Never Lose Another Striped Bass Feb 1, 2019 15:30:24 GMT
Post by Virginia Striper©® on Feb 1, 2019 15:30:24 GMT
Never Lose Another Striped Bass
by Joe Cermele @ www.fieldandstream.com
Three common problems that cost anglers big stripers.
We bet you know the heartache of dropping a huge striped bass. Truth is, it’s often your own fault. From proper prep work to fight techniques to end-game insurance, these tips from a pro will keep you from feeling that sting ever again.
Expert: Mike Allen
Home Water: Cherokee Lake, Tennessee
Credentials: Allen is a veteran guide who specializes in trolling for 50-plus-pound bass in both still and moving water.
THE PROBLEM: Working the Pump
“When a rod gets hit on the troll, many anglers’ natural reaction is to grab it and set the hook,” says Allen (striperslayers.com). “Stripers are powerful fish, and setting is the fastest way to break the line or pull the hook. Pumping lets slack into the line, which can cause the hook to come loose, and it also widens the hole in the fish’s mouth.”
THE FIX: Straighten Up
“After a striper takes, all you need to do is lift the rod straight up out of the holder and keep it there until the fish is landed. I want to see the tip high and a nice arc in the rod. With big stripers, you have to let the rod fight the fish. When that striper eats, the rod will already be bent. The fish will already be hooked.”
THE PROBLEM: Peeling Off
“Big stripers are going to do their best to get back to the bank after you hook them. Considering those banks are often full of snags and logjams, if it does get back there, it’s gone. Too often, anglers will rely on the drag to stop the fish. It just doesn’t work. Even with a good reel and the drag locked down tight, it won’t slow a true trophy striped bass.”
THE FIX: Start a Thumb War
“When you’re dealing with a 40-plus-pound fish, you often have no choice but to thumb the spool to keep that striper from reaching the bank. You’ve got to stop it dead. Many anglers are afraid to do that, because it goes against what they know. I use heavy reels and quality rods and spool with 60-pound monofilament on moving water. If you’re confident in your gear and it’s set up correctly, you’ll stop the fish.”
THE PROBLEM: Loose Ends
“Most big stripers are lost right at the boat. People think they have them beat, but then the fish sees the boat and takes another very hard run. When you’ve only got 10 or so feet of line out with a drag that’s locked down, monofilament’s stretch won’t save you. Something’s got to give, and usually it’s the hook pulling out.”
THE FIX: Readjust for the Run
“Even if your drag setting got you through the entire fight and the fish never required thumbing, the game changes when the bass gets close. You have to remember to readjust your drag setting before the fish sees the boat. Loosening the tension a fair amount will compensate for that final shot of energy, letting the fish rip off line during that last powerful run.”