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Striped Bass, Rockfish, Stripers, however way you want to call them they are a highly sought after gamefish in the United States, especially for those in the Northeast. They can grow to impressive sizes and make an excellent meal.
Stripers run primarily in the Spring and Fall but have an open season year round. They follow water temperatures between 55 and 66 degrees as they travel the coast to stay within their desired temperatures. They can live up to 30 yrs. Striper mature to adulthood in 6-8 yrs. The current IGF world record is held in Connecticut with a 54 inch fish weighing in at 81.88lbs.
What fishing methods could you use to catch Striper?
There are several different styles of fishing when targeting Striped Bass:
- Live line
All of the methods above can land you these beauties but each style has its time and purpose. Stripers typically prefer to hang around some sort of structure whether it is a ledge, rocks, depression or inlet. They feed primarily at dawn and dusk but preferably at night.
Jigging is an extremely popular style of fishing when it comes to many species but especially Stripers. The jigging technical of letting a weighted lure fall to the bottom and retrieve at different speeds in order to mimic the bait fish that are in the area. The jigging technique resembles a baitfish such as eels that are moving on the bottom floor and the Stripers will attack as it resembles a bite to eat. Jigging is extremely useful on sandy bottoms as well as when the bait and fish are stacked at the bottom of the ocean floor.
There are different types of gear needed for the different techniques. When jigging you should have a 7ft light to a medium rod with 15 to 40lb line depending on the size jig your using. This will give you a lifelike bend in the rod to make your lure or jig seem as real as possible. There are several types of lures for jigging. The most common is a metal lure that has the flash of a baitfish which attracts the striper. There are many kinds & styles between hammered, AVAs, spoons and the list goes on. You want to try and mimic and imitate the bait that is in the water you are fishing.
Trolling is a completely different technique that uses a motorized water vessel to drag lure set ups at a slow speed through the water at different depths to mimic swimming baitfish and cover a larger area. Trolling for striper is a little different than trolling done offshore for larger species. Trolling for Stripers is done at a much slower pace. An ideal speed when trolling will be from 3 to 4 knots with your lines running out the back with your preference of lures.
When trolling you want to have a heavier rod. A 20lb to 50lb class rod would work well as some of the lures you are pulling can be extremely heavy and you do not want to lose an expensive lure or fish due to being undersized. There are many styles of the lure when trolling but the most common are:
- Mojos (single or tandem)
- Bunker spoons
- Umbrella rigs
Each is tied to the end of your line and dragged behind the boat while trolling.
Live Lining is used with live or dead bait that is dropped down after rigging to imitate an injured fish to attract striper. There are many different kinds of jigs for live lining but the one that gets the most attention is the simple fishfinder rig. This allows the bait (dead or alive to move freely with the current while a weight holds it close to the bottom.
All these techniques and many more will help catch the striped bass you are looking for. Don’t forget to look for life such as bird and marine activity while you are out there to help you find the Striped Bass.
We offer many different products that work well and have caught many of stripers. The 30-50lb rod or our combo setup is ideal for catching that 50lb bass of your dreams.