JonQ

New at Raritan Bay, Jersey Side

22 posts in this topic

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Hey Everyone,

I started Fishing Kayak not too long ago. Saturday I went to Raritan Bay for the first time with my buddy Gus. Absolutely beautiful sunset. But it was super slow, cough nothing. We were trolling for hours. What would be an advice you can share for my next time out? Tried pretty much all this guys...

Thank you everyone! 

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Edited by JonQ

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My advice to you would be to keep doing what you are doing.   The plugs you have are fine.  Sometimes fish don't co-operate when they were the day before.  It's called fishing for a reason otherwise it would be catching.    The only thing I might say is when trolling does not work in the spring try to stop when you mark fish and jig them.  So I'd probably add some more bucktail or a few paddle tail swimmers to your bag.  Also size can sometime matter on lures -  try going bigger or way smaller than what you have.   The fun part of fishing is trying to figure out the patterns  -  once you have sometime dialing in keep a log that includes the day, time, tide, weather, what you caught fish on and what you didn't too.  Add any relevant notes could improve your outing on days with similar conditions for next time.  

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Welcome Jon ... you can’t catch them if they’re not there .... or they’re not on the feed. 4 of us did another 4-5 hours in the same area after you left for a result of 1 22”er. 
 

The best strategy to follow to give yourself a chance of catching, is by being on the water and not on the couch :th: 

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2 hours ago, pressphotog said:

My advice to you would be to keep doing what you are doing.   The plugs you have are fine.  Sometimes fish don't co-operate when they were the day before.  It's called fishing for a reason otherwise it would be catching.    The only thing I might say is when trolling does not work in the spring try to stop when you mark fish and jig them.  So I'd probably add some more bucktail or a few paddle tail swimmers to your bag.  Also size can sometime matter on lures -  try going bigger or way smaller than what you have.   The fun part of fishing is trying to figure out the patterns  -  once you have sometime dialing in keep a log that includes the day, time, tide, weather, what you caught fish on and what you didn't too.  Add any relevant notes could improve your outing on days with similar conditions for next time.  

Thank You Pressphotog... truly appreciate it! 

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12 mins ago, Africaster said:

Welcome Jon ... you can’t catch them if they’re not there .... or they’re not on the feed. 4 of us did another 4-5 hours in the same area after you left for a result of 1 22”er. 
 

The best strategy to follow to give yourself a chance of catching, is by being on the water and not on the couch :th: 

Thanks for the welcome! Yeah it was super slow, but had a great time. Hoping to meet you sometime soon! 

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I feel for you Jon! I stopped over a clear bunch of bass last time out and tried jigging a 5" white shad, nada. Not a style I'm real familiar with, I was casting not far, letting it drop, and doing lifts and a slow retrieve. Any more to it jigging masters?

 

BTW Jon, welcome! I'm your neighbor in JC, and mostly fish the Harbor area. Feel free to ask me anything. At 15 posts (IIRC) your PM privileges will be enabled.

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Posted (edited) · Report post

Jonathan,

 

Welcome to the kayak striper fishing madness.  You will find your rhythm....

 

Tu hermano en Cristo,

Gus 

Edited by Gus

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I was out on RB yesterday. Didnt find fish till I reached the channels. Quite the journey for someone just getting started, but if you pal up with someone and have the proper gear it's not to bad. Just keep an eye on the forecast and go early. RB almost always gets snotty by 1pm. I'd also add a jointed x rap to your arsenal along with my go to swimbaits...Al gags whip it swimbaits in 6 in. Pearl or white out produces all else. Problem is blues dig them too!

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There were 8 of us in our group that fished RB NJ side on Saturday, Launching right around 8 am.  We quickly found Bluefish in the shallows, about 7 ft.  In our group, it went from 1 guy getting skunked and one guy landing about 10 fish. They ranged in size from about 24" to 36".  We saw a TON of fish but they were super picky and we couldn't put together any consistency.  The most productive lure seemed to be white SP minnows or similar.   Most fish were caught trolling or casting once we found fish.  If you found fish, you had to work to get them to bite.

 

It was a magnificent day on the water!

 

Shco8LO.jpg  

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2 hours ago, gellfex said:

I feel for you Jon! I stopped over a clear bunch of bass last time out and tried jigging a 5" white shad, nada. Not a style I'm real familiar with, I was casting not far, letting it drop, and doing lifts and a slow retrieve. Any more to it jigging masters?

 

 

My biggest jigging advice would to find the size jig that will get you to the bottom 3rd of the water column that does not hit bottom constantly and doesn't ride so high its out of the typical strike zone of a bass.  This touch changes on the lure you use but as an example being bucktail guy for most applications on the kayak a 3/4 ounce is a good place to start.  In deeper water or faster moving water 1 to 1 1/2.    If I hit bottom on those consistently I will go lighter 1/2 ounce.  

 

There are two techniques worth trying to a cast and retrieve with the lure in the lower 3rd or vertical snap jigging where you let the lure hit bottom straight down - take a couple few turns of the reel and then snap jig up and down.   Both are very effective methods especially when the bass bite is finicky.  

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I've been hitting the Raritan over SoMoCo and found looking at nautical charts before and during trips helps a bunch finding depth changes and possible areas to fish (with the help of google earth). Depth changes with tide flow to hopefully guess where the fish might be. That's how I've been picking 3-4 spots a trip and trying to hit them all (keep em close it's a large body of water). Being so new to the area I keep telling myself I'm going closer to home once I stop catching fish in the RB but I somehow find them! Buck tails, spooks, jig and shads, and sp minnows have been the tickets. Recently more blue than stripes but catching is catching to me. Change it up every 10 casts to work on lures and move whenever no bait/fish are marked. On the glassy days, always be watching the surface. I stalk the crap out of this forum and the people here are very knowledgeable about it all, helped me so much. Good luck and hopefully see ya out there!

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we have had truly epic april and early may, but now stripes are about to leave the area, hopefully to return in the fall. thankfully, fluke opener s just few days away, will see how that goes. then there is excellent porgy fishing in western lis and around tip of sandy hook, tog, sea bass etc.  occasional triggerfish around navy pier, weakfish. sea robins. dogfish. did I miss anything?

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2 hours ago, r111 said:

we have had truly epic april and early may, but now stripes are about to leave the area, hopefully to return in the fall. thankfully, fluke opener s just few days away, will see how that goes. then there is excellent porgy fishing in western lis and around tip of sandy hook, tog, sea bass etc.  occasional triggerfish around navy pier, weakfish. sea robins. dogfish. did I miss anything?

How are the Porgy's over by SH. I want to make a trip there in the yak but I don't want to waste a day if they aren't really biting.

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