missingtackle

Does anyone target cunner?

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I've caught a few good size cunners lately while out looking for other species, and I was wondering why they are ignored. They are usually too small to bother with, but the big ones are a pretty good meal. Does anyone ever go out for them specifically or are there any tips on targeting the big ones?

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19 mins ago, fishinbill said:

The only ones that I've caught were tiny. How do you find the larger fish?

I've caught a couple in the 10 inch range or so over the past few months, usually under wash on the rocks. They usually come with a bunch of the normal smaller ones, but I kept the big ones they are really delicious--kind of like tog. It would be great to know if there's a way to get to the big ones exclusively. 

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I’ve caught some good ones with Light bass lures like fun n fish on 1/4 jugs heads while looking for bigger harbor pollock or schoolies. Never did I get more than a couple.

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8 mins ago, Running Ape said:

I’ve caught some good ones with Light bass lures like fun n fish on 1/4 jugs heads while looking for bigger harbor pollock or schoolies. Never did I get more than a couple.

Thanks. I've had them on bait so far, and similarly only ever a couple good ones around. 

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Posted (edited) · Report post

I'm going to say I target them, especially in the next two weeks on days when I catch 10 big cunner and no keeper cod. 

 

"Despite their unpopularity, they are a close relative of the tautog, and when large enough, are excellent eating. The flesh of the cunner is white, moderately firm, and very tasty. It is often fried, baked or used in chowder."

Edited by Captain Tuttle

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Never tried myself but I see people targeting them from the piers/harbor walk in Boston around the time of year they are catching squid at night.  They are using a small piece of cut bait  before it gets dark and sometimes they have a dozen or more in a bucket but most/all are less than six inches.  Seems like staying out of snags is part of the challenge.  
(hopefully, not a spot burn. The harbor walk is miles long.). 

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Definitely not a spot burn.

From WiKi:. Boston Harborwalk is a public walkway that follows the edge of piers, wharves, beaches, and shoreline around Boston Harbor. When fully completed it will extend a distance of 47 miles from East Boston to the Neponset River

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^^^^Same here - I've seen people targeting them as well. The funny part is that I often see this in areas where harbor pollack are just as readily available, but they choose to going after cunners instead. If those were my two choices, I think I'd go after the pollack...they seem a little more like a game fish and probably taste better as well

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I know when I used to snorkle around the rocks alot I used to see some eating sized cunner hanging around the bigger, deeper rocks.

Only problem is they tend to hang around in large mixed sized groups (not really organized schools, more like clusters) and the much more numerous small ones would likely swarm the bait.

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2 hours ago, JimKu said:

Are you sure you are catching cunner and not small sea bass. I have caught small sea bass which I think could be mistaken for cunner. 

Yeah, I'm pretty sure that they are cunner. I did have some doubts at first that they were togs, but they are definitely not sea bass. 

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19 mins ago, Milky said:

I know when I used to snorkle around the rocks alot I used to see some eating sized cunner hanging around the bigger, deeper rocks.

Only problem is they tend to hang around in large mixed sized groups (not really organized schools, more like clusters) and the much more numerous small ones would likely swarm the bait.

That makes sense. I think I'll probably just keep them as a happy bycatch then.

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We catch big ones as by catch when fishing for cod on Cox's ledge. As someone said they are wrasses, closely related to tog and they taste very much like tog. Having said that, I don't know of any way to deliberately target them. The biggest one I have ever seen was caught by a client on my boat while scup fishing off the west side of Block Island, that thing had to be pushing 4 pounds.

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