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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 09-22-2010, 09:50 PM
SALMONMEISTER SALMONMEISTER is online now
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Default Baseless Speculation/junk Science

Frank, I was wondering if it's okay to start a thread on baseless speculation/junk science. Here's what got me thinking. I haven't fished a needlefish lure yet...I bought 2 recently and I WILL use them. Almost everything I read from anwhere and anybody states that they're a sand eel imitation. Now, I don't dispute the fact that plenty of big bass have been taken with them when sand eels were present. What I dispute is (and I don't mean to offend anyone)is what they're an imitation of. I was walking along Fire Island inlet last weekend and saw a school of small needlefish which are A: larger than sand eels and B: for the same length, slimmer than a needlefish plug. Have all the guys saying that this thing looks like a sand eel seen one? They are thin and come to a tapered point at either end. Thin bucktails, skinny plugs and lots of slim rubber lures (Sluggos etc.) are a LOT closer in profile. Call me crazy but I think a needlefish lure looks like a...ready for this... NEEDLEFISH!!! I think bass think they're a NEEDLEFISH!!! I just gave myself a headache..........
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Old 09-23-2010, 08:48 AM
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Frank Daignault Frank Daignault is offline
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Default Re: Baseless Speculation/junk Science

You are apparently suffering over the naming of a needlefish. We have to assume they called that design a "Neddlefish" because they sought to immatate a neddlefish, not a sandeel. You are on track in part of your observation -- its called a needlefish, it looks like one and the bass, if they have the ability to think, think it is a needlefish. Where you risk going wrong is in how you fish it. That, old shoe, should be answered by someone who knows, or thinks they know, how to fish a needlefish.

I think it is very possible, even likely, that a bass could be feeding on sandeels and scarf a needlefish. When you are eating a steak, might you knock down a shrimp? (Your getting like Ragati.) Poor immatation is common in the design and build of a fishing lure. Your just picking up on one example. Some of your thinking might relate to the notion of "Matching the Hatch", which is an overused, timeworn cutesie we writers use to sell ideas to the unsuspecting. We have all caught too many trout on streamers when the things were feeding on caddis. All caught too many stripers on eels when the bass were feeding on bunker. As for wht the guys are saying, that is likely the BS to which you are referring. Those guys are qualified for two lines of work:
Uncleism and running a B&T.
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Old 09-23-2010, 01:10 PM
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Default Re: Baseless Speculation/junk Science

Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank Daignault View Post
(Your getting like Ragati.)
Aww c'mon Frank, now my feelings are hurt.... Ya gotta admit, I dont ponder things like I did several years ago...
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Old 09-23-2010, 01:20 PM
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Default Re: Baseless Speculation/junk Science

Salmon,
I think what you are talking about are garfish (at least thats what they are called down here). Very slim, long with a pointed snout. Seahorses are a member of the same family I believe, just have a curved instead of straight body. What I think you are missing, is that sandeels, or needlefish, it's just something to eat to a striper. If it works, use it. I really dont think the fish think that hard about what they are going to eat, real or lure. Real or lure, looks like food, they are hungry, they will chomp on it.
Just my lowly opinion though...
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Old 09-23-2010, 02:39 PM
SALMONMEISTER SALMONMEISTER is online now
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Default Re: Baseless Speculation/junk Science

Thanx for the reply. I plan to fish it slow and steady with a teaser which seems like the most common suggestion. Frank, I'm not much of a hatch matcher. I've gotten brown trout on a large nymph while the fish were sipping size 22 caddis off the surface. Like yourself, I'm a believer in the "masked hatch". Rags, I'll take Frank's comparing me to you as a compliment. If I ever have the opportunity to fish with you, I'm thinking it will be in a showdown for the last sea robin that swims! Some days I seem to specialize in smaller or less popular fish!
I did start this thread for anyone who hears, repeatedly, certain generalizations that are frequently repeated but frequently untrue. Here's one: Dark lure/dark night light lure/day or bright night. I've recently read of enough guys having enough nights where it doesn't seem to make a difference.
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Old 09-23-2010, 10:20 PM
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Montauk Surf Montauk Surf is offline
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Default Re: Baseless Speculation/junk Science

I'm sure the inventor would have changed the name to sandeel fish if he knew the bucks would be rolling in because of a rise in sandeel populations.
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Old 09-24-2010, 07:27 AM
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Default Re: Baseless Speculation/junk Science

I like needlefish - and I used to run an online tackle shop. My feelings would be hurt if I had any.
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Old 09-24-2010, 10:59 AM
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Default Re: Baseless Speculation/junk Science

There has always been a school of thought that "high tide" had some sort of better fishing associated with it. Then there is the "third wave", which is the location part of the junk science study. Googans bring a lot of voodoo to surfcasting. I know this because I read it from the bones I threw against the wall.
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Old 09-24-2010, 05:15 PM
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Default Re: Baseless Speculation/junk Science

I've heard the high tide thing many times. Also "the fish come in with the tide." High tide is, overall, my least favorite tide.
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Old 09-24-2010, 08:08 PM
SALMONMEISTER SALMONMEISTER is online now
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Default Re: Baseless Speculation/junk Science

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Originally Posted by JoeLyons View Post
I like needlefish - and I used to run an online tackle shop. My feelings would be hurt if I had any.
Again, I don't mean to insult. It's only the naming of the plug that annoys me. I've heard enough good things and techniques for this lure to make me a believer. Hope I didn't hurt your (non) feelings........
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Old 09-24-2010, 08:38 PM
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Default Re: Baseless Speculation/junk Science

Let's call a spade...a spade

The thing looks like a hunk of wood with paint and large eyes. At first glance one thinks how in the world is he going to catch a bass on a stick moving straight through the water.

But when seen in the current and/or waves the needlefish sways from side to side in a subtle, enticing way. Hats off to the original maker.

I have caught bass on the needle. Casts pretty good also.
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Old 09-24-2010, 10:04 PM
SALMONMEISTER SALMONMEISTER is online now
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Default Re: Baseless Speculation/junk Science

Watching the live needlefish mentioned at the top of this thread, I saw three of them swimming parrallel to each other with their beaks (needles) and front of their bodies almost motionless as the tail end propelled them. The retrieve I seem to read about the most is slow, straight and steady. One last thought on needlefish lures looking like sand eels. Look in Frank's books where he shows his sand eel fly and the real thing. The fly is very close in length and thickness..needlefish lures don't come close. I'll take a step back and say there are a few models with tapered ends that are a little more believable and could look like a sand eel...on steroids! Long as the fish like it.....I know, I know...I'll shut up and fish.
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Old 09-25-2010, 09:06 AM
JoeLyons JoeLyons is offline
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Default Re: Baseless Speculation/junk Science

It does not really matter what anyone thinks.
Nor does it matter the arguments both pro and con.
The only thing that matters is if you've got an open mind to the degree that you might alter your approach if someone presented a good case. About half the time people are really just seeking an affirmation that validates their close-mindedness.
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Old 09-25-2010, 11:32 AM
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Default Re: Baseless Speculation/junk Science

Quote:
Originally Posted by Montauk Surf View Post
Let's call a spade...a spade

The thing looks like a hunk of wood with paint and large eyes. At first glance one thinks how in the world is he going to catch a bass on a stick moving straight through the water.

I have caught bass on the needle. Casts pretty good also.
I thought the same thing but they do catch and cast well. I used them a lot for 2 years.

I fished they slow with slow rod lifts not steady. I think this is squid like vs. sandeel buit like most good lures a needle is generic and can be mistaken for many things by bass.

I still find it hard to believe a stick catches so well.
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Old 09-25-2010, 03:26 PM
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Frank Daignault Frank Daignault is offline
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Default Re: Baseless Speculation/junk Science

There is a guy from Jersey who sent me a needlefish that was big enough to use as a billy club. I like big plugs but pa-leeeeze!
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