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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 02-12-2010, 12:05 PM
clambellies clambellies is offline
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Default Re: Surfcasting in the Daytime

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Originally Posted by Frank Daignault View Post
Clam, I've seen a lot of blitzes in August, though we have all learned to expect them more in the fall.

Maybe my failing is that I seldom check out the beaches in August during the daylight, a self fulfilling prophecy of sorts.
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  #17  
Old 02-12-2010, 01:01 PM
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Frank Daignault Frank Daignault is offline
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Default Re: Surfcasting in the Daytime

A foamy onshore wind can incite some action in the daytime at places where there is a lot of current and nearby deep water where bass can escape to.
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  #18  
Old 02-13-2010, 03:58 PM
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Stan Creighton Stan Creighton is offline
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Default Re: Surfcasting in the Daytime

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A foamy onshore wind can incite some action in the daytime at places where there is a lot of current and nearby deep water where bass can escape to.
"Back in the day", we're talking a third of a century ago, I used to frequent the outer cape during the spring (June). My fishing partner at the time never did become used to the nocturnal routine,
so as a result a lot of fishing was done during the daytime.

It was way too much like work, but what we (I) came up with was that if I volunteered to be orca-bait (this was right after the movie "Jaws") we could put fish on the beach , during the daytime.
I would wade out, to within inches of the tops of my chest waders, and then do my best impersonation of a Daignault pendulum-cast. Then, I would walk the forty-to-fifty yards back to the sandspike.

Without getting into "spot-burning", (in case I ever get the chance to go back), as Frank's quote implies, there was a lot of current and deep water nearby. However, I know that if we had limited ourselves to strictly nocturnal operations, we could have caught more fish, and could have been wearing knee boots, rather than having to wade out to chest-deep water, to cast.
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  #19  
Old 02-14-2010, 05:02 PM
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Frank Daignault Frank Daignault is offline
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Default Re: Surfcasting in the Daytime

Stan, your post is a classic example of the necessary compromises often needed to make things work. It can't be just fishing. It has to be fun, productive, doable and complement the relationship. Fishing at night is a horrible drag on surfcasting and lifestyles.
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  #20  
Old 02-14-2010, 08:49 PM
Kroc Kroc is offline
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Default Re: Surfcasting in the Daytime

Would most agree with this statement: When fishing in non-blitz situations where their is no abundance of bait or any other signs of life in the surf, there is a better chance of success at night. It is more likely a striper or bluefish will explore shallow waters under the cover of darkness.
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  #21  
Old 02-14-2010, 09:34 PM
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Default Re: Surfcasting in the Daytime

I agree with bass. I disagree with the later fish. A bluefish prefers sunlight. Specifically, low light periods it will chance the shallows. Except during a late summer surf..when N.Y. is experiencing summer doldrums night is better for blues in the surf. But it is not allot of action. Schools are camped at 40 -180' depth of H2O offshore.
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  #22  
Old 02-15-2010, 10:40 AM
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Default Re: Surfcasting in the Daytime

I see a lot of simlarity in behaviour between bass and blues. Now and then I hear about blues not hitting at night. Silly, they hit all night when they are there. You can catch bass, even big ones, in the day but the night has the edge.

Again, in the old days, when we fished with a brigade of rod and reelers, they all came out at sunset. Why would they do that?
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  #23  
Old 02-15-2010, 10:42 AM
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Default Re: Surfcasting in the Daytime

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Originally Posted by Montauk Surf View Post
I agree with bass. I disagree with the later fish. A bluefish prefers sunlight. Specifically, low light periods it will chance the shallows. Except during a late summer surf..when N.Y. is experiencing summer doldrums night is better for blues in the surf. But it is not allot of action. Schools are camped at 40 -180' depth of H2O offshore.
"A bluefish prefers sunlight." I'm not sure what this means. I think you are more likely to find bluefish in shallow water at night than during the day. If I were hunting bluefish, I would pick first light first, no question. They always seem to appear at first light as if out of no where. But second, I would choose night.
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  #24  
Old 02-15-2010, 12:57 PM
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Default Re: Surfcasting in the Daytime

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Originally Posted by akoller View Post
"A bluefish prefers sunlight." I'm not sure what this means. I think you are more likely to find bluefish in shallow water at night than during the day. If I were hunting bluefish, I would pick first light first, no question. They always seem to appear at first light as if out of no where. But second, I would choose night.
Sorry Akoller, I have to disagree...
I have fished for blues at night (OK, shoot me, on a boat) and during the day from the beach and boat. Some of the best blues fishing was mid morning and mid afternoon from the beach. One time there were 15 pounders holding bunker and small stripers on the beach for over an hour right at the surfline. It was a slaughter, and they didn't mind the sunlight at all. The small stripers (12-14 inches) that survived realized it wasn't in there best interest to be there trying to eat the same bunker the blues were, and headed to deeper water as soon as the blues attention was diverted.
I think any fish prefers darkness over light, but they wont hesitate to run into the beach during the day if food is present...
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  #25  
Old 02-15-2010, 01:13 PM
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Default Re: Surfcasting in the Daytime

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Originally Posted by akoller View Post
"A bluefish prefers sunlight." I'm not sure what this means. I think you are more likely to find bluefish in shallow water at night than during the day. If I were hunting bluefish, I would pick first light first, no question. They always seem to appear at first light as if out of no where. But second, I would choose night.
What I am saying regarding surf fishing is in my experience they prefer neither bright sunlight or complete darkness most of the time. The party boats do just as well with bluefish offshore at night as they do during the day. Maybe it has something to do with having no eyelids to squint against the sun and navigate the shallows. Also, being more of a sight feeder than bass.
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  #26  
Old 02-15-2010, 02:19 PM
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Default Re: Surfcasting in the Daytime

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Sorry Akoller, I have to disagree...
I have fished for blues at night (OK, shoot me, on a boat) and during the day from the beach and boat. Some of the best blues fishing was mid morning and mid afternoon from the beach. One time there were 15 pounders holding bunker and small stripers on the beach for over an hour right at the surfline. It was a slaughter, and they didn't mind the sunlight at all. The small stripers (12-14 inches) that survived realized it wasn't in there best interest to be there trying to eat the same bunker the blues were, and headed to deeper water as soon as the blues attention was diverted.
I think any fish prefers darkness over light, but they wont hesitate to run into the beach during the day if food is present...
The most awe-inspiring mass of bluefish I have ever seen was right at dawn at Great Point, Nantucket. I have also seen smaller but similar masses of blues during the day. Obviously, one does not "see" acres of bluefish at night.

I wonder if we are just reflecting the times that we fish. I'm used to running into bluefish at night because that is when I fish. During the day you might have a bit of an edge if you can see a school because you would know where to cast. On the other hand, I think you can find blues much more consistently from the surf while fishing at night/first light.
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  #27  
Old 02-15-2010, 03:01 PM
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Stan Creighton Stan Creighton is offline
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Default Re: Surfcasting in the Daytime

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Originally Posted by akoller View Post
The most awe-inspiring mass of bluefish I have ever seen was right at dawn at Great Point, Nantucket.
My .02:

As I usually fished the outer cape during June, generally the blues had not appeared yet. As a result, I never had much experience with blues on Cape Cod, day or night.

However, at the risk of plagiarism, I would like to borrow part of AK's quote:

"The most awe-inspiring mass of bluefish I have ever seen was right at dawn" at Cape Point, Cape Hatteras. I had fished the previous night for red drum, and was drinking coffee, sitting on the tailgate, watching the sunrise. I remember it like it was yesterday, all of a sudden a one pound bluefish jumps out of the surf onto the beach, right in front of me. Then another, then another, etc.

Two minutes later, all hello broke loose, and there were acres of fourteen to seventeen pound blues, devouring their younger siblings.......
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  #28  
Old 02-15-2010, 04:43 PM
Jon006 Jon006 is offline
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Default Re: Surfcasting in the Daytime

From my experiences I've done about the same numbers day or night, this year was different though because I only caught 4 bluefish...which is a blessing!
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  #29  
Old 02-16-2010, 03:02 PM
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Default Re: Surfcasting in the Daytime

Daytime surfcasting is incidental, not the way it should be practiced. But if you are going on the beach at sunset, or going off at dawn, you could run into fish that will take. Therefore there is some, however linmited, fishing during the day for shore fishers.
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  #30  
Old 02-16-2010, 05:27 PM
Merlin Merlin is online now
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Default Re: Surfcasting in the Daytime

The rule of thumb: Fish stipers for best results at night except when they are hitting during the day.

For blues it is best to fish anytime and especially when they are blitzing.

I should have been a politician after all my favorite color is plaid.

Last edited by Merlin : 02-16-2010 at 05:29 PM. Reason: dropped a letter
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