Striper class 101 Feb 1, 2019 15:25:19 GMT
Post by Virginia Striper©® on Feb 1, 2019 15:25:19 GMT
Striper class 101
by Scott Bice @ www.ozarkanglers.com
I started targeting striped bass in 1989 right out of high school on Lakes Pyramid, Silverwood, Skinner, Colorado River and the Aqueduct system of California. My early years were full of failure more than success and the success was by accident.
I became determined to learn as much as I could about the fish that gave me fits trying to figure out, doing so I used the same methodical approach I did and still do to this day for hunting. The first step was throwing away all the how to books and books more written to catch the fisherman’s money than anything else.
First thing you have to understand about stripers is they are an Oceanic Fish by nature and like with most ocean fish they travel a lot. So throw out everything about freshwater fishing and think SALT WATER. For me this was simple as I grew up fishing the Ocean from the long range fleet of San Diego to the ½ day boats of the Los Angeles ports. Under the tutorage of some of the finest sport boat captains around. Stripers have voracious appetites and to quench that appetite they will travel long distances. In fact there was a Striper tagged on the Lower Illinois River below Ten Killer Lake Oklahoma, and recovered a few days later in Louisiana. So be ready to move and even follow a school.
Tackle is something I heard all the dang time that made me mad as I was a single father at the time and money was limited; I honestly could not afford the 200 dollar reel and 150 dollar rods. So I went back to my roots of Saltwater fishing, a simple Penn jigmaster 500 and a Saber rod designed for 20 lbs test is what I had. I figured if I could beat up large Yellow Tail and Seabass on it I should be able to beat up on stripers with it. Later in life I found the joy of going light line. A friend convinced me that It was possible to catch 40 and 50 lbs carp on 4lbs test line. I called him a low down dirty dog liar for even getting me to listen to the story. Well let’s just say ketchup on a hat with a side dish of crow isn’t half bad!
That lesson he taught me got me to thinking about something. Stripers on super light line? Stripers typically when hooked like to take the fight to just below the surface for some strange reason! So I said let’s give it a try and since then I’ve been hooked. 12lbs is about the heaviest I use unless deep dropping live bait to a specific depth.
So I learned you just need a good rod and reel and you do not need to go heavy on line so striper fishing just got a lot cheaper on a single dads budget and a whole lot of fun. Then came figuring out the dang fish. Putting my Saltwater mentality to them it quickly became evident I was trying to treat them like a Largemouth or Catfish looking for them in cover and even to shallow. I went on the Seabass mentality of Flats! So I started looking for main lake points with large flats as part of them and all of the sudden I was catching fish and this time on purpose. But I wasn’t happy there I wanted the big ones, so I took a trip out to Martha’s Vineyard and the Home of striper fishing the Chesapeake Bay and talked to the captains out there and listened to them. Humps, stripers like humps! Yellowtail like humps dam I know how to catch yellowtail on humps. So I again was back to the Salt Roots and targeting stripers on Main Lake humps and catching them often and large.
Then it was over like someone flipped a switch. Where di all the stripers go? I was confused until I remembered a very important fact about stripers. They are Anadromous just like Salmon and what do stripers do to breed? They go up river dumbass talk about kicking myself in the butt for not having though about that sooner. So I went up river as far as I could there they were on my old flasher graph in the eddies and any currant breaks.
So Striper Fishing for Dummies and I Was Chief Dummy
1. Striper rods do not have to be expensive or flashy; they do however have to be able to have line capacity.
2. Good Graphs are extremely helpful versus the flasher units I started with.
3. Live bait beats a full house of lures
4. Don’t think freshwater think saltwater
5. Don’t be afraid to admit they moved. And move with them.
6. Early isn’t always better stripers like to eat when they are hungry which is all the time.
So How should someone who has never fished for them start off?
Fishing is suppose to be fun and catching your own live bait can sometimes be funner than catching your targeted species. Stripers Love Shad, Think of Shad as a Snicker Bar and they can’t pass it up. Next is a trick a friend of mine taught me on Cumberland, “SUCKERS” No I’m not calling you suckers but Sucker Punching as he puts it! Big 8 to 12 inch suckers are like putting down a Ice cream in front of them and BIG STRIPERS at that. I have personally caught 40lbs fish frequently on them and unlike shad they do not take a lot of effort to keep alive. Third is Shiners, Shiners and Shad 4 to 6 inch are perfect size for lots of stripers but for the monsters go with Suckers or Gizzard Shad.
Catching your own bait seems to be something a lot of people are scared of because they do not know where to get it. If you can’t get it in a lake get it from a creek. Those small creeks are perfect places to find bait that has little chance of escaping a good cast netter.
Now for Lures:
If I had to only have 1 lure in my tackle box it would without be a Bucktail Jig hands down. I have caught everything from largemouth bass to Cobia to Tarpon to Sailfish the list could go on and on and on! ½ Ounce to 6 ounces tipped and un-tipped it is just deadly. You can of course spend hours on the umbrella or you can locate the stripers and send a bucktail down and jig it a few times.
The other lure I would have hands down is a Cotton Cordel Pencil Popper. When a striper is on a surface feed that is a deadly lure. It cast long distance and makes a lot of noise. On the subject of stripers on the surface: Those days when you see them boiling for the love of God do not run your boat full speed into the boils it will shut them down. Instead shut down 100 yard and preferably 150 yards from them and DRIFT into them do not run your trolling motor at them. Then cast in the boils and hang on. If the fish come past your boat then drop the trolling motor and follow them just far enough back you can still hit the center of the boils.
Now my favorite of all ways to catch stripers! Bob Slamal use to own a tackle shop in Riverside California and got me addicted to stripers on a fly in deep water reservoirs. Simple as simple gets. Trolling a white fly behind the boat with sinking line and a good leader, it doesn’t get easier than that. Troll your boat on slow speed and use short strips on the pole and hold on sooner or later a striper will latch on and you are in for a fight.
The basics of any striper fisherman is simple. Hooks, Weights, Swivels , Castnet and a decent rod and reel. Stay simple and with basic gear don’t get sold on all the newest this or that. Live bait first if live bait isn’t an option Bucktails or Surface Lures.