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FISHING LOGS: New England
Freshwater

SHINERS FROM SHORE

Posted By Rod Teehan, October 16, 2017
 In the autumn many species of freshwater game fish and panfish including largemouths, smallmouths, pickerel, pike, crappies, perch, broodstock salmon, and trout can be found well within casting distance of shore-bound fishermen. Indeed, fishing from land in October, November, and December can often be more productive than angling from a boat. It is certainly more relaxing. I’m primarily a boat fisherman, but in many autumns past I’ve also done a lot angling from shore. Most of the time I’d cast lures or flies on one outfit and soak a live minnow beneath a bobber on another. Almost invariably the live minnow would produce the most action. In fact, I don’t think there was much of a comparison. Shiners simply outshone lures. Live minnows appeal to nearly every fish species available in ponds and lakes across Southern New England. When the float disappears beneath the surface, you simply do not know what’s pulling it under. It could be any one of the species mentioned above or some other like a tiger muskie, walleye, catfish, or bowfin. Moreover, it could be big. Plenty of lunkers are logged on shiners from shore. Way back in the mid-80s on a mild December morning Chris Labucki (Carpist) and I were fishing minnows under a bobber off the beach at Quacumquasit (South) Pond in East Brookfield, Massachusetts. We were having a blast catching small largemouth bass. Then something ate one of my shiners and kept right on going after I set the hook. I had to follow the fish as it ran parallel to the shore before heading out to deeper water where it hung me up and broke off in dense weeds. I don’t know what it was—perhaps a largemouth bass or brown trout or maybe even a northern pike—but the memory of hooking, battling, and then losing that big dog still haunts me. If you give shiners-from-shore a shot this fall, I’d recommend doing so at venue that gets a fall stocking of trout or salmon. That way you can fish a minnow on one outfit and PowerBait on another, effectively doubling your chances for catching a trout or salmon. By the way, medium shiners are a good choice. Minnows that size attract both large and small predators.
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