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Went out last night turned on dock lights to see hundreds of small fish popping on the water. Walked up closer to see spearing everywheres. I always thought they beat feet out of here for the winter. There was some other kind of small fish mixed in. Looked kind of like a baby herring. Real shiny silver with big eyes. Swam real slow.:huh:
 

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I see spearing in the back all winter, usually small pods though......investigate with a sabiki rig......

RyanF
 

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Striperaholic, to add to what Ryan said, they could be winter spearing, common in your and many back bay areas. They are usually around till March, and the small bass that become active when the season opens will definitely be feeding on them at that time. When a lot of guys are fishing bait in March, try small plugs or 4" fin-S in that area you found, top of the tide at night. You might be surprised at the level of bass activity.

As for the other forage, I would rather see a picture if you could get them and post one. They could be several forage species,,,,herring are one possibility as herring have been around for almost 2 1/2 months now, and those could be baby herring, or some other offshore species...pollock and baby cod are known to gravitate to certain inlet and bulkhead lighted areas, but they would be darker in shape and not the profile you're mentioning...by your description herring seems like a close possibility.
 

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Striperaholic, to add to what Ryan said, they could be winter spearing, common in your and many back bay areas. They are usually around till March, and the small bass that become active when the season opens will definitely be feeding on them at that time. When a lot of guys are fishing bait in March, try small plugs or 4" fin-S in that area you found, top of the tide at night. You might be surprised at the level of bass activity.

As for the other forage, I would rather see a picture if you could get them and post one. They could be several forage species,,,,herring are one possibility as herring have been around for almost 2 1/2 months now, and those could be baby herring, or some other offshore species...pollock and baby cod are known to gravitate to certain inlet and bulkhead lighted areas, but they would be darker in shape and not the profile you're mentioning...by your description herring seems like a close possibility.

Inland silversides???

You know too much about spearing....

RyanF
 

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You know too much about spearing....

RyanF
Ry...
bait/food is the life-force from which all marine life thrives...:thumbsup:
Been trapping and analyzing bait since I was a teen...used to love to pull the trap in the most isolated dirty water places and see the amazing variety of life that would come out of it..

Show me a place that doesn't even have minimal forage life, and I'll bet that place has no fish...(at that time...)

Bait/forage dictates where the fish will be, how abundant they will be, and trumps tide, time, location, and structure, all other things being equal... (though night time is a different topic, as outside of blitz fishing you will consistently run into more and bigger fish at night, if you keep a good log book)

It is the most important piece of the equation...and when I'm fishiing, catching is only part of my experience,...I am obsessive about knowing exactly why the fish are there at that time...what they are feeding on, and what is drawing them to that area that perhaps wasn't there yesterday...

It's one of the ways I have been consistently catching bass in the ocean, this late in the season....:cool:

it's more a curse because I can't stop till the fish stop feeding. or the temps cause them to get too sluggish so they won't hit artificials anymore....

As for knowing too much, these are standard conversations I tend to have with "fishing nut" friends of mine...we can spend hours analyzing why the monster bluefish made us happy one year, and totally disapppointed us the next...all about the bait, and abundance of bait in one area over the other, bro...





There are others who are even more obsessive..:eek:
I think if you talk at length with any fly fisherman, they will know exactly what the fish are feeding on at any given moment, to be able to match the hatch and connect with the fish...

On this site, there are a few that go way beyond my obsession and interest in forage....
Chunking /Fred comes to mind, and does an amazing job explaining things that are happening in his area...and has a lifetime of understanding what his findings mean to the fishing opportunities at particular times....:thumbsup: Bucktail Willie is another.

I thoroughly enjoy Chunking's threads. because he imparts such knowledge and understanding with each one...some of you guys who are just gettting into fishing should do a site-wide search of Fred's posts one cold winter day, kick back with a hot coffee or brew and just go over them post by post...

I guarantee some of ya's who just fish at your local beaches "because you heard the fish are in" :razz: will come away from that reading as better fishermen...and all for free, without paying the cost of some expert to tell ya's at a seminar...:rolleyes:.it's all here for those who are interested...right here at your fingertips.....:thumbsup: :D
 

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Rich - I completaly understand your obession and I don't need a lecture on the foundations of the marine ecosystems...haha - chill out....just saying that differentiating between atlantic silversides and winter spearing is bordering on insanity......unless I am missing something in the link between "winter silversides" and fish that I want to spend time chasing....

I look for the spearing in early March to find the active rats, but I wouldn't be able to tell you winter vs atlantic, nor do I know if knowing the difference would help me become a better buttcrack of the spring fisherman....

We already know you're a tad insane though, I really believe that any fisherman worth a damn has to have atleast a wee bit of crazy in them...

RyanF
 

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Ryan, no offense on the insane comments, most of the guys I hang with are far from normal, we like it that way....:razz:

If this pending snow doesn't kill it, you should think about a road trip N, still a few fish left...if you can deal with the cold at night.....;) :wave:
 

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, but I wouldn't be able to tell you winter vs atlantic, nor do I know if knowing the difference would help me become a better buttcrack of the spring fisherman.......

RyanF
Just think, something to aspire to...a better buttcrack...

as opposed to an average or mediocre buttcrack....:eek:

or at the very bottom of the list...an underachieving buttcrack!...:D

So many choices....:rolleyes:

I gotta think about that one.....;)
 

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My neighbor has lights over the water at night. Up until Christmas we were catching large herring and short stripers. They were feeding under decent schools of what looked like shiners. When the fish we caught threw some up we could see they weren't what we call shiners around here. Basic same size but a wider stripe and very large eyes. Looked more like baby herring to us. One night there was a large shrimp and not a mantis either. It was about seven inches in body and it would swim around with the baitfish then try to grab one. Never did see it catch anything and I tried to snag it. Hit the shrimp a few times and once even flipped it out of the water. Didn't bother it one bit. Just got back in with the bait and kept trying.
 

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Ryan, no offense on the insane comments, most of the guys I hang with are far from normal, we like it that way....:razz:

If this pending snow doesn't kill it, you should think about a road trip N, still a few fish left...if you can deal with the cold at night.....;) :wave:
Got an email today, impressive....Damn new iphone was working perfect earlier, now I cant reply to an email. Give me back my blackberry.....

Just think, something to aspire to...a better buttcrack...

as opposed to an average or mediocre buttcrack....:eek:

or at the very bottom of the list...an underachieving buttcrack!...:D

So many choices....:rolleyes:

I gotta think about that one.....;)
I'll stick to the buttcrack in your "other" emails...I can't find anything on these winter spearing, and I wasted half an hour of my boss' time lookin....

RyanF
 

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When do the larger spearing show up. I looked all summer to stock the freezer and never anything more than a couple inches???:huh:
Look for them towards the end of May. The huge shiners are in their breeding glory. Thats the largest you will find. After that it's mosty the young growing up.
 

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Look for them towards the end of May. The huge shiners are in their breeding glory. Thats the largest you will find. After that it's mosty the young growing up.
Yup, they'll be making babies end of May into Early June. They only live a season or two and it takes half of that to grow to a bait worthy size.

Darkskies probably knows the precise mating rituals...

RyanF
 

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Look for them towards the end of May. The huge shiners are in their breeding glory. Thats the largest you will find. After that it's mosty the young growing up.
Thanks Fred, always appreciate the informative posts. :thumbsup:

Darkskies probably knows the precise mating rituals...

RyanF
:eek::fighting: Touche bro... :thumbsup:

it is what it is....been able to find fish consistently this season because of this obessiveness....that was funny though, thanks for the laughs...:D

,,,,and curiously enough...I do have some crude video of early season spearing....and some tinker mackerel in another one...will have to search around and look for em, will try to post once I find them...:razz:
 
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