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best way to catch alewives


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Hi all,

i have been out several nights with lights and have attracted 100s if not 1000s of alewives to about 4 feet beneath the surface. I have been unable to get them with a dipnet.

Then i tried Sabiki rigs and caught only 6 in 2 hours.

What is the most effective way to get a good haul of alewives (again, i am able to draw them to my boat with lights, i just don't know how to get them IN my boat).

I wish i could use a throw net (those were so effective when i lived in Texas).

I am surprised to see that gill nets are allowed for alewives. I have never used a gill net. I presume they have weights on the bottom and i could just let it down, attached to my boat?

I appreciate any input on how to catch alewives.

thanks!

dre

 

from the DEC fishing regs:

GEAR FOR TAKING BAITFISH
In addition, alewives are the only fsh that may be taken as follows:
Gill nets: maximum length 25 feet, maximum area 200 square feet, maximum size 1" bar
Anytime
Canadice, Canandaigua, Cayuga, Hemlock, Keuka, Owasco, Otisco, and Seneca lakes.
 

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I'm also having trouble finding a place to buy a gill net (not a cast net) that meets NY DEC regs (max. 25', max 200 square feet, max 1" mesh).

Do any of you know where such a net can be purchased?

thanks,

dre

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I have never targeted alewife. But if they are anything like smelt a 3mm tungsten ice jig with 1 or 2 spikes should get you a few. I don't know anything about the net. I'm sorry if I'm not much help. But I hope my one tip can get you started in the right direction.

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14 hours ago, dremarquis said:

I'm also having trouble finding a place to buy a gill net (not a cast net) that meets NY DEC regs (max. 25', max 200 square feet, max 1" mesh).

Do any of you know where such a net can be purchased?

thanks,

dre

I'll check in my barn, used to have one. If I can find it you can have it. I'm in the Ovid area. 

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we used long handled nets that had fine mesh bags when we fished nights on the finger lake years ago. you still might find some around the finger lakes bait shops. fishy business on keuka lake or roys on seneca lake might still carry them.

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2 minutes ago, Tall Tails said:

Sabiki rigs.  Make sure you cut one hook off so you are not over the hook point limit.  Do it during the day.  

I agree with Tall Tails - I've had better luck with sabikis during the day than under lights.  Get the smallest ones you can find (Bass pro shops #3s work well)

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On 6/28/2022 at 1:09 PM, Tall Tails said:

Sabiki rigs.  Make sure you cut one hook off so you are not over the hook point limit.  Do it during the day.  

I just got some new NY legal ones on amazon.  Only 4 hooks instead of 6.  

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1 hour ago, dremarquis said:

the legal limit of hooks on a Sabiki rig in NY is 5... correct?

thanks,

andre

That's correct.

 

"⊲ each line is limited to not more than 5 lures or baits or a combination of both." 

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  • 2 weeks later...

I went threw the whole deal with the gill net. Emailed the DEC for the regs and specs. Sent that to Memphis nets. Got the net and only ever caught one alewife with it and it was dead. Hopefully you have better luck than me.
I tried setting it out and leaving it, dragging it hooked to the boat, even dragging between 2 boats.

Sent from my SM-G991U using Lake Ontario United mobile app

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I did well with sabiki rigs a week ago on Cayuga out of both long point and t falls, you can jig the deeper schools but the best ones were driving around in 50-80' and finding the schools of alewife that were down 10-30' below the boat once you find those it was as fast as you could put it down you were pulling up 1-4 at a time instantly 

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