I know this is catfishing forum, but i've never meet a catfishermen who didnt mind tangling with stripers. But i thought i'd throw a report out here atleast what i've been doing on stripers here on Smith mtn. Past 3-4weeks, the water has been around the 49-53deg mark. Fishing mostly in the mid-upper roanoke river section. And the Blackwater side i've been hearing has been equally as productive. Heres the report from my boat. Gizzard shad has been most productive over Alewives for larger fish. And dont be afraid to use gizzard's you'd be afraid to use for Flathead's a Striper can swallow what it wants to. I've found the bigger the better. But generally the shad i've been using have been from 6-12" in length. Fishing the gizzard shad on Planer boards, running atleast 3 on the bank side, 1-3 on the channel side. With atleast one board beating the bank. You'll have alot more action then hookups, but man does that get my adreneline flowing! The stripers will swirl, bust and crash all over your bait, but 2 outta 3 times wont take it, or just short strike the bait. But you'll get the hookup before you know it. Alewives are producing alot of fish, the past few days,Alewives produced smaller fish, but a larger number of fish. Ex. Sat, a good friend of mine was using Alewives on his boat. I had just gizzards. He caught alot of fish, but small. We only boat 3 but all around 14-15lbs. So it helps to have both. Setting my boat in a speed or .6-.8mph and pulling baits across points and cuts have been most productive. Fishing over deep water hasnt. I've had mybest action off planer boards and floats. But I've also picked up a few fish from downlines. I experimented with stinger hooks due to short striking fish. but I just couldnt get confident with them. I lost a big flathead, then a big striper two days in a row due to broken knots. I finally settled on a way to tie the knot without breakage. And I always use 25lb yo-zuri flourcarbonin disapearing pink. I tied a normal leader. Then i tied a short section or 20lb stren high impact to the eye of the hook aswell with a 5turn improved cling knot, and attached a #4 treble to the other end. This method proved effective until I had a striper in the 12-14lb range swallow the treble and i had to cut the line and leave the treble. I quit using stinger hooks after that due to having the risk of a fish swalling the hook, figured a few missed fish wasnt worth the risk of maybe killing one. I release stripers, cats on my boat over 10-12lbs. With the Slot limit on stripers no fish between 26-36inchs. I couldnt keep a badly hooked fish anyways... But so on with the report. Artifical's are sometimes the way to go! Alot of days out producing live bait 3 to 1. And our bait of choice has been Swamp monkey which is nothing more then a rubber skirted bucktail with a fluke trailer. We hop it back to the boat in a semi-fast action. Slow rolling works well also. Other artificals we been using have been the fluke with either a 3/8-1/2ounce jig head, or used weightless or with a weighted worm hook. The new 7" Magnum fluke in white ice color with a 1/8ounce belly weighted 6/0 worm hook has also been killer. Swimbait and buck tails are working good to. as for plugs, Rapala F-18s and Xraps are working great and Storm Thunderstiks are always killer... I hope this helps anyone who has been wondering how the striper fishing has been here on Smith mtn!