Striper Mania

Can you tell me how to catch striped bass?

You didn’t say if you were going to fish for the Marine Striped Bass, or the Freshwater version, but it doesn’t matter. The same techniques and baits work for both, most of the time.

Striped bass can be caught on any lure or fly that represents their natural prey, such as herring, shad, alewives, eels and squid. Live bait also is productive. Successful methods include surf fishing, trolling, drifting, still fishing and fly-fishing.
Nothing can make your heart stop faster than a large Striped Bass exploding onto a top-water chugger or popper. This is one of the most exciting ways to fish for them. Any of the various ‘pencil’-type poppers will work. One trick to this kind if fishing is called Jump Fishing. When Striped Bass are attacking schools of baitfish near the surface, they injure many minnows that go uneaten. Sea birds will flock over a school of Striped Bass and pick up injured baitfish. When you see a flock of wheeling gulls, chances are you will find Striped Bass underneath them. You just ‘jump’ from flock to flock.
Diving Minnow lures, such as those made by Rebel, Rapala and Bomber in the larger sizes work well when the bass are deeper. Trolling or cranking these lures can produce some hefty stringers. Work them along drop-offs and along submerged rock piles and jetties.
When bass are deep, nothing beats a bucktail jig in larger sizes. They can be reeled in, fished vertically or trolled. One method of using jigs is to rig two of them on a tandem rig beneath a float, and work them in with short jerks. They can be used without a float as well.
Many Striped Bass are caught surf fishing with a fly rod or lures. This can be an exciting way to catch them, as long as you stay aware of the tide, and your surroundings. Do not keep fish on a stringer or near your body. Large predators may decide to swipe a free snack, and you could possibly catch a stray bite from a shark, barracuda or bluefish.

Happy fishing

Daniel Eggertsen
Dan Eggertsen is a fellow saltwater fishing enthusiast to the point of obsession. :) He's been providing solid advice on saltwater fishing since 2004.

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