WHERE TO FISH
Stripers are found in coastal waters and rivers, and coastal reservoirs. They roam in open water schools constantly pursuing baitfish. Good locations include rip tide areas, sand flats and land points.
WHAT TO USE
Rigged shad and swirltail grubs are excellent. Bucktail jigs, topwater plugs, and spoons are also very effective. Live or cut bait including bunker/menhaden, squid, clams and eel are very effective.
WHEN TO FISH
The best time of year is during their Spring and Fall runs. Dawn, dusk, and after dark are the best times to catch stripers.
When shore casting, watch for activity in the surf. This includes boils, jumping baitfish, splashes, and circling birds. Cast towards this activity as it usually means feeding Stripers. When bait fish are dispersed, stripers use a hit-and-run approach, and do not stay in one place for very long. When fishing is tough, continue to move until you find active fish.
BASIC RIGS AND TECHNIQUES
The choice of rig and technique depends on fishing conditions. Here are some popular approaches to Striper fishing.
• RIG WITH LEADER is excellent for still fishing with live or cut bait. It suspends the bait while the pyramid sinker maintains its position in thesandy bottom. 1. Tie bottom rig to line. 2. Snap leader with snelled hook onto shorter arm section of rig. 3. Snap pyramid weight onto long section of rig. 4. Place bait (1"–3" chunks of clam, squid) on hook.
• RIG WITHOUT LEADER works best with cut bait. It also suspends the bait in the water while the sinker maintains its position. 1. Tie single drop rig to line. 2. Snap hook onto shorter arm section of rig. 3. Snap pyramid weight onto long section of rig. 4. Place cut bait on hook.
• SLIDING SINKER RIG is excellent for drifting or still fishing bait, as it allow the bait to move naturally. It also offers little resistance as the fish picks up the bait. 1. Pass line through eye of pyramid sinker. 2. Tie swivel onto line. 3. Attach snelled hook and leader to swivel: Pass the leader’s loop through swivel eye, pass the hook and rest of the leader through the loop, and pull tight. 4. Attach live bait (bunker/ menhaden, squid, or eel)
• RIGGED SHAD/SWIRLTAIL GRUB To use these lures, make your cast and let it sink to the desired depth, then retrieve steadily. Pass hook of jighead through shad or grub as shown.