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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 06-17-2010, 10:55 PM
wiscobass wiscobass is offline
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Default "Dirty" water

Just began fishing salt water, and ran into some "dirty" water with weeds and such. At what point will the water clear enough for bass to feed? With the change in tide or is it more of a wind issue? In general, how much of a deterrent are weeds and muck to the mighty feeding striper? Figured there would be some words of wisdom and experience on this subject - with a few storied exceptions of course - this is fishing!

Thanks in advance for your input.
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Old 06-18-2010, 09:54 AM
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Frank Daignault Frank Daignault is offline
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Default Re: "Dirty" water

While it is a worthy subject, I really have no clue. There are different kinds of weed tht can foul our fishing water -- red weed or mung, seasonal grass. Some of it is caused by man's activity and some naturally. Wind, as you point out, ocean currents, both play into the mix. I can tell you it is not the Russians or the Moonies, as has been so often pointed out by yur uncles. Not a good answer but if you had more options in your itenerary, places where you could go, you could run from this stuff. Back when I could do somethig two nights in a row, that is what I used to do.

When I saw your post I was hoping you meant pollution because I could do a whole lot on that subject.
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Old 06-18-2010, 10:25 AM
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Default Re: "Dirty" water

Wisco,

You did not specify whether you would be using plugs, or baitfishing. When using plugs, "brownie-chocolate" water (and weeds, as Frank stated) will kill the fishing. However, when baitfishing, especially using cut menhaden, bunker, pogies, (whatever you want to call them), that is an entirely different matter.

My best channel bass (red drum) at Cape Hatteras was caught on a menhaden head. (It weighed fifty-four pounds.) There was the traditional sou'west humping, which made the water turn to what the locals call "drum water" (definitely dirty). And there were also heavy weeds in the area, which would have made plugging impossible. However, the channel bass did not have any problem finding my bait.
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Old 06-18-2010, 02:54 PM
wiscobass wiscobass is offline
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Default Re: "Dirty" water

Thanks for the replies!

Seems that live bait giving off the scent would still be OK. I've seen this work while fishing the Delaware River soup with blood worms - now that's polluted "dirty water."

I hope nobody reels in a rig with oil on it, but there are more questions than answers at this point.

Since I normally throw lures, I will keep moving down the beach when I get into weeds again. Now if I could just come up with the ultimate solution = having more spots!
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Old 06-18-2010, 04:31 PM
SALMONMEISTER SALMONMEISTER is online now
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Default Re: "Dirty" water

I was fishing a surf beach on MV last weekend and it was weedy...some spots more than others. I had a 9" Sluggo for the terminal lure and a 3" spit-tail minnow jig for the teaser. Pretty much every retreive ended with weed on both lures. I got one keeper bass shortly after my lure landed...I figure that sometimes you're just lucky. The lure probably landed very close to that bass, he saw it and hit it before I started my weed collection.
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Old 06-19-2010, 05:52 PM
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Default Re: "Dirty" water

Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank Daignault View Post
When I saw your post I was hoping you meant pollution because I could do a whole lot on that subject.
Please do.. that sounds interesting

wisco bass, I think your question was answered by others . It's both tide and wind that makes dirty water. Weed foul the lures and bait. Too much and you have to leave. Bright colored plugs,.. yellow or orange (anybody ever use an orange colored plug for stripers..LOL) might help. Or bait.
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Old 06-20-2010, 03:01 PM
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Default Re: "Dirty" water

There is a whole section in the Trophy Striper on fishing in polluted water. In essence, it address the idea that pollution has no adverse effect upon stripers frequenting those waters. New Haven is aweful and a guy, maybe John Baldino, caught a 70 sumpin there. Providence and Boston Harbors can get pretty tough and the stripers party there. It might be, just might, that filter feeders like bunker are drawn to the pollution and the bass follow.
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Old 06-21-2010, 09:45 AM
clambellies clambellies is offline
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Default Re: "Dirty" water

Years ago I was in a small boat launched off the sand at Race Point and we were drifting in close to the beach near Highland Light. The mung along the beach was like a thick waterborne fog that went from the surface down to the bottom about 12 feet down. When we got into a slight opening in the mung the fishfinder showed the bottom was carpeted with bass. The fish were there, mung and all. We managed to catch a couple with live eels, and when they came in it took about 10 minutes to clear off all of the gunk to deal with them.

Seeing that, I've come to the conclusion that the weed doesn't bother the bass much if there is bait to hold them there, it's just nearly impossible to fish in that stuff from the beach.
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Old 06-21-2010, 08:45 PM
Jon006 Jon006 is offline
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Default Re: "Dirty" water

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Originally Posted by Frank Daignault View Post
There is a whole section in the Trophy Striper on fishing in polluted water. In essence, it address the idea that pollution has no adverse effect upon stripers frequenting those waters. New Haven is aweful and a guy, maybe John Baldino, caught a 70 sumpin there. Providence and Boston Harbors can get pretty tough and the stripers party there. It might be, just might, that filter feeders like bunker are drawn to the pollution and the bass follow.

Boston Harbor these days after the Deer Island plant was built is regarded as one of the cleaner harbors in our country. However they haven't finished the project to prevent sewage overflow when it rains hard and yes the stripers certainly still party up there.
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Old 06-21-2010, 08:59 PM
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Default Re: "Dirty" water

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Originally Posted by clambellies View Post
and when they came in it took about 10 minutes to clear off all of the gunk to deal with them.

Seeing that, I've come to the conclusion that the weed doesn't bother the bass much if there is bait to hold them there, it's just nearly impossible to fish in that stuff from the beach.
Clam,

Oh yes, my (aforementioned) 54 # channel bass, required (at least) ten minutes to clean the seaweed off of the fishing line.
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Old 06-22-2010, 07:01 AM
clambellies clambellies is offline
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Default Re: "Dirty" water

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Clam,

Oh yes, my (aforementioned) 54 # channel bass, required (at least) ten minutes to clean the seaweed off of the fishing line.

Congrats, very nice fish!
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Old 06-22-2010, 11:11 AM
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Default Re: "Dirty" water

Kay and Rosa caught their 60s+ right in a hole in the gunk of Highland Light. Gunk is a natural weed, not pollution.
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Old 06-23-2010, 05:49 PM
lagoonguy lagoonguy is offline
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Default Re: "Dirty" water

When I was growing up in Gloucester the city sewers emptied into the middle of the outer harbor. Some tides took it out to sea but, tides change and, others pushed it back in. A north wind would push it out-eventually, if it blew long enough.

There was one headboat operator who had an old Coast Guard Rumrunner hulk with no engine. He would tow it out into the outer harbor with his lobster boat and anchor it for 4 hour fishing trips. If fishing was slow, he would haul it upwind of the sewage outfall and his sports would load up on flounder, pollock, cod and even stripers. His favorite saying was "best fishing is upwind with a going tide"

He got away with it for years because the hulk had no engine and the Coast Guard rarely boarded it, once they knew he had the other equpment required. Finally, my father-in-law to be, who was on the board of health, shut them down.
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Old 06-24-2010, 09:20 AM
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Default Re: "Dirty" water

We get our Mass Water Authoirty (MWRA) munie bonds checks twice a year. These financed the cleaning and preservation of Boston Harbor.

Also, bouys and curls, isn't New York Harbor -- mouth of the Hudson -- kind of tough?
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Old 06-24-2010, 06:44 PM
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Default Re: "Dirty" water

I remember coming back from FLA on a crystal clear blue-bird day and seeing the effluent of the Hudson dumping into the Atlantic. Whoa, daddy! Yet, it supports a breeding population of linesiders. Go figure.
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