running out of
steam. If 10 or
15 casts won’t
produce a strike,
move to another
A top choice
are AA Worms’
and sculpin. I
that range from ¼- to 1-oz. Anything that is heavier sinks too quickly. I always add a plastic twister tail if the water is murky or if I want it to sink more slowly; but often, just the plain jig is best.
ONE MORE OPTION
Spoons are often a tactic, I keep in my bag of tricks for winter stripers. This method lets you put your lure right down in front of the striper’s face and keep it there, tempting it to strike. Plain Hopkins type spoons are an ole’ favorite here, but the best mouse trap is by far Blade Runner Duh Spoons, Fried Chicken, Chartreuse and pinks or trout patterns are solid bets.
Locate the gamefish themselves, a concentration
of bait, or simply good striper structure from 20- to 50-feet deep in areas like deep water channel edges at intersecting sloughs and the turning basins or man- made bays.
Once you’ve identified a target area, lower a spoon, blade lure or lipless crankbait to the level of the quarry or just
below where you’ve detected
baitfish. Then begin a
rhythmic lifting and dropping
of the rod tip, 12- to 30-inches
each time. Lower the lure fast
enough that it falls freely but
excessive slack doesn’t form
in the line. This is especially
effective in the dead of winter
and cold water conditions.
Strikes may occur at any
time, but often come on the
“drop”. Set the hooks fast, if
you feel a tap or the line moves
sideways or stops falling. When
a 20-lb striper streaks away on
a sizzling run, chances are good
you’ll forget how cold it is outside!
As far as rods and reels for
these techniques, I choose Waft 7’2” XHC for hair jigs and swimming shad bodies. For topwater, I use the Waft 7’10” HC and Phenix Inshore 7’7” rods all paired with Abu Garcia Revo inshore reels and Vicious Braid. Enjoy!