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How To's, F.A.Q.s, Tips, & Tricks How-To's, Tips & Tricks plus Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) **** Please Do Not Start Discussions or Ask New Questions in Here **** This is for popular Threads To be moved here for easy access & discussion. Post all new questions in main Stripertalk Forum

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Old 08-31-2006, 08:24 PM   #31
Mike P
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Just in case you missed it the first time

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Originally Posted by Mike P

THE “BREAKING” TIDES

Often you’ll hear the regulars talk of “the breaking tides”. They’re referring to the twice a month low slack current, where it falls around the time of first light. For most of the Canal fishing season, these tides occur for 4-5 days around the new and full moons. Some old timers also call them “minus tides”, as they are marked by one or two asterisks in the official Canal tide chart. What it means, basically, is that bottom clearance at dead low tide is less than normal because the tide ebbs more on the new and full moon. Often, on these early morning slack tides, fish will be seen thrashing on the surface chasing bait. These are the times you want to have your big surface poppers with you, and be able to cast accurately. Yellow plugs work year-in, year out on these tides, and mackerel pattern plugs are also productive whenever the macks are present in quantity. Bait supplies vary from year to year, and some years, plugging is slow. In other years, you can find bass tearing up the surface from one end of the Ditch to the other.

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Old 09-01-2006, 06:19 PM   #32
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Yea Thanx for the reminder.
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Old 12-30-2006, 09:18 PM   #33
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This thread has been great! I've fished the canal a few times, and struck out on all of them, losing a couple plugs and bruising a couple shins along the way.

Both times we arrived well before first light and fished until mid-afternoon. We fished the west end on a current running to the West and we also fished the East end with the current going towards the West.

Both times we fished deadly dicks.

The only time we saw fish was on th East end. They were jumping in the middle for about a 20 minute window. We tried casting to them but they just weren't interested and none seemed to venture any closer to the banks.

I notice in the OP, Mike P, you say some spots are better depending on the currents. IS it better to fish a certain "end" on a certain current?
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Old 12-31-2006, 08:25 AM   #34
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I notice in the OP, Mike P, you say some spots are better depending on the currents. IS it better to fish a certain "end" on a certain current?
General rule I use--and your mileage may vary--- is start at the east end on the start of the west tide and gradually move west. I like the area around Scussett to the fish pier early on a west tide, and after that I'll finish in the mid-Canal area.

Opposite on the east. I'll start around the west end and move east.

Early in the year, like late April, most of the fish are entering the Canal from Buzzards Bay. My rule of thumb there is, fish the warmest part of the current--last of the east and start of the west.

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Old 12-31-2006, 09:10 AM   #35
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Great! Thanks for the advice, I'll let you know how it works out for me come spring!

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General rule I use--and your mileage may vary--- is start at the east end on the start of the west tide and gradually move west. I like the area around Scussett to the fish pier early on a west tide, and after that I'll finish in the mid-Canal area.

Opposite on the east. I'll start around the west end and move east.

Early in the year, like late April, most of the fish are entering the Canal from Buzzards Bay. My rule of thumb there is, fish the warmest part of the current--last of the east and start of the west.
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Old 07-10-2007, 03:50 PM   #36
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this is a damn good thread. I wish something like this existed for the Boston Harbor, but then again, that waterway does'nt have the same notoriety.
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Old 09-05-2008, 03:29 PM   #37
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Larger baits like the ronz and sluggo's are gonna require more time to get to the bottom as they create more resistance..IMO a black and red sluggo is as good as the more expensive ronz..
Anyways.IMO the larger baits will rob casting distance and time spent in the strike zone..I know they catch But there are times something else might be better suited..Another thing casting as far back as 45 degrees will have u fishing limp..This is the recipe for a lost jig.When you do find a productive spot to fish the last thing you wanna do is build a snag...A heavier jig casted more perpendicular will get to the bottom faster and stay down as long or longer.More importantly You can fish it on a tight line.When the line is tight you have control...A 4.5 or 5 oz canal special jig with a pork rind trailer is a good lure.Another thing u can try is letting line out..Once the jig swings the line will lift it,causing it to loose contact.Let line out till you make contact again..Your time on the bottom will be shorter as more line out causes more lift, but you can let it out one more time before it swings to far.Here is where your line thickness comes into play.Too thick and your time spent on the bottom is short.Too thin and you run the risk of loosing good fish.I can't imagine ever having to jig the ditch with mono..Todays braids are a godsend.Unfortunately there is no uniformity in the sizing of todays lines from one company to the next.So some work is involved in finding what suits you best.50 lb power pro is not a bad choice.My last trip i used Big Game braid in 50 lb test I found it to be OK..Kinda limp..I used to use fireline in 30 lb test..I think the big game cast's farther..
Let the line out on a count so you can repeat the process over and over..You want to be able to repeat the process without letting too much line out so your not tight and run the chance of loosing the jig..Also take into consideration that all of this will change as the currents change..Learn to be precise in all of your movements..Casting angle and distance, count to the bottom,Angle of which to let line out,how long a count on the line out..Even turns of the handle on the retrieve.This technique is not much practiced on the big ditch but I am sure there are mussel beds on the way in you could wreck fish off the of with a swim bait like a large storm shad.Never mind the all of the fish that make a living near the edges....All these little things add up.Jigging is a science..When you notice someone catching more than others.It is no coincidence..

FORE!
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Old 09-08-2008, 02:15 PM   #38
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Its a mistake to say cast at 45 degrees or don't cast at 45 degrees because of slack , etc. You need to decide how you are going to work the area. beginners are usually just capable of finding bottom and avoiding snags while the jig moves in a bog circular arc with them at the center. essentially they hang on , let line out and take it in but they are following an arc that is determined by the current just pulling the jig from left to right. So if this is what you are doing . its normal but its the most basic of jigging techniques.

You need to be able to decide to work the area in straight lines down rip seams , to follow a course so the jig drops into a certain spot at a certain time , to catch a current that is moving away from the shore to get the best ride of the jig , to work the very edge of the canal without geting caught on that lip , etc , etc. Each of these is a different scenario and requires you to cast , drift , let line out , take it back in , etc , etc so that you work the area instead of it working you.

You should start out by practicing just getting a feel for the bottom and not ettint snagged as the jig follows that natural arc from side to side to side and the natural drift back towards shore once the jig is down current. The next move is see if you can figure out by controlling the upcurrent angle and the letting out of line to stop that arc of the jig coming in and see if you can figure out how to get it to go in a staright line for a while , away from you while its down current. Thats about the most essential skill to aquire if you ever want to be more than a beginner.

The next thing is to try to figure out how to avoid the natural arc by learning to control the slack to a point where you can get a staright line bounce on the upcurrent part of the drift. This is a balancing act. You need to let that jig tumble in the curent with no in pull from you ( the in pull results in the arc towards shore) but you have to stay in touch with it so you will know when to raise the rod tip to quickly take up slack line and get it free when you feel it starting to snag. Eventually you need to do this with just the least amount of slack because you only get a split second to decide when to take in slack by cranking and raising the rod to avoid the snag. snags happen in the blink of an eye sometimes and if you are daydreaming or have too much slack out , you won't be able to give that needed pull in time to avoid the snag.

So now you have mastered how to change the natural arc down current by letting out slack and also up current. This means you should be able to work that jig in staright lines now instead of just the arc which beginners use.

Once you get the idea about how to alter the shape of the drift line using the rod and reel to go from an arc to a straight line or an arc plus a staright line etc , etc (arcs , upcurrent straight lines and down current straight lines combine to make a big variety of paths that your jig can now follow). Now its time to add another tool to your rod and reel to control the course of your drift ( or bounce). That tool is the spot you choose and the time within the current cycle that you fish a spot.

Some spots , notably spots where the shore falls away to your downcurrnet side , allow you to actaully ride the currents out away from the shore. These are the best spots for getting very long times in the water with each cast. When you find these spots , you are no longer waiting for the jig to drift back in close to shore to stop the drift and retrieve the jig. The jig is moving away from the shore (almost like you are arcing the other way. When this happens , you will have to stop your drift (bounce) because you are running out of line.

A given spot may or may not set up to give you this outward pull at any time during that current cycle. For example , there may be no outward pull for the first two hours until things start booking. There may be an outward pull for and hour then things change and the currents start back eddying down current and you loose the outward pull and fall into the dead water of a back eddy. The same thing applies to current seams that develop and then disappear as the stage of the current cycle changes with time.

Anyway , I could start to get really complicated now but [I] think there's enough to consider here for one post.

As a summary , its most importatnt to learn how to use your rod and reel to change the path of the jig from that arc it naturally follows to a course which puts you in cammand as to how to work the area. be able to add staright lines to the beginning and end of your drifts. Next , learn to see how the currents , seams ,outflows and backeddys set up in a given spot and learn to use those current directions in conjuction with your rod and reel techniques to really be able to work an area and send that jig and any direction you want depending on the spot. Lastly , observe how the current and conditions of flow change during the 6 hour current cycle and learn to work the jig different ways to take advantage of the changing character of a given spot as the water changes its course of flow during the current cycle.

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Old 09-09-2008, 01:44 PM   #39
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Brilliant stuff.
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Old 09-09-2008, 02:08 PM   #40
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I'm no Canal expert but yes and especially this style based on Mike's article above.


http://www.capecodtackle.com/Merchan...=CCTBottle+Pop
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Old 10-13-2008, 09:39 AM   #41
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Update

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GEAR UP

The Canal has some of the most rugged bottom that I’ve ever fished. It is, in truth, a junkyard on the bottom. When you throw in a current that can exceed 5 knots on a moon tide, you can see why it’s no place for light tackle. Canal fishermen use rods from 8 to over 11 feet. In my opinion, the longer rods are really only a good idea at lower stages of the tide, when you can stand on an exposed mussel bed or other flat spot, and have room behind you to get off a good cast. I usually carry two rods with me—a 9-1/2 footer and a 10-1/2 foot one. The rod should be able to handle 4-6 ounces of weight and still load with two ounces at the low end. It should have a lot of backbone, in order to lift a jig off the bottom in 30+ feet of water, and to put the boots to a fish that’s trying to bury its nose in that junk on the bottom. All of my rods are custom models. There are many blanks that could serve as the guts of a Ditch stick. I’ll list a few—in 9 foot lengths, some good ones are the Batson 1089, the All Star (Breakaway) 1088, and the Lamiglas GSB 108 1M. In 10 foot models, I like the All Star 1208 or 1209, and the Lamiglas GSB 120 1M or the XRA 1205, as well as the old reliable fiberglass 121 3M. Going up the ladder, there’s the Lamiglas XRA 126 1MH at 10-1/2 feet, which in my opinion is the best Canal rod going for big plugs and heavy jigs, then the 11 foot XRA 1322 and the All Star 1418/2 for situations requiring the ultimate in casting performance.

Most Canal regulars use conventional reels. They offer big advantages in casting, and in controlling a big fish in heavy current. I’ve retired most of my older reels, and use Abu Garcia Ambassadeurs almost exclusively. The smaller 6500 size reels, as well as similar sized Calcutta 400s and Penn 965s, can be used if spooled with thin braided line. My preference has always been the larger 7000 size Ambassadeurs. Many old timers still prefer to use non level-wind reels. Some still use the old Penn Squidders, but most now use more modern reels like the Newell 229 and 235, and the Daiwa Sealine 30s.

If you’re more comfortable with spinning reels, I would suggest that you invest in a model with strong gears. Fortunately, they are available. The spinning reels I have the most confidence in are the older Penn Z-series models 704 and 706, the newer Mitchell Nautil 7500, and of course the Lexus of spinning reels, the Van Staal.

Some holdouts still do all of their Canal fishing with mono. I’ve switched over to the new thin braids for almost all of my Ditch fishing. They offer many advantages. They are incredibly thin for their strength. The thin diameter means it penetrates the water better and isn’t as wind resistant, which allows you to get a jig down to the bottom better. They allow you to use a lighter jig, which is less prone to hanging up. And, their sensitivity is unbelievable. You can feel the bottom better, you can detect when your jig is hanging up sooner which allows you a better shot at rescuing it, and you can almost feel the fish breathing on your lure before it hits. There are a few drawbacks to braid, and lack of stretch can be a two-edged sword. It’s easier to tear hooks loose from poorly hooked fish, especially with a stiff rod, and it’s easier to put too much pressure on treble hooks causing them to straighten. Also, when using surface plugs like Polarises and pencil poppers, it’s easy to catch “buck fever” by yanking the lure away from a fish before it has a chance to get the hooks in its mouth---so mono still has its place in my tackle bag. I suggest 25# or 30# mono, 30# Fireline, or minimum of 50# spun braid for the Canal.
This was written in 2002-2003 and finally posted in 2004. Much has changed in the tackle world since then:

All Star blanks are no more Rainshadow makes some blanks based on the old All Star design, but IMO they aren't quite the same--especially the 1208.

Most Canal regulars now use spinning gear. Thin braid and long cast designed reel spools have really leveled the playing field for casting distance. The Daiwa Emblem Pro is now probably the most used reel along the banks, surpassing the Abu conventionals. And, there are now spinning reels made with superior gearing and drags, with fast retrieves, such as the Van Staal 275 and Daiwa Saltiga-Z, for the so-called "guerilla jiggers".

The old Penn 704 and 706 Spinfishers have been discontinued, along with some other classic conventionals like the Squidder. Penn still makes the GS series of conventionals, and I find the 525 Mag to be a fantastic reel, when spooled with 50# braid, for all around Canal fishing.

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Old 12-23-2009, 05:51 PM   #42
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THANKS!!!
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Old 12-23-2009, 09:14 PM   #43
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GREAT INFO THANK YOU Im new here I just discovered this forum. Cant wait for the herring RUN
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Old 03-26-2010, 07:27 PM   #44
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Great info. Thanks Mike!
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Old 06-10-2010, 08:23 PM   #45
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Great info for a beginner like me.
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Old 02-24-2015, 07:07 PM   #46
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thank you for the incredible info. I've not had the chance to fish the canal yet, but when I do! I fish the Hudson River , much different than the canal, I'm sure, but we do have tide, your info was GREAT, thanks again.
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