The striped bass is by far one of the most elite gamefish in the world. They are tough, fast, and elusive fish that give anglers a huge thrill from the moment the fish hooks on. Anglers travel from all over the country to find the best striper fishing spots and learn the technique used to catch them. The process of catching these gamefish can be very time consuming and require a lot of preparation. An average trip requires about two people and can last up to ten hours. It takes a lot of teamwork and skill to conduct a perfect trip and with these instructions, it is sure to run smoothly.
Some of the materials that are required for a trip are very expensive. For example, I would not recommend this instructable to a person who does not have a boat or a depth finder, which are two very expensive pieces of equipment and may be difficult to borrow/rent.
Boat of some kind
Depth Finder/Fish Finder
Rods (2 Ande trolling rods)
Reels (2 Ande trolling reels)
Bait (umbrella rig, 6" tsunami swim baits (14) , swivels.)
Line (Ande 50lb mono trolling line, 50 Power Pro Braided Line)
Cooler with ice
Step 1: Preparation
The first step in this process is the most important and that is gathering all the materials. Once you purchase all of the materials the assembly begins. It is a good idea to start gathering all of the materials early on to avoid your trip being ruined the night before because you do not have all the materials.
Step 2: Rigging Rods
The second step would be to start rigging up the rods and reels. The Ande trolling rods will be spun with the 50lb mono line. You will tie a simple Arbor knot to the reel and then reel the line onto the spool.
Step 3: Rigging the Boat
The boat used for this type of fishing can really be any boat. You just need to have two key items attached to it. The first is to have two rod holders attached to the back at a 45 degree angle on each side of the boat. These will hold each rod at a constant height to avoid human error. The next is a fish finder and depth finder that show you wear the fish are and the depth of water that you are in. Instructions for assembling a depth finder and rod holders will be included in the purchasing of those materials.
Step 4: Bait Rigging
The next step would be to assemble the rigs. You have to take the two umbrella rigs and attach a swivel to each arm and one at the middle. Next you have to attach a 6" tsunami bait to each swivel. The center part of the umbrella rig has to have a 2 foot stretch of line with a bait attached to it as this one will catch the most fish. I have attached a a photo above to follow for the correct assembly of the bait.
Step 5: Pre-Trip Check
Check to make sure that you have all of the materials on the boat ready to go to avoid any disaster on the water. Make sure to also pack snacks, drinks, and sunscreen as it can be a long day out on the water. Make sure to also check the weather and make sure that it is not going to rain and that a cold front has not come through. (Fishing after a cold front is always a bad fishing day) Make sure to set your alarm about an hour before sunrise and get a good nights sleep.
Step 6: Starting to Fish
Once you are out on the water it is time to set out the rods. The depth at which you set the baits is the most critical part of this type of fishing. A good rule of thumb is that if you set out the rids 100 feet, the baits will typically be about 20 feet down. If you set it out 150 feet, the baits are about 30 feet down. It is extremely important to avoid any snagging or tangles to set out the rods while the boat is moving and to set them out SLOWLY.
Step 7: Locating Fish
When trolling for strippers, the boat is constantly moving. This is both good and bad. Strippers are mostly schooling fish that hunt together which makes it difficult to catch a lot of schooling fish. You can make multiple passes on the school and you can pick up multiple fish with multiple passes. However trolling allows you to get straggling fish in-between trying to find schools which can be a great advantage. The image above is an image of a school of fish that are feeding. If you see this on your fish finder, get excited because you are most likely going to hook onto a fish, but no guarantees. ;) Once you find a good feeding school it is a good idea to make a few passes through the school to get as many fish as you can.
Step 8: Landing Fish
Once you have hooked onto a fish there are a few important steps. First you have to keep the boat moving, if you slow down, you could risk losing a rig with a snag or a tangle. Next you have to reel fast, if you lose tension, the fish could spit the hook. ALWAYS net the fish. You can never risk the transfer of a fish from water to boat just on the hook. When netting the fish wait for the fish to be very close to the boat and net the fish as quick as you can to avoid any risk of losing the fish. Lastly, if you plan on keeping the fish be sure to check that the fish is legal to keep. For example, a legal stripper for Lake Anna VA, is over 20 inches. Different bodies of water have different regulations so be sure to check the regulations before you head out to fish.
Step 9: The Results
The results can be incredible and the memories will last forever. I have had some unforgettable memories stripper fishing and I'm sure if you take the time, energy, an money into this fishing, you will not be disappoint and become just as addicted as I have become. Good luck anglers!