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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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  #31  
Old 06-14-2010, 03:14 PM
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Default Re: Horsing in Fish

Funny, after my heart attack, someone suggested me doing more plugging. I have been doing so, not because of the suggestion, rather the difference in the type of fishing. I have always done both, just enjoyed sitting on the bucket waiting for something to hit. Now, I do both, but enjoy the plugging more than I did before...
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  #32  
Old 06-14-2010, 11:56 PM
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Default Re: Horsing in Fish

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And they do it with a southern accent to boot.
You'uns is sho nuf rite Mista Frank. You alls haves a fine week.

MULE.


















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  #33  
Old 06-15-2010, 06:04 AM
biggestsquid biggestsquid is offline
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Default Re: Horsing in Fish

In the last two weeks I've had the pleasure of bringing three decent stripers to the beach. One 32", one 42" and one 43". They were all different in fight and what they required that I do. As soon as I hook a bass that stays down I think that chnces are she is big and I prepare myself for a long slow dance.

Now, if any if any of you poor suckers ever saw me dance you would know that it is not pretty --- but with a nice fish on I am a bit more focused. To me it is like having game in your sights and requires a cool, steady hand and head ---- until I start to run out of wind, which takes about 2 minutes nowadays. I still try to be steady and smooth (smooth has never been used in a sentence with I before) and find that I can feel the fish and know when I'm in the drivers seat, unless my heart feels like it is coming out of my chest.

Since I release 90% of what I catch I do try to get them through the wash as quickly as possible. I use 20# line, 40# shock leader and 80# terminal line on my bait gear. I also favor 13' rods that have plenty of backbone (have landed 120# + nurse shark with my "light" Breakaway) and only fish with conventional reels.

If I am on a charter boat with some buds and we are cranking in big blues I use a heavy rod, 30# line and crank as hard and fast as I can --- in consideration of my fishing mates. The last time I was one on one with a tuna the captain thought I was savoring the catch a bit too much ---- hell, I was about to croak.

I think situations in the surf can be entirely different and more challenging than any other kind of fishing and those various situations require different fish retrieving techniques. If I am in a heavy surf and strong current in Hatteras I want to get that baby into the waves and on to the beach ASAP. If I'm in flat water or where the current generally is lighter, as most frequent where I fish in NJ, I am more cautious but still do my best to keep her steering towards the sand.

In any case I'm sure that the casual observer would not confuse my dance with that of Patrick Swayze (maybe since he died)--- and may in fact not even be able to watch --- but I do prefer to think of it more like caressing the fish to shore, rather than HORSING. May be just me, my bride says everything goes to the same place.
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  #34  
Old 06-15-2010, 06:10 AM
biggestsquid biggestsquid is offline
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Default Re: Horsing in Fish

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Funny, after my heart attack, someone suggested me doing more plugging. I have been doing so, not because of the suggestion, rather the difference in the type of fishing. I have always done both, just enjoyed sitting on the bucket waiting for something to hit. Now, I do both, but enjoy the plugging more than I did before...
Hello Rags,

You pluggin' your way back to fitness? That's what I should do but I continue to haul 30+ plugs to the beach along with a 10' pluggin stick. They stay safely in my truck while I deadstick with my bait rods.

But if I could con myself into believing that some pluggin would actually be heart therapy I could go fishing twice as much ---- doctors orders! In any case I am very glad to see that you are still "pluggin" away.

What is your pluggin diet and is it working? I think if I could drop 25 the walk back and forth to the bait cooler would be much easier.

Cheers,
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  #35  
Old 06-15-2010, 10:48 AM
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Default Re: Horsing in Fish

Unless there is some sort of obstruction downtide, I avoid horsing if I want the fish. Back in the early 70s we had these monsterous runs of jumbo blues on the Cape and I used to horse on them something aweful. 18 pound blue, zero drag, fifty pound micron!
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  #36  
Old 06-15-2010, 11:29 AM
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Default Re: Horsing in Fish

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Hello Rags,

You pluggin' your way back to fitness? That's what I should do but I continue to haul 30+ plugs to the beach along with a 10' pluggin stick. They stay safely in my truck while I deadstick with my bait rods.

But if I could con myself into believing that some pluggin would actually be heart therapy I could go fishing twice as much ---- doctors orders! In any case I am very glad to see that you are still "pluggin" away.

What is your pluggin diet and is it working? I think if I could drop 25 the walk back and forth to the bait cooler would be much easier.

Cheers,
Big,
I do the same with bait, but always have the plugs with me. I tend to set the bait out, and then plug. Dont know if I'm getting more exercise or not though...
As far as the diet, less fat, no salt, more whole grain stuff. Seems to be working, below 200 lbs for the first time in 15 years or so...
But back to horsing...
I tend to horse blues in like Frank does also. A few weeks ago my son and I hit some in the 10 lb range in Barnegat inlet. As soon as I hooked one, turned down the drag and brought it in. Others around us were playing with them, and really didnt want to deal with tangled lines. Didn't lose any fish or lures, so it worked for me. Was using 50 lb braid, and a 40 lb mono leader. Only person I almost crossed was my son, but we were 5 feet apart, and a little "lift your rod and move" worked for us...
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  #37  
Old 06-16-2010, 01:52 PM
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Default Re: Horsing in Fish

No matter what your methods choice, never fish without a plug nearby in the event that the bait doesn't work. There are times when soaking bait is useless, bass blowing up the surf, and going to a plug can make the difference.
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  #38  
Old 06-16-2010, 09:43 PM
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Default Re: Horsing in Fish

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No matter what your methods choice, never fish without a plug nearby in the event that the bait doesn't work. There are times when soaking bait is useless, bass blowing up the surf, and going to a plug can make the difference.
Always made me scratch my head over those that wont fish with another type of fishing than they normally do... I like bait, but if someone is getting them on plugs, why not switch, and vice a versa?
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  #39  
Old 06-17-2010, 07:06 AM
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Default Re: Horsing in Fish

I call them love affairs. Guys have some good fishing doing something and after that there is no changing them. Forty years ago I started fishing with a buddy who bought two flats (20 dozen) of seaworms every weekend. He actually believed that stripers did not hit plugs. He caught that 55 pounder on worms then went into arrested development.
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  #40  
Old 04-02-2018, 02:09 PM
JoeG@Breezy JoeG@Breezy is offline
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Default Re: Horsing in Fish

I saw this thread in the closet and thought it might be timely, as in 2018 stock conditions. Many of the experts ( never know who they actually are ) these days advocate banging the fish hard, no rest, keep the aggressive pressure on to land the fish as quickly as possible. The theory seems to be that the less time the fish is on, the better chance he has of surviving post release. This goes for trout and stripers as well. Bluefish just seem to be a hardier species. Playing a fish is not kosher these days.
November 2016 I find a big line up on the local beach hammering 15 - 20# blues. Really giant blues looking as fat as tuna. I jump in about 100 yards to the east and manage four before I need a break. Went a mile east to avoid more blues and on the second or third cast, right as the plug lands it is clobbered. Now I'm tightening the drag and yelling at the PITA bluefish, all the while horsing him as best I could until I see the dorsal about 50 yards away. It turned out to be a 30+# bass. Immediately I release some drag pressure despite what those experts say, I play her....I want the satisfaction of feeling her weight and putting her back in the water.
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  #41  
Old 04-02-2018, 02:32 PM
Francis Daignault Francis Daignault is offline
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Default Re: Horsing in Fish

Never forget that while you are horsing a fish with unbreakable equipment that the quantity of fish flesh impaled on the hook remains unknown. Always ago easy.
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  #42  
Old 04-02-2018, 06:07 PM
ccod16 ccod16 is offline
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Default Re: Horsing in Fish

I know I horse fish in canal. Reason being the current , fish caught on long casts, and of course that person(s) next to you hopefully waiting for you to land that fish quickly so they can get back in the action asap. Better to get it in quickly then have someone cast over your line . Also avoids the verbal assault from some of the canal "tough " guys. I think blitzing action makes us rush the fish to shore.
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  #43  
Old 04-02-2018, 07:50 PM
JoeG@Breezy JoeG@Breezy is offline
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Default Re: Horsing in Fish

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Originally Posted by Francis Daignault View Post
Never forget that while you are horsing a fish with unbreakable equipment that the quantity of fish flesh impaled on the hook remains unknown. Always ago easy.
The other thing we need to consider is enlarging the hole where the hook is set by either horsing her in or playing her too long. This stuff is hard to figure. Part of the magic !
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  #44  
Old 04-03-2018, 10:38 AM
Francis Daignault Francis Daignault is offline
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Default Re: Horsing in Fish

David, being tough makes no sense today because there is very little selling of bass. Even sport fishing, no money involved, with a one fish limit, why knock yourself out? You are likely to return the fish anyway. If you keep it you are done fishing. Relax, think about sex or sumpin. Socialize and make some friends. These are not the old days.
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  #45  
Old 04-04-2018, 03:35 PM
JoeG@Breezy JoeG@Breezy is offline
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Default Re: Horsing in Fish

There was sex in the old days ? I don't remember that.
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