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Weakfish when stripers are slow

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Based on very limited experience, I would say that weaks and bass share the same, or at least similar, haunts. Moving water is a key, they don't call big weaks "tiderunners" for nothing. I've only targeted weaks the last two summers, and my experience was, hour into the tide until an hour before slack, almost without exception. The weak bite, in areas where we had mixed bags, started last and ended first, bass came next, and blues were the only ones around during the slacks.


The only place I ever fished for weakies in Rhody, when I lived there, was under the Mt Hope Bridge, Bristol side. Haven't been there in years, don't even know whether you can still park there.


Tackle wise, think limber rods, especially with braid. Stiff rods+braid=many pulled hooks. They have a taste for various baits--worms work, squid, and many of the guys who target them here on LI use chunks of hickory shad--the last couple of years, we've had tons of the shad in the bays. Small jigs with plastic trailers are dynamite. The bubblegum pink FinS is a hot color for a trailer. Depending on what they're feeding on, many small plugs work.


Personally, and this is JMO, a 24" weak gives you a much better tussle than a bass or blue of the same length, even though it may only weigh 3/5ths of what a similar length bass will weigh.

"…if catching fish is your only objective, you are either new to the game or too narrowly focused on measurable results.” - D. Stuver

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  • 23 years later...

Pink soft plastics are the best IMHO but i have caught them on small bunker swim shad.  They are so random they are tough to intentionally target these days.  I have not caught one in years but caught 4 last fall and large ones, while fishing a peanut bunker bite.

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On 2/3/2001 at 8:14 AM, rockscrambler said:

Does anyone target weakfish from shore when stripers are slow? 

Targeting, like only going after them?

That's like deer hunting, if it's slow I'll target and watch for Sasquatch, Bigfoot. 

Nothing flies by me without a hook!
If my fly is down, That's a good thing.

Public Access.....It's a shore thing. My daily requirement of "Vitamin Sea".

Capt. Ray Stachelek

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my largest is 14+    on a pogy  


we use to catch  boat loads every evening in EGB 


we fishing nothing but 3/8 uppermans  / no trailers 


RED/white  hd with white bucktail  &   the all yellow     .I still have some in the package  . we use to purchase  the whole  card of them at the dealer show in the spring ><.


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They almost seem to have evolved for a boom-and-bust fishery.


You have a mid-level predator with a reasonably long life, capable of feeding on menhaden, scup, etc., yet they have the life history of a baitfish, maturing young and beginning to spawn at small sizes, and are serial spawners that are capasble of producing very strong year classess from very small populations.


They're not "cyclic" in the true meaning of the term--regular and predictable peaks and lows in the population, that can be more or less timed--but I do think that they general exist at low population levels, and then explode in abundance when conditions are right.  My personaal hypothesis--which I must emphasize is NOT based on data, but instead on nothing more than my limited observations--is that weakfish are poor competitors, and when bait populations aare relatively low, come in second-best to both striped bass and bluefish.  But when bass and bluefish populations decline, or at times when bait is particularly abundant, weakfish have an opportunity to thrive.  Right now, for example, we're seeing improved, although not spectacular, weakfishing here on Long Island, NY, at a time when bass and bluefish populations are both relatively low.


I've talked to biologists about it, and one talked about maybe looking into the possibility, perhaps seeking past correlations between bass, bluefish, and weekfish abundance, but so far, no research has been doen.





"I have always believed that outdoor writers who come out against fish and wildlife conservation are in the wrong business. To me, it makes as much sense golf writers coming out against grass.."  --  Ted Williams

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