish were on SS needles. one on the black big one at night and 9 on the 6 inch yellow one the next day.   All brought in very slowly. probably the slowest presentation i have ever done.  

 

Match the hatch i am sure the metal lip guys would have a hard time on the fish this year in nj while the ava and needle fish guys are catching. 

So here is where I get hung up...do you go with weights according to wind and surf conditions? Or do you change the weight according to your desired presentation?  I know there are “floating” needles as well.  Ran into someone who told me he loaded his with 1 oz  of mineral oil a few nights ago....I had to get going otherwise I would have picked his brain further.  

 

From what I’ve interpreted so far from reading an advantage of a needle is the ability to shift your water column with the same lure.  

D0B75112-2409-45F8-B6AE-59F72AE39E82.jpeg

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8 mins ago, JJ2602 said:

So here is where I get hung up...do you go with weights according to wind and surf conditions? Or do you change the weight according to your desired presentation?  I know there are “floating” needles as well.  Ran into someone who told me he loaded his with 1 oz  of mineral oil a few nights ago....I had to get going otherwise I would have picked his brain further.  

 

From what I’ve interpreted so far from reading an advantage of a needle is the ability to shift your water column with the same lure.  

D0B75112-2409-45F8-B6AE-59F72AE39E82.jpeg

 

the sand eels are in the sand so i fish them on the bottom.   1.7 sinking  1 yellow and  1 black.   Super Strike NF5HW Super "N" Fish Sinking Lure if you can only get one get all yellow.

 

the next one  i would get would be the 2/38  but you can get these used.  

 

I would not make any modifications. 

 

Edited by crazybellringer

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with both ones i reeled slow on the bottom with a teaser.  With the black big one  i was fishing an sp and i noticed i was just hitting a bar.  I switched to the bigger SS in black because that is what i had. I threw it on the bar let it sit i slowly cranked it until i felt it drop into the deep part at the front of the bar. made contact with the bottom again and got hit instantly.  i was dragging it in the sand. 

 

the next day i used the yellow in the small size and the tide was low so this time i threw it onto the bar but instead of it dragging right in it was light enough that i could real slow be on the bottom but have the current sweep  it off the bar.  

 

 

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5 mins ago, crazybellringer said:

with both ones i reeled slow on the bottom with a teaser.  With the black big one  i was fishing an sp and i noticed i was just hitting a bar.  I switched to the bigger SS in black because that is what i had. I threw it on the bar let it sit i slowly cranked it until i felt it drop into the deep part at the front of the bar. made contact with the bottom again and got hit instantly.  i was dragging it in the sand. 

 

the next day i used the yellow in the small size and the tide was low so this time i threw it onto the bar but instead of it dragging right in it was light enough that i could real slow be on the bottom but have the current sweep  it off the bar.  

 

 

Makes sense thanks to you and everyone as well for helping solve the initial mystery....now time to put it into practice.  Hoping one of the local shops have it in stock, looking forward to giving this a run.  Heading out Wednesday and Thursday AM (only time off this week) 

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