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IM anxious to know about the meaning of various types of bird activity as it relates to Striper fishing. For example, gannets have been a good sign of striper activity, whereas Pelicans have been a real bust for me personally. Also any comments on water depth to go along with it. Thanks guys.:D
 

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i read in a recent post that diving birds dont promise fish if they are in shallow water. birds dive for bait in shallow water because they can see the bait fish, not because there are larger fish underneath pushing the bait to the surface. shallow water being 10-15ft. i have also heard that large swarms of gannets almost always promise good striper fishing, and sometimes bluefish.
 

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Birds

Pelicans normally mean good fishing from my experiences. But they are usually accompanied by tons of the other birds too. Pelicans can't dive as deep as Gannets so the bait should be very near the surface when they are around. Sometimes trolling a lure like stretch 25 through the area will go too deep. But cast a fly or a popper, you should find out whose home real quick.

Gannets sporadically diving don't tell you much except that there's something in the area. But those birds can actually swim or "fly" under water to get as deep or possibly deeper than 20 feet. If you have numerous gannets in the same area than you should be able to catch a fish on a bare hook almost. But only a few gannets might mean only small amounts of bait and no large predators.

Normally small sea gulls and terns means there is small bait in the area like bay anchovies. Normally (there's always exceptions to the rule) this means small fish are there. But on more than one occasions this fall/winter I've found decent 26-30" fish under sea gulls and turns.

Basically if you see any decent amount of birds clustered over a small area, go take a look. Plus continue to fish down tide or current from the bird activity. Sometimes bigger fish will be waiting further back waiting for scraps that have settled to the bottom. This way they don't have to expend as much energy for the same amount of food.
 

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this year has been backwards , all our hot fishing has come from around the little birds just picking here and there the large beehives of gannets have mostly been on tons of bait in shallow water
 

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I will usually work the bottom with heavy jigs or jigging spoon when the birds move on or someone breaks them up by trolling thru them. This has been pretty consistant and produced some large Stripers for me. As it was explained to me by a retired Charter Capt on the Eastern Shore, "Stripers will push bait tcloser to the surface, blues will tend to feed near the surface pushing the bait up. That puts the bait within reach of the birds. Stripers will then linger on bottom mopping up the scraps hat the blues leave behind".

This tactic almost always produces a couple quality fish for us, plus its a great way to take a break away from the crowd! Behive can sometimes make other act crazy!
 
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