Striped bass, as the name pretty much gives away, has vertical stripes on its body. It is an anadromous fish that could be easily found in both freshwater and saltwater, depending on which period of the year you are attempting to angle it. When it comes to fishing tips, every angler has their own set ready if you ask them. Striped bass Fishing Tips are, thus, what our discussion topic is. Let’s share our pack of tips with you right below.
11 Striped Bass Fishing Tips
Tips #1 – Search for The Perfect Location
As we have already mentioned, striped bass is an anadromous fish, which means they migrate to the rivers from the sea to spawn. So, you can find them both in saltwater and freshwater. The perfect location for angling striped bass thus totally depends on what time of the year it is. The striped bass fishes that were in a particular spot in summer will not be there in the very next season.
Due to the warm water condition in the summer season, you will find stripers mainly in the ocean. In spring, they are ready to spawn. Therefore, come to the lakes, rivers, and streams. They love cool water temperatures and stay deep in the water.
Most importantly, big striped bass fishes don’t even roam near the water surface or shoreline. If you are angling from the shore and want to target big stripers, then try it in spring as big stripers come near the shoreline during that period. Otherwise, be happy with the small predators. Overall, you need to know about a location thoroughly if you want to have a successful striped bass fishing day.
Tips #2 – Choose the Best Time of The Day
Striped bass is available the most when they are busy feeding themselves. Feeding themselves also implies that the stripers are hungry and bite the lure or bait if it entices them. Stripers can be anywhere in the water. But when they are feeding themselves, they come close to the water surface mostly.
So, the best time for you to angle for striped bass will be either before the sun is about to rise or when it is about to set. So, they basically feel comfy in the dark. Also, in windy weather, when the current is super strong in the water body, the tide going up and down increases the chances for successful striped bass fishing.
Tips #3 – Use the Best Rod and Reel Combo
Striped bass fishes can be huge as well as small and very unpredictable. It is a gamefish that will make you crazy when you are in pursuit of it. So, no regular rod and reel will work for you that effectively, the way the perfect rod and reel combination will help you hook this beast. You will require a medium action rod. A medium action rod is known for its optimum performance in vast situations and angling small to even large fish species.
We never know what size we are going to get when it comes to a striper. So, you know you are well-prepared with your gear when you have a 7 feet medium action rod. Any brand will do but make sure it’s sturdy, and you can have smooth control over it. Pair it up with a 3000-4000 series spinning fishing reel; no matter what fishing line you use and what length, it will fit the reel perfectly.
Tips #4 – Spool Up the Fishing Line
You can use both the monofilament fishing line and braided fishing line to angle the striped fish. Although it’s a matter of great argument and personal preference as many anglers swear by braided lines and some monofilament, we fall in the latter category. The monofilament fishing line works the best for getting the striper hooked, avoiding and tackling all the hurdles under deep water.
So, depending on what you want to use, spool up your reel with the fishing line. If you are using monofilament, you will need no more than 20 to 30 pounds of it, and if it’s a braided fishing line, then 30 to 50 pounds will be just ideal.
Tips #5 – A Circle Hook
Choosing a hook is tricky. Not the type of the hook, but the size of it. When it comes to the style, there is no option other than the circle hook. No J-hooks and no treble hooks, please. Strictly a circle hook to keep the feisty striped bass as secure as possible.
Keep in mind that, unlike the other types, circle hooks don’t dig deep in the fish, killing it within seconds or when you are struggling to remove the fish hook from it. If you are using big baits to catch big stripers, use 7/0 or 8/0 circle hooks. If the fish bait is tiny for catching small stripers, then from 2/0 to 6/0 circle hooks, any size will be ideal.
Tips #6 – Follow the Catching and Landing Rule
If you have angled a striped bass just for adventure or caught one before their spawning period, it’s always better to fish one, indulge yourself looking at it thoroughly and taking pictures of it, and then to land it back in the water. We have already talked about the necessity of circle hooks for keeping the striped bass on a safer side. Striped bass fishes are overfished and require conservation, so we prefer following catch and land rules strictly.
Tips #7 – Get A Fish Finder
You can fish the striper from the shore, and you can hop on your boat and wander around the water body in search of it. The choice is all yours and your convenience. However, stripers are best caught when you have a boat to really dig it deep. And the chances of getting the stripers pretty quickly in open water from the deepest level becomes easier when you have a fish finder. Often, we do not even realize how effective this equipment is until we use it.
You can miss the big rockfish, maybe a large group just because you couldn’t see it was right there, and the bunch was clever enough not to give in or not very lured by the bait you offered. A fish finder detects what you miss at any level of water. Such a piece of equipment installed on your boat will immediately alert you about the entire group of stripers so that you can start working accordingly.
Tips #8 – Lure Them with Their Favorite Bait
Striped bass is an opportunistic feeder, so there is no hard and fast rule for baiting them. You can use live baits or artificial lures, and they will lap it up and get trapped. Sometimes neither will work, so you might have to try different locations or techniques. No wonder they are one finicky specimen. Baitfish are the most favorite for the stripers.
Herring, mackerel, eel, squid, menhaden are some of the bait fishes that can easily get you your striped bass. Other than that, you can also use nightcrawlers, worms, insects. The ones which basically wriggle and attract the anadromous predator. Avoid frozen bait. Live baits must be fresh. If you are using artificial lures, make sure they look like the bait fishes that stripers love. The chances for them taking the bait will be higher with those.
Tips #9 – Chum the Finicky Creature
Chumming is basically all about enticing the fish so that it gets familiar with the bait. And when the final moment arrives, it takes the bait from the hook and gets trapped. So, for chumming the stripers, you must go to the best location possible. If you are on a boat, anchor it. Chumming will require at least half an hour, so have some patience. Use bait fishes or baits that stink like chicken liver or oily fish pieces and keep them bloody. Now pack them in burlap.
Then hook it up and take it through the water body from time to time. In between, throw some bait fishes randomly in the same water. The bag of chum is in your control, and bait fishes you have thrown are drifting a little far away and doing their job of attracting the stripers at a distant location. That doesn’t mean this technique will work and bring you a bunch from a far distance. Slightly distant, to be precise, that’s it.
Tips #10 – Prepare the Rig
Take the end of your dangling monofilament fishing line, and insert the fish finder rig through it. Use a big colorful bead and insert that to work as a protector of the knot you will tie to attach the swivel to the line. We prefer tying the swivel with a Palomar knot. Now connect the leader line, about 5-6 inches, to the other side of the swivel with a clinch knot. Directly tie the hook to the leader with an easy Snell knot and add the bait you want to use.
Tips #11 – When Nothing Works A Teaser Rig Does
If your lure and live baits are not working at all, the easiest and the most effective way to allure the stripers towards the fishing hook is to tie a teaser rig. Keep it closer to the fishing hook and the bait. It could be a feather, flash, or colorful plastic, which will attract the fish towards it, and the fish, most of the time, will prefer biting such teasers, totally ignoring the hook.
While it vehemently bites around the teaser, it is bound to get hooked earlier or a bit later. However, first, make sure no bait or lure is working for you. Do not waste the bait or lure by tying a teaser rig right from the start. It’s the final tactic, not the primary.
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Striped bass is such a sought-after specimen and favorite of the anglers that the pack of tips could be sometimes overwhelming. However, knowledge is always precious, and it doesn’t matter how many of the ideas work or how many fails for an individual; when you know many, you can apply some in crucial situations. And the unthinkable happens.