Striper fishing

Discussion in 'Mac Byrum's Catfish University' started by Mac-b, Jul 7, 2008.

  1. Mac-b

    Mac-b Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    North Caro
    You can fish for stripers year round, but in my area (Lake Norman, NC) we fish for them big time from September thru the end of April. I am going to offer some how to's to assist those that want a break from catfish and a different type of fishing pleasure.

    It appears that the worst the weather is, the better the striper fishing can be or so some people think. Fact is, you can catch stripers under all weather conditions.

    You do not need to go out and buy any new fishing gear to fish for stripers. The only thing you have to do, gear wise is to strip your catfish line off your reels and add some 12 to 20 pound test line. You need to replace your catfish line anyway, if you have been fishing with it during the Spring and Summer. You will need to down size as it relates to hooks, the ideal hook size for stripers will be in the area of a size 1, 1/0 up to a 3/0, either circles or J hooks. You can use the same swivels, but you will need to down size your shock leaders to 15 to 20 pound florocarbon.

    In some areas the sea gulls will tell you where the stripers are feeding, plus you have your sonar to assist you in finding the fish and the depth that they are holding in.

    There are those that chase the gulls and we call them bird chasers. What they do is spot the gulls diving for stunned bait fish and go fairly close (couple hundred feet) to where they are feeding, then they stop and put their trolling motors in and approach the action with their trolling motors in the water in order not to create a loud engine noise that would spook the feeding stripers. Then they cast buck tails, red fins, and or other lures into the feeding fish. You can use a bait caster or spinner for this action.

    A high percentage of striper fishermen/women use a drifting technique using their trolling motors. With this method of fishing you can use down lines, free lines and planer boards, plus ballons or slip floats.

    If you elect to fish with down lines, this is how you do your rigs. You will need a 1 to 2 oz. egg sinker, which you will run your fishing line thru, then add your swivel, then your shock leader (florocarbon works best) then you hook. If your sonar is showing the fish at, say 20 feet, you can drop your line/rig down just above where the fish are. Striper can not look down, so you must keep your baits above them. You can use your sonar to tell you where your bait is located or you can count it down by pulling off 10 pulls to the first guide on your rod (on most standard built rods, it is two feet+- from the reel to the first guide). When the striper grabs the bait, it will pull the rod tip down into the water and then you pick the rod up and set your hook if you are using a J hook, if using a circle hook, just bring the fish in. It is best to use a lite drag on stripers.

    The most popular method of striper fishing is the free lining, planer boards, break away floats and ballons. The set up for this as it relates to a rig, is that you attach a swivel to your fishing line, then your shock leader and your hook of choice. If the fish are located at a depth of ten feet or so, you can put a split shot on the fishing line to get in down in the water column a little bit. You can fish with your reel in a lock position or with the clicker on. If you are using circle hooks, it is best to leave the reel in the lock position. For the free line fishing technique, you just cast your lines out of the back of the boat some 40 to 50 feet, place the rod in the rod holder and wait for the action. If you are using a slip float, break away float or ballon, preset your rig to the depth you want it and let it drift away from the boat and then place the rod in the rod holder. If you are using side planer boards, make your cast (approx. 15 to 30'), attach the planer board and then let out 30 to 50 feet of line and place your rod in the rod holder with your reel in the locked position. The planer board will pull your bait out away from the boat and in a no wind situation, the board will run parallel to the boat. When the striper hits the planer board, you need to let it pull it all the way behind the boat before picking up your rod.

    Your choice of bait will depend on where you are fishing. You can use bream/gills, blue backs, gizzard shad, tread fin shad, shiners, gold fish, etc. Live bait works best in most regions.

    Stripers are designated as a game fish and thus, make sure you know the regulations for your state and local lakes.

    Striper are good tablefare, great action and by the way, they make good catfish bait in the winter and spring (check your state reg's as it relates to using game fish for bait).