FALL BRIDGE BASSIN
FALL BRIDGE BASSIN
- Posted by Nick Honachefsky
- On November 2, 2018
As I write this, I just got off the water from a night excursion casting from 8 to 10 PM idling against the Highlands Bridge during a ripping outgoing 3 knot tide in 25 knot south winds.
Doesn’t sound like optimal conditions for sure. But focusing in on an eddy hanging behind a bridge stanchion, TJ Egan, Frank Bender and myself casted and connected to 26 striped bass up to 28 inches. And that was in a 2 hour window time frame.
Stripers are hanging around the bridge pilings from Sandy Hook to Cape May as they get amped to feed on the cooling nights before they make their push out front. Bridge bass will be eager to pounce on light offerings right now.
Gear up with a Shimano 7 foot Teramar rod, matched with a Quantam Iron 30 reel spooled with 30-pound Power Pro, and uni to uni knot a section of 25-pound Seaguar Fluorocarbon leader to which a light lure is tied directly. Best shots are using a ½ to ¾ ounce leadhead matched with a Kettle Creek paddletail, 5-3/4inch Fin-S fish in Rainbow Trout or white or Arkansas Shiner pattern or a 3 to 4-inch white Tsunami Shad or Storm Shad. That’s all you will need to dial in bass of 18 to 30 inches.
Whether from a boat or the pier, cast upcurrent and let the lure sink to a 4 to 6 foot depth, then engage the reel and come taut with the line and simply reel in at a slowly pace. Bass want to see a slow presentation moving through the water around shadowlines and along the bridge stanchions. Drag the bait past their liar and you will get them to come out and pop on the lure.
Many times you will get short bit, but once you feel the hit, drop it back again for a split second then reel again, and most times the fish will come right back on the lure. Bridges provide the structure needed for resident fall stripers to mill about and when nobody else is catching, you can be the hero to put some fish on Instagram.