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Ask Frank Daignault Frank Daignault is recognized as an authority on surf fishing for striped bass. He is the author of six books and hundreds of magazine articles. Frank is a member of the Outdoor Writers of America and lectures throughout the Northeast.

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  #1  
Old 03-19-2017, 11:31 AM
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Frank Daignault Frank Daignault is offline
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Default Changes You've Witnessed in S Surf ...

Not sure if its me but the striper surf is no where near today what it was when I started. For instance, surfcasters today seem to be more politically correct than when we used to sneak into closed beaches Back then people had never seen a seal. What differences are you seeing/perceiving between the then and the now?
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Old 03-19-2017, 12:31 PM
ccod16 ccod16 is offline
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Default Re: Changes You've Witnessed in S Surf ...

We all know some of the reasons but mobile/4wd on the beaches at least on the cape seems to be almost dead. Access , expense, piper plovers and not great fishing are the reasons. But you would think that there would be more effort in this area. It is a great way to scout and fish at the same time. Today when people think of striper fishing on cape it is the Canal or off a boat not the beaches. May be someday it will be popular again but many things have to change.
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Old 03-19-2017, 12:38 PM
HookI HookI is offline
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Default Re: Changes You've Witnessed in S Surf ...

Seeing more guys with earings & tattoos, much more top of the line equipment which is very impressive. I'm seeing more aggressive out of the box anglers going the extra new mile in catching with advanced tactics. Some here might not agreee but that's what I see being out over 135 days last year . Outdoor sales has never been a billion $$ business decades ago & it getting better. Is the fisherman catching more ? I don't kiss and tell .
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Old 03-20-2017, 10:15 AM
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Default Re: Changes You've Witnessed in S Surf ...

The reduction in beach buggy use has definitely taken place. Again government has gotten involved. SW licensing has hurt fishing. People who saw it the old way resent licensing. Our kids, 2/4, all in their fifties, don't fish any more because of it and they grew up fishing in SW.

If you want to examine what is coming in SW fishing just look at what has happened in hunting: they sell you animals one at a time. With a hunting license all you can hunt is squirrels which few people want. Right now RI has a trout stamp, pheasant stamp, duck stamp, turkey tag, extra deer tags for a fee. Like the Park Service, these changes are spoon fed in small doses. It is no longer your father's outdoors. In Mass unless you plan to hunt with a spear, you also need the $100 gun permit, assuming you pass the BCI check. I said this earlier, and I don't care what you smoke, in Massachusetts you can smoke dope but you can't hunt on Sundays.
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Old 03-20-2017, 07:50 PM
ccod16 ccod16 is offline
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Default Re: Changes You've Witnessed in S Surf ...

I also do not see young people fishing much in the surf. I think in general a lot of young kids do not explore the outdoors. Much of this may have to do with these kids brought up in the indoor entertainment generation. When I was in college we were hitting the beaches looking for stripers and blues. Of course during the day we hit the beaches for other reasons. The new generation wants to find fish by gps on fast boats and gear that catches the fish automatically. They do not want to find the tine or have the time to work the surf.
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Old 03-21-2017, 03:36 PM
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Default Re: Changes You've Witnessed in S Surf ...

The absence of young people in the outdoors is an old problem that goes back all through my years. For instance when I was growing up I can only remember two kids I went to school with who fished, none who hunted. I appreciate your input but no kids in the outdoors is not a change.

A lot of societal influences are in place that would effect youthful participation. Remember we have a divorce rate that is over 50 percent. Inasmuch as Dad is usually the one who takes the kid fishing, if he is out of the household so forget that kid fishing.

Some may not agree but fishing is complicated. You can't just buy a rod and go fishing. The child may be exempt from the license requirement but the old man has to cough up the license fee for each state. The government hand is out at every turn in the road -- fresh, salt, by state, and that kid is going to buy the same licenses/permits his Dad did once he reaches 15. No chance he can fish before eight years old which translates to only seven years of free fishing.

Cod, because I sort of disagree does not mean I don't appreciate your input here. The loss of youth activity is a cogent observation on your part which I had overlooked. That is why this site needs posters as much as it does lurkers. I can't do this, and have it work all by myself.
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Old 03-21-2017, 03:57 PM
biggestsquid biggestsquid is offline
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Default Re: Changes You've Witnessed in S Surf ...

I will make some special efforts this year to get my 8 yr old grandson into a serious surf fishing bout of more than just a couple of hours. He is very active with various organized sports but the combination of things that it takes to get him to the surf and make it happen are complicated. We are surrounded by water at home and if I have to do it I will get back into the boat routine because it would make it easier for the grandsons....and my bride likes it as well.

Will I survive long enough to get the three grandsons surf fishing? How about the ones yet to come? I hope so but......

Being the VP of a beach buggy association with near 4K members I know a fair share of surf fisherman. Living adjacent to Hatteras Island is also a plus for our sport. My neighborhood is loaded with hunters and fishermen, an advantage of living in rural NC. The challenge to get the youth movement (therefore a future for the sport) is the same with many activities unless they are organized leagues or school activities where parents frequently use them as babysitters.
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Old 03-22-2017, 10:19 AM
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Default Re: Changes You've Witnessed in S Surf ...

A reality of our time is that the best opportunity to fish lies in the use of a boat. In my region we have entire towns which have banned parking for non-residents; this precludes any shore fishing. Local and state legislations have banned shore fishing which forces a commitment to boat use. Often boat use is prohibitively expensive for some young families. Nobody is doing anything to keep fishing alive. Towns just keep excluding the public. Long term, shore fishing's prognosis is dismal.
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Old 03-22-2017, 01:41 PM
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Default Re: Changes You've Witnessed in S Surf ...

Down here there are an interesting confluence of organizational interests: surfers, environmentalist, emergency management and anglers.

Anglers need to wise up and learn to work with the others, at least in NJ.

Emergency management has backed beach replenishment and dune enhancement. Doing that brings in state, and in some cases Federal, funding. Use of state and federal funding mandates that towns need to provide access, the actual access provided is still a matter of debate and litigation, but it favors some continued access for non residents no matter the final form.

Surfers cross the economic and residential spectrum and continue to fight for key access points along the coast, each point typically is beneficial to anglers.

Environmental groups sometimes want to limit access to certain areas based on migratory wildlife but do work to enhance the water quality of bays and rivers, enhancing or maintaining forage fish habitat and populations.

I really believe local anglers continued existence is in part going to lay in building bridges across these interests, and of course always use economics and voting blocs as a way to get politician's attention, as has been done with the flounder regs here in NJ.

While boating will always provide the best opportunity (and indeed one of my favorite backbay angling targets, the blackfish, is almost exclusively a boat activity due to limited shore access), there are allies with which to team up, and provide pressure on local towns that outright prohibit non-resident's fair use of a public resource.

At least outside the People's Republic.
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Old 03-22-2017, 03:01 PM
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Default Re: Changes You've Witnessed in S Surf ...

If you know Trenton , Albany or any state capital , how it works is you give something up to have something . Beach fisherman have nothing to offer.
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Old 03-22-2017, 03:13 PM
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Default Re: Changes You've Witnessed in S Surf ...

Rob, your situation is a lot like ours in New England. In the end you can't go. Mass has a Colonial Law, "the right to fish and fowl". But in the end you can't go fishing unless you are parachuted or have a place to park your helicopter. Besides, even if you had a place to fish, do you want a Worden measuring your scup or checking your fishing license. If you are undersize on one of those scup, you might also have to fork over your fishing license. You are also at the mercy of regulators in other examples. One year RI closed striper fishing in November, a time which, when they did it, we used to fish for stripers in RI.

It is common that some citizens, a minority really, have so little respect for government that they just do anything. When that came up in another thread, I said the guy was a victim. The howl that came up right here on this site was hostile toward me. You can't take rights away from people when they have something for so long that they feel an entitlement. One bass limit when the commercial boats are hauling them by the ton is just one more manifestation of change. (the examples in hunting are equally as overwhelming.)
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Old 03-22-2017, 03:41 PM
Chris Garrity Chris Garrity is offline
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Default Re: Changes You've Witnessed in S Surf ...

Quote:
Originally Posted by biggestsquid View Post
I will make some special efforts this year to get my 8 yr old grandson into a serious surf fishing bout
For what it's worth, my wee one, who is 10 now, was 8 when the fishing thing stuck with her. Before that, she had no interest, but now she wants to go all the time.


Quote:
Originally Posted by biggestsquid View Post
of more than just a couple of hours.
I'd be careful about that: I am a firm believer in the merits of shorter trips. I think my brother put it best: if a kid asks "how much longer until we go home?" then you've already been out too long -- ya gotta get them back to the dock, or off the beach, before they ask that question. Leave them wanting more, as the saying goes, rather than trying to make the trip long enough that they begin to dislike being out there.

When I take Maggie fishing on the beach, the trips are usually 3-4 hours, no more. And that's enough.
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Old 03-23-2017, 10:27 AM
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Frank Daignault Frank Daignault is offline
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Default Re: Changes You've Witnessed in S Surf ...

A change I've seen is that pride in surfcasting, as a means of fishing the hard way, has declined. When I started in the striper surf it was viewed as a more sporting and demanding choice. Today there is less of that. Commonly, people think your either poor, stupid or both to fish the beach. Also, ocean fishing is assumed to be done from boats.

I also witnessed the arrival of spinning gear in the 1950s in SW. I think that spinning came to fresh water first, then followed in SW. I was ridiculed in Narragansett in the mid 1960s for using "an old man's reel" -- a Penn Squidder. Yet, in P-town spinning around the same time, was "girlie" fishing. Custom and acceptance of change varied with the locale.
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Old 03-24-2017, 12:06 PM
biggestsquid biggestsquid is offline
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Default Re: Changes You've Witnessed in S Surf ...

I don't necessarily disdain boat fishing but will support the argument that surf fishing is indeed the purest form of salt water fishing. By purest I mean that it requires the most skill in reading the elements, the venue and the target. I could also add that it requires the least equipment support but I would be at risk that some of you may have seen my beach truck!
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Old 03-24-2017, 12:55 PM
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Default Re: Changes You've Witnessed in S Surf ...

Some of the outerwear to day is breathable , warm as heck & light to wear . Skinns of yesteryear are in the trash , boots would never wear those stuff again , guys are not field dressing out deer w/ whale bone are they ? meat packing , sausage machine , I have a mini smoker about the size of a pillow, sure beats the Tee Pee in the back yard
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