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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 12-31-1999, 07:02 AM
Poseidon Poseidon is offline
 
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Location: Bayonne, NJ, US
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Hi Frank,

Fisherman are still reporting catches along surf in Jersey despite the drop in temp. Can the Striper metabolism be compared to the Largemouth? Do they, like the Largemouth, become more lethargic as the temp. falls? Or does the presence of bait(lots of peanuts still in the area) trigger the genetic response regardless of icycles forming along my guides? I hope i didn't touch on another "Striper Surf" topic.
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Old 12-31-1999, 07:02 AM
Poseidon Poseidon is offline
 
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Hi Frank,

Fisherman are still reporting catches along surf in Jersey despite the drop in temp. Can the Striper metabolism be compared to the Largemouth? Do they, like the Largemouth, become more lethargic as the temp. falls? Or does the presence of bait(lots of peanuts still in the area) trigger the genetic response regardless of icycles forming along my guides? I hope i didn't touch on another "Striper Surf" topic.
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  #3  
Old 12-31-1999, 11:31 AM
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Frank Daignault Frank Daignault is offline
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Hi 'Don,
I'm not much on metabolic comparisons between fish or anything else for that matter. I know that books have always said that 50 degrees F. was kind of a point when stripers slowed up. I wish that you had taken the sea water temperature. They may, we always thought, that they become more lethargic but I doubt that much is known. On the other hand, there may be a point where colder water has so much disolved oxygen that it would actually trigger activity. Of course whatever you observe, don't necessarily attribute it to water temperature. We have enough junk science now. If I had some late season concerns, I would watch those peanuts like a hawk. Try to make observations about conditions -- water temps, other anglers, vehicles parked in fishing locations. Don't wet your gloves until there is reason. Fish less and look for stains in the surf, glistening slicks. Stay with your mid-season basics which have paid off for you in the past. Don't come up with excuses to fish differently because it is winter, it is cold. Some fairy lore: "In winter they bite better in the daytime so I won't fish at night." Silly, stripers don't have seasons or traditions. They act out of instincts which I doubt change. If New Jersey is a month behind my Rhode Island seasonwise, fishing should end this week. Hope I'm wrong.

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Old 01-02-2000, 06:06 PM
Dan O\'C Dan O\'C is offline
 
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Funny I was talking about it last night. I think the bass stay active on the downside of fifty, but are a little slower when it rises in the spring. In other words, hard to wake up in the spring, hard to put to sleep in the fall, or winter. The water temp last night was right around 46 and they were banging bombers, and teasers. These fish are the fattest bass I have ever seen. I think if the bait stayed around the bass would never leave N.J. Kind of like canandian geese, they don't migrate South of NJ golf courses and corporate parks anymore. Also, the fish that we are catching now could be returning Hudson River fish. When they feel like leaving all they have to do is beat their tails a few times, swim across Raritan Bay, and they are back to their winter homes. Last night was more like October than January, fish up to 32 inches eating plugs, air temps in the high fourties. I live in Belmar, two blocks from the beach, today, I'm wearing a short sleeve shirt, and I'm comfortable. Well, going surfing, then back after the bass tonight, it ain't going to stay like this forever, I'll let you know how long I can keep catching them. Frank, I hope your wrong!!
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Old 01-04-2000, 09:52 AM
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Frank Daignault Frank Daignault is offline
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Woh, Dan, You are a savvy guy. Those are the kind of observations and reflections that I like to hear about. To hear something new! Nothing I love more than to have a part in blowing the stink off of something. Neither of us know, and that is okay, but it always bothered me that 50 was a spring barrier. But why does that have to be the case in fall when there is more bait?

Thanksgiving week-end this year, water 53, between deer states, I went to Narragansett Bay on a Saturday morning. No boats at dawn, not a fisher. Mickey said to Donald, that it was over. Just then a had a major pull on my fly which I missed. I KNOW that it was a bass because they do that to me in summer at times. Anyway, this is a social issue, not an angling one where the heavy breathers are out in spring making observations but are dog tired in autumn. I'll buy this one, Dan, even if I can't prove it. 46, I love it.

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Old 01-08-2000, 03:32 PM
Dan O\'C Dan O\'C is offline
 
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Still 46, still catching them real good. Thursday night was great. Last night I did not get out, but some of the guys in my club got them. Battled my first monster on Thursday night. he came out on top, which is o.k. It was a fair fight, I have no complaints, we went back and forth for a few minutes, but he ended up running into the rocks. That was a tough sob. I'll check in again.
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Old 01-11-2000, 04:59 PM
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I fish north of the Belmar NJ area. The Striper action has been great up here, and there are no signs of it ending soon. I have been getting fish on dark colored 5 inch Bombers. It seems that I have to fish them as slow as possible or else they don't hit the lure. I have caught keeper size fish almost every day! Sunday night was the best as the fish were breaking right in the wash. I caught two keepers that night. The water temp is around 48 degrees. I'll keep everyone posted.
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Old 01-28-2000, 12:23 PM
biggstriper biggstriper is offline
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Hello everybody! The Striper season ended for me on the Sunday night that I described in my other post. I may have jinxed myself. I had a fish on momentarily a few nights later, but it got off. It was great while it lasted though! This season I'm going to fish harder than ever and try to catch that first 50 pounder!
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