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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 10-20-2005, 04:16 PM
cannon cannon is offline
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Default how many spots?

Frank,

I've been wondering how many spots it's reasonable to fish. Last year I started fishing and began with Crane Beach (north shore MA), because I had been told it was good. I remember that I didn't catch a thing the first three times I went but afterwards didn't get skunked the rest of the season. I kind of figured out what to do. Then the fish moved south and for the end of the migration I was trying to fish spots further south but didn't have a clue how to fish them.

So this year I decided I needed to fish more spots -- start south early then move north. I fished way too many spots, a new place on the cape or RI every week. Of course, I caught very little. I finally remembered my lesson from Crane Beach and went back to the well. It didn't produce as well for me this year, but I started going to Plum Island regularly and have figured out how to catch some fish there. There's also an inlet in Maine that I have success at, which brings my list of personal hot spots to three. I'm hoping to make the Narrow River inlet number four.

How many spots do you think it is reasonable to fish with success? Of course this depends on how often you fish and how many years of experiences you have in the log, as well as your skill level. I think I'm coming to the conclusion that I'll be a much more successful fisherman with five good spots that I know really well than with 20 I visit once a year.

What are your thoughts? Sorry for the long post, but I've been thinking about this a lot.
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Old 10-20-2005, 04:29 PM
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Frank Daignault Frank Daignault is offline
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Default Re: how many spots?

Joyce and I are down to about five spots locally. Admittedly, we have our easy pets. I think it very important that you become intimate with as many as you can. I have always said, both philosophically and in writing, It is not what you catch, it is what you learn. But each of us has different issues that relate to time for fishing, age, logistics, cost and you have to kind of work that out as it pertains to you.

Even when you do well and think you have some cogent facts for entry in your memory or log, you have to go back and prove they actually work for that spot. Conversely, I have deliberately gone to a place I liked at the wrong tide just to see if the tide matters, just to see if I have discovered somthing. It is part of the game and you have to love playing it. Otherwise it doesn't work learning and enjoyingwise. Good thread. Should rouse some interest.
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Old 10-20-2005, 04:42 PM
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Default Re: how many spots?

I have different spots for different times of the year, and different types of fishing, which probably turns out to be about 40 all together. spring spots, summer spots, fall spots, fly fishing spots, surf casting spots, bait spots, canoe spots, and Boat spots. all spots for all types of fishing.
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Old 10-20-2005, 05:06 PM
cannon cannon is offline
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Default Re: how many spots?

Good points I hadn't thought of. Yes, I would agree that it's best to be intimate with as many spots as possible. How many new spots can be added in a year is something I have to work out. And like tattooBob said, I am learning that some spots produce better different times of the season -- sometimes I learn the hard way. I suppose the more you learn and the better fisherman you become, it probably becomes easier to learn new spots. More intelligent and efficient learning, as opposed to a lot of trial and error.
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Old 10-21-2005, 12:08 PM
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Default Re: how many spots?

I have my favorites at IBSP,that I hit daily,no matter the tide,moon,wind etc.Thats due to work schedule,and fishing time available.As Frank said,you will find when everything clicks,and the times when it doesnt.When I have found a place that works most times,it's a keeper.When someone else is in one of them,I go searching.With 9 miles or so of beach,I figure I will have the park down pat in about another 20 years or so... As TattooBob said,time of year is something to look at too.There are places the are terrible for stripers during the warmer months,but produce fluke.Dont discount the trial and error.It takes longer,but you do learn whats there after awhile.Think the most important thing is reading the beach.I think everyone will agree on that.Find a cut or bar,and you can figure out whats going to be around at different times of the tide and wind.

Last edited by ragman : 10-21-2005 at 12:18 PM.
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Old 10-21-2005, 01:35 PM
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Default Re: how many spots?

I haven't quite figured out more than 2 or 3 spots for certain times of day/tide/year. All that knowledge does is eliminate them from contention most of the time I can go fishing

For the rest? trial and error. At this point I'm continually trying to read structure and signs of life. Of course, I've also learned that just because I'm not catching, doesn't mean the fish aren't there (enough negatives in one sentence, no?) !!
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Old 10-21-2005, 02:37 PM
Rockport24 Rockport24 is offline
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Default Re: how many spots?

Cannon this is a good thread. Trial and error is the key, in my opinon, it can take a whole season or maybe more of consistant fishing of one or two spots to really understand and/or predict it's results. You are never going to know a spot well unless you fish it a LOT. The problem with this philosophy is that you are going to get skunked a bunch of times, but ya gotta learn from those skunks (in that case I learned a lot this year!).
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Old 10-22-2005, 06:29 AM
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Frank Daignault Frank Daignault is offline
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Default Re: how many spots?

All this above is good. Just to ad, observors have to avoid making a false reading. Competent scientific observation is a challenging aspect of any hot spot assessment. People jump to conclusions sometimes. Say you go to a place in mid summer and don't catch. What do people say? The water is too warm. Truth is that any place can go flat. At issue is why. Most often you never know and stabbing at a reason is silly, irresponsible really. One of the most important things a surfcaster can do is learn to accept that noone will really ever know. There is room for only one smart-*** around here.
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