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Ask Frank Daignault Frank Daignault is recognized as an authority on surf fishing for striped bass. He is the author of six books and hundreds of magazine articles. Frank is a member of the Outdoor Writers of America and lectures throughout the Northeast.

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  #46  
Old 03-28-2020, 08:28 AM
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Default Re: Boat Fishing With Jason

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Originally Posted by Francis Daignault View Post
From my viewpoint comparisons between Quincy and Westport is a no-brainer in favor of Westport. Boston/Quincy is a traffic nightmare, with a people nightmare contaminated with lousy press coverage, high crime, ruptured water pipes ---you name it. I'm sure you have your informed reasons for splitting your time between them abut you couldn't pay me to pee in Boston. Why do you do that, Jason?
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"Today", I agree with you Frank. The flounder fishing, which keeps me in Quincy sure as hell isn't what it was 7 or 8 years ago. But, in spite of how bad it had gotten, it is still far better than it is in Ct., NY and NJ where 75% of my "flounder customers" come from.
I myself have developed a certain affinity for flounder that I never really appreciated during my more formative years when I was more of a "striper snob" (if it was not a striped bass, it was beneath me).
There is no doubt that when you are on a good bite of large winter flounder it is both exciting and fun! Sadly, that is far less common in the past few years with the increased dragging just outside Boston Harbor while the flounder are both moving in as the waters warm and moving out when the water gets too warm.
Their season is also shorter as when the population of any species is very healthy they increase both their seasonal and their geographical range. While the range "used to be" Labrador to Delaware", today, the range of the "inshore winter flounder" is limited to Cape Cod Bay and it's associated harbors and estuaries. The sport fishery used to start near the end of April and last to the end of July while now if we get "mid May to mid June" out of it we are lucky.
To answer your question, "I'm filling a demand"....
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  #47  
Old 03-28-2020, 11:42 AM
Francis Daignault Francis Daignault is offline
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Default Re: Boat Fishing With Jason

No disagreement, Jason, but to ad keep in mind that variations in the populations of all species is common. Right now haddock is the available ground fish and cod are down. But I'm sure you know the reverse was once true. When my father and brother fished Boston Harbor years ago, they filled the rental boat with pollock. Bluefish, stripers, gray weakfish have all taken their turn at being scarce. It seems part of the system to exhibit variability in numbers where one species goes up and another goes down.
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  #48  
Old 03-28-2020, 10:56 PM
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Default Re: Boat Fishing With Jason

Hi guys, long time no see..

Jason: what is your opinion of what appears to be the demise of bluefish ?

I understand nature has it's ups and downs. Cycles. But from prolific to crash and burn. THAT hurts to bear witness in life.

I grew up in the 70's and 80's and am shocked and saddened to see the end of bluefish and flounder. Bluefish did have a nice flurry around year 2000 but then really petered out.

I'm from Long Island and don't know of how good bluefishing has been over the years off New England and if they experienced the same. I know back in the day Rhode Island and Massachusetts had a lot of big gorillas.
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  #49  
Old 03-30-2020, 03:43 PM
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Hi guys, long time no see..

Jason: what is your opinion of what appears to be the demise of bluefish ?

I understand nature has it's ups and downs. Cycles. But from prolific to crash and burn. THAT hurts to bear witness in life.

I grew up in the 70's and 80's and am shocked and saddened to see the end of bluefish and flounder. Bluefish did have a nice flurry around year 2000 but then really petered out.

I'm from Long Island and don't know of how good bluefishing has been over the years off New England and if they experienced the same. I know back in the day Rhode Island and Massachusetts had a lot of big gorillas.
"In my opinion", the chit we see with ups and downs of species has far less to do with cycles and far more to do with commercial decimation. I'm not knocking commercial fishermen except to say that if a poundage limit didn't stop them and if they "could", they would try to catch and sell every fish in the ocean.
There is "one instance, in all of known history in our area" (NE USA) where it "is possible" that a disappearance of a species was likely NOT caused by commercial excess and that was with striped bass in the late 1800's and early 1900's.
A far as your bluefish question: About 5 or 6 years ago, in Ct, NY and NJ there was a series of meetings about giving more "bluefish allocation" to the commercial sector because of some new contract that the purse seiners and "the industry" got with their European counterparts (the European "industry" had already decimated the bluefish populations in The Eastern Atlantic from south of The Mediterranean to The Azores Islands). Our commercial fishermen got their way in spite of the overwhelming public disapproval. Here we are, 5 or 6 years later and the bluefishing has gotten worse and worse every year since. Coincidence?
I don't know how old you are (I used to live in Montauk), but in the 70's we had whiting up the ying yang everywhere from the beach to 50 miles out. Big stuff too. Then, in 1979 a company in NYC got an export contract with a company in Spain for "spike whiting" (8-12 inches) by the metric tonnage. The draggers started putting small mesh out and killed everything, every generation all at once. The things never recovered. They still do it today out of Point Judith where they still find some 30-50 miles out.
Don't get me started on weakfish!
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  #50  
Old 03-31-2020, 07:14 AM
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Default Re: Boat Fishing With Jason

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Jason, back when you were getting big bass on L.I. , I used to SCUBA dive at night under the Wantagh Parkway 3rd bridge. You had to do it near slack tide due to strong current. We'd see big fluke hovering a foot or two off bottom feeding on small offerings that drifted their way. Once the current started running they'd move to the side, on the bottom...even bury themselves. Fishing for bass at the same time of year (summer) we'd occassionally get one on our Rebels, but it seems like no one really targeted them at night.
Is this the area? Just curious as my daughter lives 10 minutes from there but I?ve not explored the fishing yet (variety of reasons but mainly they are ages 2, 4 and 6)
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  #51  
Old 03-31-2020, 08:43 AM
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No.
Go south over all three bridges. The third bridge is "the one".
The one you are talking about has a little plateau about 75 feet west of the bridge and if you stand on the NW side about 75 feet from the bridge and cast an eel southeast (towards the SE on an ebb) and let the eel sweep over the plateau you can get some very big bass there (talk about a spot burn!).
Call this spot "W1". For the bigger bridge to the south ("W3", AKA: "The 3rd Wantaugh") you can park either on Green Island or I used to park at an old, abandoned gas station/service area south of the bridge. Before they put up the fences for whatever bizarre reason the government wants to spend our money, I did quite well fishing from the top of the bridge ("bridge fishing") which isn't for the faint of heart. There are actually many bridges (Loop, Meadowbrook and Wantaugh Parkways) that are ALL effective at some point on any night during the season.
Parking at Green Island I've faced west in the north/south channel there and have done great with "large" on rigged eels (they sink a bit better than live ones). If you park at that old service station on the south side and walk over the marshes and mosquito drains to the shore you can do well there at high, outgoing on big surface swimmers and live eels. Bring lots of bug juice!
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  #52  
Old 03-31-2020, 10:00 AM
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Default Re: Boat Fishing With Jason

Jason,

I can't tell you how much I've wanted to explore that area, but only managed a couple of visits during the day on outings with the grandkids.

Job and family craziness have conspired to not give any serious amount of time for fishing, here or there.

Given that the current situation probably is delaying any plans they had about moving prior to my retirement, I do plan on exploring this area in the not too distant future!
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  #53  
Old 03-31-2020, 10:44 AM
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Jason,

I can't tell you how much I've wanted to explore that area, but only managed a couple of visits during the day on outings with the grandkids.

Job and family craziness have conspired to not give any serious amount of time for fishing, here or there.

Given that the current situation probably is delaying any plans they had about moving prior to my retirement, I do plan on exploring this area in the not too distant future!
Check in with me any time. I might even join you!
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  #54  
Old 04-01-2020, 08:17 PM
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Is this the area? Just curious as my daughter lives 10 minutes from there but I?ve not explored the fishing yet (variety of reasons but mainly they are ages 2, 4 and 6)
Just south of the bottom of this map is the 3rd bridge. These days you need the night access parking permit (even in daytime) available at Jones Beach office. I think you had to get it by April 1st. It's good at Jones, Fire Island, Sunken Meadow, and Montauk. You can get it again after Labor Day. They do that from keeping summer beach goers from partying at night.
Or...you can park at Cedar Creek Park and walk on the bike path to all three bridges...its 3 or 4 miles each way.
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  #55  
Old 04-02-2020, 07:26 AM
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Yes, I was thinking about that night access pass, but I know I wouldn’t be able to use it this year. Again, if things work out, next year would be the time. And yes, that PITA NY system limits the purchase of the night access and/or any 4WD passes to prior to April and after Labor Day.

Kind of wish Brigantine did the same thing, now that you mention the summer crowd.
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  #56  
Old 04-02-2020, 10:05 AM
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Just south of the bottom of this map is the 3rd bridge. These days you need the night access parking permit (even in daytime) available at Jones Beach office. I think you had to get it by April 1st. It's good at Jones, Fire Island, Sunken Meadow, and Montauk. You can get it again after Labor Day. They do that from keeping summer beach goers from partying at night.
Or...you can park at Cedar Creek Park and walk on the bike path to all three bridges...its 3 or 4 miles each way.
I forgot to mention for daylight hours, my daughter gets an access pass every year, so at least that option is available this year, if I get out there. Another trip that was to be combined was a visit to the Conny, which is less than an hour east, for some trout flyfishing.
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  #57  
Old 04-02-2020, 10:23 AM
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Default Re: Boat Fishing With Jason

I didn't need no stinkin' access permit! I parked my boat in Seaford and used it to go to the shore spots I wanted to access. I could put the bow up on the bank, wedge the anchor in the sod and fish. I'd put the fish right in the cooler on the boat and they would look better than any other shore caught fish out there.
Bentsen used to call my boat "my taxi" and he would go with me when he could. We were the only ones in the world (I'm not sure about "today") that accessed the shore in a place called "The Black Banks". Lots of big stuff there on live and rigged eels!
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Old 04-02-2020, 03:12 PM
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I didn't need no stinkin' access permit! I parked my boat in Seaford and used it to go to the shore spots I wanted to access. I could put the bow up on the bank, wedge the anchor in the sod and fish. I'd put the fish right in the cooler on the boat and they would look better than any other shore caught fish out there.
Bentsen used to call my boat "my taxi" and he would go with me when he could. We were the only ones in the world (I'm not sure about "today") that accessed the shore in a place called "The Black Banks". Lots of big stuff there on live and rigged eels!
when I start keeping a boat at my daughter's place, I'll keep this in mind
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Old 04-02-2020, 05:47 PM
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I forgot to mention for daylight hours, my daughter gets an access pass every year, so at least that option is available this year, if I get out there. Another trip that was to be combined was a visit to the Conny, which is less than an hour east, for some trout flyfishing.
I believe that access pass is for night, but is still required for daytime, fishing-only use. There isn't a lot of parking at Green Island or West End/Jones Inlet (also for fishing only) hence the sale dates to discourage non fishers from buying a 'partying pass'. You can completely walk around Green Island...but I'd suggest the east side of the Wantagh Pkwy between the 2nd and 3rd bridges. Both bridge areas have nice currents. Like Jason, I fished with a small boat and from the meadows ("sod banks" if you're from NJ). Be careful walking on them...they can have dangerously soft mud in places without sea grass.
I shouldn't say "like Jason": I'm more of a schoolie wrangler. He's a cow killer
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Old 04-03-2020, 08:05 AM
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("sod banks" if you're from NJ). Be careful walking on them...they can have dangerously soft mud in places without sea grass.
I shouldn't say "like Jason": I'm more of a schoolie wrangler. He's a cow killer
Don't forget the mosquito ditches! Those things are dangerous... I remember many a time when "I thought" I was taking a long enough step to cross when I ended up over my head.
Why fish for schoolies when there are jumbo's in front of you? Those locations hold the biggest kind of stripers!
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