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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 04-17-2018, 10:46 AM
Chris Garrity Chris Garrity is offline
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Default Mentors, or Doing it Yourself

I got a weird request the other day. It's weird because I'm an anti-social creep, but also because I stink at fishing: a guy asked me to show him the ropes of fishing the beach.

I demurred, because I want neither the responsibility nor the hassle (that's the anti-social creep coming through ) but it got me to thinking, and I don't think this subject has ever been discussed, at least in this way, before at Frank's Bar.

When it comes to fishing the beach, when it comes to being an eels-in-your-waders, inveterate surfcaster, discuss the merits of learning from a mentor. Also discuss the merits of learning yourself. Also feel free to mention the shortcomings of one or both.

I have some opinions on this, but I'll wait until there are a few answers before I post anything. We'll treat this like an election in Philadelphia: vote early, vote often!
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Old 04-17-2018, 03:49 PM
Francis Daignault Francis Daignault is online now
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Default Re: Mentors, or Doing it Yourself

I'm a lot like you, Chris, in that I don't trust people easily. You can't teach somebody how to fish without having them get into your life. Many of those situations are filled with regrets. Sure, with all my writing I have become a teacher/mentor but I want them to stay in their own waters. I have often thought about sharing my methods and spots but so often your trainee shows up at your spot with the 42nd Infantry Division a week later.

Years ago we had a guide, Joe Lyons, who came here every day and he learned, painfully, that the week after he guides somebody they were there without him.

Years ago, when my wife was younger, she was a knockout and everybody wanted to fish with us. The US was really my wife. Mister Smarty does not have a very nice figure.

My compliments on a good thread idea.
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Old 04-17-2018, 10:41 PM
JoeG@Breezy JoeG@Breezy is offline
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Default Re: Mentors, or Doing it Yourself

Great thread idea. I like to mentor two of my grand kids. They love catching snappers, fluke, an occasional schoolie bass and even a lizardfish ( yucch ). Doubt they will be bringing the infantry in my lifetime.
I like to watch and learn rather than bug some caster about how and why. There is a local who is a very accomplished bucktailer. I keep my eyes on him and make it a point to watch what he does under all conditions when we are on the beach together. He knows this and we have had a few good laughs about how I can possibly see what he's doing in the dark. Good eyes !
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Old 04-18-2018, 10:52 AM
Francis Daignault Francis Daignault is online now
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Default Re: Mentors, or Doing it Yourself

Hunting mirrors the mentoring situation mentioned above in fishing. With hunting people don't want to know anything other than where the game is. They don't care about good shooting, or reading sign, or behavioral traits. Like fishing, they will actually follow you to know where you go. When we hunt a new spot, the first thing I do is find a place to hide my vehicle. Our 4wd SUV looks like it has been through a war, mostly from driving in the trees. My oil change guy says, "where the phuck have you been taking this thing?" Even the scratches have scratches.
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Old 04-18-2018, 12:21 PM
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Default Re: Mentors, or Doing it Yourself

I've shown the ropes to a few, but none have taken. I tell anyone I take up front that it's not going to be easy, though the times I've done so, I've planned it so they have the best opportunity to catch fish. I remember introducing one friend, who said afterwards it was the first tiime he caught fish in saltwater in his life. He went out a few weeks later, bought a pencil popper @ a Long Branch tackle shop. The pencil popper cost just about half of what he paid for his entire outfit at K-Mart. After the purchase, he walked down to a jetty at the end of the block and caught a 30lb striper. He then figured it was easy.

It's rare that I'll fish with anyone, I like being alone. However, I already started my grandkids fishing the local pond, and will continue to fan the flame as they get older. I don't consider that mentoring, just being a responsible grandparent
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  #6  
Old 04-18-2018, 03:56 PM
JoeG@Breezy JoeG@Breezy is offline
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Default Re: Mentors, or Doing it Yourself

Quote:
Originally Posted by RobS View Post
I've shown the ropes to a few, but none have taken. I tell anyone I take up front that it's not going to be easy, though the times I've done so, I've planned it so they have the best opportunity to catch fish. I remember introducing one friend, who said afterwards it was the first tiime he caught fish in saltwater in his life. He went out a few weeks later, bought a pencil popper @ a Long Branch tackle shop. The pencil popper cost just about half of what he paid for his entire outfit at K-Mart. After the purchase, he walked down to a jetty at the end of the block and caught a 30lb striper. He then figured it was easy.

It's rare that I'll fish with anyone, I like being alone. However, I already started my grandkids fishing the local pond, and will continue to fan the flame as they get older. I don't consider that mentoring, just being a responsible grandparent
Either way, it's a heck of a lot of fun. My youngest still brags about the 8" lizardfish because ( I guess ) I told him it was rare.
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Old 04-19-2018, 09:16 AM
Masardinas Masardinas is offline
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Default Re: Mentors, or Doing it Yourself

Quote:
Originally Posted by Francis Daignault View Post
I'm a lot like you, Chris, in that I don't trust people easily. You can't teach somebody how to fish without having them get into your life. Many of those situations are filled with regrets. Sure, with all my writing I have become a teacher/mentor but I want them to stay in their own waters. I have often thought about sharing my methods and spots but so often your trainee shows up at your spot with the 42nd Infantry Division a week later.

Years ago we had a guide, Joe Lyons, who came here every day and he learned, painfully, that the week after he guides somebody they were there without him.

Years ago, when my wife was younger, she was a knockout and everybody wanted to fish with us. The US was really my wife. Mister Smarty does not have a very nice figure.

My compliments on a good thread idea.
Spot on.

If you want to fish with me you need to be born a "Sardinas" (wonder where I got that line from?)
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Old 04-19-2018, 01:02 PM
Francis Daignault Francis Daignault is online now
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Default Re: Mentors, or Doing it Yourself

I have been approached a number of times to guide someone surfcasting and I refused every one. If a person is hurt while paying you to guide the liability is huge. Again, I repeat the story of the guy whose estate sued the wader company for wrongful death getting $250,000. You can't be too careful.
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  #9  
Old 04-20-2018, 03:20 PM
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rakuz66 rakuz66 is offline
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Default Re: Mentors, or Doing it Yourself

Another anti socialite here. I fish alone, always. At times, I will team up with my old partner, but only because he's a lot like me. We do it to split the cost of room, gas,etc. I meet many friendly people along the way, and some, not so friendly. I grew up fishing freshwater, and kinda transferred that over to saltwater. Can't say I had a mentor, but hung out in tackle shops, made friends, listened, watched, etc. Hardest part in most type of fishing situations is reading the water and working the lure relative to conditions. That just comes with time and I'm still learning tricks. Then again, I prefer to do everything myself. Sickness I guess.
Now that I have a grandson, I can't wait to take him to the local pond. I hope he likes it, I wouldn't force anything on anyone.
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Old 04-21-2018, 02:41 PM
Francis Daignault Francis Daignault is online now
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Default Re: Mentors, or Doing it Yourself

Beginners don't zero in as much on HOW, but WHERE. That is why people follow each other around on the Striper Coast. If you are known to be catching fish they are going to follow you. In one of the books I wrote I talk about guys hiding, either in the dunes our along highways leading from beach to beach waiting for me to pass so they could follow. Once they knew how you had done fishing, their next question was "where did he catch them?"
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Old 04-21-2018, 11:12 PM
JoeG@Breezy JoeG@Breezy is offline
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Default Re: Mentors, or Doing it Yourself

They can follow me all day and night. I am the unchallenged Sea Robin king. Also contending for the most rats ever caught in 60 day period. Disappointment is good for them, and skunks are to be embraced.
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Old 04-23-2018, 09:20 AM
Francis Daignault Francis Daignault is online now
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Default Re: Mentors, or Doing it Yourself

Its not like that anymore for us but in the old P-town days if you caught a skate and put a light on to remove it they would zoom down on you. There were a lot of disgusting things about that time. Maybe it was because of selling fish ..... the money.
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  #13  
Old 04-24-2018, 12:41 PM
biggestsquid biggestsquid is offline
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Default Re: Mentors, or Doing it Yourself

I've pulled a number of friends to the beach and helped them cultivate a love of surf fishing (and boat as well!) over the years. I don't offer advise unless it is requested and then only about specifics....as I am not an authority. After 50+ years of surf fishing one is bound to learn some things if by no other means then osmosis. If sharing some advice brings more folks to our sport or enables someone to have a better experience, or even catch a fish, why not offer?
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Old 04-24-2018, 09:27 PM
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ragman ragman is offline
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Default Re: Mentors, or Doing it Yourself

Wow! I have been away for that long? Glad to stop back in, hope all are doing well! As for the question, I learned a LOT from reading here, and from my son, who learned from his grandfather. One place I learned a lot, was right here, in Franks forum. Years ago, I am sure Frank was shaking his head over some of the questions or thoughts I posted. However, he and others were more than willing to share their knowledge, and it was up to you to use what was given.
I will clam up now, and go back to hanging out on the Intracoastal Waterway watching the boats go by in the warmth of the South! Have a good one y'all!
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Old 04-25-2018, 07:44 AM
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RobS RobS is offline
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Default Re: Mentors, or Doing it Yourself

Bob,

You're supposed to throw a line out there once in a while, too
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