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Old 05-19-2020, 07:25 PM
Umbro182 Umbro182 is offline
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Default Loose fishing line / canít get a bite

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Iím new to fishing and I just purchased a 7 ft Lews rod & reel for saltwater fishing in NJ (rivers/inlets). Using 10 lb braided line, the maximum my rod/reel says to use. Also using nightcrawler worms or small lures to catch whatever I can (ideally bluefish or stripers but Iíll even take bunkers since I see them jumping everywhere).

I use 2 slip shots to keep the lure/worm down. Hook is about 3 ft from the bobber. Haven't gotten even a bite in the 4 trips (8 hrs) Iíve spent fishing. Iíve seen others in the distance reeling in presumably bunkers. Not using a swivel but not sure thatíll help, maybe? Any ideas or should I just keep at it? Insult to injury - an osprey even snatched a bunker out of the water about 5 feet from my bobber today. Canít catch a break.

Also, my line just stays loose on the water immediately after casting, regardless of wind/current or if I add more sinkers. Everyone elseís line is taut and doesnt touch the water until their bobber. Any help???? Thanks!!
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Old 05-19-2020, 07:51 PM
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Perhaps you are using too much weight. Not enough/too much line between bobber, weight, and hook? Maybe the fish can see your line.

You really need to work with some local people to see what works best were you are.
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Old 05-20-2020, 09:41 AM
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My guess is the fish are feeding on the bottom, and your bobber is holding the bait too far above them.
Remove the bobber completely, use the smallest sinker/sm hook that lets you cast, and let the worm wiggle on the bottom.

Also, 10 lb braid might be correct for larger fish, but it is fairly stiff and visible to the fish.
I have multiple spools for each reel, and I typically start with 4 or 8 lb mono.
I switch to a heavier (10-14 lb) braid line if there are lots of rocks and stumps on the bottom.

Bait often works and you might try fishing live minnows on a lindy rig near the bottom, or a live shinner in mid water.
If the fish reject bait, you might try casting Texas rigged plastic worms, or Panther Martin spinners, or a floating Rapala lures, or a 1oz Dardevel Spoons.
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Old 05-20-2020, 11:19 AM
Umbro182 Umbro182 is offline
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Thanks so much guys. I’ll certainly be speaking to the next guy near me who has a catch so see what their rig looks like.

And I appreciate the feedback on what else to try. I’ll give 8lb mono a shot and remove the bobber to get the line lower. I’ll also try some minnows/killies next.
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Old 05-20-2020, 11:23 AM
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Talk to your local sporting goods people in the fishing section. Some are just clueless store representatives, but some are actual anglers. They will know the best areas and gear for that area. Most are more than willing to share the knowledge. You may even get an invite to go with them, take them up on it. First hand experience with someone that knows what they are doing will save you hundreds of hours of trial and error.

Keep a fishing journal of what/when/where worked, you wont remember the color of that rig and colors matter with types and seasons. Corn marshmallows cheese eggs change it up.
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Old 05-20-2020, 11:39 AM
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I assume you are using a leader?

How dark is the water. A lot of Tea colored water in NJ from all the trees.

Are you fishing, fresh, brackish or salt water?

Where are you fishing? Ocean surf, bay, river?

My guess is you need to add something flashy. If the water is tea colored, they can't see your worm.

Vary your depth, retrieval speed etc until something starts working.
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Old 05-20-2020, 11:55 AM
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The best advice has already been given....talk to an experienced angler in your area.

My experience fishing in saltwater is that every time out you have to figure out where the fish are actually biting. They may change their depth in the water column depending on a number of factors such as temperature, salinity, current, etc. So, for example, as the sun rises and it gets hotter, you may have been getting bites near the top but that may stop as those fish either move into deeper waters or move to the bottom when the water gets warmer. So if you are not getting bites, try something a bit different, like changing your depth.

Another factor may be your location and timing. Fish try to maximize return while minimizing effort. When fishing in the surf, you want to fish the troughs between sandbars rather than on top the sandbars, for example. A corollary is that you want to fish between tides when the water is moving rather than at low tide or at high tide. Look at your tide charts. There's a reason fisherman like to get out early in the mornings...it's usually cooler in the summer water and the tides are usually moving.

Also, different species of fish generally prefer different types of bait and to hang out in different levels of the water column. So you might also want to experiment with bait a bit. I typically fish natural baits and I generally don't have 3 or 4 different kinds of natural bait, so that is typically not an option for me. But your choice of bait may impact whether you are getting bites as well.

Lastly, your rig might be affecting things also. Some species will just hit the bait hard, but others may mouth around the bait a little before they take it. If you have too much weight on the line, they sometimes won't take the bait, for example.

In my area, for example, when I fish natural baits I fish shrimp. If I have live shrimp, I will fish it for speckled trout (a/k/a spotted weakfish) under a popping cork in a rig that sounds a lot like you are talking about. Sometimes a foot deep, sometimes two, sometimes more, depending on where the fish are biting. When I fish live shrimp on the bottom, I free line on the bottom. Redfish (a/k/a red drum) like it that way. If I have dead shrimp, I won't bother to fish it under a popping cork near the top. I will rarely freeline it on the bottom, but will typically fish it with some weight.

And remember, a bad day of fishing is still better than a good day at work.
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Old 05-20-2020, 09:55 PM
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If you are going for white perch in brackish water use blood worms on small hooks. Is your real a spinning (open face with a bail) or bait caster( spool)
You can tie on a leader 6feet of 5 pound monofilament and use a bank sinker. Cast out to the furthest and reel it in slow, re bait after the bloodwork gets washed out.
If you have a spinning reel, you can tie on a small cast master, retrieve it quickly as it should mimic a bait fish. The bait needs a little bit of action to get the fish interested.
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Old 05-21-2020, 06:07 PM
Umbro182 Umbro182 is offline
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Thank you all. I appreciate the responses and I’ll be experimenting with pretty much every bit of advice here, leaders, various bait, bait depth, etc.
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