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Stripers 101 - The Beginners clinic. Saltwater and freshwater surfcasting. Plugging, Bait dunking and boating


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  #1  
Old 06-23-2008, 02:39 PM
Toe44 Toe44 is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2007
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Default First of the season... Technique Questions

I caught my first striper of the season Wednesday night. 34" keeper off a live eel from the beach. Great fight and I couldn't be happier, but I have a couple of questions on my technique I thought you guys might want to chime in about. Here's how I go about setting up. I have a 10' rod & spinning reel, 15lb test line, 18" leader of 30lb test with a #5 octopus hook. I use a fishfinder rig with a 3 oz pyramid weight. I hook the eel through the lower jaw and out an eye and then toss it out as far as I can. I place the rod in a sand spike and close the bail and set the drag real loose, loose enough that the line comes off the reel with little effort. I reel in any slack and then sit in a sand chair with a beer and wait for the fish. I might be plugging while I wait, but I invariably turn to see that the rod/spike has been pulled to the sand, fish on! I then pick it up and slowly raise the tip of the rod until I feel the pressure, then I set the hook. I feel like Rock Hudson in the old movie, "Man's favorite sport". He was working in an Abocrombie & Fitch as the fishing expert, wrote the book on fishing, etc, but didn't know how to actually fish. He gets entered in a tournament and is forced to fish. He ends up catching fish despite his ineptitude and wins the tournament.

Is there a better way to "Set it and forget it"? I also used Pogies for the first time, just the tail section & the head. I hooked the head through the lower lip and out near the eye, and the tail part by the lower fin. It seemed like they were hooked pretty solidly, but after a soak of more than an hour and no noticable taps I reeled in to find bare hooks. Is there a better way to bait a Pogie? Lastly, I also tried squid. Same as above, what's the preferred method of hooking them.

I know it's a lot, but thanks for any and all responses.

Toe
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  #2  
Old 06-23-2008, 03:09 PM
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Striperjim Striperjim is offline
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Default Re: First of the season...

Hi Toe.

The problem dead sticking a live eel is that they will ball up on your line and strangle themselves. The best way to fish a live eel is to cast it out with no weight on it.
Wait a few for it to naturally head towards the bottom and then reel it in very slowly.
Rinse and repeat.

The fishfinder set up works best with cut bait. Like bunker. When using the head use the largest hook in your box like a 10/0 and hook it through the fleshy part behind the head. Like the nape so to speak. It wont tumble as much presented this way. Discard the tail fin section or save it for the bluefish.

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Use the pieces outlined here. Change your bait every 15 minutes. Move the piece slightly every so often as well. Sometimes the subtle movement will elicit a strike. If your bait gets wacked. Wait a few seconds they will come back for it. When the current is ripping on the dropping tide fillet the pieces and julienne slice them keeping the entire piece intact. Use a three way swivel insead of a fishfinder with the weight up front and the piece fluttering in current.

Hope this tip catches you some fish.
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Old 06-23-2008, 03:49 PM
Toe44 Toe44 is offline
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Default Re: First of the season...

Jim,

Thanks for the reply. So when you throw the eel out without the weight will it actually swim or does it just drift? As far as a slow retrieve, how slow? The beach I fish off (Seagull) of has a bit of seaweed/mung in the water which tends to foul things up a bit.

Thanks,

Toe
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Old 06-23-2008, 04:06 PM
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Striperjim Striperjim is offline
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Default Re: First of the season...

It will swim. Reel very slow and stay in contact with the the eel so he doesnt get hung up.
I generally dont use weight unless its a small jig head or an egg sinker.
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Old 06-23-2008, 04:08 PM
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JakeF JakeF is offline
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Default Re: First of the season...

Hi Toe,
Read this thread for some tips on how to set your drag. I strongly recommend against loosening your drag when bait fishing, then trying to tighten it down when you have a fish on. It is best to set your drag to 1/4 the breaking strength of your line, and then leave it alone. Monkeying with your drag while you have a fish on is a great way to lose a fish.

Jim is right on the money on fishing live eels from the surf. Cast it out weightless, (I use a 5/0 hook through both lips) and let it swim down. Reel in very slowly,, just enough to keep some tension on your line.
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Old 06-23-2008, 04:18 PM
Toe44 Toe44 is offline
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Default Re: First of the season...

Thanks Baitrunner.. Luckily so far I've had the coordination to tighten up the drag as I set up for the fight. I'll try the slow retrieve and see what happens. I appreciate all of the help!
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