I wanted to pass on a discovery I made for fishing for stripers. In February I went up to Smith Mountain Lake with a friend of mine to go striper fishing. The common method on the lake when the water temp gets real low is to use umbrella rigs fitted with road runners, bucktails or shad swim baits. It is hard to get stripers to hit live bait when the water is in the low 40s. I will say I have never fished a lake that has more schooling shad than SML. I threw the cast net a couple of times after seeing a school of bait on the fish finder and came up with buckets full of gizzards and alewives. A few weeks later I tried the u rigs at LKN. I used 2 different rigs; two that were 8 inches across and two that were 15 inches across. I used road runners, bucktails, and two sizes of soft swim baits. I put the smaller rigs on planer boards and the bigger ones off the back of the boat. I kept the boat speed between 1.5 and 1.75 miles per hour. The rigs on the shore side I set at 15 feet and the lake side at 25 feet. I watched my depth and made a point of keeping in a depth range of no less than 20 feet even across points. The day I was out I ran across nobody that was catching fish. I had 14 hits and hooked 9 stripers in 3 hours. It was the most productive day I ever had. It was a week day and there was not much boat traffic so that may have contributed to the success. I will also add it took me one day prior to this to figure out how to fish these rigs and not get snagged or tangled. I spent one morning on the lake experiementing with these and caught 4 fish. I plan to get another set of planer boards (bigger ones) to set all four lines out. The lines off the boards were way more productive than the lines directly behind the boat. No one bait seem to work better than another, I think the fish were biting out of reaction more than hunger. As the fish go into shallower water the planer boards will be key. My next idea is to troll for crappie in the schooling areas as they move into the shallows to spaun. I will just change the bait to tubes or malibus.