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Thread: How hard are you willing to work, to learn....

  1. #21
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    How hard are you willing to work, to learn....

    Here are some answers from me. A 49 year old newbie to striper fishing with lots of life experiences
    about surf fishing? I started by asking lots of questions. Man I provided a lot of entertainment for a lot of people. But I learned. From what they said and what they didn't say. Learning to read between the lines and extract the little tidbits of wisdom that come with every experience. Also reading. I have read probably every thread on every forum I have joined. I've also read about 6 books thus far. I went with a group of hardcore surfcasters to Montauk this Fall. I think I slept about a total of 14 hours in 5 days. Where I live I have to drive an hour or more each way to get to the spots. I listen. I have been fortunate to have met a great group of guys who have cut years off my learning curve but that only happens if you can listen and then apply those words of wisdom to when you are actually fishing. I scouted spots during daylight by bugging out of work a few hours early. Even working plugs during the day so I would know what they swam like in the dark of the night. I keep a change of clothes and my gear in my truck....just in case. I also met a guy who I consider the most knowledgable fisherman anywhere and I have learned a great deal from him by not only fishing with him but also talking to him as much as possible

    What does "Paying your dues, putting your time in" mean to you? As much as I have listened and read, there is no substitute for experience. We are fortunate to have technology that can help us find spots on the internet such as google earth and maps.live.com
    Early on I identified some spots that I did not have access to but ended up being some of my favorite spots thus far. It means doing your research and scouting your spots and then working them. It means going to your local bait and tackle and asking questions. It means fishing in Nor'easters and also when you're sweating your a$$ off. It means fishing for hours on end even when you're not catching ( but you're still learning from that). And by the way, you never stop paying your dues or putting your time in. Yes it may get easier over time but you always have to work at it

    How much effort will you put into it? Pretty much whatever it takes without sacrificing my family life to the point of no return

    How much is too much? . I think there is a different answer for each person. For me I will go as hard as I can, whenever I can. My favorite words are "Enjoy the Journey". If you stop enjoying what you are doing then it's time to get out

    How many times are you willing to get blanked to learn some hard but valuable lessons? No one wants to get skunked but the key is to not repeat the same mistakes. Pay attention, learn, and improve. Fishing is great...catching is the icing on the cake

    How far are you willing to walk in one night? . I don't give up easily. I may not be able to walk as fast as some others but I will get there and won't stop 'til I do

    How many times will you move to find the fish if the time and tide is right and they just ain't there? I am very stubborn and don't give up easily. I also trust my instincts. If I am sure the time and tide ( amongst other things ) are right then I am more likely to stay where I am and try different presentations such as varying distance on casts, types of retrieves, changing plugs or just changing the weight of a bucktail, etc.

  2. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by DarkSkies View Post
    WTG on the persistence, Monty!

    Surfwalker, talked to one guy last night who had 2 short bass on artificials, he confirmed those first light comments. It seems to me there's a point to that as well. People have been catching fish in the dark on artificials, but after a lot of effort.
    Some people know what it is to be persistent. Surfalker and Monty do, they won't give up, if they feel the time and tide is right, until they nail a fish.

    The quote above talks about a conversation I had with a young kid last night. He's in his early 20's, if that. But he's compulsive about fishing. It was late and there weren't many people around where we were fishin.

    He was talking about his friends, and the fact that if they come down and don't catch a fish in 5 mins they want to go home. He said he has no use or interest in fishin with people like that, and I kind of felt the same way.

    If you go out there and fish a blitz, it's great for your ego because you can do well.

















    How about when the moon is full and bright?
    How about when the fish are popping on shrimp, cinder worms, or small bait?
    Willl you still try to catch fish, or will you give up and go home?
    Will you change all your presentations, incorporating different teasers and presentations that work different levels of the water column, until you find the one thing that fish will hit?

    And...
    when you find that one thing, will you be flexible enough to change that presentation as soon as some different bait comes by, or you sense that it's less effective?

    Sometimes people are envious of people who catch a lot of fish. This kid and I talked about mutual spots we like to fish when no one else is around. Some of em ain't easy to get to or involve some sort of risk. Yet we know the rewards, and have reaped them.

    Even so, the reward doesn't always happen, the time, tide, bait, current, and weather have to be just right. If it doesn't work at that night, instead of getting bummed, you have to suck it up and move to another place. And start working that one just as hard.

    The next time you meet a guy who tells you he had a double digit night, ask yourself if you would be willing to put the time in, that he's putting in, in all kinds of weather.

    It goes back to the old concept I've mentioned a few times here...

    Wanting to fish
    VS
    Needing to fish.

  3. #23
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    I always pay attention to my surroundings, look what other people are doing and change up if needed. I an one who needs to fish. My life would not be the same without it. I wonder if I am compulsive?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Doublerunner View Post
    How many times will you move to find the fish if the time and tide is right and they just ain't there? I am very stubborn and don't give up easily. I also trust my instincts. If I am sure the time and tide ( amongst other things ) are right then I am more likely to stay where I am and try different presentations such as varying distance on casts, types of retrieves, changing plugs or just changing the weight of a bucktail, etc.
    What he said, if you are out there you might as well fish. Instincts also play a key part on when it is time to move.

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    Default Mark your holes and cuts

    Who's marking the new holes and cuts that have come up this year?

    Who's keeping a record of these to improve their fishing opportunities?

    (Or, to get yourself away from the crowds when the internet hordes show up)
    More on this later when I have some time to post up.

  6. #26
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    Default Not worth the effort for a 22# fish?

    Yesterday the bite was real slow in the PM. Only a few lucky guys got fish. We met up with 2 of them who had been plugging despite the lack of bunker.

    They both caught some nice fish, maybe 24, and 32#.
    One of the guys had some rusty plugs in his bag. I wanted to help him out a bit, so I went to give him some of what had been working for me at night (he was still plugging long after everyone else had left and decided the bite was over)












    On the way to where he was, I ran into a younger surf guy I know. He's been catching a lot of fish lately in the blitzes. That's what he does, and devotes all his free time to it, so he's done well.

    However, as a surf guy I thought he would be able to appreciate that there are some bass around at night, if you are willing to work for them....

    I showed him what I was using, told him I was getting bass to 22# at night.

    His question..."Well how long does it take you to get each bass?"

    Me:
    "Sometimes up to 2 or 3 hours for one hit. sometimes less. It's a lot of work, but they're around..."

    At that point his eyes glassed over, and he lost interest...

    It seems there are not too many hardcore nutcases out there like Monty, Surfwalker, me, and a few others. Plugging hours at a time? Get real, dude!!!

    Why spend all those pointless hours plugging for a measly 22# fish or 2 if you can get all you want until your arms are tired in a bunker blitz?

  7. #27
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    While out there this morning with almost the whole beach to myself, was thinking maybe that with an area known to be "hot" a few miles away, maybe a couple guys that would normally be fishing the area I was in were there (good for me). So I was able to walk and cast a good mile of beach, walking by only three other guys fishing (bait). I got one short on a popper (the way Surfwalker likes to catch'em), had a great time, fished water that looked great, can't wait to get out there again. It was worth the effort if I didn't catch a 24 inch bass and was happy I got that one. I fish every chance I get and am just happy to be fishing. Running around looking for bunker seems stressful to me and a waste of "my" time . I want no part of that type of "fishing".
    Took a couple pics of the sun rise this morning......in between casts

    White Water Monty 2.00 (WWM)
    Future Long Islander (ASAP)

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    great pics monty time is every thing i am out there as much as i can be and every time out i learn something new about the surf and how plugs
    work at diff. time of day and tides so i try to get as much info i can ...

  9. #29
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    Default Full and new moons, and tide tables

    Quote Originally Posted by DarkSkies View Post
    6. If you have a busy life, and are pressed for time, if you only went out and fished the 2 nights before and after the full and new moons, you would exponentially increase your odds of catching. Whether you do catch or not, that's up to you and the waters you fish in (which I hope you have chosen carefully)
    Moon fishing....
    I posted this in another thread, worth reading, I think...
    http://stripersandanglers.com/Forum/...n-surf-fishing


    Tide tables....
    How many of ya's are obsessive about your tide tables? Surfwalker is one I know of here who's diligent about printing out his different tide tables every month. Even if he doesn't make it to fish the area, he prints out the ones he's interested in.
    Every month, I print a few myself.
    Just got done printing out 10 of them. I may print more as the month progresses.


















    Why do this?

    !. Weather pattern changes - When the wind is from the NE, do you know a place that will allow you to fish it in safety? How about from a yak? How about a hard S, or a strong N/NW pattern? You can't always rely on the weatherman. If I start out to fish and area and am blown out by the weather, do I just turn tail and go home?

    Hell no. I take out my charts. I look where I can still get to that has good tides and offers me a way to fish that weather pattern.
    If you want to catch fish, even in the hottest weather of summer, you have to be ready and willing to change your plans.

    Or change from the ocean to the back bay, or the back bay to a river....

    Granted, once you know a whole body of water, you generally know that..."the inlet HT is 2 hours later than the ocean, or the particular bridge, the HT is 3 hours later, etc, etc, so you probably don't actually need to carry all that paper around with ya. But if you're as obsessive as I am, I'll tell ya's that I don't mind. Rather than let the weather or strong winds ruin my trip, it gives me more options. I feel that I have done more of my homework that way.



    How about you folks?


    And Monty, as usual, your pics are inspiring...looking at them on a hot muggy day makes me want to get out there and find that refreshing water!

  10. #30
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    I looked at those pics again, Monty, just wanted to thank you for sharing them with us, those sunrises are awesome...

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    Quote Originally Posted by DarkSkies View Post
    Who's marking the new holes and cuts that have come up this year?

    Who's keeping a record of these to improve their fishing opportunities?

    (Or, to get yourself away from the crowds when the internet hordes show up)
    More on this later when I have some time to post up.
    I'm finally doing my log of the major holes and cuts for the areas I fish.
    To me this is part of being a surfcaster, I feel like I'm being half-assed when I don't do it.
    As mentioned, these change every year.

    Recently the OFFC (Old Farts Fishing Club) was fishing in OC and did better than half the guys on that beach. An "internet hero" posted in a report online that he saw some old guys out-fish him.

    I mentioned that was because they paid attention to the structure...

    His response:
    "There is no structure on the beach where I fish"

    My response:
    "Go back there at extreme low tide, moon tide, and look at what you see, mark all the holes and cuts, and then come back here and tell us there is no structure on that beach... "
















    I cannot fathom a kid who has a home beach that he usually fishes, fishes that beach almost every day, and then claims there is no structure there......


    When the fishing is stupid, almost everyone can catch a fish...
    When it gets tougher, and you get blanked, what are you doing to learn from your mistakes....

    Mark those holes, guys and gals...

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    Quote Originally Posted by DarkSkies View Post
    When the fishing is stupid, almost everyone can catch a fish...
    When it gets tougher, and you get blanked, what are you doing to learn from your mistakes....
    I think you give too much credit to the average fisherman dark. Most guys, they go out, cast for an hour, and go home, never realizing why they didn't catch fish. They blame it on bad luck. When they see someone else catching, they crowd and mug the guy so he can't breathe. Maybe that guy was right in the cut, and that's why the fish are there. If they walked the beach as you said at low tide they would learn a lot. I do that every spring, summer, and fall. In the winter when I get bored I walk the beach for an hour at a time just to see which cuts were affected by the winter storms. You can't expect an average guy to do that, though, they would rather get skunked.

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    Good points, Jigfreak. I think that the way things are in life, and fishing as well, people learn things when they're ready...for example, I knew drugs and alcohol were bad for me, ruining my life, but was not ready to make a change, even though so many people tried to have conversations with me....

    Nothing worked, till I was ready....and some folks are not at the point where they want to put it all out there and give their all to surfcasting...it truly is hard when you first enter the game...and continues to be a challenge for those of us who love to do it....there are always obstacles in your way that you must oercome...but thanks for sharing your opinion...it's appreciated...





    **********
    How hard do you try, before you give up?....
    Surfwalker and I were having this conversation the other day... we talked about the "one last cast" being 10 last casts... and if we're not catching, trying every last thing we can think of, before we're willing to leave for home.

    I met a fisherman I was impressed with a few weeks ago...
    To begin with, it was a snotty and cold night..hardly anyone out there fishing...as I got there he said he had limited action.....We fished together and each got a few until the tide diminished....but on his way home, he stopped every few feet to cast and cast...and ended up picking up 2 more small bass this way....

    Some might not be impressed by this, but to me, it showed me someone who has that determination and winning mindset....not willing to take leave of the fishing psychologically until his footsteps are at the door of his vehicle....in the game till the very end....yup, to me those are admirable qualities...

    I usually am happy to fish by myself because I really like the solitude...

    This fisherman I know, you will never see him on the internet or weighing in a fish,,,,yet during the hottest part of the bite in Jan, he nailed a bass that he estimated to be 35#, length and girth calculations...(estimated because he never weighed it in...doesn't need or want the glory...)

    And the determination and persistence demonstrated in the way he fishes, means that I don't mind running into someone that dedicated out there at night....he really seems to understand what it takes to get that trophy fish, when they are there....

  14. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by DarkSkies View Post
    How hard do you try, before you give up?....
    Surfwalker and I were having this conversation the other day... we talked about the "one last cast" being 10 last casts... and if we're not catching, trying every last thing we can think of, before we're willing to leave for home.
    Good thinking creatively, boys. I feel like that too. Even when clamming I have another rod with me to throw plugs. My one last cast is never just one last cast.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DarkSkies View Post
    Some might not be impressed by this, but to me, it showed me someone who has that determination and winning mindset....not willing to take leave of the fishing psychologically until his footsteps are at the door of his vehicle....in the game till the very end....yup, to me those are admirable qualities...
    In the game to the very end - word.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jigfreak View Post
    In the game to the very end - word.
    Jigfreak, I know you of all people understand this...out there for hours at a time, fishing the whole tide, and then some, just to be able to fish the slack at both ends....





    These are the stories of what some friends have been doing the past few weeks...catching a few very nice fish, but putting in a tremendous amount of time to get it done.......

    1. The Fresh Bunker guy.....
    This is a friend who I fished the rockpiles with on some occasions in the winter....he's a good surfcaster, but all around fisherman in that when bigger fish are in he immediately focuses on fresh bunker....and "tackle shop" fresh is never good enough for him.....

    I remember one night 6 weeks ago. He had the day off from work and jumped from here to Brooklyn to try to find fresh bunker. At that time there were some weather patterns which scattered them. He spent the whole day in pursuit of them, stubbornly refusing to stop at a tackle shop.
    That's pretty damn stubborn if ya ask me...but he is a friend, and the friends I have come in all sizes and colors, and mental states...

    He gave up after spending 14 hours looking for bunker and fish...and the winds that night kicked up to 25mph NW. Some would say he failed....

    But..... he was back out at it again the night of April 23, 2012... the night that some of us talk about as the best night of NJ Spring fishing in several years....the night that I got over 100 fish....

    The interesting thing is, is that night my biggest fish was 17#, on artificials....
    (The next day) I found out he was fishing the same general area as I was, and although he didn't catch many fish, he did get 5 heavier bass up to 29#, with the smallest being 21#....all on fresh bunker heads....


    If he didn't have the persistence he does, he never would have been out there to get those fish...
    WTG, putting in your time pays off.








    2. The Wise Guy....I call him that because he is so discreet, and well-liked, that he could walk into a crowded Italian restaurant, eliminate a crime boss, and walk out, without anyone being able to identify him...he's nameless, faceless, and manages to generate friends in all walks of life....

    He had been out pursuing bass and the bunker schools from the surf, for 12 hours at a time.....
    This all came together for him, one day last week when the bass and bunker came ashore for a few hours.....

    but...rather than jumping in the rotation with the 100 other guys that were already there.(doesn't anyone work on weekdays anymore? )..he and a friend went off to find their own fish....getting into some nice bass up to 28# (C&R, no tackle shop weigh ins) for a good 1 1/2 hours till the action died......







    WTG, all of ya's out there, who can put in the time and the effort, and know that when the bigger bass are offshore, some of them will filter in to the surf line as well....

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    Default Re: How hard are you willing to work, to learn....

    Quote Originally Posted by DarkSkies View Post
    Jigfreak, I know you of all people understand this...out there for hours at a time, fishing the whole tide, and then some, just to be able to fish the slack at both ends....
    Part of what I am observing is that a lot of people grew up when fishing was easy.
    The blitzes could be counted on.
    The 40 and 50 lb bass were within your grasp if you had a bunker snag and knew how to use it.

    Some of the people entering fishing in the last 10 years, are from a different generation than the one I grew up in...
    One where your gratification is instant...
    300 channel TVs...
    Anything you want, can be ordered from the internet....
    Along with that, one can read volumes of knowledge posted on various internet sites.......
    So the learning curve is easier.....

    And maybe, that may cause some to think why should they have to work so hard, to catch a bass













    Some thoughts I had recently....
    1. I was fishing with a hole in my foot, an open sore that developed from the scrambling and walking I did on my nightly trips. The recent rains helped it to heal, and I feel good as new again. I felt I had to be out there fishing certain weather patterns, moon tides, etc. I wonder how many people today, feel this compulsive need, to be out there.....
    Does the water call out to you, like it does to me?


    2. Scouting......something I do on every trip is to scout....if I'm fishing low tide, has the structure changed?
    What about the hard vs soft structure?
    What differences do I notice?
    What differences do I notice in the forage this week, in the areas I am fishing?

    Monty and I were talking about how we got bass Sat night, for the simple act of using a teaser....and one of a specific length......if we didn't use that sized teaser, I feel none of us would have gotten any fish.........


    So how much do you push it, to learn all you can, while you are out there...?

  18. #38
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    Default Re: How hard are you willing to work, to learn....

    Quote Originally Posted by DarkSkies View Post
    Some thoughts I had recently....
    1. I was fishing with a hole in my foot, an open sore that developed from the scrambling and walking I did on my nightly trips. The recent rains helped it to heal, and I feel good as new again. I felt I had to be out there fishing certain weather patterns, moon tides, etc. I wonder how many people today, feel this compulsive need, to be out there.....
    Does the water call out to you, like it does to me?


    2. Scouting......something I do on every trip is to scout....if I'm fishing low tide, has the structure changed?
    What about the hard vs soft structure?
    What differences do I notice?
    What differences do I notice in the forage this week, in the areas I am fishing?

    Monty and I were talking about how we got bass Sat night, for the simple act of using a teaser....and one of a specific length......if we didn't use that sized teaser, I feel none of us would have gotten any fish.........

    So how much do you push it, to learn all you can, while you are out there...?
    The need to be out there....Well since I can usually only fish 1x per week when I am out there I hate leaving. A few outings when I was catching lots of blues, some Gators, my shoulder was aching so much I would wince every cast. But it was worth it, hated leaving the water those days. So I have that need to not leave Also hate when the sun starts to rise, fishing in the dark is awesome.

    One of the things we do Dark is when we do start to catch we try other offerings, plugs, rubber, etc. to see what works/doesn't. Thinking while this more than likely decreases the fish we catch we hope to learn something from it to help us in the future.

    And that teaser length, I tried Magdarters close to the length, nothing, small black Hoggys, nothing, shorter teasers, nothing, Avas, nothing. Those black teasers hits and a few bass. If Mike hadn't caught on the longer teaser, more than likely there would have been no fish caught, maybe no action there.

    A certain amount of resiliency goes a long way to being successful in catching a fish (I'm fine with catching one fish)......But its a fine line between being resilient, not giving up on an area and leaving...than saying I put enough time in that spot, time to move on and try another area....Decisions.
    White Water Monty 2.00 (WWM)
    Future Long Islander (ASAP)

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    Default Re: How hard are you willing to work, to learn....

    Quote Originally Posted by Monty View Post
    One of the things we do Dark is when we do start to catch we try other offerings, plugs, rubber, etc. to see what works/doesn't. Thinking while this more than likely decreases the fish we catch we hope to learn something from it to help us in the future.

    .
    I do that too. When I start catching and its on, I switch plugs or rubber sizes to see if they will hit it. A lot of times they dont. They only want 1 or 2 things. If you don't have what they want that night your screwed. Thats why a lot of us have extra plugs in the truck.

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    Default Re: How hard are you willing to work, to learn....

    Quote Originally Posted by Monty View Post
    So I have that need to not leave Also hate when the sun starts to rise, fishing in the dark is awesome.

    One of the things we do Dark is when we do start to catch we try other offerings, plugs, rubber, etc. to see what works/doesn't. Thinking while this more than likely decreases the fish we catch we hope to learn something from it to help us in the future.

    .




    Quote Originally Posted by jigfreak View Post
    I do that too. When I start catching and its on, I switch plugs or rubber sizes to see if they will hit it. A lot of times they dont. They only want 1 or 2 things. If you don't have what they want that night your screwed. Thats why a lot of us have extra plugs in the truck.

    Great points, guys.

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