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New angler needs some guidance

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  Discussion Boards > LI Sound Fishing
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Joined: 09/22/2008
Posts: 63
 posted 04/06/2009 05:25 PM  

I just started last year but it wasn’t very successful. I had early days, late nights, some bites but never landed anything larger than a cocktail bluefish. I am in Westchester county and mostly fish between Mamaroneck and New Rochelle aiming for snappers, striped Bass, and bluefish and this season i am considering targeting porgies. Any help with the following questions would be much appreciated..

1. Are there any clubs in the Westchester area? or someone interested in teaching an eager student?
2. rigs – is it worth it to make myself or buy pre-made?
3. if i make rigs myself, Do I use heavy mono line or branded “leader material” line?
4. Braid or not to braid? Even on light tackle?

pinnacle power pro tip with Penn Sargus 4000
ugly stik tiger with shimano baitrunner 6500B

Joined: 06/09/2003
Posts: 2193
Location: Port: Stony Brook
 posted 04/06/2009 06:15 PM  

Advice for new angler

I don't fish that area and am by no means a "sharpie" but may be able to offer something:
1. Learn the Palomar and Dropper loop knots til you can tie them in the dark. Pretty easy and useful.

2. Store bought rigs are generally OK but you'll get tired of replacing them and frustrated when they fail under stress. Like the first time you lose a big (or even small) bass. Use the store bought rigs to learn how to tie your own. You'll get alot more satisfaction out of it too.

3. Stick with good, name brand hooks like Gamakatsu, Owner, Daichi, etc. Cost more but generally worth it. Personally, I've used the higher end eagle claw lazer sharps with good results on fluke. Gamas tend to be brittle, as can some other "chemically" sharpened hooks.

4. "Leader" material can be pricey for the budget so save it for the times when it could matter. For blues its a waste, for Bass, maybe not. I typically use it most times tho. Try starting with a 20-30# mono or hybrid. Some people swear by Flouro...

5. I prefer braid on all my reels tipped with a 6' of leader. On a spinning real it can be a pain when it slips of or buries itself. I've found that its best to keep the line under some tension when reeling meaning don't reel in loose line, especially early in the retrieve. It will spool onto reel loosely then the later winds slip behind the loose ones....its a mess.

6. When dealing with braid, watch your fingers. There isn't a fisherman out there who hasn't sliced a hand or finger on it. Cuts like a razor.

7. Put in the time. Unfortunately, most of us have to fish around our lives so we go when we can, but learning the tides/currents, moon, and weather and keeping track of what results you get will help.

8. and Finally, try a variety of lures but there are some must haves that aren't terribly expensive. The hopkins and crocodile silver spoons in a few sizes like 1/2 to 2 oz are great all around. A couple small to medium surface poppers, a couple swimmers, a pack of storm shads and your off to a good start.

Good luck.
Onemoredrift Club Member

LI Sound Fishing
Posted Reports

Joined: 09/04/2001
Posts: 7042
 posted 04/06/2009 06:24 PM  

Welcome to

Hi There. Smile

I am not from the Westchester County area, but there are quite a few guys here that are, so hopefully they will chime in as far as fishing clubs and fishing the area goes.

"Is it worth it to make your rigs or buy them"?

I find when I make my own rigs and rods it's much more gratifying when you land a nice fish on something you made. Just make sure you use sharp hooks, good leader material and have 150% confidence in the knots/snells you use. up It is also good to support your local B&T shop to keep them in business buying some of there rigs that are also good. up

"if I make rigs myself, Do I use heavy mono line or branded “leader material” line?"

That all depends on the area you are fishing, if you’re anchored or drifting and how deep you’re fishing. My preference, (this is me....I'm not a professional, nor is what I do the right way to fish, but this is what has worked for me over the years). I use 30lb Berkley Big Game mono on my chunking rods. I like to have a little stretch in the line when I'm setting the hook. When I'm drifting for Fluke, casting out to a blitz or fishing shallow water I like to use Suffix 30 braid with a 30# mono leader. I use to use Fluorocarbon, but I have found that Ande which is about a quarter of the price works just as good.

"Braid or not to braid? Even on light tackle?"

I am a thick headed, stubborn, headstrong Sicilian that happens to also be a Taurus. Toungue For the longest time I would not switch over to braid. I was being old fashioned and felt if something isn't broke don't fix it. Well about 3 years ago I gave in and tried it. Well, I would say my 12 rods that I fish with 8 of them now have braid on them. The reason why is because braid it much stronger, durable and you can get down deeper. You must be careful though when using braid because it will slice right through your finger. One other thing bad about braid is sometimes out of the blue it will break off for no apparent reason, or if you get a strike that hits like a freight train it snaps. On a good note, I love the sensitivity when I'm bucktailing for Fluke to feel every little strike and have non stop contact with the bottom.

If you want to catch something bigger then a cocktail blue, my suggestion would be take that Snapper, Porgy or cocktail Blue that you just got and liveline it. If the bait ends up dying on you, chunk it. You will increase your odds by 50% using fresh bait or livelining.

Good Luck, hope I was able to help you a little bit.



Joined: 08/23/2006
Posts: 617
Location: Nissequogue River
 posted 04/06/2009 07:32 PM  

When it comes to porgy and fluke rigs I make my own. I prefer to do like OMD does and take the satisfaction of knowing the $5 Spro bucktail I bought caught a big fish because of the silly knot I tied it to on the braided line I paid good bucks for as well. I hate the porgy and fluke rigs that stay packaged for long periods of time. Flounder figs too. They keep their shape and end up twisted and tangled in itself. Those rigs are easy enough to learn to tie and actually you can experiment with high-low rigs to improve your catches.

My snells stink so I buy bass and blue lures. Everything else I do my own. Invest in a book of knots, buy some cheap 15# test or take that old stuff that sits in your tackle box and practice with that. That is how I learned, all winter on the couch in front of the television tying my knots.

Ask your local B&T for a few good areas to fish in. Porgies like rough bottom near shellfish beds or near structure like rock piles and such. Same with sea bass and you can catch both on the same rig with the same bait a lot of the time. With bass and blues you very often need fresh bait or live bait and it doesn't hurt to chum up the water. They also feed near structure and underwater rip currents, bass especially. Blues you'll find almost anywhere there are bait fish schooling up.

Try to keep it simple until you figure out what you like to use best where rods and reels are considered. My fluke set up is real simple, braided line with a mono shock leader about 6'. I tie my bucktails right to that. As the mono gets shorter I cut it off and tie on a new one every few weekends. This keeps my leader fresh and nick free. No need to buy expensive rods and reels, something middle of the pack will do. I hunt with a $200 bow and it kills deer just fine. I fish with a modest rod and reel and catch fish all the time. Its all about practice and presentation.

"We sleep soundly in our beds because rough men stand ready in the night to visit violence on those who would do us harm."

Winston Churchill

Joined: 01/08/2005
Posts: 1515
Location: bronx
 posted 04/06/2009 08:12 PM  

Its real hard to catch fish when they aint there. You have to gain experience fishing in areas that are hot. There was a great run of cod fish off of block island earlier this year. If you caught the beginning you had a great chance of catching. Go now to this area and you will catch as many cod as in your back yard. You talk about catching porgies, its a few months early, but the last two weeks May and all of June you can limit out in Hyannis. I live in the Bronx and make a couple of trips to new bedford to get in on this action. Its easy to limit and before catching a 100 wasn't hard. Right now the only action in your locale is for flounder and this is very slow. My advice to you is to learn where the fish are biting and make your trips to these areas. I myself will go bluefishing on a party boat in sheepshead bay as soon as they show, early May, then in late may go to new bedford to fish for porgies on the viking. I will make a few trips to new hampshire to try for cod and haddock. Most of the summer I will bait fish for blues in brooklyn, until the cod make comeback on coxes ledge. I will head north again for the pollack run. This fishing routine has been established over the years, only changing when I get the craving to catch something different or when something gets hot and heavy. I wouldn't worry so much about rigging and style, I only fish on party boats and the mates will give you all the information you need, tip them. Read the reports and you can garner important info. Experience is the best teacher.

Joined: 09/22/2008
Posts: 63
 posted 04/06/2009 08:45 PM  

Thanks for responding fellas. You all have made some very good points in making your own rigs which I think I will start doing. I know only a few knots but will have to learn a few more for different applications.

Looks like I will be picking up some suffix this weekend.

I try to get out there as often as possible even if it’s just to toss a weight around and practice casting. I know it’s a bit early for most species in this area but I just enjoying being out there playing. Currently only have chunking rods but I intend on picking up a nice surf casting rod and reel in the summer. I have a bunch of lures that I have been picking up over the winter that I can’t use until I get the new rod.

OMD – I do plan on live lining but just got the baitruner and still learning on how to use it properly.

Willie – I am trying to learn the tides, weather, and moon phases, but I have to admit I am lousy at the migration routes or patterns of each species. I have tried to speak to the local B&T but I get very generic info that leaves me with more questions. Research has helped me a lot, I just need to put in the time and gain the experience. This year I do plan on traveling more than just depending on what’s closest, try new areas and different techniques.

thanks everyone for all your advise, got one last question...

what is your opinion on the pinnacle power pro tip rod? i got it at the local B&T and just recently matched it with a Penn Sargus 4000. i intended to use it for porgies and snappers but think the rod has too soft of a tip. think i should switch to a different rod?
Onemoredrift Club Member

LI Sound Fishing
Posted Reports

Joined: 09/04/2001
Posts: 7042
 posted 04/06/2009 09:21 PM  

chinosucio wrote:

OMD – I do plan on live lining but just got the baitruner and still learning on how to use it properly.

No matter what it is your livelining your best bet is to put it in free spool. Most likely your going to have a nice fish on. When he first grabs the fish you don't want him to feel any tension on your line. When the line starts peeling off your spool, wait a few seconds before you engage, bring your tip down, get a little line on him so you can see his exact location of where he is swimming, point your rod tip in that direction, then bow to the cow and set the hook hard in that sucker. Smile

This post edited by Onemoredrift 09:22 PM 04/06/2009

Joined: 01/08/2005
Posts: 1515
Location: bronx
 posted 04/06/2009 11:49 PM  

Equiptment is matter feel and cost. I wouldn't know the equiptment you have, but for porgies it really doesnt matter. Most porgie fisherman prefer a soft tip, they have tender mouths and most want a forgiving rod, not to rip the hook out the mouth. I happen to prefer a stiffer light rod, which I matched 220 newell and 30 lb spiderwire and a larger hook 1/0. I have a thousand of smaller hooks 4, 2 & 1 which are acceptable, I just prefer the 1/0 size. Making rigs is very simple, and most have their own preferences. I like 4-6 inch dropper loops, with a small orange bead, bottom loop sinker height, nad the other 15 inches up. My opinion is that the larger fish hit higher. I use an improved clinch knot for most applications.
reelfisher Club Member

Posted Reports
Partyboat Fishing
Fisheries Management

Joined: 07/21/2003
Posts: 11265
Location: Jamesport
 posted 04/07/2009 03:08 PM  

All of the species you mention are available in the area you mentioned. Are you fishing from a boat or from the shore?

"If you can read this, thank a teacher....and
since it's in English, thank a soldier."

Joined: 10/04/2005
Posts: 960
Location: North Queens
 posted 04/07/2009 05:02 PM  

Did I miss something important here?

I didn't notice it mentioned or if it was just taken for granted? One of the most important questions I need to know the answer to first before I can effectively answer any other questions is: ARE YOU FISHING FROM THE SHORE OR A BOAT?

Once that's confirmed I can help guide you in the right direction toward success.

The Baitrunner is a spinning reel. I don;t use spinning gear for bait fishing myself, but I did start out that way years ago. I'm not familiar with the Penn model you mentioned.

Fill me in and I'll see if I can help you get into some nice fish.

I lift fish up then put them down!!

Joined: 09/22/2008
Posts: 63
 posted 04/07/2009 06:19 PM  

everyone was able to provide an abundence of information about my original questions and i appriciate all the information that was shared. i stopped by the local B&T today for some misc takle to get started on making various rigs.

reel and bigtuna - i currently only fish in-shore and this year i am planning on trying new locations.
Onemoredrift Club Member

LI Sound Fishing
Posted Reports

Joined: 09/04/2001
Posts: 7042
 posted 04/08/2009 07:11 AM  

chinosucio wrote:

everyone was able to provide an abundence of information about my original questions and i appriciate all the information that was shared. i stopped by the local B&T today for some misc takle to get started on making various rigs.

reel and bigtuna - i currently only fish in-shore and this year i am planning on trying new locations.

upYou must keep us posted and we wanna see pics of your success stories. Shades Glad we could all help you out. That's one of the many benifits to being a member. Ton of information and many guys willing to help out. up


Joined: 07/19/2002
Posts: 122
 posted 04/08/2009 08:59 AM  

Good Place To Start !

One great spot to start is in Hudson Park New Rochelle,I live upstate and have a boat in Norwalk and fish on a friends boat around City Island . John has great pre made rigs and he is real helpful from tackle to rigs. He really goes out of his way to help, good time is now to start before he gets busy . I learn something new each time we stop in and I go way out of my way to go stop there . Last week I went there and got a few things and John gave me a few rigs to try FREE you don't get that at many places.

Joined: 10/12/2004
Posts: 169
 posted 04/08/2009 10:54 AM  

location location location

Hi Chinosucio i'm sparkie(pat)i fish the sound and south shore and staten island and jersey if you want we can meet at hudson park and i can show you more spots and teach you a few things more. i do alot of surf fishing , i have a great place for porgys . i also have all the permits to. i live in the bronx you can call me at 1-718-792-5601.

This post edited by sparkie 10:56 AM 04/08/2009

Joined: 09/22/2008
Posts: 63
 posted 04/08/2009 11:17 AM  

Steve - i know the place well, i usually rotate between Al's tackle in Pelham, Capitol Tackle in midtown and John's place in new rochelle.

sparkie - thats an offer i cant pass up... sent you a PM.
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