The Salty Fisherman

How Have Your Fishing Practices Changed Over the Years?

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Sadly, there is no doubt that the fishing is not what it used to be.  There are fewer fish around (even if just slightly) and those that are around are not nearly as sizable as years prior.  How have you changed the tactics that you use to fish now from what you did years ago?  How about what lures, sizes, places, gear, presentation, and time of day, along with anything else that you do differently.  Really interested to hear what many of the vet surfcasters have to say, those who have seen the fishing scene change right before their eyes.  :th:

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I still fish with my Halco Twisty (gold & silver), Sliced and Roosta Popper till today. But i habe to agree that fish getting fewer and smaller and HARDER TO CATCH :banghd:

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Staying productive in my opinion comes down to three things, keeping an open minded approach while also practicing good habits.  Like throwing darts at the proverbial bullseye, its hard to find the right technique when the reference point vanishes all together.  Digg up logs, recall tactics that work and be disciplined in their approach while also changing up the variables, trying new things and emphasizing the final and maybe most important part, enjoying the process.

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I used to fish closer to home on open sand beaches. Now I only fish hard structure further away. I used to fish mostly during the day as I enjoyed the sights and fishing around people. Now I fish 95% night tides. I used to throw a lot of hard baits. Now it's it's all soft plastics and bucktails. It's not even close in comparison how many more fish I put on the board now. 

Edited by SnoozeFishing

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I used to be on shorelines catching ugatz, and cursing the kayak guys who were catching. Now, that’s a fond memory.

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Each year has involved some change in how how I fish. Last year was at least 80 percent in the dark, most ever.  Smaller artificials. Threw a pencil for a couple casts, 20 years ago that would be close to 50 percent. Also last year fished mostly the same area, a large one, but all within 5 miles and it was my most successful in quantity, not quality. So smaller artificials, more fishing in dark and becoming much more familiar with the water I’m fishing. 

Edited by Surfratiam

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Bass haven't changed, just the size and the amount out there. Those twenty's and thirties during the mullet run aren't there, so those extra large plugs don't get used. 

What I don't do now and maybe because I am older too is fish the whole tides. I pick specific spots i know will have bass and fish the tide accordingly. 

I still like the eels, anytime. :howdy:

Edited by jimmy z

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as a kid all I'd need to do is walk down the dirt road to the river..3 minute walk...catch a wheel barrow full of sand sharks with a boat rod for gramp's garden..then late afternoon when the tide was coming back in hit the river again for bass with a phlueger ballerina[lure] and a 10.00 dollar rod an reel. 

mid 20's and armed with a truck I hit the outer beaches..9' pac bay rod and a 6500 abu..eels...chatham to pt..saw a lot of what you guys today call famous surf casters...they write books full of bs to make a name for themselves.

time marched on ..lost the outer beaches to storms and seals so I switched to a boat for years...here depending on the time of day or night it was plugs on the back side of monomy at night...wire and jigs during the day or drifting eels ..weekends were spent chasing cod offshore.

spring time was for live herring.

 

with beaches gone..herring gone...cod gone..65000 seals...bass almost gone again...I live with my memories of years  past.

 

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I walk slower, I bend down less, I think before walking 15 miles for a bite,I fish 1-2 spots instead of all them.

 

Fishing still the same.

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The last couple of years, i started to concentrate on a very specific window in which i hope to connect with some fish. My sessions are anywhere from 3-5 hrs, instead of my old 6-8, with the exception of Fall where a bite will last a little longer. I only fish at night. And although it sucks to drive an hour and a half for a shorter session, i’ve found that not hanging around for those extra couple of hours at the back end of a tide change, has helped me to not be so discouraged at the quantity of fish i’m NOT catching. 

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6 hours ago, SnoozeFishing said:

I used to fish closer to home on open sand beaches. Now I only fish hard structure further away. I used to fish mostly during the day as I enjoyed the sights and fishing around people. Now I fish 95% night tides. I used to throw a lot of hard baits. Now it's it's all soft plastics and bucktails. It's not even close in comparison how many more fish I put on the board now. 

I have done just the opposite with the exception of now fishing a lot of soft plastics and bucktails.  I have gone to lighter gear, fish mostly during the day and fish a lot of sand beaches.   It is not so much the fishing has changed, which it has, I have, it is called getting old.

Edited by Dennis R

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I’ve been through both downturns in the striped Bass fishery.  During the first I was young, hungry, and full of stamina to chase them all night long.  There were very few small fish back then so the reward for hard work was often some very nice bass.  You might get one or two strikes a night but if the fish was 30 pounds it was worth the effort.  
With the current downturn I’m witnessing just the opposite. Plenty of very small bass and very few large.  I’m also older with less stamina to withstand an all night session.  I’ve downsized my outfits for a more sporting session because let’s face it, catching a 20 inch bass on a 10-11 foot stick is akin to reeling in a snagged menhaden.   When I get into a consistent bite of dink fish I just leave because I’m probably doing more damage than good.  Years ago I would fish through the dink’s for  hours for a chance at a cow but it’s just not happening very often, at least for me. 
All said I’m still in my element just being out there - it’s still my passion.

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My fishing hasn’t changed in my opinion. Definitely more evenings into the night for me. Quality fish to be had at night even though it’s a grind. A few chances a night minimum and whether I hook up or not, it’s all good. They gave me opportunities.

the people crying about fish being smaller, less fish around, less quality, etc are the people who dont want to work hard. Every season is new and different. 

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6 hours ago, SnoozeFishing said:

I used to fish closer to home on open sand beaches. Now I only fish hard structure further away. I used to fish mostly during the day as I enjoyed the sights and fishing around people. Now I fish 95% night tides. I used to throw a lot of hard baits. Now it's it's all soft plastics and bucktails. It's not even close in comparison how many more fish I put on the board now. 

Very similar to how I fish currently.  Very little of my fish are caught on open sandy beaches.  

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