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Rank your favorite fish

5603 Views 18 Replies 19 Participants Last post by  captclambelly
Just for fun, please tells us were you fish and rank your favorite fish to catch and why. I Fish Fire Island Inlet & Montauk for all inshore & offshore species. I would rank species as follows If I had a chance to fish for all:

1) Tuna ? nothing beats that adrenaline rush of these ?Swimming muscles?. Favorite method ? Chunking. Love that feeling when you are paying out line and a tuna picks up your bait and starts stripping line off the reel. Then the hook set, ummh! The fight ain?t bad either. Everyone can relate to seeing color for the first time. Every time I catch a tuna, I feel like it?s my first time fishing ? love it. Besides, nothing beats the taste of fresh tuna right off the grill!
2) Bass ? Everyone?s favorite game fish. Favorite method ? live bait fishing. Tried trolling, chunking, clam chumming and had success but never really appealed to me. It?s not much of a challenge to me. As with tuna, it?s exhilarating when a fish picks up your bait and setting the hook.
3) Flounder ? This is a weird choice ? not much in the way of a fighting fish and can be boring at times chasing them. I guess my reason for ranking this fish as #3 is because they are my favorite fish to eat. When I have a couple in the pail, I start getting hungry and start thinking of getting back to the dock and cooking them up. Another reason why I think this fish ranks up there is because it?s the first fish available in the spring. Flounder fishing signifies the beginning of a new season.
4) Weakfish ? I am fortunate enough to live near productive areas for Weakfish. They rank high because I enjoy the light tackle pursuit of these fish and they hit hard and make a decent first run. Also I enjoy getting out to the fishing grounds very early in the am and weakfish are a morning affair.
5) Fluke, Cod, Seabass, Tog ? I ranked these fish all the same ? mainly because they are all bottom fish and require skill and planning to be successful to catch. I only wish that Cod were more accessible to us on the South Shore, they are a favorite food fish of mine.

There are many other species not mentioned but to me they are incidental catches. I only fish for the species listed above.
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I agree nothing compares to a hook up with a tuna. My problem is I started tuna fishing in the early 60s and you could load the boat and never lose sight of the beach. I'll never forget the chinese fire drills when all of your ****pit rods would pop at the same time and you would have half a dozen hundred lb. plus fish all heading in different directions and three anglers trying to keep the lines from getting tangled.
My number two fish is weakfish I love catching them on light tackle.
Not confineing my preferences to local species I have to go with bonefish as my first choice. It has to be the most challenging fish to catch and is a terrific fighter.
Tuna is king. But, what beats the leap of a mako or the swat of a threshher's tail? What about a Garcia 5500C screaming when a 30 lb bass grabs an eel? Sometimes it's hard to beat a 20 lb gorrilla blue that inhales a bunker chunk. But what about a lazy summer day with a great drift and loading up on fluke while drinking a beer?

It all depends on the day and the mood. That's what makes fishing fun. But, my favorite number one el primo fish? - - eeling for cow bass under the Robert Moses Bridge.
I also love the sound of a screaming reel while its being dumped by a nice tuna,or when everything is quiet and your trolling along and all of a sudden,three or four rods go down at the same time.It really gets your heart going.I also enjoy when you have a chum slick going out,your drifting around for a few hours,the crew is being rocked to sleep and all of a sudden there is a loud, distint snap,from your clothes pin(that holds your line) everyone hears it and by the time they get up a shark is ripping line from your reel.It looks like a chinese fire drill,guys running in all different directions.That gets the blood pumping too.

"Fishing with an Attitude"
This is difficult but I will narrow it down to 2 fish.

Flounder-----fishing in about 20' water with lite tackle, spin reel, no more the 2 oz lead, anchored or drifting. I love the feel of the bite and the slow lifting of the rod tip and then you have that tasty flounder hooked. The best part is that a flounder arches his shoulders and fights you all the way to the boat. They never give up.

Bluefish----- some times I just have to get on a party boat and beat up on Blues using a rod with a powerful butt/mid section and a fast tip, and usually a 4 oz diamond jig. 40, 50 ,60 feet of water makes no difference. Blues take no prisoners when they see that jig. It becomes a battle royal until the fish is released. They love to bite fishermen. Just ask me!!!! HA!!! I guess they have to win sometimes. A good bluefish battle is good for the soul.

Capt Neil

Custom Fishing Rods by Captain Neil
I have to go with Stripers for my all around #1, their big, nice fight, plentiful on the south shore, and taste great. I like fishing bait the best. Hopefully next season I will experience the fight of an 80# tuna. I'm new to offshore so I havent had the privilage of reeling in a big tuna yet. I also love tossing a piece of bait under some floating debri and having a nice bull grab it. Those leaps are great!! It's also hard not to love hangin out on an 80 deg. day in July nailing fluke and throwin back a few cold ones.
When the fluke are biting, the fish have some size & the drift/current is just right, its way cool.
When that doormatesque fish first appears and you know for sure it's not a skate, then you get that flattie into the gamenet... wow what a cool feeling. The thought of those big 2 bl. fillets, yum. My best fluke is 5.20 lbs 2 years ago.

I love big stripers too. I got this honeyhole west of the Wantagh bridge that every spring really produces some great fish. Often you get 2 bent rods at once as a school comes through. Sometimes you get the sunsetting as your fighting the fish and that cool sounds that the mono line makes as the wind blows into it, really makes for a memorable experience. Puts you in the Zone baby, in the zone!! he he he.

Tunas, shark are the coolest but I have limited experience doing it.
You know what I'd like to add: The ubiqutous Bluefish !
lb. for lb. maybe one of the best fighting fish , and what about those bigger blues? Man thier so strong even those just over 6-7 lbs. but those gorrilla blues, those are fun to catch.
The'll give your arms a workout!
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I'll rate my favorite local fish, although I must mention at the top of my list is snook.

1> Any fish that bites my 7 year old son's line: The excitement on his face far outweighs what any fish on my line can do.

1a> Blackfish: One of the few fish where luck rarely plays a role in catching them. You are on egg shells for the initial 30 - 60 seconds of the battle, hoping that the fish does not take you into the wreck or around a rock.

2> Fluke: When they are good size and hitting jigs in shallow water. Nothing like lifting into a fluke with a medium spinning rod and not feeling the fish "slide" through the water--You know it's big.

3> Seabass: Delicious to eat and plenty of action. The big humpbacks fight hard and are one of the most beautiful fish in the sea.

4> Codfish: Both bait fishing and jigging are fun. Not the most exciting fight in the world, but a nice steaker will let you know that he is there. Unfortunately, commercial overharvesting has made them harder to come by in our waters.

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1. Best fish to eat and catch (2) fluke and weakfish. Anywhere from Ocean Beach to the bridge for weakfish and the same for fluke except for when they are in deep water outside. These are my sons favorite who is 10 and getting to be a pretty good fisherman.
2. For me it's all of the previous post except for tuna. Can't do the big fish anymore because of a bad back, but teaching my son how to fish and explaining to him the throw back theory and watching him put it to use is a thrill for me. We even catch our own bait with a drag net over at Davis Park. He is getting into blues and bass now that he is a little older and loves fluke and sea bass to eat. I have had him fish in the Gulf of Mexico for Grouper and he did well. We are going to the Keys the day after Christmas and will be fishing around the Marothon area. I will have a report sometime after 1-3-02 and let you know how we made out. Dolphin and Redf Snapper are the target. Can't wait to see him on a 10-15 lb dolphin.
Happy Holidays to all!
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Is this a ranking of CURRENTLY commonly available fish or the favs of all time? Anyway -

1/ Blackfish. Hands down the toughest to consistantly limit on. On the South Shore, the fight against the weather makes any late season trip special and to be enjoyed. Any fish over 10lbs is reason for celibration and a real difficult fish to successfully bring to the net. Its these fish that got me going on graphite rods, spectra lines, pin-point deep water wreck fishing, 10" CRT fishfinders, redundant electronic locating and catching of my own crab bait, which has its own subset of frustrations.

2/ Striped Bass - I agree about honey holes west of the Wantagh Bridges. Got a few of those myself and found yet another recently while deploying my green crab pots. Nothing like having a school in your chum slick, taking the bellies as fast as you can get the line out there. Very good fighter, but clearly not in the class of the bluefish. And throw in wire-lining along the beaches in the Fall, for pure shock value not much on the inshore scene can match the scream of one of my rods going off with a 40" fish going the other way. Plus the eel thing in the inlet, cool but spotty this past season. Not to mention absolutely the handsomest fish God ever created. It looks like what it is - the King.

3/ Fluke - another fun fish that are NOT all that easy to limit on as this past season's unrealistic and politically-motivated recreational limits proved. This is the fish that taught me about deep water light-tackle jigging, silver bullets and catching my own spearing and killies. Also, though they don't really fight all that great, what's more exciting than seeing an 8lb fish next to the boat, waiting for the net?

4/ Flounder - this was the standard go-to fish for our blown out Codfishing trips of decades past. What other fish could be counted on to provide consistant action up in the marshes with the wind blowing 30 kts? If I had had any idea of what was to come, NO WAY would the 5-gal pail per man catch-limit have applied for all those years. we are paying for our stupidity (And for the commercial's greed) to this day.

5/ Cod - Another fish that has seen its day come and go. And I doubt the current lack of fish has a thing to do with recreational fishing. What was better than cracking the inlet before dawn to run out to the F.I. fingers for a day of open bottom codfishing? Throw in the incidental whiting and ling catches and this was truely a fun specie, the fighting ability of which is definitely under- rated. A 30lb Cod is no pushover, on any type tackle. After the loss of the open bottom fishery, we switched over to the wreck thing and killed them for seasons on the F.I. 20 mile wrecks. Sadly now this is gone too.
I've been reduced to fishing them once or twice a year at Block or Cox's on an east-end buddy's boat - what a loss.

5/ Weakfish - though I spent no time on these fish these past few seasons, they are clearly amoung the prettiest and fiesty-est of the inshore species. Got a 14lb12oz fish 20 years ago on the old Wilhelric with Capt Artie (Anybody remember the original "Mad Dog"?) and that remains a record I doubt I will ever beat.

6/ Kingfish - a great summertime diversion from the often slow mid-season fluking, 20 fish per man per tide no problemo and great fighters on the ultra-light trout gear we used to use. Where the heck did these fish go? No commercial market that I'm aware of. This would have been the ideal fish to get my 10 year old into summer bay fishing. Another shame. And add blowfish to this category.

6/ Bluefish - Others crave them, I run from them. has to do with the mate-job I had during my college days. Must have filleted at least 10,000 of the things. No more please. No denying the pound-for-pound fighting ability though. If these thing grew to the size of school bluefin, just exactly what kind of gear would we use?

Don't know a thing about the offshore scene, I see others here much more qualified to discuss the various tunas and other deep-water killers, but for me the above species are "It."

rgds, Leprechaun

This message was edited by Leprechaun on 12-11-01 @ 4:05 PM
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To me nothing beats the initial pull down of a 10 pound blackfish. When you set the hook on a big blackfish it feels like hooking the bottom and then it pulls back and nothing beats those first 10 feet. I'm sure if I ever caught a Tuna that would rank up there but the biggest bass, bluefish, shark, weakfish does not compare to a Bulldog!
Wow that is some thread and impossible to disagree with. 2 other oddballs I have picked up in my local travels off the beach Pollack and Trigger Fish. The Pollack not big was out at CBanks in May maybe 6 pounds what a pretty fish and a tough battler reminded me physically of a bluefish. Filleted him he tasted a little bit like a blue perhaps some inbreeding going on there.

Trigger fish at some local reefs I catch he/she very infrequenltly always a pleasant surprise, good battle and the fillet is rich and buttery. The trick is getting the knife into the skin my friend is a hunter and some filleter,skinner, debonner never met something he couldn't butcher easily until .... I was laughing my a... off watching him try to cut into the Trigger like he had a rubber knife, like a Jerry Lewis skit.

Kingfish are alot of fun and interesting looking, somebody mentioned them.

Down in the Carolinas Nags Head they have a run of fish called Spot I think they may be in the porgy and/or croaker family. Entire families and clans head south/set up and fish these things out from the breakers under the pier all you see are people catching one after the other literally 30' above the water those "dad gum varmits" never stop biting, eat little blood worm pieces affectionately called "red gold" down yonder. Spot never come off the hook and never break your line a citation fish runs about 10 oz. try to squeeze into a spot on the pier when they are running and its life or death to a "spot fisherman". Apparently they pickel em, fry em, boil em, bake em, devil em whatever god love the southerners.

On a serious note those piers have been known to give up nice Cobia, Channel Bass and King Mackeral, particularly under the lights at night.
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SEA ROBINS.....................IT seems no matter or how much money i spend on bait or tackle i catch more SEA ROBINS THAN ANY THING ELSE.i even took giant size robins ,had to be bigger than 6lbs, i know i know there's someone out there who has a great receipe well the next time i'm out fluking i'll let you know where i am and you can have all you want
1.Blue marlin on live bait (skipjack tuna)
2. Stripers on bottle plugs
3.Weakfish on finesse fish
4.Bigeyes on live squid
Now that Sinestra's jumped in, I'll have to join in as well (Gary, is your favorite fish really the croaker?)...

I love bottom fishing, and a very good fisherman once told me that if you can catch blackfish, you can catch any bottom fish. It's taken me twenty years, but I'm starting to understand what he meant.

Tog are challenging, for all the reasons that Leprechaun mentioned and that is why they are my favorite. Flounder are what I grew up on, and still have a special place in my heart. The fun of catching them is made greater knowing how good they'll be for dinner. Makos are a great reason to go offshore, and if you've experienced one of their lightning fast runs culminating in a 6 foot head over tail aerial display, you can appreaciate the argument that they are one of the greatest game fish in the ocean. I guess I'm kind of all over the place here, talking flatties in one sentence and sharks in the next, but that is why I love to fish on Long Island.
1. at the end.

2. Tuna, any size. Perhaps my all time best trip was live baiting schools of 10 - 60 lb tuna off St. Thomas. Too bad all the biggest fish fell to sharks. 5-10 lbers on spinning tackle is also a blast.

3. bone fish. I never caught one on a fly, but I've caught quite a few on live shrimp. The thrill of the hunt and the presentation are only beat by the fight. That first run goes on and on and on and on, well you have to experience it at least once. To the poster headed for Marathon, hire a guide and give it a try.

4. bluefish My best experience was the 6lber I caught on a fly from the beach in Amagansett. The blue did a very respectable bonefish imitation on heavier tackle anyone would ever use on a bone, but it's also hard to beat an evening jigging nothing but 10 - 13 lbers off the Eatons triangle some years ago.

5. smallmouth bass on a lake in Maine - it's more zen than can be explained here.

6. stripers, chunking, when that first run keeps peeling off line and you don't know if it's a 30 incher or a 40 incher.

No. 1. - anything where I'm matching fish for fish with my son, as long as he's having half the fun I am.
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I have to say I really like the "inshore" offshore fish. Bonito, spanish mackeral, bluefish, false albies, and even the odd mahi mahi. Rig fluking poles with small offshore lure, troll at 6-7 knots, and experience the thrill of knockdowns and screaming drags within a few miles of the beach. Best part is never knowing what just hit the lure.
On the fly, a good sized albie is my favorite hookup. Along with a bonefish's run, it seems never ending with a fight to the end! A good sized striper on the fly is, of course, the season's greatest challenge. You never know when you're going to get one, especially if it's at night.
Shinne****/Peconic. Stripers stripers stripers #1. On clams especially, with heavy chum attracting ridiculous numbers of them for fantastic light-tackle C & R action. Next flounder (see Capt. Neil's post), then fluke and weaks. Blues are fun but they don't go on my table. When action is slow any fish is my favorite fish, though.
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