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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 01-13-2008, 02:59 PM
Justfishin Justfishin is offline
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Location: Massachusetts
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Default Surf Fishing?

While reading thru several threads on various sites concerning the BIG fish of the "good old days", I began to think about how much different surf fishing for Bass is today as compared to when I first started(early70's). The one thing that really stood out to me amongst the modern core of successful striper surfmen is how many of them are actually swimming in the water while fishing , or swimming out to partially submerged rock perches beyond casting range and fishing while anchored to these perches. I had never even seen a fisherman wear a wetsuit until the early 80's on the Cape, and even then, these people fished from "terra firma"(they were probably surfers).When someone here waded to an outer bar on low water, especially after dark, he was thought to have "alot of balls". I was told by some of my friends from NY that they and some others swam out to the rocks under the light at Montauk, thought that they were crazy, and chalked it up to excessive competition for a small piece of productive water. It seems to me( I may be totally incorrect) that alot of the bigger "surf" fish that I hear of, as well as some of the best fishing are the result of some form of swimming activity related to fishing. Believe me, I respect their effort and dedication as I did the efforts of my peers and those before me who waded onto outer bars, snuck into closed areas, suspended themselves under bridges, etc., but wonder where the line will be drawn. We never acknowledged tin boat caught Bass, just outside of casting distance as "surf caught" and the competitive edge that many "Hi-liners" had was their ability to outcast their competition. I have literally seen boats(and kayakers) fishing amongst "surf" casters recently and wonder at what point do you not consider it surf fishing anymore. If I run into a school of big Bass offshore and land one while floating amongst them in my survival suit is this a "surf" fish,or, would I have to swim ashore with it. Again, I mean no disrespect to anyone, as some of our best surf fishermen participate in these activities,but to me it's either boat or beach, my survival equipment is for emergency only.
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Old 01-14-2008, 12:34 PM
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Frank Daignault Frank Daignault is offline
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Default Re: Surf Fishing?

Well, I agree with you. Swimming in a wet suit is just full length floatation and is outside the bounds of surfcasting. I don't care who does it or what other people do but if they do something different, they should call it something different. Call it skishing. (great idea don't you think?) Same with kyaking. That is boat fishing. Listen, you take your girl friend kyaking and then she wants a toilet in it. Next thing is a cabin cruiser. Hey, maybe people who fish from a rock out in front of everybody else in a wetsuit have more balls. To me surfcasting is not about balls. I just want to use my head, work hard, catch some fish. Not interested in impressing anybody. You do raise an interesting and valid point which does, does belong here. Good man.
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Old 01-18-2008, 12:07 PM
ALB31 ALB31 is offline
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Default Re: Surf Fishing?

Fiberglass, tin, wood,floating in a wet suit they are all boat fishing too me. Having said that I have found that you don't have cast a mile or go out on the far rock to catch big bass. Fishing just behind the first wave on a beach or jetty can yeild very large bass. Fishing in the local bay systems without going in over your knees can also yield large bass and in all weather conditions. I would rather fish the bay from shore than a boat. I found boats in the bay can put big fish down.
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Old 01-18-2008, 02:50 PM
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Frank Daignault Frank Daignault is offline
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Default Re: Surf Fishing?

It is a nasty generalization but I have often thought that people who take extreme measures to catch striped bass are saying something about the success of their past efforts. I'm not succing up to Al, but again, he is right.
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