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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Last nights non snow storm and a sunny sky today had the minnows out in force. They were from restaurant to restaurant at our dock and back to the bulkhead. Still believe that the mild winter will have a positive effect on bait and that will trickle on down to the predators. :thumbsup:



 

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Can't wait for this season.
New techniques to try, new gear, new transportation.
Money in the bank to boot.

Chunking,

Would you let me launch a kayak from your dock or is there a good launch close by? Would love to have tackle, bait, launch and a bathroom all at one location. Haha.
 

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Say there are two locations on Sunset for launching one in the first picture is at Rosemary and the second I forget the street mainly because of the steep steps it was a no go for me. Fred actually told me about these spots, you can also put in at the George Redding bridge, pm me about that. Any questions feel free to contact me. View attachment 54372

View attachment 54373
 

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FU , You may have the crab's again this year. :D :thumbsup:
 

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fred knows more than i ever will but by the look of all that bait very good. If Fred says positive I'm thinking positive
 

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More excited than any other season!! New boat and looks like the fishing is going to be sick!!! Hell yea!!!!!:thumbsup:
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Since we did not have below freezing temps. for an extended period of time, hoe will it affect the back bay?
I'm thinking positive on this one. Long cold winters can be rough on local wildlife and thin out the population. Minnows can be hit hard for a few reasons. They school up and search out warmer waters even if it's a few degrees. When the water is very cold they will go near dormant and thats fine. But the longer they stay in this state the more likely they are to become very weak. Also when they school up predation comes into play. Very cold water can cause food to become scarse and when that happens the minnows will turn on the weak and the small. After long cold winters I have always found smaller schools of minoows. Mild winters and the schools are large.

I figure this will probably be the same for other so called flounder food sources like shiners, grass shrimp and small crabs. When flounder migrate into the back bays I would think that a larger food supply will hold them here longer than a smaller one. Flounder move in for the feast and if the table is thin they could loose interest and start moving looking for a better table. Whats left of winter isn't enough to have any effect on the bait supply in the back. Even if the temps crashed it would only be for a short period and nature can cope with that. A long mild winter or a short cold winter seems to be the best for baitfish and anything else that is small in size. A long cold winter will wear down the numbers and when spring arrives whats left may be healthy but fewer than the predators need.
 

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Thanks Fred. Makes me feel like I'm on the dack.

My sister was here last week from Switzerland, and took alot of walks to the deleware bay, only about a mile from here. She told me there were MANY dead small crabs on the beach. I can't get out, so I never saw them. I wonder what that was all about?
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thanks Fred. Makes me feel like I'm on the dack.

My sister was here last week from Switzerland, and took alot of walks to the deleware bay, only about a mile from here. She told me there were MANY dead small crabs on the beach. I can't get out, so I never saw them. I wonder what that was all about?
Could be one of a few things. When crabs shed their old shells will sometimes wash up on the beaches. They look dead but are actually just empty shells. Don't usually see them in the winter because most crabs shed during warm summer months. The most likely reason is dredgers. They dredge the bottom for crabs that are wintering over in the bottom. They are in a kind of hybernating state and need the cover of the bottom to protect them. When the bottom gets dredged some crabs and mostly the smaller ones slip through the dredge. Since they are hybernating they can't burry back in and they just tumble with the tide and die.
 

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Fred when do shinners start showing up? Also could you put my name on a couple packs of herring filets will pick up next time I'm in, forgot them last weekend. Thanks
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Fred when do shinners start showing up? Also could you put my name on a couple packs of herring filets will pick up next time I'm in, forgot them last weekend. Thanks
Depends on location. At the dock I usually start seeing them around April 1st. Everything is waiting for the explosion. Suddenly about a few billion shrimp will shed their outer shells and release hundreds of eggs into the water that will hatch in seconds. Multiply billions by hundreds and it's easy to see how the food chain explodes. Everything needs to be in line when the chain kicks in. Most of us see the needle fish cruising the surface late in the summer chasing shiners. What most don't see is when the needle fish spawn and the babys show up. Baby needles no bigger around than a sewing needle and about an inch long. These little guys can only feed on very tiny targets and thats the baby shiners. As the shiners grow so do the needles and the feast continues. So you start with a new hatch of grass shrimp that are about the size of a pepper flake and the shiners thrive on them and spawn so their young can join in on the feast. Baby weakies, blues, needles and anything else with a mouth go crazy on the baby shiners. The secret to the entire chain is the grass shrimp. They spawn and spawn and spawn again and again. They are the food pump that keeps the whole shabang banging. They are the anchor to the entire back bay food chain. God help us if the little overlooked grass shrimp ever vanished.

I have seen grass shrimp spawn in our aquarium a few times and it's a sight to see. The female has her large cluster of eggs attached to her belly where her many moving legs keep a fresh supply of oxygenated water flowing over them. When it's time she will molt her outer shell and thats the coolest thing to see. She will swim off the bottom and suddenly bend her body and quickly snap out straight. She may have to do this several times as she splits her old shell right down the back. Finally she gives one more snap and she swims right out of her old outer shell and the eggs release and the cloud of hundreds slowly sink towards the bottom. Almost looking like a tiny fireworks display the hundreds of eggs seem to explode as they hatch within seconds of being released. All the eggs snap open and itty bitty perfectly formed baby grass shimp pop out and swim away. Now the adult is larger after shedding her shell and in a short time the new shell will harden and she will be ready to spawn again. :thumbsup:
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Neat watching the needle fish hit the baby shiners. Needles especially the babys are difficult to see. The blend in so well with the surface water and sun. I'll be standing on the dock looking into the water and suddenly see some silver moving through the water. When needles strike they just grab with that long mouth full of needle sharp teeth. Because they are so skinny the needle needs to turn the shiner so it can go down head first. Baby needles grab the baby shiner and keep swimming while they chomp down and get read to turn it. I see the shiner from the side now and it's silvery side reflects the light. Still can't see the needle but I see the shiner that looks like it's swimming sideways. Neat to watch. Picture this guy but only about two inches long.

 

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Fred, is it safe to assume that there will be larger bait available early this year, in other words, leftover bait that didn't leave or die off? I saw this a few years ago in South Carolina. I cast netted large mullet in early spring and took them to bait shop- guy said where the heck did you get these? He gave me a store credit for them and sold them all same day for king mackerel tournament.
 
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