New member here in central NJ! Rod/reel q's also
Hello everyone! Hailing from Whitehouse, NJ, I'm a 24 year old water dweller (haha) starting my quest to catch (and probably eat!) some stripers! Excited to be a part of the S247 community, and looking forward to learning...and learning...and learning!
Although I'm new to the forum here, I am not a new angler! I grew up tossing cut squid over the side of my grandfather's boat out of the Barnegat Inlet, pulling up the kind of doormats that, to a 5 year old, seemed like they were bigger than me!
My grandfather has since passed, but my dad and I continue fishing to this day, although I took a hiatus thru my rebellious teen years. I've been hitting the local waters (Round Valley Reservoir, Raritan River Branches and the Delaware River) for my fifth year now. Catching trout and the occasional carp has been entertaining, but I'm missing out on the real fight of those Atlantic saltys lately. Long story short: I'll be focusing my fishing efforts on stripers from now on!
Here are the rods and reels that I have inherited/purchased:
(2) Eagle Claw Water Eagle 6'6" spinning combos
Medium action, 4-12lb line, 1/4-5/8oz lure
Reel: Eagle Claw Water Eagle HD2000, 5.3:1 ratio
Strung with Sufix Elite 6lb clear mono
Shakespeare Alpha ASP66-2M 6'6" spinning
Medium action, 6-12lb line
Reel: Shakespeare Durango 2235RD, 5.2:1 ration
Strung with Stren 6lb lo-vis green mono
(older) Daiwa 1312CG 6'6" spinning
Medium light action, 6-12lb line, 1/4-1/2oz lure
Reel: Shakespeare Durango (exact same reel and line as above)
(older) Daiwa SGC-622, 6'6" spinning
Medium heavy action, 16-30lb line, 1-3oz lure
Reel: Shimano Custom GT GT4000
Strung with I believe 20lb, but it's been on this reel since my grandfather had it, so I'm going to replace soon.
Before you laugh at me and tell me how terrible the Durango reel is and how I shouldn't have impulse-bought the 2 Eagle Claw combos whilst the stripers and blues were running in Ocean City, MD, understand that my freshwater learning curve was so high at first that I elected to get the cheapest possible gear to wet a line. I actually had a BEAUTIFUL reel on the Shakespeare Alpha, but it was carelessly handled by a 'friend' and ended up being crushed by a toolbox in the back of his pickup-some friend-and he gave me $20 cash to get a new reel.
I'm inclined to believe that most of this stuff is not particularly ideal to landing the minimum keeper size 28" stripers out of the Delaware. Just as well, because last year I had my tackle box stolen (moment of silence for having lost nearly $300 in tackle). I'm staying chin-up though, and I'm going to treat this like a blessing in disguise-now I have plenty of room to get set up to get some linesiders! Side note: you might have noticed I only have spinning rod/reel setups, probably because this is what I learned on, am most comfortable with and generally have the least frustration with. I'll be focusing my search for new gear on the spinning platform, unless someone tells me otherwise (because likely, I'm a complete idiot!).
I'm 100% willing to get new equipment and tackle to get out there and fight! I'm currently shopping for a new rod and reel that will be more conduscive (sp?) to striper fishing. So here come all the questions and postulations-
On the beginner section of S247, the rod selection guide seems to only refer to saltwater setups. I'm not sure if this advice lends itself to freshwater striper fishing as well, but I'm willing to bet it isn't. Anyway, I notice it recommends an 8-10 foot rod, and I've read elsewhere that 4oz lures are common when looking for big guys. In the name of staying cheap, I have my eye on a Shakespeare Ugly Stik Striper rod. My concern is that this rod only comes in a 7' length (1-3 feet shorter than S247 recommendation) and that I already have said Daiwa in 6'6" MH action. Is the 7' size appropriate for riverbank striper hunts? And will my Daiwa serve the same purpose (perhaps with a different reel)?
I want to stay cheap-er-ish, so if I really should go to 8-10', I'll be choosing Shakespeare's Ugly Stik Big Water 9' or 10', both capable of running 12-30lb line and 1-4oz and 1-6oz lures, respectively. Is this a better alternative (if my shorter pole(s) don't work out)?
Any recommendations on tackle? Note that as of the time of the printing of NJ Dept. of Fish and Wildlife's Digest, Delaware river creel limits on Herring, Alewife and Bluebacks was COMBINED 10 per day. Also, it notes that due to population problems, taking Alewife and Bluebacks MAY BECOME PROHIBITED soon. I haven't checked on their website but if I know NJDF+W, they will place that prohibition in short order. Additionally, my local baitshop is usually not able to supply nearly enough live herring, and once trout season opens at Round Valley April 7, they will be even harder to come by at the shop.
As far as artificial lures go, I'm already using a Rat-L-Trap blueback lookalike (I forget the weight of this lure, idiot!) and have been experimenting with both trolling and jigging off my kayak at Round Valley, using some cheap tails and small painted ball heads (again I don't currently recall the weight, but it's small, either 1/32oz or 1/16oz heads plus a little split shot or swiveled-in weights).
Did I mention I have a kayak? She's an Old Town Camden 120 that I have since added two 30-degree rod holders just aft of the cockpit for trolling as well as a Cannon rod holder on the front deck(which much to my chagrin is NOT really that great for holding spinning rod/reel). Basically, after I got the boat in the color I wanted, I turned it into the available angler version minus an anchor trolley for about $40! I will soon be joining the ***** forums to post pictures of the new additions, and will provide a link here if you're interested! Trust me, it's super cool.
That's all for now. Sorry for the novel, I'm just really excited to get out to the river for the anticipated spawn (too bad no keepers til June). Thanks for any and all advice in advance!
Last edited by JakeF; 03-29-2012 at 07:22 AM.
Reason: removed link - just post the pics here instead of linking to them, thanks