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  #1  
Old 07-13-2004, 05:39 PM
ProlineBuzzardsBay ProlineBuzzardsBay is offline
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Default Finding the Fish

Guys,
Thanks for all your help with your great posts and responses. I have another question though. I'm told catching fish from a boat is 90% finding the fish and 10% technique. Now I'm learning tons about techniques, terminal tackle, tides, rips in the water, etc. But I want hear what you guys have to say about finding the fish. I know the general areas that are supposedly good spots. I know to look for current, rips etc. But please share with me some of the techniques you guys use to find the fish. I've got the GPS, fishfinder, etc, but I know it takes a lot more than that. Any of your tips, tricks, or suggestions would be great! Thanks again guys!

J.Levy
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  #2  
Old 07-13-2004, 10:09 PM
Diablo Diablo is offline
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Location: from Buzzards Bay to Rhode Island Sound
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Default finding fish

A basic way to locate some fish is to look for Terns or Gulls working the surface for food. If the bait is at the surface, chances are some predator(s) are chasing them there. Also, look for groupings of Cormorants diving for food and see what they come up with. If they are coming up with Scup (Porgies), catch a few and live line em'. Be sure to cut off their dorsal fin with some scissors first and hook them throgh the lips, it gives them a more distressed action in the water.

Most of all, start a log. Record dates, times, tides, coordinates, amount of hours into tide (beginning, mid, end?), sea conditions, weather conditions, how many fish you caught, size of fish, what type of bait/lure were you using, etc. You know where to go for the fish, you just need the when and how. Build a big enough database and you will be spending more time landing fish than searching for them.

I noticed in one of your other posts, you inquired about chunking. Chunking is great but it has it's disadvantages. If you do not know when and where to go, you are going to be doing an awful lot of time waiting for your reel to scream. Why wait for a Striper to swim up to your bait; BRING THE PARTY TO THEM!! Start trolling (if you have not already). Try a tube and worm for starters. Check out some of Gunnysnipers posts, he is right on target.

Also, do some recon work. When you are around the islands, look for the charters. These guys are pros and the people on board are paying them top dollars to bring them to the fish. Hang outside and watch these guys work a rip or ledge. See what they are using and most of all, how they are doing it and emmulate them. Don't be afraid to shadow their course, it is everbody's ocean, but give them some space, you don't want to be up their butt. Once you come onto some fish, mark it on your GPS, loop back and run the same course again. If the Bass are holed up in an area you could predict when one will hit.

Most of all, be patient. I have spent countless hours on the water and have been fortunate to experience days when we had over 500 lbs. of Stripers in the boat (commercial rod & reel) , and some very long days where the only thing in the buckets were some Pogie heads and sandwich wrappers.

Keep the faith and most of all, just have fun! [/i]
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Old 07-13-2004, 11:09 PM
ProlineBuzzardsBay ProlineBuzzardsBay is offline
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Default trolling/chunking

Diablo,
Thanks for the great advice...I've been trying to follow birds the best I can, But what's the best technique once I find the birds, troll around them, chunking, casting lures, or what?
Also, I've been doing a lot of trolling with tubes with powerbait on the hook, and also with jigs and umbrella rigs. I caught a bunch of blues a few weeks ago, but since then I've caught nothing but seaweed a couple fluke and a skate. What am I doing wrong? Anyway, thanks again for your help and I look forward to reading your next post!

-J. Levy
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  #4  
Old 07-14-2004, 06:23 AM
Diablo Diablo is offline
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I find the best method, to work a school of bait fish, is to determine in which direction they are moving and get out in front of them. Be cautious while motoring their way, you do not want to spook them. Get out 25-50 yards in front of them and wait for them to come through. From there you can toss in a chunk or cast a lure. I like to use 6" Storm Wild Eye Shads ($2.47 for a 4 pack at WalMart), cast it into the middle of them, let it sink for a bit, then start the retrieve. I would not reccomend trolling around them just yet, the chunks or artificials should keep you busy. Keep out in front, working the school until they disperse. Just be sure that when you move your boat, you don't give it too much gas and spook em', try to keep it under 1500 RPM.

As for trolling with tubes, check out the trolling thread started by Sea Wassp, some great info in there. Just concentrating on the tubes, if you are picking up sea weed, fluke and skate, you are most likely dragging it on the bottom. You want to keep the tube as colse to the bottom, but not making contact with it. As for the blue fish, I find that if the tube is riding too high in the water, you are more apt to hook a blue than a bass. This is where the experimenting comes in, you need to try variations in tubes, amount of line let out and speed to find what works for you. Also, don't waste your time with the power baits on the tubes, use live sand worms, I find them to work the best.

Let me know what type of line you are using (i.e. lead core, wire, mono) and also the general depth that you are targeting, maybe I could give you a starting point and some suggestions for a rig.
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  #5  
Old 07-14-2004, 08:59 AM
Riddler Riddler is offline
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Great stuff Diablo -

A few things I'll echo. Why not pay for a charter once? They will take you to where the fish are and just use your brain to record the spots. If the Cap't gets the hint to paid to steal his spots he may not bring you to them. Watch the spots and techiniques, get some hands on training, and catch some fish!

Schools - Again, Diablo is right on. Get in front, them them come to you, always go around them giving them a wide berth. If you spook the school you need toi wait for them to re-appear. Top water plugs are fun, but ususally the bigger stripers are below. Cast past the school, let your shad sink and do a nice slow retrieve. If a few passes come up empty, jig the shad a little. Another nice tip I have yet to try, but makes to much sense not to, is drop a chunk or eel right through the school to the bottom. Many times the biggest bass are hanging under the school feasting on the scraps.

Good luck!
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  #6  
Old 07-14-2004, 11:25 AM
Diablo Diablo is offline
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To build on the subject a little more, Charlie is right about the bass hanging down near the bottom. Even if you are working a school of bait fish and hook into some blues, try to get your bait/lure lower or cast to the outside of the school, get it down low and try to get the bass that are looking for that free meal. If you come across a boiling school of baitfish, more than likely the blues are the ones stirring them up, try to get your stuff below them, this is difficult at times, especially when the blues are in a feeding frenzy, they hit anything that moves. Break out the light tackle and have some fun with them!
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  #7  
Old 07-15-2004, 09:23 AM
Stripersteve Stripersteve is offline
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Default the fisfinder

so far this year the only thing the fishfinder has been good for is telling us where the bottom is. It'll be beeping like crazy, fish all over the place and they just don't seem hungry........had a blue leave me with a mack head last week.....
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  #8  
Old 07-15-2004, 09:31 AM
Riddler Riddler is offline
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That's the tough part about fishfinders....they don't tell you what kind of fish it is. They could have been herring, macks, etc that have no interest in your striper bait.

I was on a friend's boat. I'm good from shore, but have no clue about where to fish in the area we were, so I'm looking at his nautial maps. He's looking at the fishfinder saying "let's fish here, there's fish"

Needless to say, no stripers. I think they were bunker (which I tried to snag ), but he's throwing poppers & bucktails.

My bottom line is, find the structure where they are likely to hang and fish it. If you see a school busting on the way, stop and fish, but the best Captains I've fished with never even used a fish finder - and we catch loads.

It's about finding the right place and fishing it hard.
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  #9  
Old 07-15-2004, 02:05 PM
Diablo Diablo is offline
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Unless you have a top of the line fish finder ($$$$$$$$), use what ever you have for reference only(use it in conjunction with your GPS to track depths and bottom contour). They do work in the right conditions but most of the time are just a real pain. Fish finders are notorious for making alot of false positives, anything that comes between the transducer and the sea bottom could be considered fish; this includes, sea weed, prop wash and maybe even Jimmy Hoffa. Take your boat out after a good storm, one that churns up the bottom a good amount, and you will be marking tons of "fish". If you do not have any charts, stop by marine supply store and pick up one of "Capt. Seagull's" maps(http://www.captainsegullcharts.com/). There are a bunch for Buzzard's Bay and the Islands. The "well known" fishing spots are indicated on the map. I would not use it as a navigational aid, but used in conjunction with your GPS will definately put you in the ball park of some really good fishing spots.
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  #10  
Old 10-12-2004, 11:10 AM
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sea sea rider sea sea rider is offline
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Default hummingbird matrix 37

hummingbird matrix 37
got one last week ,didn,t mount it yet. is it good or bad? I won,t put it on until next year ,to late in the season.
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  #11  
Old 02-07-2005, 12:02 PM
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Roccus Roccus is offline
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Alot of good info here,I'll add my .02
I've been keeping a log for over 30 years,having a place to fish is not a problem.
Best advise I can offer is to make a serious study of your quarry,understand the habits of small,medium and large fish,study how they change with the seasons,study how weather and tide conditions affect them,how bait influxes can alter their habits,for example:large fish are lazy,it takes alot of calories to become large and remain large,they prefer quieter water,tidal flats,creek mouths,offshore sand bars,and ishore beaches near deep water,they will take up residence behind rock piles on the down current side,they avoid fast moving rips ocupied by small and medium fish,a thirty,forty or fifty pound striper will not try to compete with a 12lb wipper snapper for dinner....unless..... there is a smaorgassboard,free lunch for all,cripples from over zealous school and medium/teen size bass (as well as blues) create an opertunity,large bass will take advantage.
But the most important thing to remember,is this,nothing beats time on the water,make every trip a learning process,fish have fins and cant read,and just as you think you've got them figured out...they'll change...more latter.
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  #12  
Old 04-02-2005, 04:10 PM
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Striperjim Striperjim is offline
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Now that the spring run is at the doorstep this thread needs to be recycled. It seems like the most successful fishermen keep logs. Extremely good advice. With limited fishing time, chance favors the prepared mind.
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  #13  
Old 04-02-2005, 06:44 PM
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zam zam is offline
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It may depend on where you fish at, but one of the best things to do is study a chart from your area, look for wrecks,bridges,rock piles, lumps,channel edges,points,dropoffs, any change in depth. Then do a milk run, try a spot, if you don,t get anything,move to the next. eventually you'll find fish. plus, look for baitfish. the rockfish don,t hangout in those areas for the fun of it, they,re there for food.
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  #14  
Old 04-08-2005, 03:29 PM
gunner1 gunner1 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zam
It may depend on where you fish at, but one of the best things to do is study a chart from your area, look for wrecks,bridges,rock piles, lumps,channel edges,points,dropoffs, any change in depth. Then do a milk run, try a spot, if you don,t get anything,move to the next. eventually you'll find fish. plus, look for baitfish. the rockfish don,t hangout in those areas for the fun of it, they,re there for food.
Well, if the funds ($200) permit it, you could always purchase an AquaVu Scout underwater camers and then when you finf fish on the sonar, lower the camera to their depth ( you'll be able to see it on the sonar) and check out for yourself what's down there. I bought one just after Christmas and used it for icefishing and LOVE it! It lets you observe fish being fish and helps eliminate fruitless water. Fish smarter, not harder.
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  #15  
Old 04-10-2005, 10:01 AM
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sea sea rider sea sea rider is offline
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It's funny sometimes. My buddy and i fish this beach and in the middle of the beach there is this little hole. The water depth is around 12 to 14 ft. in the area. there is this one spot on the beach that has this little hole. the water goes down to 11 feet. You wouldn't think that would be a big difference. Every time me go over that stop we get a big fish, if the fish are there. On the depthfinder it's just a little hole. It looks like the fish can just about lay in the hole.
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