I went fishing again yesterday and tried some of the advice on this forum. On one rod I kept the runner off but left the hook more exposed. The other I put the runner on but the hook well hidden in the chunk of mackerel. On both rods I caught fish, one large sea robin, and one mid size bluefish. The robins can be tricky because they nibble for a while, simulating crabs, then the hit the runner which i used to nail this particular one. The bluefish I saw a slight hit, then picked up the rod and hooked him when he returned. So now, instead of blindly using the runner I use it only in certain situations, which is a good thing.
In response to the last posting, I've also gone to what I think is Milford Harbor :roll: (commonly named the Striper Docks i believe) and caught more eels than stripers! My friend tends to catch tons of stripers while I have a monopoly on the eels! But I certainly have noticed that the stripers there are very different even from those a few miles away. They are very touchy and difficult to hook.
I'll also try to get some clams. I think I know a bait shot that sells them, but if not I'll just have to walk down at low tide and get some myself. Also, I'd like to ask another question. When fishing with crabs around (Spider, Lady, and a few Green) is it better to keep the bait moving, or just let the crabs take their toll while waiting for the big one... Thanks a lot for the input everyone.