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TWENTY YEARS ON THE CAPE - STRIPER SURF - STRIPER HOT SPOTS - THE TROPHY STRIPER
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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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Old 05-09-2007, 01:46 PM
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Default Book: Striper Surf -- your input ...

Here is another discussion of the intricacies of one of my books -- Striper Surf. Reflect upon the strengths and weaknesses of this how-to. Don't get the feeling that I am just bringing attention to my books.
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Old 05-10-2007, 02:18 AM
Nifty Nifty is offline
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Default Re: Book: Striper Surf -- your input ...

Strengths:
Info is solid and proven.
The most important stuff (locating fish, reading the beach etc) is right at the beginning in part 1.
The sections on night fishing and memorable places are very good.
Nice pic of Smarty dragging a biggie in with Micron line glowing and riggie dangling from the fish. A night shot - the way it should be.

Weaknesses:
Nothing on knots
May need to be updated in some sections.
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Old 05-10-2007, 11:37 AM
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Default Re: Book: Striper Surf -- your input ...

Striper Surf should be revised but these small publishers don't have a staff for editing a revision. Hey its been out there for over 15 years. As for knots anyone who knows me knows that that I have a knot disability. (I do rely upon the clinch for everything.) And i have done a lot of knot testing for strength and my findings indicated that the clinch was the strongest go-to knot, usually 90 percent.
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Old 05-10-2007, 11:44 AM
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Default Re: Book: Striper Surf -- your input ...

IMO...your best "story work"...I've given the book to people I want to introduce to surfcasting and to provide them with an historical perspective and what "could be"...

I think it's your strongest work...I like the combination of "how-to" with story...your use of the Red Gil was what made my surfcasting success really take off back in the lean years too...thanks for that...DB
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Old 05-10-2007, 06:49 PM
Nifty Nifty is offline
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Default Re: Book: Striper Surf -- your input ...

Many tutorials claim to be for beginner and pro alike but don't live up to that. I always felt that Striper Surf does. A beginner can start on this book but seasoned vets can also learn much from the different sections. This is a big strength.
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Old 05-10-2007, 07:13 PM
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Default Re: Book: Striper Surf -- your input ...

Strengths,,,
Too many to name. A super read and a really great book on the fundamentals. It speaks TO me, not AT me. I feel like I can emmulate your success and yet makes clear that dues need to be paid. You are unapologetic about the rigors and dissapointments of being a surfcaster and even managed to romanticize it. Heck you made sleeping along the side of a road dying for a beer sound like a goal to aspire to. Pure genius. You also have a consistent 'voice' which even some of the most talented writers never quite perfect.

Weaknesses, you make some aspects appear unattainable without the 'perfect storm' of circumstances. As true as it might be, it can make me want to put the book down and focus on golf. Also while the tried and true tools of the trade served you well our equipment has evolved to a point that tactics and skill levels that took years to attain back in the day can be acquired rather quickly today.

Having said that, I think you will be hard pressed to 'update' the book. Could Hemingway have updated 'farewell to arms' with the hero using a minn kota electric trolling motor to get his nurse quietly across that swiss lake?

A new book that is a sequel would be better, "The Ever Changing Striper Surf". I think it would be awesome if you were to interview todays hot shot surf casters that loved your book and took it to the next level. You could interview them and comment. I would love to hear you interview a few of todays sharpies. It would be double the bang for your buck. They could do the heavy lifting vis a vi today new equipment and plugs etc.

Just my .02 Frank off topic for a moment, do you ever read regular literature or is it always in the context of the outdoors? I just read another great book by Paulo Coehlo. It was about good and evil and temptation.
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Old 05-10-2007, 09:12 PM
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Default Re: Book: Striper Surf -- your input ...

I agree with Shipwreck on some points, disagree on others. Fundamentals it's top notch, and you feel you are being talked to, not lectured. As far as equipment, sure there are better lines, reels and rods today. Tactics? I dont think they change much. We are doing the same thing that was done 30, 50, even 100 years ago. Find the structure, learn the tides, catch the fish As far as corroboration between Frank and todays "hot shots", I dont think it would work. Those who did it back then, have a different view on things than those who do it today. They each have their place, it's up to the "hot shots" of today to prove themselves. I wish I could pick my former father in laws brain for the stuff he knew. Then again, he passed a lot of it to my son, so in an indirect way, I guess I'm getting it thru him.
The book is a great one the way it is, for someone getting into surfcasting, period.
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Old 05-11-2007, 06:42 AM
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Default Re: Book: Striper Surf -- your input ...

I hear you Bob,
But some of todays inovators have in fact proven themselves already. I dont really know who they are (I am certain there are none here in Ewing NJ ), but I would think that there would be some sort of common respect among them and Frank. Who knows it was just an idea, I meant no disrespect. Kind of like how the guys who flew the P-51s in WWII can hang with todays f-18 pilots. It in no way diminishes the mustang pilots, in fact it pays homage to the path they blazed for todays jet guys.
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Old 05-11-2007, 01:59 PM
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Default Re: Book: Striper Surf -- your input ...

Chris,
I dont think you meant any disrespect at all, and I hope you didnt think thats what I was saying. There is as much to be learned from those who did it "back then", with those who follow in their footsteps today. However, you have to take into account the differences between the thought processes between generations. Your analogy between P-51 and F-18 pilots is a good one. Sure, they respect each other. But I'll bet when they walk away, each one will have their diferent thoughts on the encouter. F-18 pilots..."Geez, they were shooting .50 cals thru manual gunsights, and actually shot something down". P-51 pilots... "Damn kids, computer operated sights, missles, you could do that in your sleep". I think that would be the same thing with surfcasters. Todays hot shots, "Squidders? What are they? We use Penn 525's with mags and maybe some "rocket fuel" to make them a little faster". The veterans, "If it aint broke, dont fix it. Squidders worked before, they work now". What both sides agree upon in both those scenarios is that the tactics dont change. The things that worked 15, 30 or 50 or more years ago, as far as tactics, are the same as today. I think thats where "Striper Surf" shines thru. You can use whats written whatever your level of fishing expertise is.
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Old 05-11-2007, 03:01 PM
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Default Re: Book: Striper Surf -- your input ...

I'm having trouble rectifying today's experts in my mind with those who were around back when I was a test pilot for astro-glide. In nearly 40 years of writing I have gotten to know a lot of people and have caught a lot of them in phony efforts to prop up their image. There was one guy I met at the Bluelfish Contest of the time who told me he threw back 40-pounders all night in Charlestown. Well, Joyce and I had been there the night he was talking about: A) There were no fish. B)He had not been there. Now, he is a big book author and a "Captain" and he gets a lot of ink. Sorry. But to me it seems like a lot of people have learned how to be false professors. All you have to do is take the course for your title and then lie about what you catch. but I digress.

Authorship in any field, not just fishing, is about language skills as well as imparting cogent information and most of all, honesty. I saw it in days past with Cole, Chatham, Woolner, Dr Post. But I don't see much that passes the test today. But I hasten to add that it might be me, that I had a few negative experiences that jaded me and brought about a sort of broad brush unfairness. Never forget that our mind's eye is not alway properly focused. That half our problems are more perception than reality which is why we are obliged to be very careful in judging others. (I think I forgot the subject, so just shut up.)
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Old 05-11-2007, 05:35 PM
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Default Re: Book: Striper Surf -- your input ...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank Daignault View Post
back when I was a test pilot for astro-glide.
That might be the funniest thing I ever read
If nothing thanks for that!
And remember, it was just an silly idea idea from Ewings resident googan .
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Old 05-11-2007, 05:55 PM
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Default Re: Book: Striper Surf -- your input ...

[quote=ragman;246079]Chris,
Your analogy between P-51 and F-18 pilots is a good one. Sure, they respect each other. But I'll bet when they walk away, each one will have their diferent thoughts on the encouter. F-18 pilots..."Geez, they were shooting .50 cals thru manual gunsights, and actually shot something down". P-51 pilots... "Damn kids, computer operated sights, missles, you could do that in your sleep". I think that would be the same thing with surfcasters. Todays hot shots, "Squidders? What are they? We use Penn 525's with mags and maybe some "rocket fuel" to make them a little faster". The veterans, "If it aint broke, dont fix it. Squidders worked before, they work now". What both sides agree upon in both those scenarios is that the tactics dont change. The things that worked 15, 30 or 50 or more years ago, as far as tactics, are the same as today.

You're a perceptive dude Rags, your comments about pilots and airplanes are accurate....I know a little bit about both. But I don't agree with what you say about veteran fishermen.....I don't fish much any more, but some of my contemporaries who still do have evolved along with modern tackle. And I am absolutely convinced that the habits and idiosyncracies of Striped Bass have changed as well, over the years.

CL
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Old 05-12-2007, 06:22 AM
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Default Re: Book: Striper Surf -- your input ...

There is a better reel than a squidder for tossing bunker heads in the north Jersey surf? umm,,tell me why?

BOOK? YOU WROTE A BOOK! WHOA! Thats cool. Wait a sec! I think I read this one. Yes I did, very good read as a matter of fact. Not only was it VERY informative, it was well written. Oddly enough as much as I love fishing I dont go looking for stuff to read. Much of what I have read is not well written and if I can be frank here, it is a turn off.
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Old 05-12-2007, 11:34 AM
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Default Re: Book: Striper Surf -- your input ...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cap'n Bigass View Post
You're a perceptive dude Rags, your comments about pilots and airplanes are accurate....I know a little bit about both. But I don't agree with what you say about veteran fishermen.....I don't fish much any more, but some of my contemporaries who still do have evolved along with modern tackle. And I am absolutely convinced that the habits and idiosyncracies of Striped Bass have changed as well, over the years.

CL
Thanks Charlie, I read a lot, and also know some of those pilots... You are right to a certain extent with your contemporaries changing, a prime example is Al Bentsen. He raves about his Penn 525... I disagree with the habits of the stripers changing though. I didnt fish back in the 40's or 50's, but my former father in law did. He in turn passed his knowledge on to my son, who started fishing near the end of the moratorium (late 80's). The stuff he taught him works the same today as 50 or 60 years ago, in the same places. I think stripers are like any other wild animal, creatures of habit, and do what they have to, to survive, nothing more. My thoughts could be junk science too...
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Old 05-12-2007, 02:14 PM
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Default Re: Book: Striper Surf -- your input ...

[quote=ragman; I disagree with the habits of the stripers changing though. I didn't fish back in the 40's or 50's, but my former father in law did. He in turn passed his knowledge on to my son, who started fishing near the end of the moratorium (late 80's). The stuff he taught him works the same today as 50 or 60 years ago, in the same places. I think stripers are like any other wild animal, creatures of habit, and do what they have to, to survive, nothing more. My thoughts could be junk science too...[/quote]

Rags, Striped Bass still hang out at many of the same places, and eat the same stuff - when it's available- that they used to. But they are infinitely easier to catch today than they were a half-century ago.

Part of that is due to the vastly improved lures and tackle of today. There are even more compelling reasons, however.

There is nowhere near the amount of bait today that there was back then, so the bass are generally hungrier.....that's just common sense. Have you noticed how much skinnier today's bass are than they used to be? Another reason is that the bass of the 1940's, 1950's and even the early 60's were far spookier than today's fish. Those fish grew up in the WW2 era, when there was virtually no pressure on them. Beaches were deserted, no buggies with lights.....certainly no boats, no noise, hardly any fishermen. Conversely, today's fish have matured in a world of activity and noise.....they are used to it, and they are not as easily spooked.

I have seen the difference first hand. Al Bentsen and I can tell you of quiet nights when we had to wait 15 minutes after every fish we caught, for the school to regroup. If you kept casting after catching one, they wouldn't come back.

CL
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