I cant outfish a guy who uses clam. Its a tough guy to beat. A clam guy usually catches a fish 25 to 35 pounds and bigger. When your using bait at this rime of year the snappers are terrible, They wont leave you alone. SO I use the whole live snapper, It increases your odds of catching a big weaky, big fluke, big blue, or a striper. 4 species with the snappers.
I would go to to plugging during high tide outgoing. Rebels, and fin-s lures. Use Hopkins with an 18 inch wire leader if you see birds busting. Surface plugs like green back bombers this time of year and fin-s for midwater and 3 or 4 oz for down deep especially birds splashing.
This is early fall when I really start to watch the water. incoming outgoing high low find out when the bite is this time of the year it could be 2 oclock in the afternoon or two in the morning because they are schoolin. Use the FinS with a 1/2 oz white or lime green bucktail and the fin-S you want to use are the 3 inch greenback with a belly. Looks like a peanut bunker. The green back and the blue back. Make sure your using the right fin-S . The one with the pinkish pearl finish belly. They make an artificial one that doesnt have the pearl finish belly. They are no good.
Another hot tip for you. For the lure this fall you want a pearl finish jig head. Flat on both sides not round like regular buctail jighead 5/8 or half ounce with the painted black eye with a gold ring around it. The eye painted on, not stuck on. Black eye with gold ring around it just plain head no bucktail hair. Then put a whole fresh shucked surf clam. Crack the shells and throw them in the water for chum. This is good in the bay, marsh area, inlets, or the sloughs (the deep holes) dead stick it loosen the drag and let it sit there. Must be fresh. Will gaurentee you a fish. Gaurentee. Mcreynolds secret weapon. For some reason they see the eye on it black eye with a gold ring on it. Rig with 30 pound flourocarbon leader about 12 inches. ( Need a 80 pound black swivel. Dont use silver because of blues). You can fish this with slack high or slack low unless you have a spot where the current is pulling straight out. You dont want it to tumble. I dont understand why it works just laying in the sand or the mud. It must be the eye. they wont pass it up man they attack it. You can do it off the boat if your anchored . You can use this when your tired of plugging. This jig head is used during the day light. Early morning, afternoon and evening. Overcast day it works, I havent used it at night yet. Still experimenting.
I usually plug at sunset and after dark this time of year.
Another killer tip
Get a half ounce plain lead jig head no paint. Black rubber eels little thicker than a pen, not the transparent ones all black rubber. Fish these around docks bridges and pilings. I tie them on with 20 pound test no leader. , and jig let it go to the bottom . Wind 4 or 5 turnes off the bottom. Then lift it up 2 feet let it drop and reapeat. Keep it off the bottom . Wait till slack goes out of line and jig it up again dont let it hit bottom. I use it off a bridge on high tide. Before it got to loe tide I had 3 dozen of them I lost every one of themk.,.. I caught 3 fish though. A 33 a 36 and 39 pounders before I had no more lures. They wanted the black eels. The blacker the night the better it worked, anywhere there is stucture.
Finally somebody told ya something that really works. Please take a picture and write me back, When your proud of your fish you catch on ithis jig. I'll be proud. If you catch something on this tip you owe me a diet soft drink and a slim jim. Ha