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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 02-02-2005, 10:05 PM
ALB31 ALB31 is offline
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The last time I E-mailed you at this site was over 3 years ago when I was still working.Just had this PC installed and I thought it would be a good idea to drop you a line and say hello.I also have a question my son Tom ran into George Carlzon last summer at the cape and he told Tom that his son was creating a web site where he was going to sell plugs. Have you heard anything about this? Al Bentsen
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  #2  
Old 02-03-2005, 06:16 AM
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Frank Daignault Frank Daignault is offline
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No, I haven't heard. Every couple of years I see Carlezon at one of the shows. Old buggah doesn't get any older and still looks like he could take us both. He is a retired machinist and those guys always find working wood easy as a result. 25 years ago he gave me some jointed bottle plugs which were the weirdest things; he has to be making pikies by now. Maybe a search could be done on the Internet.

Al Bentsen, do wonders ever cease? I didn't believe me eyes when I first read your post, but you have enough connectors in it to be believable. I recall hearing from Tom here time to time, but the real Al....How have you been? The last of the great surfcasters, the last of the "New Yorkers". You still mohawking the big ones? Or, like me, do you kind of settle for whatever and be glad to get out?

We never go to the Outer Cape anymore with any real regularity. Just the Canal and RI and all-nighters are history. As a result we don't see anybody from the old days. But from what I've seen, I don't want to go back and I haven't even seen it bad. With the kids grown, my wife is with me constantly and we do all old-timer stuff and hunting. Heard here last year that John Curran is still around but he was a youngie back then so it figures. Dickie Saams has to be in some weird place where they stow disgarded surfcasters, after giving them a haircut. I can never rig an eel without thinking if you would approve of how I did it. It is so nice to hear from you.
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Old 02-03-2005, 01:01 PM
ALB31 ALB31 is offline
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I speak to John every week and he is fishing harder than ever and doing quite well with the bass.He had been going to the cape every year but he,s been staying close to home in recent years due to illness in the family.Dick Saams bought a home in the cape and spends his summers up there,I don't know how much fishing he does. The bad news is we lost Paulie the fireman and Nat Piazza Curran,s fishing partner. My circle of friends is shrinking. I been doing a lot of fishing in the late hours to avoid the crowd. Im still hunting big bass. The only problem is the small blues that hit my rigged eel,s. So I carry a few beach master swimmers when mr.blue is around. I haven't been going to the cape much. The restrictions don't give you much beach to work with. The seals have been a problem there this past year and it look,s like they may become a permanent problem.
My health has been good I had a few bouts with my ticker but with the right doctor,s and medicine it's been doing well. You have to be your own hero.
Frank it,s been great hearing from you. I can still picture you leaning against the pull of a large bass in the 2nd rip. Al B.
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Old 02-03-2005, 02:13 PM
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Frank Daignault Frank Daignault is offline
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Yes, I knew about Paulie and Nat. I was on the phone with Paulie until the very end. I think the restrictions and crowds kind of blows it all away. Its easier to fish at home, the way many New Yorkers always did. Nothing is forever and nothing stays the same.

We may have gone full circle where going to a place in a two-wheeler where you know the ropes is better than the glamour spots with all the hoops to jump through. I'm embarrassed at how many times we drove over the Canal and never even looked down. Also, the last few years, maybe three, they have not done well on big fish on the Cape. It's all between Cuttyhunk and Montauk. Also Jersey has landed more fifties in the surf than anywhere and those guys lust over the ever-lauded Cape and RI.

I hope private conversations are still informative and entertaining for the googan lurkers. Al is a highliner. Ask him questions. For instance, Al: How many "fifties" do you have?
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Old 02-03-2005, 04:31 PM
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I think everyone is afraid to intrude,so I will be the first.(OK shoot me now!) Personally, I think it's great.Two true "highliners" sharing thoughts and memories!
Al,How many 50's do you have? Can you show Mr Smarty up? And also,welcome to SSc.! I'm sure your wisdom and knowledge will help many of those that are on here,become better catchers,instead of just fishermen,just as Frank has!
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Old 02-03-2005, 04:58 PM
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Jeeze, just listening in makes me feel like I was there, and I don't even know where.
Welcome Al. Stick around, its a great place to be when you aren't anywhere else. Welcome, JOe
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Old 02-03-2005, 05:33 PM
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Yeah I second what Bob and Joe said.
Reading the dialogue was almost like reading a book.
I do also hope that ALB31 will share some of his knowledge.

Welcome aboard!

bOb
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Old 02-03-2005, 05:57 PM
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Great to have you aboard Al, It is kinda like ease dropping.

I waited in that long line on Race Point Road for a long time before they turn us away, I think it was a blessing with all the beach closings due to shore birds and the crowds. We ended up going only once in the fall and the first week of october week day weren't to bad but thurs - saturday was unbelievable
plus blue fish 10 to 1 striper

Bob
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  #9  
Old 02-04-2005, 08:47 AM
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Frank Daignault Frank Daignault is offline
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Once a person gains a reputation for catching many big bass, a lot of people think there is some secret thing that person does that can help them. As a result, many watch that person's angling habits for a clue. Most keep their distance, but some can be a pain in the butt. Few beach locals in P-town either knew or were even smart enough to care about Al's surfcasting preferences. But the other "New Yorkers" apparently knew him and kind of shadowed him. A consequence of this is that Al Bentsen never fished the Cape during the full moon the other Long Island surfmen worshipped. Al came during the New moon, when there was nobody around. I never saw him with anyone else and there was nobody to follow him. New moons, we all knew, were quieter while just as productive. But in no case, back then, was it ever like it is today crowdwise. Hence, the break up of the old gang. Fault the incessent thrust of time. But a few of us remember Al. He was not superhuman. Just a good surfcaster, who minded his own business, kept his mouth shut and paid attention to hard work and basics. No magic. Well, ...almost no magic.
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Old 02-04-2005, 11:25 AM
ALB31 ALB31 is offline
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In answer to Ragmans question I managed to land 7 fifty,s. Five of these were on the cape the other 2 on long lsland. All were landed fishing rigged eel,s from the surf. All were washed clean and weighed on certified commercial scales. I had put that comment in because many big bass are weighed on the beach full of sand on a old hand scale. Im now fishing for number 8. The same way I did when I caught the others. Al B.
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  #11  
Old 02-04-2005, 12:05 PM
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Al,
Thanks for the response!That is truly amazing!I would be happy with a 30! Guess thats why we all come here to learn from those who have done it,like yourself and Frank.I'm just guessing,but were they caught in the 60's and 70's? I'm going to have to get my son to show me how to fish those eels! I have to ask,did you every fish Jersey,and if I may ask,where? As far as the sand,I have seen that done before,leave the sand on and adds a couple ounces to the fish
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Old 02-04-2005, 01:48 PM
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A pleasure to see you on here Al. I remember going to one of your seminars with The Fisherman maybe 10 years or so ago. I wish you would do more.
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  #13  
Old 02-04-2005, 02:33 PM
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I'd like to ask Al to tell us anything he is willing to about rigged eel fishing. Frank has covered the subject well in Striper Surf but I don't think he would mind a guest lecture on the subject here. It's not everyday I can ask a guy who has SEVEN fifty pounders on the rigged eel how he did it. Thanks.
Roric
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  #14  
Old 02-04-2005, 03:37 PM
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Frank Daignault Frank Daignault is offline
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Al, these guys are smart enough to sniff out an old surfcaster when they see one. Tell them about the seven. Size, location, year. Better yet, how about the heart breakers, the ones you did not quite catch.
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Old 02-04-2005, 10:34 PM
snake slinger snake slinger is offline
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this is some really cool stuff. keep talkin guys. snake slinger
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