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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone,

***Warning - long post ahead***

I originally posted this in the surfcaster thread, but no one seemed interested in answering any questions, so I thought I'd post it, here. I apologize for the cross-posting.

My name is Fred, and I'm based out of Staten Island, NY. I've been a freshwater angler for some time (primarily LMB - and bluegills, when I'm feeling lazy). The hot weather and the mosquito spraying have chased the fish, further and deeper than I can reach from shore, so I've decided to start dabbling in saltwater.

As with freshwater, I'm also a surfcaster when it comes to salt. Primarily beaches, but occasionally, I'll hit the piers when I want to get some snapper blues for live bait.

Currently, my only saltwater gear is a 9' Shakespeare Alpha BigWater, and a second 9' that I cobbled together. The pole is an R2F (same specs as the Alpha, but much lighter and more flexible). The reel, I found in the garage. The previous tenant left it behind, so I tore it down, de-greased, re-greased and rebuilt. It's a little ugly on the outside, but works like a champ.

As you may have guessed, I'm probably going to have a lot of questions, particularly when/if tactics differ greatly between fresh and salt fishing techniques.

I know that, currently, we're not in striper season, but I do want to be prepared for when they do start to run. Slammer blues have started making an appearance, recently, so there's hope that stripers aren't all that far behind. And that's where most of my questions come in.

As someone who's stuck on the beach, there aren't that many options for blind fishing, other than cast, sit, retrieve and repeat. I've been watching videos of people trolling for striper with vertical rigs. And when fishing a deep hole for LMB, we use a drop-shot rig (very similar, if not the same thing).

Anyway, as a natural-born tinkerer, I've been playing around with the idea of a vertical rig, that can simulate trolling. I came up with this



The idea is that the float keeps the rig in a vertical suspension, but because there is no weight, it can drift with the current. The pyramid weight, allows me to cast much further out, than if it were non weighted. Plus, it keeps it from drifting too far up, or, down the inlet and becoming a nuisance to other anglers.

In practice, the rig works fine. The real question is, what kind of baits should I be putting on the hooks? Should I double up on snapper blue? Raw chicken? Raw shrimp? Berkley Gulp artificials? Cut bunker?

I guess I should put this out there, this rig, I tend to dead-stick, while I actively fish on the second pole. Because the rig drifts, it's just not sitting on the bottom, so it should be a pretty good presentation.

The R2F pole, I use 20lb braid, a 2oz bank sinker, a fluke rig and either gulp shrimp or a gulp swimming mullet. As you might have figured out, this one, I use to actively hunt fluke. I'm still trying to determine the best bait. Some days, they love the gulp shrimp, others, they couldn't care less. Some days, it's fresh shrimp, others nothing. Problem is, fresh shrimp can get expensive. Will fluke take strips of raw chicken (if I cut them like a belly strip, so they flutter)?

I apologize for the long the post, but I I'd just like to get as much information as possible, out there.

Thanks,
Fred
 

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Ive seen a LOT of success with the Gulp... plus you can reuse them after a good soak in the lovely juice they come in.. I do like this setup a lot. I only fish for stripers and blues but I am sure this would work for them as well, plus it keeps the bait in a visible area!
 

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Sounds good in theory, but you need to be sure of the depth you fish this in (I prefer just using a long, single hook leader with a foam float to just about keep the bait off the bottom). Most people do not realize this, but having a boat with a depth finder, I have found that the water off the south shore Staten Island beaches, is very shallow, especially at low tide. I can be 1000 feet off the beach and still be in only 10-11 feet of water. Secondly, I would go with just a single hook. and change that storm sinker to a bank (rounded) sinker. It will allow for much better movement. Other than that, you seem to be ready to go. You are correct about the blues showing up. Usually though, when you see big blues, you do not see Stripers. The striper run usually begins towards the latter part of September, with October being the better month. Good Luck and have fun!!!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thank you for the support, and welcome, guys :icon_smile:


I'm in the USCG Auxiliary, and have spent more than my fair share of time, reading the nautical charts for that inlet. With that rig, on the 9' pole, I can cast, roughly, 50' - 60', depending on wind direction. According to pre-Sandy charts, that's a little under 4' at MLT, hence the 40" drop :icon_smile:.

Salty, you recommend going to a single hook - which would be the preferred hook to keep (top or bottom), and why? And funny that you mention it; I was working in the garage, and found a 3oz bank sinker that had rolled under the shelving unit, so I'll be switching over to that.

I also just constructed a live bait well, using two Home Depot 5-gallon buckets, a screw on lid, and some polypropylene line. Next time, before hitting the beach, I was going to hit one of the piers, and catch a few snapper blues, and live-line them on all the hooks. See what I can get on those.


I would love to discuss, with both of you gentleman, striper fishing on the island. I know all the freshwater bass hotspots, but I don't seem to be having much saltwater luck. A few short flounder, and a couple of sea robbins.

-Fred
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks, Rainman :icon_smile:

I was out using it yesterday, with two cocktail blues, as bait. Not a single bite. Reeled it in, they looked as fresh as when I caught them. Went to cast it back out, got distracted, forgot to flip the bail, and busted the float.

So, I threw it back out without the float, and the blues got shredded by crabs. There's definitely sea life, just not what I'm looking for laughing7.gif. But I don't feel too bad - with all the fishermen on the beach yesterday, the biggest catch was a 6" spotted croaker.

But I have to say, adding the cocktail blues, really changes the dynamic of the cast. I was lucky to hit 30' yesterday - and that was on a good cast. Worms and snappers, seem to travel much better.

-Fred
 

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Thanks, Rainman :icon_smile:

I was out using it yesterday, with two cocktail blues, as bait. Not a single bite. Reeled it in, they looked as fresh as when I caught them. Went to cast it back out, got distracted, forgot to flip the bail, and busted the float.

So, I threw it back out without the float, and the blues got shredded by crabs. There's definitely sea life, just not what I'm looking for laughing7.gif. But I don't feel too bad - with all the fishermen on the beach yesterday, the biggest catch was a 6" spotted croaker.

But I have to say, adding the cocktail blues, really changes the dynamic of the cast. I was lucky to hit 30' yesterday - and that was on a good cast. Worms and snappers, seem to travel much better.

-Fred
Gonna try and get out to fish riday night. Maybe try that rig of yours.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Hope it works out for you :icon_smile:

I had it out over the weekend, working from a pier. Had two snappers on the line. Never saw a strike, but when I reeled it in, one of the snappers had been bitten off, clear to the head ( Had put the hook through the cheeks). Whatever ate the bait, missed the hook by half an inch.

Let me know if you catch anything, what bait you were using, and how you had it hooked.

-Fred
 
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