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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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  #151  
Old 11-30-2016, 05:32 PM
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Default Re: Boat fisherman

I will say that working a boat in our local backbays is an Art Form and takes a lot of time on the water over a period of years.

There are uncharted cuts, holes, there are the seasonal changes and everything you could imagine.

I give props to a number of sharpies, and local charter guys, who run back there as it's 10x more demanding than the surf, but with 10x the rewards once you get the keys to the castle. No demeaning surf fishing by any means, but if you are working your *own* boat, it's fishing.

"Johnny Grab That" fishing is not for me, even on head boats they at least take you to spots where the fish are and you *should* be able to catch.
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  #152  
Old 12-01-2016, 07:34 AM
brucelieb brucelieb is offline
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Default Re: Boat fisherman

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I will say that working a boat in our local backbays is an Art Form and takes a lot of time on the water over a period of years.

There are uncharted cuts, holes, there are the seasonal changes and everything you could imagine.

I give props to a number of sharpies, and local charter guys, who run back there as it's 10x more demanding than the surf, but with 10x the rewards once you get the keys to the castle. No demeaning surf fishing by any means, but if you are working your *own* boat, it's fishing.

"Johnny Grab That" fishing is not for me, even on head boats they at least take you to spots where the fish are and you *should* be able to catch.

I picked up a used wilderness kayak( actually two of them) I took it out once. Now it is a little too cold to take her out into the ocean or I'm just not feeling like getting wet in the cold or getting into a wetsuit to fish it.. But do you think there are good size bass in the BACKBAYS of long Island this time of year? I always operated under the notion that was a spring event... As for the head boats . you are right.. they take you there.. The experienced fisherman seem to repeatedly out fish the beginners.( barring pure dumb luck) but it is true they take you to the fish.. and it is not as challeneging as the surf ( or taking your own boat on the hunt. Which I can see being extremely exciting, intellectually stimulating, challeneging and productive thanks to your description,. But it, the head boat, has a time, place and it feels good to catch a big fish and most importantly..it is fun. perhaps not for everyone. I hate watching soccer , folding clothes and shopping!
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  #153  
Old 12-01-2016, 08:18 AM
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Default Re: Boat fisherman

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.... But do you think there are good size bass in the BACKBAYS of long Island this time of year? I always operated under the notion that was a spring event... ...
A fellow who kayaks the LI Sound in the reports section was reporting decent sized bass as of last week. Like most/all places in NJ, the large cows are not resident, so there are windows of when they come in the back, and down here, the 25lb+ fish primarily come up after the herring, and to spawn, in the spring. But we have a good number of decent (15-20lb) resident fish year round, and a push of migrators in the fall as well. I'm sure LI has a similar cadence.

And just to reiterate, Frank knows good boatmen, and makes that distinction in his description of one of them both here and in his books.

I think we're all in agreement with a distaste for "johnny grab that" fishing
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  #154  
Old 12-01-2016, 08:19 AM
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Default Re: Boat fisherman

there are a few locations on L.I. where winter fishing for SB is available . depending where you live ( NY,CT,NJ ) there are fish all winter . I have fished in the Tri-State over the years & have been successful in all three . The term is called " Hold Overs " & getting into the Thermocline is the key. What took me a few decades to find ,it is relatively easy now w/ the internet . No problem if you don't mind a few miles & some road tolls to pass until spring
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  #155  
Old 12-01-2016, 08:34 AM
brucelieb brucelieb is offline
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there are a few locations on L.I. where winter fishing for SB is available . depending where you live ( NY,CT,NJ ) there are fish all winter . I have fished in the Tri-State over the years & have been successful in all three . The term is called " Hold Overs " & getting into the Thermocline is the key. What took me a few decades to find ,it is relatively easy now w/ the internet . No problem if you don't mind a few miles & some road tolls to pass until spring

this is above my pay grade.... Is one answer to fish the water column? But do you guys think kayaking in the back bays late fall - late in the season when the migration is in full swing or at it's tail end- is just a crap shoot ?.. fun if you have time..?
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  #156  
Old 12-01-2016, 09:24 AM
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brother I don't Yak but you do so its easier for you , but between you & you lol one day in your Yak in this winter water ( 2 places ) I know your chances are 50 + SB in one outing is do -able , its silly fishing @ its best .

FYI tomorrow I'm driving 1hr. 1/2 hours to find fish ( one way ) why because they are not in my back yard .
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  #157  
Old 12-01-2016, 10:34 AM
Chris Garrity Chris Garrity is offline
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Default Re: Boat fisherman

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I will say that working a boat in our local backbays is an Art Form and takes a lot of time on the water over a period of years.

There are uncharted cuts, holes, there are the seasonal changes and everything you could imagine.
If I ever hit the lottery, I'm gonna do that: run a skiff every day in those backbays. I won't even care that much if I even catch fish: the bays between LBI and Cape May in Jersey are spectacularly beautiful estuaries, world-class outdoor environments that are worthy of as much time as one can spare to spend in them. You got birds, fish, the meadows -- the whole deal resonates with me in a way that few places I've ever been in my life do. Van Heilner describes them pretty well in The Call of the Surf: I particularly remember his description of the trip down the ICW they took between Barnegat and Corson's Inlet: they went down to Corson's to fish for drum.

You need a boat to ply these waters, but I would even put aside my disdain for boats to get out there in them. They're an incredible local resource, and it's kind of amazing that excepting a few Saturdays and Sundays in the summer, they are still pretty devoid of other people. Go out on Ludlam Bay or Grassy Sound on a Tuesday in May or a Thursday in October, and you will probably be able to count the number of other boats you see on one hand.
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  #158  
Old 12-01-2016, 12:08 PM
SALMONMEISTER SALMONMEISTER is online now
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Default Re: Boat fisherman

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Originally Posted by Chris Garrity View Post
If I ever hit the lottery, I'm gonna do that: run a skiff every day in those backbays. I won't even care that much if I even catch fish: the bays between LBI and Cape May in Jersey are spectacularly beautiful estuaries, world-class outdoor environments that are worthy of as much time as one can spare to spend in them. You got birds, fish, the meadows -- the whole deal resonates with me in a way that few places I've ever been in my life do. Van Heilner describes them pretty well in The Call of the Surf: I particularly remember his description of the trip down the ICW they took between Barnegat and Corson's Inlet: they went down to Corson's to fish for drum.

You need a boat to ply these waters, but I would even put aside my disdain for boats to get out there in them. They're an incredible local resource, and it's kind of amazing that excepting a few Saturdays and Sundays in the summer, they are still pretty devoid of other people. Go out on Ludlam Bay or Grassy Sound on a Tuesday in May or a Thursday in October, and you will probably be able to count the number of other boats you see on one hand.
Very nicely said, Chris. Boating and kayaking (and sometimes getting out of either one to fish) are nice ways to spend time. We recently spent a few days in Cape May and drove near many estuaries. I thought how enjoyable it would be to get into some nooks and crannies there with a boat or 'yak and throw some small lures. Yes, night is always better, but daytime recon with polarized glasses is my kind of sightseeing. With my 'yak I've paddled onto large shallow areas away from channel traffic. You see all kinds of bait, crabs and small fish...with the occasional bass chasing them...especially at the deepest limits of vision on the flatts edges. I always look for shadows under the fish. Sometimes you see them easier than the fish itself. My son and daughter as well have done this in the marshes and backbays of L.I., Martha's Vineyard, Maine, and Plum Island, MA. My daughter has the added advantage of being a standup paddleboard (SUP) instructor/guide. You can see into the water better than while wading or in a kayak. Her and another SUPer saw rays and brown sharks under my kayak outside the surfline that were invisible from my sitting position.
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  #159  
Old 12-01-2016, 12:28 PM
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Default Re: Boat fisherman

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Originally Posted by SALMONMEISTER View Post
Very nicely said, Chris. Boating and kayaking (and sometimes getting out of either one to fish) are nice ways to spend time. We recently spent a few days in Cape May and drove near many estuaries. I thought how enjoyable it would be to get into some nooks and crannies there with a boat or 'yak and throw some small lures. Yes, night is always better, but daytime recon with polarized glasses is my kind of sightseeing. With my 'yak I've paddled onto large shallow areas away from channel traffic. You see all kinds of bait, crabs and small fish...with the occasional bass chasing them...especially at the deepest limits of vision on the flatts edges. I always look for shadows under the fish. Sometimes you see them easier than the fish itself. My son and daughter as well have done this in the marshes and backbays of L.I., Martha's Vineyard, Maine, and Plum Island, MA. My daughter has the added advantage of being a standup paddleboard (SUP) instructor/guide. You can see into the water better than while wading or in a kayak. Her and another SUPer saw rays and brown sharks under my kayak outside the surfline that were invisible from my sitting position.
looking for shadows is the master technique for sight fishing, fresh or salt.

the first spring I spent fishing the backbays in skinny water, I went scouting around for flounder... way back areas.

just the bird life alone is astonishing as an incredible diverse collection of shore birds nest in the marshes and raise a cacophony of sound as you drift around, no manmade sounds infiltrating other than your own reel and movements.

there is always something new about time out on the water, some push of current, some new observation of nature.

I actually find a lot of the same pleasures by foot, just that using a boat, even if only to then get out and move about on foot, gets you to some places in our area that see very very few people, very little disturbances.
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  #160  
Old 12-01-2016, 01:55 PM
SALMONMEISTER SALMONMEISTER is online now
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Somewhat along these same lines...

We used to pole flat bottomed boats at night in knee to thigh-deep water. We'd put two Coleman gas lamps on the front with aluminum foil reflectors (mainly to prevent blinding the guy in the stern who was poling). Two guys would stand in front with 5-pronged/12' handled spears, or nets during blue claw season. We'd get stripers, fluke, flounder, and eels. It used to be legal to spear all of them as long as the size length was observed. The beauty of it was that you had to do it on windless nights...a small ripple would kill the view of the bottom. You'd only be looking at a 6' radius from where you were standing, but you'd see hundreds of small bait fish and crabs. Snapper blues would follow the shadow line as the boat moved forward.
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  #161  
Old 12-01-2016, 02:20 PM
Francis Daignault Francis Daignault is offline
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Default Re: Boat fisherman

Rob makes an interesting point about seeing the shadows of fish. Trout and salmon fishing in rivers -- something I have done a lot of -- the fish blend in with the bottom making them impossible to see. But the SHADOW of the fish is a dead give away. Knowing where a fish lies makes fishing for them a no-brainer. Fishing blind, which many of us are forced to do, especially when fishing at night, can be arduous.
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  #162  
Old 12-01-2016, 04:33 PM
brucelieb brucelieb is offline
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Default Re: Boat fisherman

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Originally Posted by HookI View Post
brother I don't Yak but you do so its easier for you , but between you & you lol one day in your Yak in this winter water ( 2 places ) I know your chances are 50 + SB in one outing is do -able , its silly fishing @ its best .

FYI tomorrow I'm driving 1hr. 1/2 hours to find fish ( one way ) why because they are not in my back yard .

ha ha .. silly is right.... it is in the back of my head and most likely will stay there till warm water returns...
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  #163  
Old 12-04-2016, 08:54 AM
Rmarsh Rmarsh is offline
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ha ha .. silly is right.... it is in the back of my head and most likely will stay there till warm water returns...
I fished from my homemade kayak for years and caught plenty of good fish. There was one great fish that I couldn't budge off the bottom. Had to exit the kayak and try to bring it ashore, eventualy got it into the wash where it came unhooked. I made a mad dash for it and jumped on it, got my hands on it but couldnt subdue it, slipped through my hands and swam away. I have caught a few stripers close to 40 lbs. from shore and I know the one that got away that day was much larger than those.

Only picture i had was a small keeper. its hard enough handling the rod and paddle without trying to use a camera too.
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  #164  
Old 12-04-2016, 11:56 AM
Francis Daignault Francis Daignault is offline
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Great story, Bob. We've all lost brutes. But when you lose a schoolie you don't think about it any more. But the brutes keep you awake at night.
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  #165  
Old 12-05-2016, 07:17 AM
Rmarsh Rmarsh is offline
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Great story, Bob. We've all lost brutes. But when you lose a schoolie you don't think about it any more. But the brutes keep you awake at night.
I was so upset with myself, I was in a funk, didn't speak about it or anything else for a day or two. Wondering what i should have done differently, most likely too light of a rod and reel. I could clearly see the fish beneath my kayak in twelve feet of water. Still bothers me....like to get another chance but my kayak days are over due to severe carpel tunnel. Got a boat now but it wouldn't be the same.
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