• Posted by Nick Honachefsky
  • On May 18, 2018
  • Comments
  •  2

A Northeast weather pattern has been sitting on Jersey for the past few days, and with it surf striped bass fishing has gone bananas.

Heavy water demands you switch up your tactics a little bit for more effective bait fishing. Start off by bringing larger rods and reels to handle the swashing surf. I employ a Shimano Tiralejo 12 foot rod, matched with a Shimano Ultegra 14000 reel, spooled with 50-pound Spiderwire. A bait and wait approach is utilized in churny surf as the roiling waters kick up clams and smash them on the ocean floor, providing plenty of natural forage for stripers. The key is using rigs that will hold their ground in rough waters. Keep your rigs tight and short.

Generally, you can go with a hi-lo rig fixed with a 75-pound Spro Barrel Swivel and two droppers spaced 16 inches apart fixed with 40-pound Trikfish leader material and 4/0 Mustad Baitholder hooks. Sinkers are key here and Hatteras, Satellite or Pyramid sinkers hold their ground best, usually anywhere from 4 to 8 ounces. A three-way swivel rig fixed with a size #2 three-way and a short 20—inch 40-pound leader snelled with a size 6/0 Baitholder hook will also do the job. The short leader allows for the bait to stay put rather than flailing all over tangling up the leader and knocking off the clam bait.

Clams should be hooked on a minimum of three times and use the ribbons of the clam to lock the big tongue piece in by piercing it over and over 5 or 6 times on the hook after the tongue is hooked on first. This method put my fishing friend Mickey Melchiondo and I into 24 surf stripers yesterday in three hours time.

With a Nor’east surf, low tide can be just as effective as high tide hours as the heavy water fills in the cuts and sloughs even on lower tides. Be sure to plant your rods with foot-push metal sandspikes from Anglers Mate so they hold the rod in place without pulling out in the rough waters. Jersey will usually have Nor’easters rumble through up until early June, so get out and hit the suds for some stripers now.

Gear Used


Tiralejo Surf Rods

The new Shimano Tiralejo Surf Spinning Rods are made with the all new Shimano C4S blank construction which utilizes high modulus blank and wraps 4 outer layers of 90 degree graphite. The C4S construction is a unique design.



Ultegra XTD Surf Reels

Shimano Ultegra XTD Surf Spinning Reels are designed for the serious surf caster. These surf reels provide consistent long-casting performance and Shimano X-Ship for improved durability even under the heaviest loads.



Stealth Braid

SpiderWire Stealth Braid is made from Dyneema, The World’s Strongest Fiber! Each size is uniquely constructed to provide the ultimate strength with the thinnest diameter for smooth and quiet performance.



Sputnik Sinker

Sputnik’s may look odd, but the tines attached to the lead sinker serve a very useful purpose. The tines dig into the sand on the bottom and lock the sinker in place. Sputnik sinkers allow surf anglers to use lighter weights to hold bottom in more turbulent surf conditions.



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