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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 02-12-2009, 11:33 PM
Kroc Kroc is offline
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Default Summer Surf Fishing

I'm reading eastern tides right now and am amazed at how productive surf fishing in the summer was in Cape Cod. Here in NJ summer surf fishing is slower than molasses going uphill. Are these areas still productive in the summer today? Also, aren't ocean temps in the summer similar in both these locations? If so, why is the action polar opposite?

PS: Love the book!
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Old 02-13-2009, 10:10 AM
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Frank Daignault Frank Daignault is offline
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Default Re: Summer Surf Fishing

Kroc, thanks for liking the book. And thanks for telling everybody. Maybe we'll sell some.


There is a strong regional component in summer striper fishing. I never fished in Jersey but have been all over New England. Why certain areas perform well some years and poorly others is a subject of conjecture with a lot of us. The Cape is no where near today what it was in the period written about in the book. I would not go there until it changes and who knows when that is going to happen. Some say it is the seals ruining it now. It is pretty much a foregone that bass summer north of Montauk and that is where you should fish summers. Temperatures are not a relieable forcaster of the fishing. Sure, the Cape water is cooler but can be very changable, depending upon Gulf Stream backeddies. You may have more questions when you get to Rhode Island fishing in the book. We had some great summers there in 71 degree water.
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Old 02-13-2009, 09:19 PM
ALB31 ALB31 is offline
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Default Re: Summer Surf Fishing

Some of the best fishing I've had on Long Island's south shore has been in the summer months. For 2 reasons the heavy seas are down and you can fish most of the jetties. The second is the calico crab sheading in the summer right up on the beach. Another is the skimmer clam hatch when millions of quater size skimmers start there life in the surf.
All the fishing was done with rigged eels.
For some reason the calico crab is gone form it's normal haunt's and the action is much slower now.
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Old 02-14-2009, 09:23 AM
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Frank Daignault Frank Daignault is offline
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Default Re: Summer Surf Fishing

The best bass I have ever caught were taken in July on both the cape and RI.
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Old 02-14-2009, 11:49 AM
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ragman ragman is offline
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Default Re: Summer Surf Fishing

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Originally Posted by ALB31 View Post
For some reason the calico crab is gone form it's normal haunt's and the action is much slower now.
Al,
The calico's have moved to Jersey... They are so thick in the warmer weather it's not worth fishing bait (clam or bunker), hook is cleaned within minutes...
Kroc,
The stripers are around in Jersey in the summer. Several years ago, swimming with the little woman at IBSP, mid August, noon, water temps mid 70's, she asked what those fish were swimming around us (and about 100 other people). Thinking it was baitfish, I looked down and there was a school of stripers in the 30+inch range snouts to the sand looking for whatever was stirred up by the swimmers feet (calicos, sand fleas) There was an old time sharpie that passed away a few years ago that wrote some articles for the Asbury Park Press about fishing crabs in the summer. Sorry, I dont remember his name. As Al said, if you can rake some calicos, shedders or softies are best, or even blue claws (you can buy them at fish markets but expensive), give them a try. You might be surprised at what you catch...
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Old 02-14-2009, 06:42 PM
ALB31 ALB31 is offline
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Default Re: Summer Surf Fishing

Somebody said that the Asian crab eats the calico eggs. And calicos are almost gone from the western sound on the north shore of LI. The asians are thick up there.
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Old 02-15-2009, 10:34 AM
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Frank Daignault Frank Daignault is offline
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Default Re: Summer Surf Fishing

We have a lot of these old saws in fishing that are really wrong like the water is too warm, there is no bait, wrong time of year. Most are good rules but there can still be exceptions.
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Old 02-15-2009, 06:51 PM
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Default Re: Summer Surf Fishing

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Originally Posted by Frank Daignault View Post
there is no bait
Funny thing about "no bait around"...
After the bunker run, before the mullet run, you catch stripers, cut them open and rarely are the stomachs empty Just about every striper I have kept had either whole or partially digested crabs (calico or blue), clam, sand fleas etc in the stomach. Just because you dont see bait fish, doesn't mean the fish aren't eating...
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Old 02-16-2009, 11:01 AM
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Frank Daignault Frank Daignault is offline
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Default Re: Summer Surf Fishing

Stripers will eat anything they can get down. And they don't require a special wine. As for crabs, couple of years ago we found so many juvie crabs in a bass stomach and our daughter in Maine did as well, that we ordered some crab flies from KTP and cleaned up with them fly fishing.
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Old 02-16-2009, 05:07 PM
Bridgeman Bridgeman is offline
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Default Re: Summer Surf Fishing

The older guys in my fishing club used to kill large bass in the summer. I'll talking 40 and 50 pounders. They blame beach replenishment. No more structure. The end of the jetties are filled with sand. It was mostly a rigged eel bite.
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Old 02-17-2009, 12:22 PM
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Frank Daignault Frank Daignault is offline
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Default Re: Summer Surf Fishing

Rigged eels were big on Long Island way back. They really never took hold elsewhere. My wife and I did riggies because of our exposure to the Long Island guys on the cape. We always did a job with live eels in summer but the great thing about riggies was that they didn't have to be kept alive or risk being stolen in your hiding spot.
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