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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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  #1  
Old 01-12-2006, 04:39 PM
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Default Al Bentsen: Your Googan Days?

Most here know that you have been a high-liner in the striper surf for most of your life. You have seven 50 pound plus linesides and have a solid reputation as a surfcaster and gentlemen. No problem. But readers here, and me for sure, would love to hear about some of the dumb stuff you might have done in your formative years before you knew the ropes which later had a way of reminding you of things you now wish you could forget. Fess up, Al.
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Old 01-12-2006, 07:15 PM
ALB31 ALB31 is offline
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Default Re: Al Bentsen: Your Googan Days?

The dumb things that I did were when I was 13 to 18 years old. My father dind't fish there was no one to learn from. The big plus I had as a kid was the subway and buses that would take me to the beach. Living in Brooklyn it was easy to go on public transportation. All for nickel than a dime. This gave me the access to Rockaway, Brezzy point and Coney island.

Any way I started fishing at night for bass and weakfish. At that time lure choice was simple there were tin squids for 35 cents and creek chub plugs for a buck and change. So you see it was hard for me to go wrong on lures. The dumbest thing I did was to use wire or heavy gut leader on my lures. All my leaders were 18 to 30 inches and had the line tied to a leather thong , a swivel, than the leader attached to a large connecting link, than the lure. The leader was 60 pound test gut or a heavy stainless steel wire. Needless to say I didn't catch many fish when the people around me were. I always shined my light in the water to check for bait or fish. Big mistake.This went on for a few years. Another mistake was I never sharpened hooks. So when I got a hit they bounced off. Anothe mistake was when I purchased a rod it was much to soft to drive the dull hooks. But I keep trying.I always caught fish during the weakfish or bass blitzes. The weakfish in the summer and the bass in the huge mullet runs in the fall.There were so many fish and bait during those runs I had to get a few landed and I did. It came together when I was 18. I made a few good friends, found a rigged eel in Long beach and got some very good advice. Later.
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Old 01-13-2006, 09:05 AM
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Default Re: Al Bentsen: Your Googan Days?

Well, as everyone says,you have to start somewhere... I think today,the learning curve is shortened,due to places like StriperSurf,and the folks who post here,especially guys like Al and Frank,who have forgotten more about striper fishing than most of us will ever know.When I got back into fishing,had one rod my son had given me years before for Christmas,a couple of plugs,which I really didnt know how to use,and some bait rigs.I felt lucky to get my first striper in about 3 days,especially looking back at what I was using,and my methods.5 year old mono,fishing plugs real fast,about the only thing I did right was bait fishing... Then,between what I learned here and some pointers from my son,it just started to click. I still find myself doing dumb things sometimes though...
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Old 01-13-2006, 01:43 PM
Rockport24 Rockport24 is offline
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Default Re: Al Bentsen: Your Googan Days?

Nice thread idea Frank and thanks for answering Al. This thread makes me feel better as I am still in my formative googan years as a surfcaster.
Although last season, my first full surfcastng season, I increased ten fold from the couple of months I fished the year before, most of it thanks to this site. I think the biggest googan thing I did this past year was to stay in one spot too long, I didn't move around as much as I should have.
It's funny, when I am stumped about something I think "What would Frank do" Although, I'm talking about fishing here, not panama bordellos, then I wouldn't have to ask what Frank would do . LOL
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Old 01-13-2006, 03:32 PM
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Default Re: Al Bentsen: Your Googan Days?

I caught a few schoolies in the mid-40s -- not pounds but the years 1946 to 1948. Then, around 1963, I got my first spinner a Shakespeare 2016 or 2018. I used to drift it out of an outflow until the spool was empty. So one night, 1964,it being dead and all, I let out all the line and got a take on live eel with no line to let the fish run. so I hit the fish with a dry spool and then held the line with my hand, the spool empty. The line s-t-r-e-t-c-h-e-d and stretched but it did not break. It weighed 52 pounds, my second point fish ever, the first being a 17 pounder. Our twins were four years old sleeping in the buggy and they were afraid of it and began to cry. Sold it to a Chinease restaurant for five dollars. More, Al. Dig!
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Old 01-14-2006, 11:55 AM
ALB31 ALB31 is offline
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Default Re: Al Bentsen: Your Googan Days?

The only other thing I can think of right now is every time I fished brezzy point jetty I would would lose 4 or 5 lures by getting stuck in the rocks. This went on for a few years. Rather than count the reel turns till I got close than reel it in quick. I would hang the rock monster.
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Old 11-04-2009, 11:20 PM
rubber eel rubber eel is offline
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Default Re: Al Bentsen: Your Googan Days?

Good thread. Here's some of mine.
First year surfcasting a famous rivermouth. I'm tossing an Atom popper for big blues with limited success. Others are doing well with Rangers (name unknown to me). I'm wearing dark amber, polarized sunglasses. Decide to buy some at a well known tackle shop. I walk in and stare at the selection of Rangers sans sunglasses. Don't see the color others were using. Shop owner asks if I need help. It turns into a "This is the color".
"No, its not!!" conversation.
Eventually, I buy one, walk outside, put the glasses back on and ... Dooh!! It's the first and last time I ever disagreed with Kay!!

Second story shows fishing is suppose to be fun, so laugh ... at yourself. I had decided to learn how to use a casting reel ... at age 45. First casts are into the snow filled park. I want to be ready when the season starts. After about 15 combined hours of practice, it's time to try in early May. I hit the beach with only one other angler in sight. He's a long time high-liner, the son of a famous bassboat captain. As we talk, the first schoolies of the season appear at our feet. All my practices were focused on casting as far as I could. Never tried just flipping the bucktail. He casts, fish on. I cast and birdsnest on. I could see the smile thru the back of his head as he walked away, following the school. By the time I got it sorted out, he and the fish was gone. From time to time, he sees me at the baitshop, looking at the selection of casting reels. "Got one of those figured out yet?", he still asks, 5 years later. We're still laughing about it.
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Old 11-10-2009, 12:16 AM
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Default Re: Al Bentsen: Your Googan Days?

Could a moderator PLEASE delete my posts here and above?
I'm sick from having posted to this thread. I'm so sorry!!!! I'm an idiot!!!
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Old 11-10-2009, 01:46 PM
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Default Re: Al Bentsen: Your Googan Days?

I could delete it, but wont.
This thread was originally about Al and his googanism, and was made a sticky after his passing. Even great ones such as Al and Frank have their moments You adding to it just goes to show we all do it sometimes.
And, no you are not an idiot. Please dont do that to yourself. We all come here for knowledge and maybe some entertainment. As long as you dont start running Frank or others here down, your posts are more than welcome.
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Old 01-17-2010, 04:01 PM
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Default Re: Al Bentsen: Your Googan Days?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ragman View Post
I could delete it, but wont.
This thread was originally about Al and his googanism, and was made a sticky after his passing. Even great ones such as Al and Frank have their moments You adding to it just goes to show we all do it sometimes.
And, no you are not an idiot. Please dont do that to yourself. We all come here for knowledge and maybe some entertainment. As long as you dont start running Frank or others here down, your posts are more than welcome.

First of all, Al didn't really have any "Googan Daze". He was great from the beginning because he was there! He was already doing something few, if any in his area, had tried before. There was one "mis-conception" that he had when we first started together that "I think" I cured him of (but who knows if he "reverted" to his old ways when he was out of my sight): He used a "jam knot" (an "unimproved clinch knot") to tie his rigged eel onto his leader and knowing that it slipped, he stopped the slipping with a single overhand knot. I explained the faults of this way to him many times and eventually he conceeded that a "improved clinch" was better.
Just for the record: he never lost a fish the old way.........JC
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Old 01-17-2010, 08:16 PM
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Default Re: Al Bentsen: Your Googan Days?

Quote:
Originally Posted by fishinglsister View Post
First of all, Al didn't really have any "Googan Daze". He was great from the beginning because he was there! He was already doing something few, if any in his area, had tried before. There was one "mis-conception" that he had when we first started together that "I think" I cured him of (but who knows if he "reverted" to his old ways when he was out of my sight): He used a "jam knot" (an "unimproved clinch knot") to tie his rigged eel onto his leader and knowing that it slipped, he stopped the slipping with a single overhand knot. I explained the faults of this way to him many times and eventually he conceeded that a "improved clinch" was better.
Just for the record: he never lost a fish the old way.........JC
Jason,
Al did have his googan moments, as he wrote in this thread. All of us do at one time or another. No matter how good you are, you always do something silly. It doesn't detract from what you become, but rather shows that we are all human, and learn from our mistakes...
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Old 06-25-2017, 11:48 AM
Dricore Dricore is offline
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Default Re: Al Bentsen: Your Googan Days?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank Daignault View Post
Most here know that you have been a high-liner in the striper surf for most of your life. You have seven 50 pound plus linesides and have a solid reputation as a surfcaster and gentlemen. No problem. But readers here, and me for sure, would love to hear about some of the dumb stuff you might have done in your formative years before you knew the ropes which later had a way of reminding you of things you now wish you could forget. Fess up, Al.
Wanting to know more about al benson. New your fisherman along with Gus and nat piazza my father and me the son still fishing. Michael angelo
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Old 01-19-2018, 09:13 AM
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Default Re: Al Bentsen: Your Googan Days?

For me there was always a bit of "mystique" involved when I was fishing with Al. At the point I started fishing with him in the mid 70's he was already a living legend to me so to think of him and "googan" in the same sentence was difficult. I may have mentioned this before but when I do think of it, he did do one obvious googan thing and that was the knot he used for tying his rigged eel to his mono leader. He used a "jamb-knot" (un-improved clinch knot) and then singed the tag end with a cigarette. When I pointed it out to him and he didn't care, he aid that's the way he has been doing it and he won't change a thing. You can't argue with success!
Frank Keating (NY Post) wrote a big piece on him in the 70's and titled him "Unreconstructable". I made Al a shirt for our club with that name on the back.......JC
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Old 01-20-2018, 07:44 AM
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Default Re: Al Bentsen: Your Googan Days?

Wonder of that NY Post article still exists somewhere, JC?

Unfortunately, a lot of good print hasn't made it to the internet, especially newspaper print (no matter what we think of the press )
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Old 01-21-2018, 09:59 AM
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Default Re: Al Bentsen: Your Googan Days?

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Wonder of that NY Post article still exists somewhere, JC?

Unfortunately, a lot of good print hasn't made it to the internet, especially newspaper print (no matter what we think of the press )
I'm not sure of what "may have" been preserved or where. Because of Keating though, three of us in "The Long Island Striper Club" (14 members strong at our best) had shirts with nick-names on them. Bentsen was "Unreconstructible", Tom Murphy was "54 MFP" ("Murphy's First Prize"-Murphy always says it really stands for "Muther TRucking Pounds") and me: "Inexhaustable".
I have an article/picture I tried to put up but is says "file too large".....
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