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Common Techniques, Equipment, Baits for Striped Bass Fishing

May 22, 2008
Fishing for striped bass, or striper, as they are commonly called, is similar to fishing for large or smallmouth bass, but there are differences you should consider as well, if you want to have a really rewarding experience as you fish for striper.

While large and smallmouth bass characteristically leap from the water and attempt to get the hooks out of their mouth, when you have them on the line, striped bass usually remain in the water. Striped bass are usually larger fish, and they often put up a heck of a fight, and are extremely exciting to catch because of this fighting spirit and large sizes.

If you are wanting to catch striper, one thing you will need to remember is that they are very unpredictable. They tend to cover a large area of water, and your best bet for targeting them is to look for their feeding grounds. They love live and dead fish such as shad, so if you look in the natural habitat of their bait, they will likely be found.

They tend to like clear water, which makes it easy to spot them, but also tends to make it easier for them to spot you. Avoid spooking them and sending them into deep water by slowing your approach to their feeding ground.

Most experienced striper fishermen agree that using fresh bait is a good idea if you want to catch striped bass. Some good choices are:
Shad or other similar cut bait
Bunker or menhaden

Another important factor when you are fishing for striper is water temperature. If you are fishing summer, just troll deeper. If you are fishing winter, move to shallower depths. In the winter, you will even be able to see the striper hitting the surface of the water. If you use a depth finder, the best way to locate your target is always to find the bait fish and troll just above them.

During the spring spawn, target the extremely shallow rivers and streams. In lakes, look for estuaries and bays as well as structures, inlets, and the banks around bluffy areas.

Sometimes, when you are fishing cooler weather months of the year, ballooning is a good technique to use to catch striper. Because of the tendency for striper to feed near the surface, in shallow waters. If you have never tried ballooning, this could be an ideal time for you to experiment with that technique. To balloon, you will need to construct a float rig. Just tie a small balloon to about six to ten feet of line, so that it will hang just above the bait fish. There is no need for using a weight, but you should use a barrel swivel to prevent the line from getting tangled and twisted. You can also use corks that have colored lights on them if you are fishing dark weather.

When it comes to equipment for catching striper, it is always best to use a good quality line that is strong. These fish are big, and they are tremendous fighters. Your line is going to take a beating. Look for weak spots in your line and test your knots, before you have a "big one that got away" story to tell.

The most commonly used rig for catching striper is a big sinker attached to a slider, a three inch leader, and 9/0 hook.
About the Author
Dan Eggertsen is a fishing researcher and enthusiast who is committed to providing the best bass fishing information possible. Get more information on striped bass fishing here: http://www.askbassfishing.com/
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