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  #1  
Old 10-11-2004, 01:20 PM
Riddler Riddler is offline
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 454
Default Learn to read the water!!!!!

This time of year it is critical that you get good reading the water, specifically about where bait is and where the schools of fish are.

If you are fishing in sunlight, use polorized glasses. You will see the bait in the distance appear as dark spots in the water. You want to fish there! If you don't see any bait where you are fishing, move. If it's cloudy or murkey, listen. You will hear little popping noises if the bait is around.

Look for the obvious birds and fish bursts in the water. Don't cast too soon! You need to be in position to land your plug in or past the burst, then get tension on your line right away becuase a hook up is coming. A cast 10 yards short may land a fish, but more likely not. Walk a little further before you cast. This is hard as your heart is pumping and you can see the fish, but keep your cool.

When you are watching a burst, take note of the direction it is headed, and position yourself accordingly. Get into a spot where the fish will come to you.

If fish are bursting on and off, wait to cast until you see them come up. Murphy's Law - as soon as you cast to the right, you will see them come up on the left and miss the action.

Sounds real simple, but the last 3 days of fishing had me scratching my head. Last night, I'm reading the water and catching tons of stripers and blues, while guys wading in the same water are coming up with a skunk. They were simply not reading the water and kept casting to an empty stretch of water.

They were very frustrated, and when I walked out of the water I had some beach combers ask me why I caught so many and the other guys didn't. Simple. I cast to where the fish were, they cast to empty water.

Learn to read the water!!!
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  #2  
Old 10-11-2004, 04:29 PM
LivestoFish LivestoFish is offline
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 133
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I'm not sure but I think the body of water I am fishing in is written in Chinese. The only bait fish I ever see are minows. The water is very deep off the side of the dock. I in a month of fishing here have only seen big fish bubble up top in a school once and they were blues and I didn't switch tackle in time. As for the stripers, they seem to all be down deep and are very tough to track. I know they are there but with the exception of schoolies and one nice size striper, I have been remiss in targeting them.
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  #3  
Old 10-11-2004, 06:59 PM
Riddler Riddler is offline
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 454
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Try a new spot. I have some real favorites, but if I show up and I don't see signs of action (especially this time of year) I leave.

This is the time of year to catch lots of fish real quick. They will be moving in big schools, and surfacing. The problem with that is they won't be in the same spot they were in the summer.

You will either catch 10 or catch 0.

Try looking for some new spots. Look for seagulls hovering over, or crashing into, the water.

Cast to the boils and catch 10.
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  #4  
Old 10-12-2004, 09:39 AM
LivestoFish LivestoFish is offline
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
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I hear ya. When I am out in Fire Island hitting the surf I will certainly travel along the beach til I see some action. I also know of a couple of good spots, jettis etc.. that seem to attract the large fish. Problem is we are seldom out there this time of year and I am forced to fish off the west side piers in Manhattan. The pier I fish now is a bit further south then the one I was fishing but I catch a lot more schoolies here and did tap into one large striper. The water is roughly 25 feet deep. I generally cast out away from the pier to avoid tangles and crabs. I almost always fish the same spot casting toward the south, parallel with land. If I go straight off the end of the pier the current is simply to strong and even 6 oz weights get pulled sharply in the current. I fear that this spot at best is just a semi good fishing spot and it is more luck then anything when I catch something other then schoolies which are here in abundunce. Trying to convince my wife to go to the beach this weekend and I will walk the beach looking for signs. I imagine they will be much easier to find in 5 feet of water then in 25 feet of water.
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  #5  
Old 10-12-2005, 11:29 AM
GunnySniper GunnySniper is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 1,559
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Reading an active school of fish, or reading the water?
While walking/driving a beach look for signs of structure. Wash outs are actually the thing to look for. They will and do change with the tides and weather. Large Bass will position themselves on the sides of these currents. Bass eat many things that are not as obvious as a school of pogies. Crabs, sand eels, squid, lobster, etc. etc................
What do these washouts look like, and what do you look for? Watch the waves, as they climb the sand the outgoing wash will channel, and form a current. These current cut the bottom into natural streambeds. Watch the direction of the channel, does it hook? Does it Eddy? Does it run parralel to the beach? bass are most times opportunistic feeders, they will lay up and wait for the food to get to them. I have on more than 1 occasion caught large Bass down current from schoolies and blues by chunking the rip currents down from these schools. Cows are fat lazy slobs! They hate to work for their chow. They lay down and wait for the scraps to float to them. Ever notice how a pogie head is the best bait for a striper? That's because blues chop the to peices, eat the bodies and the head sinks to the bottom. I have eye witnessed this on a scuba dive. A large school of blues hammered a school of menhaden the day before. I went down looking for lobster. What I saw verified the above statement. Large bass were hanging on the bottom inhaling the heads that literally carpeted the bay floor.
The effect of strong currents will channel bait fish and other striper foods to the waiting bass on the bottom in the sand bars that are present on any beach. Watch the waves climb and break as they come in. You will notice areas where the waves curl, roll, curl. The area they roll is the deap hole inbetween bars, Cast there. Use a locally known bait or imitator.
Bucktails are always a good choice as they imitate several known striper foods, such as sand eels, and squid. Baits you almost NEVER see surfacing.
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