Roccus7

Bait Fish ID?

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Am seriously confused by the explosion of small, 1-2" bait in the river.  Unfortunately, none of the fish I've been catching have been puking them up into the boat and I don't have a fine dip net on board to try to get some so I can't provide a photo

 

What I can say is that they are definitely from the herring family and definitely not peanut bunker, cut my teeth fishing LI, NY so do know my peanuts, so it's down to two candidates, baby river herring (Alewives and/or Bluebacks) or baby sea herring (Britts).  Anybody got a clue, not that it matters in terms of fishing, I'm just curious.  I could be way, way off base here and they're not from the herring family, but I'm pretty confident that is the type of fish they are.  I spent a good 10 min this AM amid a huge school of them and got enough of a visual to say "Herring Clan", but not peanuts.  Bodies are way too slender and peanuts are "stocky" from day one...

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42 mins ago, Roccus7 said:

Am seriously confused by the explosion of small, 1-2" bait in the river.  Unfortunately, none of the fish I've been catching have been puking them up into the boat and I don't have a fine dip net on board to try to get some so I can't provide a photo

 

What I can say is that they are definitely from the herring family and definitely not peanut bunker, cut my teeth fishing LI, NY so do know my peanuts, so it's down to two candidates, baby river herring (Alewives and/or Bluebacks) or baby sea herring (Britts).  Anybody got a clue, not that it matters in t

erms of fishing, I'm just curious.  I could be way, way off base here and they're not from the herring family, but I'm pretty confident that is the type of fish they are.  I spent a good 10 min this AM amid a huge school of them and got enough of a visual to say "Herring Clan", but not peanuts.  Bodies are way too slender and peanuts are "stocky" from day one...

Roccus, I too am confused by the small bait I am seeing, have yet to get an on deck puke yet to try to figure out.  

 

in my underwater lights the other night I swear they looked like sand eels, a little longer than britt, or juvey herring.  

 

Good news is it seems they have brought the mackeral back in to "normal" pattern or so it seems the past few outings.

 

off this week and doing a lot of cruising with the family, plugging here and there when I get the opportunity 

 

several nice 26-29" fish on old polaris popper I dragged out  of retirement

 

several more on 6" hurley squids above the eel grass flats.   Wind has been so nuts the past two days flipping 90 degrees and puffing up bigtime in my area so its been a bit on the uncomfortable side.   But i'll take it

 

Enjoy dinner tonight..  Fish tacos?

 

Cheers

 

Jim

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1 hour ago, jimbighead said:

Roccus, I too am confused by the small bait I am seeing, have yet to get an on deck puke yet to try to figure out.  

in my underwater lights the other night I swear they looked like sand eels, a little longer than britt, or juvey herring.  

Enjoy dinner tonight..  Fish tacos?

As a LI boy, where the three major small bait sources are sand eels, spearing and peanuts, I can definitively say the ones I'm seeing are not sand eels. IIRC sand eels when swarming usually swim up and down, these guys were going sideways.  My vote is juvey herring.

 

Had fish tacos last night, will have to freeze the other fillet and today's fish will hopefully tell his friends about what a wonderful place my hood is.  I'm hopeful that all the 26-27" fish from this year will be on a be 1-2" larger so I can dine on fresh bass regularly in 2021

Edited by Roccus7

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I agree, they are definitely a small herring. We see them pretty frequently int he piscat. If you can find something in your tackle box that is close, you can hook into a micro on just about every cast.

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I was seeing what could be the same bait about a week ago before I left so. Maine about a week ago and headed north. they were so thick at my feet at one point I dipped in my hand and pulled one out. My guess was herring fry at that point I don't know about anything more specific than that. I never hooked up around the bait, bass popping on the surface about every fifteen seconds for a two hour period. Threw small swimbaits metals and jigs with no result. what type of retrieve do you guys prefer with this type of bait around?

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2 hours ago, EarningStripes207 said:

I was seeing what could be the same bait about a week ago before I left so. Maine about a week ago and headed north. they were so thick at my feet at one point I dipped in my hand and pulled one out. My guess was herring fry at that point I don't know about anything more specific than that. I never hooked up around the bait, bass popping on the surface about every fifteen seconds for a two hour period. Threw small swimbaits metals and jigs with no result. what type of retrieve do you guys prefer with this type of bait around?

Try everything in the tackle bag, expect nothing.  I've stuck with poppers which is the "best" option, but "best" is relative and only fishing flats in 4' of water limits one's options.  Sometime I go full "Joe Cocker" in my retrieve/popping style to elicit a hit, but most hits are short and there are many disinterested swirls at the plug.

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When brits are around a deadly dick with a teaser like a clouser minnow can often work. I snap it at a fast retrieve. However this time of year I say forgo the teaser as a big double could ruin the day (at least the way I tie them). 

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Got lucky last night with Britt’s and macs....the bass were on the macs (tinkers) on the Britt’s.....so minnow plugs killed it....just enough cloud cover over the moon. Best fishing since June.  Couple keepahs mixed in with cookie cutter 25’s......I’ve done well in Britt’s with very small sluggos( Arkansas shiner or white).....also next gen baits makes a fantastic small soft plastic.  

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