FishyAl

Targeting 40+lb fish CCC

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How would you target 40+# stripers at the canal? Anything different than if you were targeting 20 & 30# fish? Of course there could be a lot of factors to this like season, stage of tide, moon, location, etc. I taught myself to jig and fish the canal a few years back as I knew nobody who fished it to show me the ropes, and with a lot of trial and error(and hundreds spent on jigs) I have found a method that works for me and have a select few spots that I know are pretty productive on certain tides. Still get humbled and learn new things each trip lol. I've caught my fair share of fish in the 30s in past seasons but nothing over 34#. I understand the bigger fish generally tend to hang deep near structure and not expend energy until absolutely necessary. The spots I jig I've caught anything from schoolies to my PB. I'm wondering if jigging as it seems to work for the most part in catching fish 20-30# will eventually produce fish 40#+ and it's maybe just a matter of timing and having not put the time in or if fishing for 40+# fish might require a different method....

 

I have had some luck with eels but they are a hassle. However, I do know how productive they can be at times. My thoughts are if I'm catching 20-30# fish pretty consistently each season if I just keep doing what I'm doing then the bigger fish will come eventually. Anybody do anything specific to target those bigger fish or would you say the 30# 40# 50# fish relatively feed the same? Would a 40 or 50 be more inclined to inhale fresh chunk on the bottom than chasing a slow moving jig? Curious if anyone has switched up their methods to target bigger fish even if it means a more consistent skunking. I enjoy C&R fishing and am thankful for all the fish I have caught but a lifetime goal of mine is a 40+ from shore.

 

Any insight is appreciated!

 

Thanks,

Al

 

 

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Put in your time. The canal's not an easy place to fish and there's no secret to taking better fish there. What will catch bass in the 20 and 30 lb class will work just as well for 40 lb fish.

I think big fish hunting is more of a mindset. Pretend every time you cast your offering will wind up in front of a 60 lb fish. What would you do to convince that fish to eat your bait?  Prepare yourself for big fish. Use appropriate tackle, check your line, leaders, knots and hardware frequently. Put your time in, fish the nights and pick the best times to fish based off of tide, moon, wind, bait, etc. And don't get discouraged when you do everything right and it doesn't pay off, some people fish their whole lives for "that fish".

 

And as an aside, if I'm specifically targeting trophy fish I'll ignore the canal altogether and go throw some big ol eels at some choice beach and boulder spots on the darkest new moon night I can find.

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Never caught a fish that size, just check leader and line, fish moons/tides/nights, be ready, put time in, be ready and patient like we all do and fish hard and often

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25 mins ago, Sandbar1 said:

Put in your time. The canal's not an easy place to fish and there's no secret to taking better fish there. What will catch bass in the 20 and 30 lb class will work just as well for 40 lb fish.

I think big fish hunting is more of a mindset. Pretend every time you cast your offering will wind up in front of a 60 lb fish. What would you do to convince that fish to eat your bait?  Prepare yourself for big fish. Use appropriate tackle, check your line, leaders, knots and hardware frequently. Put your time in, fish the nights and pick the best times to fish based off of tide, moon, wind, bait, etc. And don't get discouraged when you do everything right and it doesn't pay off, some people fish their whole lives for "that fish".

 

And as an aside, if I'm specifically targeting trophy fish I'll ignore the canal altogether and go throw some big ol eels at some choice beach and boulder spots on the darkest new moon night I can find.

I think this,"What will catch bass in the 20 and 30 lb class will work just as well for 40 lb fish." is what I needed to hear. There is no shortcut. Once a fish reaches that size there isn't much you can do to specifically target fish a few #s bigger. Just gotta put in the time and be patient and trust my skill set. I'm super paranoid about tackle being in order before even heading out so I always triple check everything you mentioned including sharpening dull hooks. That nightmare would haunt me more than simply losing a fish because it popped off. Gotta stay positive and be patient.

 

Good tip on throwing big eels on a dark new!

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23 mins ago, FishyAl said:

I think this,"What will catch bass in the 20 and 30 lb class will work just as well for 40 lb fish." is what I needed to hear. There is no shortcut. Once a fish reaches that size there isn't much you can do to specifically target fish a few #s bigger. Just gotta put in the time and be patient and trust my skill set. I'm super paranoid about tackle being in order before even heading out so I always triple check everything you mentioned including sharpening dull hooks. That nightmare would haunt me more than simply losing a fish because it popped off. Gotta stay positive and be patient.

 

Good tip on throwing big eels on a dark new!

Oh yeah one more tip, be prepared for heartbreak. Trophy fish seem to come out of nowhere, when your least expecting it and will leave you just as quickly.....

 

Last fall I was only able to get home and fish MA for about two weeks. I took a bit of leave last couple weeks of October.  I think it was the second night out, I was on a pretty solid bite of cookie cutter fish in the 30" to 36" class. All on eels. I was fishing a new 9’ ODM DNA and Tsunami 6k SaltX which is a much lighter setup than I should have had in the boulders I was fishing but I was being stupid and wasn't trophy hunting. I felt the tap, bowed to the fish, set the hook and it just took of like a submarine. I could tell this was a good fish from the start, I've taken a few in the 40+ range and feel that I can reasonably judge a fish by it's fight. Anyways I was on the fish for at least ten minutes when it wrapped itself around a boulder about 30yrds ahead of me. I got in (wetsuit) and started swimming out to the next pile of rocks to chase it down and try to free it and surprisingly I actually managed to get it off the rock. I got on my new pile to continue the fight. That’s when she decided it definitely wasn't over and  took another run and the hook just popped...... I reeled it in, my lines fine, my leaders fine and my hooks fine. There’s just no bass…..

I think I just sat on that rock for at least ten minutes before I could make another cast.

 

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I’ve seen some people drift chunks last year at the canal. I don’t know if they were chumming or not. It seems more effective than plugging.

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7 hours ago, Sandbar1 said:

Oh yeah one more tip, be prepared for heartbreak. Trophy fish seem to come out of nowhere, when your least expecting it and will leave you just as quickly.....

 

Last fall I was only able to get home and fish MA for about two weeks. I took a bit of leave last couple weeks of October.  I think it was the second night out, I was on a pretty solid bite of cookie cutter fish in the 30" to 36" class. All on eels. I was fishing a new 9’ ODM DNA and Tsunami 6k SaltX which is a much lighter setup than I should have had in the boulders I was fishing but I was being stupid and wasn't trophy hunting. I felt the tap, bowed to the fish, set the hook and it just took of like a submarine. I could tell this was a good fish from the start, I've taken a few in the 40+ range and feel that I can reasonably judge a fish by it's fight. Anyways I was on the fish for at least ten minutes when it wrapped itself around a boulder about 30yrds ahead of me. I got in (wetsuit) and started swimming out to the next pile of rocks to chase it down and try to free it and surprisingly I actually managed to get it off the rock. I got on my new pile to continue the fight. That’s when she decided it definitely wasn't over and  took another run and the hook just popped...... I reeled it in, my lines fine, my leaders fine and my hooks fine. There’s just no bass…..

I think I just sat on that rock for at least ten minutes before I could make another cast.

 

That'll haunt you for sure. I still have a few memories clear as day of losing bigger fish. Who knows if they were 40+ but they felt they had to be close. I was jigging one night for about 3 hours without any hits and out of nowhere(on a miscast) I hooked into what felt like a monster. After the initial run it was taking drag slowly for a few minutes where I couldn't even turn it with my drag almost fully set. I eventually was able to make a few half inch turns so that was progress but shortly after it popped off and spit the hook.

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Huge baits and lures? Live 2lb blues or hickory shad? Hawaiian slide bait style?

 

Only speculation as I don’t have a clue and have never caught a bass nearly that large. 

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12 hours ago, FishyAl said:

How would you target 40+# stripers at the canal? Anything different than if you were targeting 20 & 30# fish? Of course there could be a lot of factors to this like season, stage of tide, moon, location, etc. I taught myself to jig and fish the canal a few years back as I knew nobody who fished it to show me the ropes, and with a lot of trial and error(and hundreds spent on jigs) I have found a method that works for me and have a select few spots that I know are pretty productive on certain tides. Still get humbled and learn new things each trip lol. I've caught my fair share of fish in the 30s in past seasons but nothing over 34#. I understand the bigger fish generally tend to hang deep near structure and not expend energy until absolutely necessary. The spots I jig I've caught anything from schoolies to my PB. I'm wondering if jigging as it seems to work for the most part in catching fish 20-30# will eventually produce fish 40#+ and it's maybe just a matter of timing and having not put the time in or if fishing for 40+# fish might require a different method....

 

I have had some luck with eels but they are a hassle. However, I do know how productive they can be at times. My thoughts are if I'm catching 20-30# fish pretty consistently each season if I just keep doing what I'm doing then the bigger fish will come eventually. Anybody do anything specific to target those bigger fish or would you say the 30# 40# 50# fish relatively feed the same? Would a 40 or 50 be more inclined to inhale fresh chunk on the bottom than chasing a slow moving jig? Curious if anyone has switched up their methods to target bigger fish even if it means a more consistent skunking. I enjoy C&R fishing and am thankful for all the fish I have caught but a lifetime goal of mine is a 40+ from shore.

 

Any insight is appreciated!

 

Thanks,

Al

 

 

If you do happen to catch one, how will you know it's 40lbs?

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Step 1 is get a 40+ to bite, step 2 is land it. You seem focused on step 1 but step 2 is equally as important and the more likely failure point in my opinion. The canal is not a great place to land big fish. The current/rocks/down-current googans tip the scales in favor of the fish.

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5 mins ago, bob_G said:

If you do happen to catch one, how will you know it's 40lbs?

I use this, It will give you a rough estimate that's good enough. I carry a boga too but don't like the idea of hanging a big fish off of it. it's mostly for controlling the fish when I'm in deep water or on a rock.

Length, Age, & Weight Chart - STRIPED BASS ! - Main Forum - SurfTalk

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27 mins ago, bob_G said:

If you do happen to catch one, how will you know it's 40lbs?

Baker digital lip grip BGW60E and get a quick length on her. I think once I see the fishes head I'll have a pretty good judgement for if its high 30s-40. 

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29 mins ago, akoller said:

Step 1 is get a 40+ to bite, step 2 is land it. You seem focused on step 1 but step 2 is equally as important and the more likely failure point in my opinion. The canal is not a great place to land big fish. The current/rocks/down-current googans tip the scales in favor of the fish.

This is true. Any spot I fish I try to visualize and mentally prepare for if I hook into "the fish" what I would do, any obstructions down stream to consider, along with triple checking tackle and hardware. That way I'm as prepared as I can be and not setting myself up for failure. I try to fish away from crowds but a lot of times it's inevitable to have people within even 50-100 yards. Might be more luck landing a fish that size. 

I remember fishing a morning tide and was the first to hook up to a respectable fish(28#) and by the time I got the fish in it had 3 googan magic swimmers on it.... still with a googan on the other end of the line. They had cast right over my tight line like I wasn't even there. Not sure how I even got that fish in.

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