Hello again anglers. I hope you're floating, and have had time to enjoy a little fishing this week. I was out a couple of times and boated a couple keepers upriver. During the right tides and weather conditions, bass were visible and hitting bait fish all over the place. Last week we talked about some essentials for getting started. This week let’s talk about what these stripers are hitting.
There are three basic techniques to master that will help you get the “skunk” out of the boat every time. These are my favorites and how to fish them.
- Neutral Bouyancy Rapalas: Otherwise known as Husky Jerks. These Rapalas don’t sink or float. They remain at whatever depth you bring them to, and that’s essential for remaining in the strike zone. I fish several sizes from 4” to 8” and several colors. The most productive colors are Herring (silver/black), Solid White, Mackerel and Red/White. The action is the important thing here. You’ll need to focus on the entrance to the slue-ways (the many tributaries entering the main body of the River) at the out flowing tide. Cast in front of the slue-way fishing slightly against and across the current. The Rapala needs to be ripped with a sweeping rod motion across your body, while constantly using a steady retrieve, only pausing for a second after ripping. Keep your eyes on the water as the Rapala approaches the boat, if the bass are there you’ll see them follow. If you see several follows without a hit, change things up. I usually change color, size and add a more erratic retrieve.
- Bucktail Jigs ½ -3/4 oz.: Only one color here, white with red/white tail and a 4” white twister tail grub. The jig can be fished in all the same spots as the Rapala, but they allow you to fish slightly deeper with a more vertical ripping motion. There are two modifications I use here. Tipping the jig is a must, and as I mentioned , the 4” white Mister Twister Grub is my favorite, but if fish are a little spooky try tipping the jig with Uncle Bucks Striper Rind. Pick up a jar of both red and white rinds in 4” size. The other effective tip for the jig is a seaworm. Run the jig hook right up the worms mouth let it dangle.
- Salt Water Jug Bug: The best popper on the market period. I like all the same colors as the Rapalas, and they can be fished in any 4-8” sizes. These babies cast a mile and have a great popping action. You should always have one tied on one of your rods so it’s at the ready when the stripers start causing a commotion on the surface. Cast as far up the slue-way as possible or to the eddys in front of the banks. Keep your rod tip high, and with a sharp motion back, pop the plug. If you are doing it correctly you’ll get a nice plume of water exploding in front of the popper. Pop and reel, pop and reel then watch for the M-80 to go off and hold on.
Next week we’ll have the great bait debate and the rigs you’ll need to “meat fish” as Donny used to call it. Tightlines
Spit Guy, Fish Guy