• Posted by Nick Honachefsky
  • On December 27, 2017
  • Comments
  •  4

During the luckiest of years, the striped bass run will last well into December and even into January. This may just be one of those years.

Four days ago, I ventured out with Chris Driscoll on his Regulator off of Spring Lake in north/central Jersey searching for stripers. Our trip was surprisingly successful as we trolled up three 36-inch class bass, then hit the mother lode of fish where the fishfinder screen showed the schools stacked from bottom to top. We proceeded to drop Ron-Z eels and Hogy jigs on top of the fish, reeling in bass after bass until we hit the 30 fish mark and had to turn it in as we were both now 2 hours late for work.

Late season striper tactics include trolling and jigging. Trolling set ups can include any Seeker Black Steel or Shimano Tallus 5-1/2 to 6 foot trolling rods matched with Shimano TLD 25 or Penn 4/0 reels spooled with Monel wire or 80-pound braided line. Mojo balling has been the hot ticket trolling option for stripers in recent years. Send a 20 to 24-ounce chartreuse or white Mojo ball down with a 10 to 12-inch rubber shad rigged on the ball, with another unweighted or 1-ounce paddletail or Hogy lure on the trailer behind. You can also opt to drag Rapala Magnum lures or Stretch 25 plugs. Troll lures at a 2.8 to 3.2 knot pace.

When marking fish on the screen, its time to drop jigs. Depending on what the bass are feeding upon determines the type of lure you want to drop down to them. If bunker or herring are around, 5 to 8-inch Storm or Tsunami shads or 3-ounce Kroc spoons are top choices. If sand eels are the predominant bait, go with 8-inch RonZ on a 2.5-ounce leadhead or 3-ounce Hogy Harness jigs and for metals, drop a #4 Deadly Dick or Ava 47 jig with green tail.

Start the new year off right. Get after those bass. Anyone else catching bass in NJ right now? Word has it the Ocean City and Cape May has been red hot.

Suggested Gear


TLC59MHSBBLA Tallus Trolling Rod

The Shimano Tallus Slick Butt Ring Guide rods are durable made with Shimano TC4 blank construction. The type of blanks that these rods have allow for increased durability while still being lightweight and comfortable to use.



TLD-25 Triton Lever Drag Reel

The Shimano TLD reels are light in hand, so easy to shift they’re almost mindless, and they’re adaptable to any number of bluewater species from tuna to striped marlin.



Mojo Trolling Lures

MagicTail Mojos feature super strong Mustad hooks, a solid lead head with a realistic eye, and a strip or two of reflective Mylar on each side of the skirt for a subtle amount of flash to help troll up the big ones.



SS7 Swim Shad HD Hook Lures

All of these lures are tank tested to assure proper performance and strike triggering action. Precise weight balancing designs in all models ensure a tumble free casting performance. The field testing is also apparent in a better-balanced swimming or jigging action.



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