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How the Eff Do You Catch a Striper - Triangle / Eaton's Neck

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bryan3536


Joined: 04/09/2010
Posts: 28
Location: Sayville, NY
 posted 08/29/2013 09:24 AM  

Help. Please. Confused

Somewhat new to the area, and very new to fishing - I started seriously trying to fish last year when I got back into boating. I am having little luck, and most of the guys I know are South Shore fisherman, so I am turning to you guys to tell me what the heck I am doing wrong.

I fish out of Northport harbor. I have been all over the Triangle, doing everything I can think of, with little luck. Right now, the only fish I can reliably target with any confidence is porgy, usually over in the brush piles. I would love to catch a Striper, even a short, but cannot figure out how the heck to do it.

Generally speaking I go out early morning (3-4 am) and fish through first light and sunset, usually heading back in at 9 am or so. I always fish moving water (usually outgoing), and usually plan my trips out for when the solarlunar tables (tides4fishing.com) tell me it is a good time to go (I need all the help I can get).

I have been all over the Triangle - north by 11B, south by 13 - because that is where everyone else seems to be going, and where the guys in the bait shop tell me to go. I have fished the deeper water (40-50') and the shallower water (25'). I usually try to fish the ledges where there is a large change in depth. I am never alone out there - always other boats that appear to be doing the same things I am in the area, and the fishfinder marks fish under the boat - so I figure I cannot be too far off from the right spots (and I am not asking anyone to spot burn here).

As for bait/rig/technique, I have tried these things:

Bunker chunk - fishfinder rig - anchored (to the southeast of 11B, southwest of 11b, and south of 13, all on outgoing tides (different days)

Bunker chunk - egg sinker - drifting (south of 11b, outgoing)

Eel - fishfinder rig - anchored (southeast of 11b, outgoing)

I have also thrown clam belly on these rigs at various times, hoping to change things up.

I've done all these things over the course of 10 trips this season and last, all for 4-5 hours each. I haven't seen a striper. What the eff am I doing wrong? Some questions:

Should I be anchoring up out there or drifting? My technique has been to look for spots with big current (and anchoring them), with the theory being that the current will confuse bait fish. I am wondering, though, if that is the wrong technique - maybe I should be looking for eddys or swirling current areas near the fast running current where bait fish might be hiding/waiting it out.

How big should my chunks be? Guy at the local bait shop told my friend 3 chunks per bunker. Did that, and it seems crazy big (not to mention I needed 10-12 oz's to hold bottom in the current when anchored up). I am thinking that 5-6 chunks per bunker seems pretty reasonable.

Chum? I did it last time out while anchored out in a big current (with bunker chunks on chum lines) but in retrospect I think the current was way too strong for it to be useful.

Depth? When I read stuff on this site about deep vs. shallow, what are we talking about? I interpret "deep" as 40-50' - is that right? Deeper? I think I might have been doing things backwards - going deeper earlier in the season, and went shallow last time out (I had a theory about a spot south of 13 - I was right, the current was ridiculous there, but no fish, only crabs).

So guys, any tips for a newbie looking for his first striper? Words of encouragement? I know these fish are tough to catch, but I figure I should have had some action by now. Heck, anybody want to take a ride out with me and my buddy one of these days? Free ride, bait, coffee, donuts, and beer. Smile


1984 Mainship Mark III 34'
2015 Crusader 350

1990 Grady White Overnighter 204-C
2005 Mercury Saltwater 150 HP
 
hauler


Joined: 03/12/2002
Posts: 3788
 posted 08/29/2013 11:39 AM  

Sounds like you should be giving advice to others as most of what you posted should have put you on fish. We've chunked four times in the areas you mention and have caught at least one if not as many as seven keepers on the outgoing when wind and tide have been together.

The only advice I have reading what you've posted above is, and strictly my opinioin:

a. Locations: I wouldn't worry as much about strong current, eddies, etc as I would with anchoring upcurrent over some large boulders and significant structure. Pick these up on your machine and throw the anchor upcurrent of them, lowering or flipping your chunks down current so that they're as close to that structure as can be.

b. Bait: IMO bass prefer the heads moresoe then chunks. Not to say I haven't caught plenty on chunks themeselves but thtow out a few rods mixing it up between the two. Love the heads. After that on the average size adult bunker you can get two maybe three chunks. I like to have them at least 2.5" wide.

The head thing was shown to me this past weekend when we had a bluefish come close to the boat and bite off the tail section of a live bunker. Before the color dissapeared as the top half sunk, a bass came up and nailed the head right before our eyes. Imagine how they feed off the blues from below where we don't see.

c. Chum: I don't use it out there. current may have had fish feeding well behind you now, especially those times where conditions call for 8oz+. The fish are beeing well fed downtide of you giving them no reason to swim up towards your baits to grab them. You might also draw more bluefish then you want. If you want to stick with the chum, tie it mid to bow, add a ton of large sinkers or weight to settle it as close to the boat as possible but I don't use one for chunking bass.

If you really want to break the snide, don't overlook poppers and small lures, swimmers, paddle tails, hogies, etc. in the backwater in the Northport Harbor area. The shoreline of both the harbor itself as well as areas on the east end of your bay hold fish, especially if bunker or peanut bunker are in the area. Heck of a lot more fun too when you get a nice fish this way as oppose to running out to 11B.

Stay on it, your doing 99% of things correctly. Hope this helps. Far from an exprert myself...


 
Peteroc317

Joined: 05/22/2010
Posts: 778
 posted 08/29/2013 12:21 PM  

What works for me is a 6/0 hook tied to 3 feet of 30 lb fluro tied to a barrel swivel. I then use a fish finder with only 1/2 oz to 2oz depending on current. I know it seems like its not enough but it works for me a lot better then heavy sinkers. As far a the chunk size I like to use a chunk about 1 1/2 inches thick or a head. Try the lighter weight and see if you have any luck
 
bryan3536


Joined: 04/09/2010
Posts: 28
Location: Sayville, NY
 posted 08/29/2013 02:00 PM  

Thanks guys for the advice and pep talk - guess I just have to keep after it and find the fish. I have heard people talk about the back part of Northport bay - there is a mussel bed over there - may have to check it out one of these days.


1984 Mainship Mark III 34'
2015 Crusader 350

1990 Grady White Overnighter 204-C
2005 Mercury Saltwater 150 HP
 
Captneilf
Noreast.com Club Member


Moderator
Fishing Rods
Posted Reports

Joined: 08/14/2000
Posts: 10313
Location: Sayville, NY 11782
 posted 08/29/2013 02:14 PM  

One thing you have not done, that I can see.

You live in an area where not only the stripers live but also where the charter boat captains who catch the bass work. Hire one of them for a charter, ask as many questions as you can, watch what they do from the moment you get on the boat till you get off. Seeing is believing! Good fortune.

Sometimes you can hire one of these captains to run the trip on your own boat.

Ask the Tackle shop folks who they would hire for such a trip.

Join one of the local fishing clubs in your area. They have excellent anglers in those clubs.




Capt Neil

Custom Fishing Rods  
The Long Islander Series
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filo1

Joined: 05/04/2005
Posts: 3407
Location: Western Suffolk
 posted 08/29/2013 05:58 PM  

The only question I have for you is when you anchor up on a ridge lets say,where is the boat on the up current side or on the back side of the ridge.

I will anchor up up current of a ridge and since the current kinda rips there it will bring my bait to the back side the down side of the ridge. It wasn't too clear where you are anchoring from your post. But you are doing lots right .

Also now is not the best time to fish for stripers on the north shore. They are there but just harder to find. The best times for me to catch them is any day or tide in may and June and then July I have to look a little harder and little deeper an August it is hit or miss often.


FIRST IN LAST OUT.....   of the water
 
capt13


Joined: 03/07/2002
Posts: 4499
Location: Smithtown
 posted 08/29/2013 09:34 PM  

bryan3536 wrote:

.......... and the fishfinder marks fish under the boat - so I figure I cannot be too far off from the right spots .......




When you see good structure and your fishfinder is showing fish..... that is not where you want the boat anchored. You need to drop your anchor way up tide ..... far enough up tide that where you want your baits to end up is in front of (up tide of) the structure the fish are holding on. In other words you want the scent of the fresh bunker to drift down tide to the structure, and have the fish move into the current to find it. You need to take into account the strength of the tide and how far back in the current your bait will end up when your sinker finally holds bottom. Changing the amount of lead you are using and being able to "walk the bait back" come into play as well.

Anchoring the boat to accomplish this is an art that takes time and practice to master. Pay your dues ...... and you will catch.



The ocean is my only medication.
 
fish4me


Joined: 09/01/2005
Posts: 16692
Location: Miller Place
 posted 08/29/2013 11:33 PM  

good advice guysup


 
bryan3536


Joined: 04/09/2010
Posts: 28
Location: Sayville, NY
 posted 08/30/2013 09:45 AM  

The advice about where to anchor is well taken. To my simplistic mind, the main "ridge" in the Triangle essentially runs North/South. Most of the times I have been out there it has been on an outgoing tide, meaning the current is running from West to East. On my first trips out, I essentially anchored on the top of the ridge, figuring the current would drift my bait East, i.e., down the east side of the ridge to where, in my mind, the stripers were waiting for confused bait fish being pushed off of the ridge/shallower water. This got me nowhere, and I noticed that the majority of boats out there at the same time had anchored west of of me, and I suppose, were fishing the west face of the ridge in the way that you guys describe. On my most recent trip, I fished the south "tip" of what I consider to be the main ridge in the Triangle, a sort of valley of deeper water between the south tip of the triangle and the north part of the brush piles, i.e., south of 13. My thought was that this area would get a very fast current because of the two ridges, and lots of confused bait fish. I was partially right - it was ripping over there, took 12 oz to hold bottom (with a big chunk/head on a fishfinder rig), but got nothing but crabs.

You guys have been great, much appreciated. So many variables in fishing that can make the difference between a good day and getting skunked - I usually go out there with 10 things that I can screw up, you guys have helped me knock that down to a manageable 2-3. It sounds like I just need to keep at it and, as one of you said, pay my dues. Eventually I'll get it. Next time out I will look for structure, not current, anchor up-current, and do my best to drop the bait where I want it to be. Will have to spend some time out there finding spots, dropping a few waypoints on the chartplotter on where I want my bait to be, gauging the current direction and speed, and getting lucky. The point about getting someone who knows what they are doing on my boat (or going with them) is also well-taken, and my buddy and I are talking about doing just that next month. Thanks again guys - keep an eye out for an older Mainship trawler with a red boot stripe next time out there - that's me and Lazy Bones.


1984 Mainship Mark III 34'
2015 Crusader 350

1990 Grady White Overnighter 204-C
2005 Mercury Saltwater 150 HP
 
bigfished


Joined: 07/10/2006
Posts: 888
Location: East Northport
 posted 09/01/2013 04:09 PM  

Hi, I keep my boat in NP harbor. It is a 19' KW center console named CATHY V that is moored right off the gazebo. I would be happy to help you put some bass in the boat as I've been fishing those areas for quite sometime now. If you see me stop by and say hi. If you want to get out I can fish most any day or night, it would be my pleasure. As stated earlier not exactly prime time for bass but my last few trips have been pretty good with several keepers. FWIW most of bassin' this time of year is at night.....Ed


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
BK. N. narco...All sales final!!
 
fish4me


Joined: 09/01/2005
Posts: 16692
Location: Miller Place
 posted 09/01/2013 04:39 PM  

bigfished wrote:

Hi, I keep my boat in NP harbor. It is a 19' KW center console named CATHY V that is moored right off the gazebo. I would be happy to help you put some bass in the boat as I've been fishing those areas for quite sometime now. If you see me stop by and say hi. If you want to get out I can fish most any day or night, it would be my pleasure. As stated earlier not exactly prime time for bass but my last few trips have been pretty good with several keepers. FWIW most of bassin' this time of year is at night.....Ed



Always a gentleman Edup


 
AllyKat


Joined: 06/16/2006
Posts: 2927
Location: E. Northport
 posted 09/01/2013 05:04 PM  

fish4me wrote:

bigfished wrote:

Hi, I keep my boat in NP harbor. It is a 19' KW center console named CATHY V that is moored right off the gazebo. I would be happy to help you put some bass in the boat as I've been fishing those areas for quite sometime now. If you see me stop by and say hi. If you want to get out I can fish most any day or night, it would be my pleasure. As stated earlier not exactly prime time for bass but my last few trips have been pretty good with several keepers. FWIW most of bassin' this time of year is at night.....Ed



Always a gentleman Edup



upup


X2



Vosky Precision Machining ISO9001/AS9100 Certified
Voskyprecision.com
 
hauler


Joined: 03/12/2002
Posts: 3788
 posted 09/01/2013 09:19 PM  

X3
 
Imjus4u2nv


Joined: 09/27/2008
Posts: 264
Location: Queens, NY
 posted 09/05/2013 11:16 AM  

Chum

I probably fish further west then most, but somtimes make it as far east as hempstead harbor.
I use chum religiously and generally have very good results (often times hooking up while boats around me don't). Heavy current is tough to chum, but the fish are not eating enough of your chum to fill up and will follow the slick closer to you (in high current I usually try to have one bait mid-level with a one or two ounce inline sinker to keep it in the slick closer to the boat) I usually buy a $3 log, put inside a chum bucket with about 6 3/4" holes in it. I also keep all my used bait (should change bait every 10-15 minutes- this is very important). I cut up all the used bait, including leftovers (tails and some heads) with kitchen scissors in the past (now I have a hand crank meet grinder which works awesome). I do not think you NEED chum, but in my opinion it helps alot. If current is really strong, I have tied my second anchor to the chum bucket and dropped the bucket and anchor down (so it is closer to the bottom), you would be surprised how often I have hooked up with a chunk hovering right near the bucket- they will come right to it.
Time of the year obviously is a huge consideration, I haven't gotten out much lately and when I did I focused on fluke. I easily had over 35 stripers this spring, more then half being keepers- i also put in my time (obssessed lol?)
Another thing that was not mentioned but I am assuming you knwo this, make sure you keep your reel in free spool with the clicker on and let them run for a bit.
I hardly ever use the heads but agree with the other guys that they produce fish and they are usually larger. I cut my bunker into three or 4 pieces, I prefer them striaght cut (rather then on an angle) as it prevents the bait from spinning which gives a more natural presentation.
If the current is medium to slow (but still moving) I will often chum pretty hard and then free-float a chunk in the slick and wait for em' making sure to keep the chunk off the bottom and free floating in the slick (looks natural that way as opposed to a chunk hovering still in current)


This post edited by Imjus4u2nv 06:31 PM 09/05/2013
 
hauler


Joined: 03/12/2002
Posts: 3788
 posted 09/06/2013 07:18 AM  

Imjus4u2nv wrote:

I probably fish further west then most, but somtimes make it as far east as hempstead harbor.
I use chum religiously and generally have very good results (often times hooking up while boats around me don't). Heavy current is tough to chum, but the fish are not eating enough of your chum to fill up and will follow the slick closer to you (in high current I usually try to have one bait mid-level with a one or two ounce inline sinker to keep it in the slick closer to the boat) I usually buy a $3 log, put inside a chum bucket with about 6 3/4" holes in it. I also keep all my used bait (should change bait every 10-15 minutes- this is very important). I cut up all the used bait, including leftovers (tails and some heads) with kitchen scissors in the past (now I have a hand crank meet grinder which works awesome). I do not think you NEED chum, but in my opinion it helps alot. If current is really strong, I have tied my second anchor to the chum bucket and dropped the bucket and anchor down (so it is closer to the bottom), you would be surprised how often I have hooked up with a chunk hovering right near the bucket- they will come right to it.
Time of the year obviously is a huge consideration, I haven't gotten out much lately and when I did I focused on fluke. I easily had over 35 stripers this spring, more then half being keepers- i also put in my time (obssessed lol?)
Another thing that was not mentioned but I am assuming you knwo this, make sure you keep your reel in free spool with the clicker on and let them run for a bit.
I hardly ever use the heads but agree with the other guys that they produce fish and they are usually larger. I cut my bunker into three or 4 pieces, I prefer them striaght cut (rather then on an angle) as it prevents the bait from spinning which gives a more natural presentation.
If the current is medium to slow (but still moving) I will often chum pretty hard and then free-float a chunk in the slick and wait for em' making sure to keep the chunk off the bottom and free floating in the slick (looks natural that way as opposed to a chunk hovering still in current)



Good input on the effects of chumming. Might have to try it myself. Can I ask how deep do you work this technique back west. Triangle out here is mostly 25-60'.
 
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