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Fishing - New Jersey New Jersey Fishing Reports and Information covering Sandy Hook south to Cape May

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Old 04-29-2015, 02:03 PM
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Red face New and what to do?

Hello all, my first post here.

I am looking for advice on tackle and lure selection for my area. I live a few steps from the Metedeconk River and have direct access via a community beach with fishing dock, 2 miles from the Mantaloking Bridge, and 3 miles from the ocean.

I won't be fishing from a boat - shore only.

I've never fished before in my life, but had a crazy dream one night of catching fish to eat from the beach - yeah, a bit out of nowhere, but I live near all this water and fishing population, I thought it would be good to try and I'd prefer to catch my own fish than eat out of a restaurant or from the grocery store.

So, my dream turned reel life when I scored a deal on a Penn Battle II 8000 combo at Dick's (10' graphite rod, 6oz, Med-Fast Action, Heavy Power) for $112.33 out the door.

I then got the spool wound with 400yd of 20# mono at West Marine.

I've been reading, watching videos, talking to friends, but am still feeling a bit lost. I did go out a week ago with a work friend in 30-40mph winds to Brick beach III to practice casting with a loaned small black swivel clip for the end of my line and a 2oz diamond lure with green tube and hook. I didn't hook myself, break anything, or catch anything. I focused on a smooth cast.

I've grown up by the water and am a diver, so reading the beach and water is somewhat natural to me. However, I have very little knowledge of the hierarchy of bait and predatory fish along with the interplay with water conditions, weather conditions and the other less scientific characteristics (like good 'ole experience) when it comes to selecting what goes on the end of the line.

I looked through the Striper 101 list of lures and scored a deal on a Bomber A-Salt in purple/black in good used condition on eBay for $0.14 - I had eBay bucks to blow, so I went for it.

I went to Dick's yesterday to pick up 4-5 lures and use a $10-off $50 coupon that expires at the end of the month, but came up $3 short and had to bail on the purchase - I was also running late for another appointment. Nonetheless, in thinking about what I was picking up, there wasn't any rythme or reason other than going by the name of the lure. I'm glad I didn't buy anything because it does seem foolish to spend $40+ on stuff you have no idea if it is the right stuff for the area, the right weight, color, or do I have the rest of the tackle needed to make it work, etc.

My initial target fish is a Striper - I'd like a fish that is good to eat - so, fluke/flounder is on the table too, but I think it probably makes sense to focus on one species first before I go crazy buying stuff to cater to each.

I'm looking for guidance on where to start and literally not spend a fortune in lures for every conceivable condition. I'm going to be a fair weather, day time to early evening fisherman on the river, bay and beach.

I'm not against bait - I bought a Bass Hi/Lo rig, 3oz, 4oz and 5oz pyrimid sinkers and a 3oz diamond with green tube/hook from Pell's last weekend as per the kid's recommendation there - though he did show me nearly a dozen lures and my head nearly exploded from the variety :\

Other than what I've bought so far, I have some free Eagle Claw 8/0 hooks from the NJ Catch & Release program, and don't have anything else tackle-wise, or dedicated fishing tool-wise.

Bait shops that are nearly within walking distance: Pell's and Jersey Coast Bait & Tackle. A few minutes farther West Marine, Dick's

So, hello to everyone
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Old 04-29-2015, 03:12 PM
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Default Re: New and what to do?

Welcome, My head's spinning from reading all of that so I can only imagine yours is.

If we all chime in and provide some insight, you should be good to go. Since we are just starting to get into the spring run, I would concentrate on spring time fishing only. Don't worry about the summer or fall run for now. Next I would figure out if you want to bait fish or throw plugs and then you need to decide if you will be fishing the bays and rivers or out front, ocean side. Use the search tool here as there are a ton of good articles for all seasons and conditions. Generally speaking, you'll probably need at least two rods, one for bait and the other for plugs. Most of us use braid as opposed to mono as far as line goes....................Next? 33hemi!
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Old 04-29-2015, 03:49 PM
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Default Re: New and what to do?

Yeah, it's a bit long, but on purpose so the seasoned folks don't have to ask all the basic questions right off the bat This isn't my first enthusiast group forum post

I guess I just need to focus on Spring fishing right now, and what gear I'd need for the river, bay and ocean since all three are easily accessible to me.
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Old 04-29-2015, 04:24 PM
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Default Re: New and what to do?

Rod - Bait

River 7 or 9 ft rating 3/4-3 (worms,clams) 2-3 oz coin sinkers
Ocean 10 or 11 ft rating 2-8 (heavy) or 4-8 (extra heavy) (clams,bunker) 4-5 oz pyramid sinkers generally

Rod - Plugs

River 7 or 9 ft rating 3/4 to 3
Ocean 9 ft and up rating 1 to 3

Reels

River - 4000 range
Ocean 5000-8000 range

This is in general terms. I'll let others chime in now. Good luck. 33hemi!
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Old 04-29-2015, 08:05 PM
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Default Re: New and what to do?

Like Hemi said, use the search tool. Also, it wouldn't hurt to pick up two of John Skinners books. Fishing The Bucktail and Striper Pursuit, good reading. You do know that this is a addiction, you will lose sleep, and just when you think you have everything, you will buy more. Just because.
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Old 04-29-2015, 09:18 PM
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Default Re: New and what to do?

Steel, I live in the same area. If you ever want to head out with me, shoot me a PM. Lots of good spots to fish
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Old 04-29-2015, 10:36 PM
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Default Re: New and what to do?

There is more info here - - > http://stripersurf.com/sitemap.html that should answer any question you may have now or will have the more you read.

Remember the spring run is best served with bait considering the time of day you say you will be fishing. Of course if by luck you come into a blitz then a popper or swimmer will do the job.

Have fun and good luck.
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Old 04-30-2015, 05:47 AM
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Default Re: New and what to do?

If you are looking to keep it cheap and simple on lures - especially for the back bay daytime, then soft plastics are the way to go. You can buy pre-rigged swim baits - storms shads and such - get them in the 4" range. My fav color is a bunker pattern but people catch on all different colors

Sluggos and Fin S rigged on varied size jig heads are also gonna work.

Get an SP Minnow (if I had to take only one it would be in Lazer Minnow)

Bomber Long A (I like the Burple jointed or School bus),

AOK T-Hex metal in 2oz


I would also recommend some salt flies to use as teasers and to long line


Other then that - get a few packs of quality hooks in 5/0 to 8/0 sizes, weights and fish finder rigs, barrel swivel and a spool of 40lb mono to use as leader

Buy fresh bunker, clams


Dig some sand fleas


Learn all you can about fishing live and dead eels. (search this site and read some of the articles)


If I had to bring only one thing for striped bass it would be eels - stripers like to eat eels


The interweb is great but the only way to find and catch fish is to get out there early and often
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Old 04-30-2015, 05:40 PM
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Default Re: New and what to do?

Quote:
Originally Posted by steelwindmachine View Post
Penn Battle II 8000 combo at Dick's (10' graphite rod, 6oz, Med-Fast Action, Heavy Power) for $112.33 out the door.

I then got the spool wound with 400yd of 20# mono at West Marine.
OK, sorry Steel, too long didn't read it all Although not sure you should be taking fishing pointers from me--I smell so much like skunk lately even my dog won't come near me.
But let's start with what you already purchase Btl 8000 & Heavy rated 6+oz rod. That setup IMHO is a bait and wait rod. Could you throw an SP minnow? Sure, just won"t get optimal distance nor feel.
So since you're already invested in this combo use it's strengths; I'd go with 2 bait rigs; high/low (clam & blood worms) & fish finder (chunks). Both are pretty easy to tie and you can use different leader strengths dependent on where you're going to fish. I prefer 5/0 up to 9/0 circles. Add 2-3-4-5-6 oz pyramids and you're all set.
If however you're insistent on plugging I'd suggest heavier BT's 2oz plus & large rubber shads as Ahab has suggested.
My best advice at this point however would be to take Eelbasher up on his offer--he knows a thing or 2
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Old 05-01-2015, 09:53 PM
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Default Re: New and what to do?

Quote:
Originally Posted by DonLBI View Post
OK, sorry Steel, too long didn't read it all Although not sure you should be taking fishing pointers from me--I smell so much like skunk lately even my dog won't come near me.
But let's start with what you already purchase Btl 8000 & Heavy rated 6+oz rod. That setup IMHO is a bait and wait rod. Could you throw an SP minnow? Sure, just won"t get optimal distance nor feel.
So since you're already invested in this combo use it's strengths; I'd go with 2 bait rigs; high/low (clam & blood worms) & fish finder (chunks). Both are pretty easy to tie and you can use different leader strengths dependent on where you're going to fish. I prefer 5/0 up to 9/0 circles. Add 2-3-4-5-6 oz pyramids and you're all set.
If however you're insistent on plugging I'd suggest heavier BT's 2oz plus & large rubber shads as Ahab has suggested.
My best advice at this point however would be to take Eelbasher up on his offer--he knows a thing or 2
Well.....I wouldn't go that far lol
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Old 05-01-2015, 10:01 AM
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Default Re: New and what to do?

If you really want to catch(you said you are looking to eat your catch) you should get rid of the lures for a couple seasons and fish bait(this might not be a popular response im sure) your going to get caught up in lures - which ones, what hardware, where/when to use, how are you going to present these lures? Get yourself some bait, snell a few books and use a fishfinder rig,learn to read the beach and water. Use lures/plugs after you get some experience out there.

Don is right too, You really should have come here before buying your gear, you didn't need to spool up with 20lb mono - you should be using braid in this day and age, take advantage of today's technology. You have a bait chunking setup now and if you plan on throwing lures you will need another combo.
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Old 05-01-2015, 12:32 PM
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Default Re: New and what to do?

At this point and if I were you, I would order a couple of Bob's high-low rigs with circle hooks, get some fresh clams and hit the beach. You'll figure out what else you need by reading and trying different things when you get bored with clams. Fish finder rigs can be tied on to try some bunker. Then you will probably try a few plugs with mixed results and decide you need a "plugging set up"...think lighter weight for that. You will then probably get or make some fluke rigs for the lighter set up and decide you need a lot more equipment for real fishing ;-) Then you are hooked and it becomes OCD behavior. We have all been there...enjoy the ride.

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Old 05-02-2015, 01:21 PM
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Default Re: New and what to do?

A big part of fishing is having confidence in your ability to effectively present baits, whether the baits are natural or artificial. The only way to develop that confidence is through trial and error. In other words, you have to actually fish with clams (or a bomber, or a mag darter, or buck tail) in order to determine how to best present them under ever changing conditions.

Through experience, you start to establish preferences. Once you establish your preferences, some gear that you purchased will be put on a shelf, rarely (or never) used again.

For example, some fisherman have a strong preference for using artificials. I would bet that each of them has a box full of weights and bait hooks packed away in a closet that won't see daylight this year. That's just part of the learning curve.

I suggest you experiment to see what you like. Not only is "Surplus Gear" practically unavoidable, its probably necessary to your improvement as an angler.
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Old 05-02-2015, 01:41 PM
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Default Re: New and what to do?

Well looks like he is either out fishing or gave up


Two posts and hour apart on the 29th and since then crickets


And i agree - take Mr. eelbasher up on the offer if you return to read any of this
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Old 05-02-2015, 03:15 PM
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Default Re: New and what to do?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Captain Ahab View Post
Well looks like he is either out fishing or gave up


Two posts and hour apart on the 29th and since then crickets


And i agree - take Mr. eelbasher up on the offer if you return to read any of this
Yeah we lost 'em.
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