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MAIN FORUM We want You! - This is the place for general discussion of fishing for striped bass, bluefish, albies, weakfish, etc.

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Old 09-23-2006, 08:01 PM
jjdbike jjdbike is offline
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Default Plugging vs Bait fishing, when/where, etc??

So some of us plug, some fish bait, some do both. I am a bait-fisher who is trying to move towards plugging. I have to believe that there are times when bait has the advantage while other plugs do. I know that several of our regualrs who fish in the same location I do (i.e. IBSP NJ) both plug and baitfish. My question is to those folks...How do you decide which to do? Are there seasons, locations, times of day/tide water temp/clarity etc, that determine which you will do (i.e. plug vs baitfish)?
Thanks.
JD
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Old 09-23-2006, 09:37 PM
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Default Re: Plugging vs Bait fishing, when/where, etc??

I listen to what the voices tell me... Seriously, I dont choose one over the other for any special reason. Many times I will start baitfishing, and if I start catching on bait, will switch to plugs, knowing fish are around, and try different plugs to see what works. Other times, it's just a no brainer. You come on the beach, see bait fish jumping, you know something is after them, so why put a hunk of clam on the bottom if they are chasing baitfish on top? Another is a blues blitz. Why bother going thru the motion of baiting up, tossing out and reeling in, when you can toss a popper, plug, or metal and get the same results with less effort? Then there are the times I just feel like plugging. Take the rod from the bumper holder, and just start. If nothing happens, back in the holder and just go somewhere else. The only time I will usually only bait fish is early spring. Might be junk science, but just seems the stripers are looking for something they dont have to chase too far to eat.
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Old 09-23-2006, 10:43 PM
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Default Re: Plugging vs Bait fishing, when/where, etc??

Match the hatch. Observe the bait and toss a plug that mimicks it.
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Old 09-24-2006, 12:14 AM
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Default Re: Plugging vs Bait fishing, when/where, etc??

My question is to those folks...How do you decide which to do? Are there seasons, locations, times of day/tide water temp/clarity etc, that determine which you will do (i.e. plug vs baitfish)?
Thanks.


Yes...these things can be broken down into any of the categories above...above all i totally agree with striperknight...it is always best to match the hatch that is prevalent in the area you intend to fish..but failing that...there are a few things to take into consideration...

time of day...not alone but in conjunction with cloud cover...high sunny day...starting at morning...popper along the beach is best to produce a strike early...overcast, i would go medium depth and fast retreive...rainy...all bets are off..bass are peculiar to rain conditions and it will depend on incoming front or not...fish mid range and work lower from there...

season...what works for you in spring will work for you in fall...fish the fall pattern reversed...(note keeping is especially important here)...what i do is...what worked the early spring i will fish the late fall...the last to catch in my spring arsenal i will use for the early fall...bass being creatures of habit will frequent the same haunts in the fall that they do in the spring but in opposite order...at least according to my notes...

water temp...there is alot out about water temperature...and i think alot of it is junk science..but in defense i will say this...when it comes to bass i have always produced twice as many hookups on a low pressure system as i have on a high pressure system...this may not be the same for everyone..but it works for me...

clarity...this is very important...a Bass is a bass and no bass likes to forage in a clear water environment...what i do...and it seems to work for me...is to speed my retrieve according to the clarity of the water...for example.clear water is a fast retrieve...as the water becomes stained to cloudy a like to slow my retrieve...i will use a pausing action with cloudy water...as the water clarity dissipates the best bet is to use lures that have some form of noise as an atractant...my worst bait fishing has been with stained to cloudy water and i prefer plugs and artificial for this time...

I will bait fish the following...clear...early day...just after sun up...late day..just prior to sun down...clear conditions with light wind..and always when a low pressure gradient is present or to become present during my fishing...

i always use artificial when the pressure is high, the water is cloudy or overly stained..or early morning and late evening...

of course there are alot of other details that fit in between those areas...and that becomes a matter of success with various techniques...

the important thing to remember is that you have to have an idea of what the bass are doing at any specific time to be prolific in catching them.

all the junk science in the world wont catch bass unless you have some idea what they are looking for...

I will only plug fish when the water is stained to cloudy...i will only plug fish when the pressure is low...I will only plug fish when bait is present...

Like i said there are alot of variables...stained water with a heavy surf and high wind...plug or bait? bait! although i have been known to throw a hair jig or two...

in the case of all of the above let the angler beware...but if nothing more it should afford some ideas...

individual mileage may vary...
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Old 09-24-2006, 06:16 AM
jjdbike jjdbike is offline
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Default Re: Plugging vs Bait fishing, when/where, etc??

Wow Operator. That is alot of thought to consider, digest and put to use. Thanks.

JD
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