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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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  #16  
Old 01-20-2006, 11:00 AM
biggstriper biggstriper is offline
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Default Re: Al Bentsen: Your Googan Days?

It seems strange to read about guys just starting out fishing as adults here in the NE.

I started out going Carp and Catfishing with my neighbor and older brothers when I was about 8 or 9 years old. Mostly I'd get bored sitting there waiting for a bite and would go exploring while they would stay watching the poles. I really got into Largemouth Bass fishing when I was about 12 years old and got really good especially fishing for them with live nightcrawlers.
I used to go out at nights when the ground was wet and collect nightcrawlers with a flashlight. I'd stick them in big coffee cans and put them into boxes with newspaper on the bottom and dirt above that. They'd stay alive for weeks that way. I'd fish them kind of like the way Frank recommends fishing live eels- with a single hook on the end of the line and hooking the worm thru the head.
Our house was situated between a nice lake that had Largemouth Bass and sunfish and the Missouri River which had several kinds of Catfish, Carp and freshwater Drum. Each water system was about a mile away from my house. In addition there were sandpits and ponds along the river that held fish also.
All I'd do during my summer vacations was go fishing- kind of like the Huck Finn/Tom Sawyer stories.
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  #17  
Old 01-20-2006, 04:59 PM
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Default Re: Al Bentsen: Your Googan Days?

From about the age of seven I lived for fishing. I went bullhead (pout) fishing with my father at night where we used throw lines, tightened them up and attached them to a stake that had a small bell on it. A nibble and we would hear a bell ring. I learned by myself that pickerel sat in shallows along the shore and that they were suckers for a devel spoon. September yellow perch where in the shallows to spawn. Snaring suckers is the funnest thing with clothes. Trout were always under the bridges in the shade and overhead cover. No doubt the best salt water fishermen are those who learned fresh water first.
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  #18  
Old 01-20-2006, 06:10 PM
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Default Re: Al Bentsen: Your Googan Days?

I was a googan from my first time out on the salt on my own around 21 years of age. Started reading the columnists and seining bait with a friend and casting, but not catching a whole lot. Worst moment was standing on the end of a jetty and putting a 3 os pyramid sinker smack into the back of my friend (thankfully that's all he got and that it hit his back)... he has a scar on his back to this day 28 years later. Funny thing, he never went out on a jetty with me again. Who can figure? Anywho, kids/school/work/life-commitments took me away from the salt except for a few boat trips (upon which I always used the boat's gear and experience) until 2001 when I picked up the sw fly rod and started casting into the suds... using that and spin gear I still consider myself partly a googan.. at least whenever I try something new. When I got back into fishing in 1999 I started fw flyfishing, then went to spinning and occasionally bait fishing for trout first, then moved onto bass/panfish. So I guess I'm doing everything backwards

But this board, your books Frank, and these threads in general in Mr. Smarty's area have been an enormous help in the process of de-googanizing!
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  #19  
Old 01-21-2006, 10:43 AM
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Default Re: Al Bentsen: Your Googan Days?

Thanks, Rob. So often it is not until later that we find out how little we knew at the time. When we were kids, we used to miss birds hunting and start crying. Hunted for years without competence in wing shooting until we started shooting competition. Hunting turkeys, salmon fishing, trap shooting, rifle -- all are mysteries that you find out later how bad you were then. Now, let's take women .....
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  #20  
Old 01-21-2006, 01:03 PM
Fish Tank Fish Tank is offline
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Default Re: Al Bentsen: Your Googan Days?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank Daignault
Now, let's take women .....
Budoire{?sp} Googanism sucked. I've been fishing since shortly after I learned to walk. Switching to the salt took some modifications with the flyrod. Man, when I first started pursuing the libidinal thing I had no references, I had to keep the lights on for two weeks with the same girl just to keep my bearings, and from getting lost. The entrance for a newbie is terribly close to the exit. Thank heavens I had already been playing the harmonica and had some dexterity in my lingual muscle. Bought me some practice time for the other one!!!

Then there was college and the realization that a 5th of whiskey, a woman for the night, and certain lofty ambitions just don't mix. "Are you done yet?... How 'bout now?...what about now?...almost there???" Forget about it!!! Now, college kids score viagra where they get their hallucinogens. Let me tell ya', there's a number of women out there now thanking their lucky stars that black market viagra wasn't around when I was in my college, cuttin' my chops du' bedoire...
That could've been a whole weekend...

Suffice it to say that at least with cutting ones libidinal chops, under most normal circumstances there is only one other person involved to laugh, scoff, or just be stupified by one's inexpierience. However, in surfcasting there's often throngs of people there watching a person unwrap themselves from their fly line that is not only entagling both legs but somehow wrapped around the neck and left wrist, or seeing one recoil after a clouser obviously just bounced off the caster's head, or the look of disbelief from seasoned casters walking by the guy with his K-mart reel laying full out in the sand. Either way, being a neophyte in any endeavor will definitely test a person's resolve to, swallow their pride, take their medicine{not black market viagra}, and earn their keeps. Proficiency is often a lofty goal, but once achieved, there is almost a right to be amused at googanistic behavior, because at one point or another we all were one once!!!

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  #21  
Old 01-22-2006, 04:00 PM
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Default Re: Al Bentsen: Your Googan Days?

Fish Tank, the mix of your remarks above concerning drinking and love remind of a similar incompatability -- drinking and fishing. Now, I'm no teatottler, as many could live on what I spend on booze. But I have never, ever been able to understand drinking and fishing or drinking and hunting. And I know that people do it. The deer woods are full of beer cans and I have seen guys fishing a jetty plastered. And it is worse today than ever. To me both the surfrod and the gun need too much attention to have liquor in the mix. Not that you advocate that as I fully understanad the humor, even agree, with your remarks. But the idea of mine here springs from what you said the the thread needed the copy. Oh, to be of college age with a bottle of Jack and a chick.....
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  #22  
Old 01-22-2006, 04:18 PM
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Default Re: Al Bentsen: Your Googan Days?

College age and a bottle of Jack? geez Frank,wasnt that only a couple years ago? Maybe it's "good thing"(thank you Martha!) that I didnt attend college.I'm by no means a teetotaler,but fishing and drinking just doesnt mix.And the fact that when one is toasted,it tends to make the experience,either fishing or otherwise,seem that much better... I know I was going somewhere with this,but forgot where...
Al,get this thing back on track! More Googan stories!
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  #23  
Old 01-22-2006, 09:17 PM
wheresmy50 wheresmy50 is offline
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Default Re: Al Bentsen: Your Googan Days?

I understand that you wouldn't want to be tipsy in the dark of night on slippery stones on rounded-over Korkers, but being that this is a Jersey-dominated site, what's the harm of a few beers? Are you concerned that guys are going to fall off their tailgates (or Ragman off his bucket)?

Anyway, hunting is different. I grew up in the sticks and drank beers deerhunting in high school, but in reflection it was foolish.

It's interesting to hear about Al's development becasue one thing stands out to me - finding something that works and sticking with it. I for one try to be a jack of all trades, fishing all up and down the striper coast pugging, bait fishing the beach, and doing both from my kayak - all within the first 5 years of my first striper fishing trip. I'd probably do better to pick one and master it.
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  #24  
Old 01-23-2006, 10:20 AM
biggstriper biggstriper is offline
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Default Re: Al Bentsen: Your Googan Days?

As far as Striper fishing goes- yeah, I've fished like a "Googan" at some places like Montauk because I didn't know what the deal was yet. Still don't know a fraction of what most of those guys know. The same thing goes with the Cape Cod Canal- the guys up there prolly outfish me every time but I think I hold my own most of the time.
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  #25  
Old 01-23-2006, 03:31 PM
ALB31 ALB31 is offline
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Default Re: Al Bentsen: Your Googan Days?

Heres a groogan thing I did on a trip to the cape in the late 60,s or early 70,s.

I had been fishing the Jones inlet jetty since 1962 with great success. I mean fishing every night I could get out on it. From early May until the season ended. I fished my rigged eels in the bay when conditions were to rough on the jetty.

The way I fished the jetty was the same way I fished the bay with loaded eels down deep and slow.I was fishing 20 to 30 feet of water out there. When people were around me I didn't let on to what I was doing. I would cast leave the reel in free spool and start turning the handle like I was working it in. Of couse I was counting to 20 then reeling it after it had sunk to the bottom. This allowed me to catch most or all of the bass that were going to come off the jetty. There were weeks that the same guys would watch me catch and they caught nothing or very few.

Any way to get back to the groogan thing. I went up to the cape after a very successful season back home. Out of habit I fished the cape the same way I was fishing the jetty. Not thinking what I was doing. I caught nothing. My friend Charlie was getting 40# bass every night. Poor Al zip. We were fishing together in different trucks. So we weren't talking when we were driving. On the 3rd night It dawned on me I was fishing the same way I fished the jetty and I always caught bass fishing the rigged eel high and fast in the cape. Needless to say I started to catch when I changed.

So you see even a experienced fisherman can make major googan mistakes.

I never told anybody about this just you.

That jetty has filled in. So right now it's a secret about a stone pile that has had better day's. It's surrounded by little water.
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  #26  
Old 01-24-2006, 12:49 PM
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Default Re: Al Bentsen: Your Googan Days?

Though I consider myself an OK surfcaster,no where near great or anything,I find I like to fish away from others,just so that when I do something dumb,as I inevitabaly do at times,I can kick my self and call myself a horses a$$,rather than have others do it... The times others are around,I worry about what they might think of my using a hook disgorger for everything(hey,a couple hooks in the fingers and some nips by blues convinced me to use it...),shanked casts,the bail slamming shut and the rig goes flying.Think the best was having my reel bust with a striper on,and trying to get it in. The main gear let go,and I stood there trying to tighten the drag,play with the anti reverse,and nothing.The light bulb went off in my head,and I just held onto the spool and started backing to the dunes.Spiked the rod,and brought the line in hand over hand(glad I keep that rag on the wader belt!),and landed the fish.There was one of the usuals fishing nearby,and when I was leaving,I stopped to BS with him.He said he and his buddy were scratching their heads trying to figure out what I was doing.Then they realised what happened,and were laughing their heads off just waiting to see what happened.He thanked me for the slot striper I gave him,that caused their laughter... It's all good I guess,and part of the constant learning we go thru.
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  #27  
Old 01-24-2006, 01:11 PM
Fish Tank Fish Tank is offline
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Default Re: Al Bentsen: Your Googan Days?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank Daignault
But I have never, ever been able to understand drinking and fishing or drinking and hunting. And I know that people do it.
AGREED 110%!!!

Alcohol will intensify googanism. Where I fish alcohol is prohibited, but even if it weren't, why someone would dampen their senses when the acuity of sensory perception, and reaction time is a must, is beyond me. Every instance I have heard of, when people have driven into the Barnegat inlet, had inebriation as a factor. It's work to get a vehicle in there. There are entirely to many perils that present themselves in that enviorment that a self induced one is just bad judgement.
It's one thing to get into a predicament because of inexperience, it's another because of intoxification. Combining both is very bad.

ALB31:
So what was your friend using, and what did you wind up switching to?

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  #28  
Old 01-24-2006, 03:55 PM
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Default Re: Al Bentsen: Your Googan Days?

Al's story is a great one. But it reminds me how often I learned something some where and carried it to a new location and cleaned up. In education they call it Transpositional Learning where a person applies something out of intended context. A good example is after years of striper fishing at night, I found out you could salmon fish any hour of the day or night. So i went salmon fishing at night. It was wildly good, better actually.
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  #29  
Old 01-26-2006, 03:01 PM
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Default Re: Al Bentsen: Your Googan Days?

I caught my first bass when I was six. I am fifty now. You want Googan? How about having a really good night (unusual I know) on the Cape two years ago and getting hits left and right and dropping them all. Others around me were getting fish and some old day nice ones at that but me? Whiffmaster par extradonaire. I was using a needlefish. A new one straight outa the package. You know how some lure builders put the little pieces of clear tubing on the hook points so you won't gouge yourself while not in use? Well you should really take those off before you toss the thing into the brine. Didn't notice until the next morning. What a dope.
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  #30  
Old 01-27-2006, 08:27 AM
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Default Re: Al Bentsen: Your Googan Days?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jointed
I caught my first bass when I was six. I am fifty now. You want Googan? How about having a really good night (unusual I know) on the Cape two years ago and getting hits left and right and dropping them all. Others around me were getting fish and some old day nice ones at that but me? Whiffmaster par extradonaire. I was using a needlefish. A new one straight outa the package. You know how some lure builders put the little pieces of clear tubing on the hook points so you won't gouge yourself while not in use? Well you should really take those off before you toss the thing into the brine. Didn't notice until the next morning. What a dope.
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