There are many techniques/methods for catching the feisty striped bass;
1. fly fishing
2. from the shore
4. fishing at night
You also have to take into consideration the area you are going to be fishing, the weather, the bait and lures used and their habitat in your favorite fishing spot. If you fish on a river, then some of the methods above may be better than fishing at the lake.
Today we are going to focus on the art of trolling. Trolling, according to Wikipedia is where one or more fishing lines are drawn through the water. You can use lures or bait fish, whichever works best in your area. The most popular is to troll, but you can also use your boat and be in a static position as well.
Trolling sets itself apart from other methods of striper fishing because you generally use more than 1 line at a time. Typically they are set up at the back of the boat so that the bait lags behind as you troll along the lake or ocean.
Sometimes trolling for striped bass can get quite boring and tedious. You just have to find what works best for your area, the time of day you are fishing and be patient. Which is definitely easier said than done at times. We are going to offer a few suggestions for popular trolling rigs that work for catching striped bass. But always do research for your area, and the best time of day/night for certain rigs to get the optimum results. Each area can differ quite a bit on what works and what won’t work.
1. Deep river rig- these are mainly used around sandy beaches and bunker schools. The suggested rod is 20 to 40 pounds with a mid-sized conventional reel and 50 pound-test braided line. You want the rig to be just off of the bottom of the lake, as you troll at about 2 knots.
2. Mojo rig- this is for deep water, trophy fish hunting, and prospecting for fish. As with the deepwater rig; 20 to 40-pound rod with a conventional mid-sized reel but bump up your test line to 65 pounds braided. This rig does best when it is dragging the bottom.
3. Bunker spoon- you want to use this set up for fishing around large adult bunkers and for trophy fishing. Invest in a slow action conventional 8 foot E-glass rod. Two suggested reels that pair well are either the Shimano Tekota 800 or the Penn Senator 400H. With this setup, you should use a 50-pound ultra-soft trolling wire.
Different setups such as those listed above will work in some areas, but of course, not all areas. Experiment and see which set up works best for you. Maybe live bait will be the best in your neck of the woods. Catching striped bass while trolling is all about trial and error. It is the one method that avid and professional anglers long to perfect.
One thing that you will definitely need to invest in is the best depth finder that you can afford. The rest of your gear doesn’t need to be top of the line or expensive by any means. But your depth finder is going to become your best fishing buddy, so you want the best that your budget allows and you need to master how to read it. A depth finder will help you locate forage fish and allows you to locate the elusive striped bass itself. If you find a school of herring or shad, you can bet that the stripers are not far behind.
Most avid anglers recommend trolling at 2 to 4 knots depending on your area and the bait that you are using. They also recommend a pole with some backbone. This will help in resisting the pressure from the moving boat. Your fishing rod should be between 6 ½ to 8 feet long with a 12 to 40-pound test line. But again, it depends on your area, rig set up, time of day and many other factors.
Some other tips from experienced anglers;
1. keep your drag loose while trolling. You want it to be loose enough to slightly slip while reeling in your lure.
2. make sure you have at least 6 inches of visibility in the water when going striper fishing. If the water is too murky/muddy, then you may have to switch to bait fishing.
3. It is recommended that whether you are using a mounted pole holder, or holding your pole in your hand, that you have it set to a 90-degree angle.
A couple of things to end this article for you are 2 of the most popular rod holders. You may already have rod holders mounted on your boat, which is great! That means that you have done your research and you have all the gear that you need. If you haven’t purchased any rod holders for your boat then the following 2 brands are ones that you are going to definitely want to check out.
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Driftmaster: these rod holders are the most popular, preferred by many anglers when fishing for striped bass, crappie, and catfish. The one most used for catching the striper is the Driftmaster 255H. This pole holder always comes with a stainless steel stem. This position holder will hold the rod at a 0 degree or 30-degree angle, making for a great catch. Bases are sold separately. Driftmaster rod holders (and other products) are guaranteed against breakage, for life! They are also fully adjustable, from side to side.
Another popular brand is Scotty. These rod holders give you a wide range of angle positioning. The Striker, by Scotty, has a reinforced stainless steel post. It has an oversized opening for heavy-duty reels and has an easy lock/unlock ring. This holder boasts 360 degrees of horizontal rotation.
Now that we covered all of the basics of trolling for striped bass, you can go out and get your boat and all of your gear ready. Take your family or your friends, or both, and go out and get that big trophy fish.