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For The Surfcaster, It's NOvember

For a lot of men, this month is NO shave November to promote awareness of the different cancers effecting men. But for the serious surfcaster this month is truly NOvember- NO sleep, NO regular meals, NO “honey do” projects, NO bachelor parties or weddings, NO happy hours or card nights with the boys, simply NO nonsense. Your family should “NO” you well enough to not expect you at family commitments, and they should not be expecting your household chores to be done on time. To tell it like it is, or like it should be, in NOvember, all of your energy needs to be focused on where and when the fish are biting. Your sole mission is to get there and fish.

A proper Surfcaster’s NOvember means time away from home. Your absence will start

to wear on the family. You really need to take this into consideration prior to selecting a spouse. I for one am very thankful that my wife {a.k.a. the fishermen's widow} and my daughter not only understand, they support my passion for doing what I do. At a minimum, you need to make sure they remember who you are when you return. If you do it right, you can be assured your family won’t move your belongings into the garage.

Work is another story. At work, I am constantly distracted. I can’t focus, and I am consumed by FOMO- Fear Of Missing Out. It’s that sinking feeling that the best fish are biting while I am chained to the job. Fortunately, NOvember ushers in flu season…. That should give you a couple days. You should also save a few days of vacation to deal with

what is truly a fishing addiction. I make sure that whether I am guiding clients or fishing for myself, I make the time to be on the water on a daily basis because there is no better month than NOvember to capitalize on the fall run.

Why November? That’s simple. As the days become shorter and the air temperature drops, the water temperature also drops rapidly. These sudden drops in water and air temperature will drive the bait fish out of the estuaries, bays, and inlets and into the ocean to become an easy meal along the sandy beaches of the northeast coast. The large variety of bait (Bunker, Sand eels, Anchovies, Peanut Bunker, Mackeral, etc.) creates a virtual buffet for hungry Stripers and Bluefish. This situation often results in epic daytime blitzes that work fish and anglers alike into a frenzy. Hence my FOMO. These blitzes can last for days and can create fishing memories of a lifetime. Such fish frenzies also create great opportunities

at night to catch large stripers- as long as you can handle the colder late night conditions.

When it comes to the bait buffet that will be present in the water over the course of this month, it is critical to carry a wide variety of weapons in your arsenal to increase the chance of success. You need to use a “match the hatch” mentality and carry an assortment of profiles of lures to put yourself in the best position to catch fish. The type of bait present in the water can change with every tide cycle. Do not take it for granted that the bait fish the stripers were on yesterday will be bait d’jour today. I carry a variety of colors as well. I have witnessed multiple times, especially during this time of year, that fish hone onto one color of lure and if it’s not in your bag, you’re out of luck. I have been on both ends of this situation, and I can tell you when you are on the non-catching end it can be very frustrating to the point of wanting to throw your equipment in the truck and go home or throw it into the water to never fish again. Bottom line... in NOvember, if you have No tools, you catch No fish. Plan accordingly and you’ll be happy you did.

During this month it is still important to pay attention to winds, tides, and moon cycles as they still play a vital role in surfcasting success just as in any time of year. If you’re new to surfcasting, make sure you start a log to keep track of what wind, tide, and moon cycles prove most effective in the areas you’re fishing. If you are an experienced angler, reference your logs often and trust your instincts, you know what works.

In closing, make NOvember the yes month. Yes, to great times on the beach. Yes to sharing a tide fishing with friends and family. Yes, to spending time in the great outdoors before it is too late. Unfortunately, NOvember will come and go quickly, so put your time in now, winter will be here before you know it. Live the Passion! Tight lines!

Bernie Hoyt is a NYS Certified Fishing Guide specializing in surfcasting with over 30 years experience fishing the legendary waters of Long Island. He is well known for his informative seminars at saltwater shows up and down the Atlantic seaboard. He offers trips all along the outer beaches and inlets of Long Island, as well as the Cape Cod Canal, Cuttyhunk, and other Northeast Striper locations. He is a team member for S&S Bucktails, ODM RODS, and KastKing as well as a long time member of the Long Island Beach Buggy Association and the Montauk Surfcasters Association. We are honored to have Bernie on our blogging team! You can contact Bernie on Facebook through Bernie Bass Surfcasting Services, on Instagram @Bernie_bass and through his website at


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