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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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Old 01-22-2019, 10:33 AM
Francis Daignault Francis Daignault is offline
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Default Spot Burning?

Something that I never heard of until coming to the Internet is the notion of "spot burning". I see it as a red herring for people who are looking for something to bitch about. Aren't the best fishing spots already known? What do you say about spot burning.
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Old 01-22-2019, 02:07 PM
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Default Re: Spot Burning?

Spot burning is one of those subjects that I'm afraid to discuss. Even the discussion brings about more burns

We have a bait shop that will burn access to any spot in the area if he hears anything about it. Over the past couple of years, besides mentioning it in his shop, he will post detailed videos on FACEBOOK about the spot, anything remotely caught there. One time, it was this little backwater stream and he's doing video commentary about how it's a great place "to bring the family and get peace of mind". I mean SERIOUSLY DUDE? This was a backwater place good for collecting bait. Bait! And he couldn't keep quiet about it.

THEN this past week he gets on the Saturday morning fishing show on local radio and complains about spots being closed due to garbage being left behind.

He doesn't see the connection.

One time many years ago, in a galaxy far far away, I gave some info out when I was walking away from a spot. The next night I found the guy I mentioned it to the night before.
Of course, he was not fishing it correctly and caught zippo. And I knew he wasn't going to catch anything. But lesson learned.

I don't ask and I don't tell. I've brought a (I'll call an "elderly") friend to a fishing spot and he then asked me if I could take his son in law there some time as "he wants to fish with his friends...". That was enough for me and I told him I'll never be taking him. I said it with a smile, but I was serious.

That said, I don't have a problem telling folks how to look for spots, but I'm just not drawing them a map or mentioning anything specifically, ever again.
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Old 01-22-2019, 04:04 PM
Chris Garrity Chris Garrity is offline
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Default Re: Spot Burning?

The internet has changed the nature of spot burning. Its immediacy has made it a whole different, and bigger, deal, than it used to be.

There's a guy at the Atlantic City Press, Mike Shepherd, who writes a fishing column twice a week. Shep was sports editor of the paper for many years, but kept writing the fishing thing even after he retired, because he evidently likes to fish, and he likes the BS-infused world of fishing reports: he likes to gab with the guys who run tackle shops, etc.

I remember hearing fishermen gripe about Shep 25 or 30 years ago, because Shep would give very detailed information about spots, even going so far (Rob will get this) as mentioning specific back-bay bouy numbers: Bobby Googan caught a 7-pound flounder near mile marker 337 just south of the mouth of Ludlam Bay in Sea Isle -- that kind of thing.

But 25 or 30 years ago, to read Shep's report, one had to have a physical copy of the paper, and the report was at best a day or two old, and very frequently older than that. Chasing those reports was an exercise in the practice of You should have been here yesterday.

Now, though, the reports are immediate, and if you doubt it, go to a spot -- it doesn't really matter what spot -- at a time when fish are around, and post, either on Facebook or a fishing website, something like THERE'S A BLITZ AT THE GUZZLES! There will be report chasers showing up in minutes -- literally minutes.

We've all seen a deal where you have a great session somewhere, and you go back the next night and it's a zoo. Well, it's worse than that now: the yahoos, once the reports get out, don't even let you have one tide to yourself.

Considering this, it's no wonder that good fishermen say absolutely zero about spots. Even joking, and giving a spot somewhere other than where one was fishing, isn't funny any more.
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Old 01-22-2019, 08:00 PM
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jbw252 jbw252 is offline
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Default Re: Spot Burning?

Quote:
Originally Posted by RobS View Post
That said, I don't have a problem telling folks how to look for spots, but I'm just not drawing them a map or mentioning anything specifically, ever again.
I agree with RobS. It doesn't take much for things to get out of hand. I always fish IBSP, so I normally just say out front or in the back if I report anything at all. I'm not spot burning if it covers over 3,000 acres and ten miles of coastal dunes. I'd rather folks report on what they caught fish with, rather than where they caught them.
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Old 01-23-2019, 09:54 AM
Francis Daignault Francis Daignault is offline
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Default Re: Spot Burning?

If an outdoor columnist writes on a spot, somebody, who should have kept his mouth shut, told him. I think too much is made of spot burning. Commonly it is a red herring where there is another problem and critics label the speaker/secret divulger a spot burner. I view it as a way overplayed Internet complaint. After all, the spots being burned have been known since Columbus. Race Point, CC Canal, Montauk. Surely one cannot call them "secrets". But if you don't like the guy, and this is common, call him a spot burner.

One time on Nauset my wife and I caught four fish to their one with two guys who crowded us in a hole where we were there first. Having made fools of both of them, the guide, guy leading the two, called me the spot burner who ruined the Cape. What? is the Cape a secret? The real problem was that we caught all the fish.

The internet is a social cesspool and the term "spot burner" was born there. (go on, bouys and curls. This not meant to be the last word.
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Old 01-23-2019, 03:52 PM
Redando Redando is offline
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Default Re: Spot Burning?

I've been shown things over the years that were not very well known. A certain spot in a coastal river that had a ton of current would fish extremely well during slack tide. A couple guys would show up for that 45 minutes or so during season and do very well. Have never let one person in on it over 15 years. Was told they still beat them up there...while i lived in Boston I was shown another place damn near town that was absolutely lights out last week of May through mid June during Herring Run. We would be there all night catching and releasing teen sized fish up to low 20's. It was a very specific spot...true urban angling...only folks that would walk by were 3:00 am crack heads.

These are two examples I can think of. Had I ran my mouth this is what I would consider spot burning. Information is a privilege not a right.
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Old 01-23-2019, 04:52 PM
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Default Re: Spot Burning?

Danny makes a good point that "spot burning" can be different things to different folks.

Frank, you allude to the "internet" spot burning where someone complains about the public mention of anything, which really seems foolish. Everyone knows that you can catch fish at XYZ, and if they don't, just pointing them in that direction really isn't a matter of secrecy.

However, there are places that cannot take much traffic, or places that fish at particular times. The second "spot burning" really is burning how to fish a particular spot and can be frustrating.

It's not that any dingdong can't figure out that a point sticking out in a bay with deep water nearby is a good spot to try and fish. Eventually anyone who breaths can and will figure that out. But there are, in some cases, particular rocks or structure that hold fish at certain tides/times/seasons/conditions. That info is usually well earned and worth protecting.
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Old 01-24-2019, 11:05 AM
Francis Daignault Francis Daignault is offline
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Default Re: Spot Burning?

Understanding how the geography influences water movement is to be able to pick out good places to fish. If you scope a place out and discover something just keep your mouth shut and go there. Also concentrate on hiding your vehicle. Fish and hunt smart.

You think people pick up on your fishing, you should see how that happens hunting. We always hide our vehicle when hunting. After a while people know who gets what and if that person is being watched snoops are going to look for their car/truck. If we want to hunt an area, we first fly over it on Maps Live and examine the vehicle hiding potential. We also scope it out for getting in to take a deer out. You want to puke, shoot a deer so big that you can't get him out. We find out BEFORE we shoot the deer. Smart fishing and hunting is knowing what the problems are.

Joyce and I are mentoring a couple in hunting. I was aghast at learning they only carry a couple of cartridges. In the course of a lifetime you could end up shooting at a particular deer up to 12 times. In 60 years of big game hunting I have shot as many as 12 times in three different encounters.
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Old 01-25-2019, 03:13 PM
Francis Daignault Francis Daignault is offline
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Default Re: Spot Burning?

The notion that someone is ruining a fishing spot, as I said earlier, is a red herring. Spot burning is not the problem. Something else is and that could be anything. I have been on the Internet, right here, for 20 years and whenever there has been a problem with something else, the buggah called me a spot burner. It goes with the Internet. Its cool. Its a way of trashing a guy. Remember this?

"There does exist, as Frank has pointed out in the past, a prevailing dislike of him on the Outer Cape. In many cases it truly borders on hatred (skipping the rambling copy) many of us felt a strong resentment toward Frank for his writings that essentially "burned" the area for those who were regularly fishing here ."

He was kicked off the sight by administrators before I got the chance to do it myself. Moreover, he was part of well organized collusion with an old buddy who also made a lot of trouble here. Spot burning is just a way of sticking a guy. but then maybe not always. Maybe there is some spot burning. I say that because a lot of people believe there is such a thing as spot burning.
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Old 01-26-2019, 07:44 PM
Kroc Kroc is offline
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Default Re: Spot Burning?

Spot burning exists no doubt. A spot can become overcrowded due to too much internet attention. However, there is a certain hypocrisy to the whole concept. Where I have a problem is when people say I only tell close friends where I caught fish. The fact is people talk, that's what separates us from the animals. The problem is that "buddy" probably owes someone a favor and blabs about it etc. etc. etc. So unless you fish completely solo and never discuss fishing with any other human beings, I don't want to hear about spot burning complaints because otherwise you could unknowingly be part of the problem.
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Old 01-26-2019, 09:09 PM
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Default Re: Spot Burning?

Don't ask, don't tell. End of story.
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Old 01-27-2019, 10:44 AM
Francis Daignault Francis Daignault is offline
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Default Re: Spot Burning?

On the Cape I remember guys who made up BS stories on fishing hoping to get you to open up on something. Create a conversation exchange. They were looking for oats in exchange for what had already been through the horse.
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Old 01-27-2019, 03:55 PM
SALMONMEISTER SALMONMEISTER is offline
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Default Re: Spot Burning?

Gonna spot burn here:
NY's Salmon River has salmon in the fall, and brown trout and steelhead after that right up until spring...even a few in summer.

A Salmon River website advertises the river, and then calls it "New York's best kept secret"...�� Hypocrites! ��

There's even plenty of people there on winter weekdays...
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Old 01-28-2019, 09:34 AM
Francis Daignault Francis Daignault is offline
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Default Re: Spot Burning?

Frank, NY State has spent millions developing the Salmon River fishery. Surely you don't want that resource to be kept secret. The reason the state developed that resource is to give sport fishing something. That is but just one more example of overblown spot burning which I am always harping about.

Miles and miles of trout and salmon bigger than one's leg which accommodates hundreds of anglers for thousands of hours. Should it be a secret?
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Old 01-29-2019, 02:42 AM
SALMONMEISTER SALMONMEISTER is offline
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Default Re: Spot Burning?

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Originally Posted by Francis Daignault View Post
Frank, NY State has spent millions developing the Salmon River fishery. Surely you don't want that resource to be kept secret. The reason the state developed that resource is to give sport fishing something. That is but just one more example of overblown spot burning which I am always harping about.

Miles and miles of trout and salmon bigger than one's leg which accommodates hundreds of anglers for thousands of hours. Should it be a secret?
Definitely not... I just thought it funny/ironic to advertise it and call it a secret in the same sentence. In my opinion...and this is hard for me to admit... I think they should make more of that river similar to its Douglaston area where you pay to fish but they only allow a certain number of anglers per mile. When you go there when it's not crowded, it's a wonderful place...
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