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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 11-06-2005, 11:37 PM
listriperboy listriperboy is offline
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Default Large bass behavior

First of all Frank Im a huge fan of your books. There is no question i learned a few things even after years and years of hardcore surfcasting.
What has interested me for a long time are the habits/behaviors of large bass. Im very interested in the years of the great runs on the cape and then Block Island. It seems that the big schools of large fish are almost always changing. They show up for years at one place, then hit annother, then disappear. I know that huge schools of monsters winter off the hatteras coast, way offshore. I also know these big fish hit the cape for about 10 years then hit block island for a few years after that.
I wonder often where these huge schools of bass go, how they can just decide to nail a place for a while, then totally vanish.
Do you have any thoughts on the unpredictablilty of these large fish? Any thoughts as to where they could show themselves again, or why they havent since block?
Ever since i read the trophy striper i wanted to ask you more about the habits of LARGE.
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  #2  
Old 11-07-2005, 02:07 PM
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Frank Daignault Frank Daignault is offline
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Default Re: Large bass behavior

Its a great question and like me, I think many others have pondered those patterns. First answer is easy: I don't know. No proof, but i have always wondered about a law of propensity where the fish are discovered somewhere, everybody goes there for them, and they get taken out. Not until another school comes of age, do we have a new monster blitz somewhere else. I have seen what pressure results from an appearance of large where word is out that they are taking jigged eels, say, and so many people take so many that they just wipe out the bunch until another bunch grows to size somewhere safe. I know this is highly speculative, and I have not been drinking with Ragman. But nothing stays the same and nothing can continue once a place and method are known to produce. Inspite of what I say above, there will always be rogue bass that are alone, not part of a contingent, that are just caught by some lucky buggah. Good post, this should smoke and it is among my favorite subjects, next to women. BTW, your taste in literature is impeccible .
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Old 11-07-2005, 02:17 PM
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Frank Daignault Frank Daignault is offline
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Default Re: Large bass behavior

Well, you have it right and I'll bet that a lot of people think of it that way. I know that I do. First answer, is that I don't know. Beyond that I think that a cussid law of propensity causes a school of large to get hammered where word is out about how and where and people just fish them out. Naturally, they can't last forever and it is not luntil another contingent grows to size, probably somewhere else, where it is safe, that the process repeats itself. Why they are here one season, and there another -- Cape or BI -- also defies explanation. Sure, your uncle will tell you, that concentrations of bait lure the fish into staying somewhere to end up getting hammered. But I am not here to castigate your uncle because he doesn't know any more than I. The sense is there, that the large would take up in a place where life is good. but again, why is life good on the Cape one year and Montauk the next? This is a smoker of a thread that you have started and we ought to have more fun than you can normally have with close on. And, you wascal, your taste in literature is impeccible

Thought that I lost the first effort. Time to see my terapist -- sick turtle Dr.
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Last edited by Frank Daignault : 11-07-2005 at 02:21 PM. Reason: Lost, then redid.
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Old 11-07-2005, 02:37 PM
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Talking Re: Large bass behavior

If anything the only thing that seems reliable enough to answer a question like that is that great grounds rise and fall then rise again and the only ones who truly know are the fish themselves the answer why. Hope springs eternal not just in the breast of a young man but striper fishers as well.
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Old 11-07-2005, 02:48 PM
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Default Re: Large bass behavior

Well, I know Frank hasnt been drinking with me... I think,even though he says he doesnt know,he might be right on the cycles.Taking them till they are wiped out?I dont believe so.There are so many C&R fishermen today,that I dont think a dent could be put in a large school of large stripers.Maybe they just die of old age,and we have to wait for the next class to grow? I do know,that large were plentiful late last fall at IBSP,but everything is shorts and slots so far this year.I'm going to wait it out,till all the warm weather fishermen are sitting in front of the firplace,like mid to late December,and see what happens.I know thats real late for you guys in MA,but it works for me in Jersey...
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Old 11-07-2005, 04:10 PM
DeeJay DeeJay is offline
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Default Re: Large bass behavior

Rag, I disagree. Let the word get out that there's a big body of large schooled up on Scorton Ledge, or at Billingsgate, during the Mass commercial season and quite a few are gonna spend their last days cut up into fillets at the fish markets--locally and down in Philly. Fish at Scorton Ledge are within range of small boats launched from the Canal marina on a nice day---even tin boats could do it under the right weather conditions.
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Old 11-07-2005, 04:16 PM
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Default Re: Large bass behavior

Sorry DeeJay,
I was thinking Jersey.Never fished up that way,so I guess that could figure into it...
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Old 11-07-2005, 10:25 PM
listriperboy listriperboy is offline
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Default Re: Large bass behavior

When i know large are in the area, and im specifically targeting them, i do feel like im basically fishing for a different specie of fish than say smaller fish, up to say the high teens. The guys ive fished with since i could hold a rod, maybe around 5 years old, have always been at least twice my age. Altho im only 25 now ive got a good 20 years experience and learned from some real amazing fisherman.
I really do enjoy the hunt for large bass. They are smart and sometimes it even seems like they are teasing you, that they know you are there fishing for them. When there not all out blitzing the shore, to me, its like the ultimate hunt. You cant see what ure hunting for, dont know exactly what they want, pretty much ure senses are nullified. Its intuition, intelligence, and experience that will dictate ure side of the hunt....yeah and luck always helps! Anyone can go out and nail some smaller bass on just about anything, like fishing for bluefish. Large fish just seem to be a breed all their own.
A short while back i read an article by Russ BAssdozer on his site that i felt really vindicated some of what i was thinking. There is an article called "ghost fish" where he talks about his theories. Its an interesting read. Frank have u ever read that article? If so what did you think about it, it facinated me.
Its the huge and legendary blitzs of fish that lasted for years on the cape and block that so interest me tho. Every year we get new bait, and every year we do have some blitzes of fish, but nothing like u guys had on the cape or the block. I just wonder where these huge masses of fish decided to go next, and why they didnt come back since.
Thanks for all ure replys Frank, im glad the mystery of large bass interests someone else as much as it does me.
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  #9  
Old 11-08-2005, 03:42 PM
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Frank Daignault Frank Daignault is offline
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Default Re: Large bass behavior

True, there is much more catch and release today. but, I don't think the real monsters benefit much from that. There is so much excitement when a 50 is taken, that the angler wants to prove it. We also get a lot of "released fifties" that were measured, but not weighed and often, no doubt, they are just 50 inches total length and weigh 41 pounds. It is not a "fifty" unless it is weighed. Keep in mind that there are hundreds of 40s for every 50. And remember that the big bass are more likely in boats.
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Old 11-09-2005, 03:06 AM
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Default Re: Large bass behavior

Dee Jay, you took the words out of my mouth. You must remember about 5 yrs ago that school out in the bay. Night and day for about 3 weeks during commercial season the boats trolled tightly together like a caravan. They pulled up one after another of 35-45lb bass. The recs were there too, and they kept those fish. I don't think anybody really knew why they showed up at that particular time, at that particular spot, but it was something to witness. When you read Molly's column that next week, her words expressed it so well, you got goose bumps reading it...there was alot of fish there. That was the time a whale tail slapped a stones throw from my little boat. Every season since I watch for it to happen and I still wonder exactly WHY all those species hung out there and for so long.With all those motors over that small area for so long, why didn't it drive them away? It ended when they wiped them out, or at least that's how it seemed . Ahh, memories. The "whys" can drive you nuts!
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Old 11-09-2005, 04:13 PM
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Frank Daignault Frank Daignault is offline
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Default Re: Large bass behavior

All great stories. I remember years ago, we hit the fish at a stage of tide in a tiderip where they just layed there facing the current. First night, 27. Second night 12; third night four; fourth night -- nothing. If fish have a propensity for a certain situation, for whatever the reason, they will often come back. That is why I urge my readers to keep a log. Not to wipe out the school, but to know what the fish like to do as it relates to that particular location. I know some very dumb people who are smart enough to go back to where they caught some fish and do things the same way. Mister Smarty's law of propensity, while dangerously close to junk science in its application, has merit. Why did they mohawk at Block Island? Because it was whre the big girls were and somebody went back looking and fished the way they they knew would work.
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Old 10-25-2012, 07:54 AM
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Default Re: Large bass behavior

Block Island is still in the angling news. Note the dates on these posts. Its a great thread.
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