• Posted by Nick Honachefsky
  • On May 4, 2018
  • Comments
  •  5

I literally just got off the water with TackleDirect pro staffer Captain Brian Williams of the Badfish, mainly to get out and prove that stripers were loaded in Jersey’s backwaters.

Water temps ranged from 53 to 60 degrees while we worked over the backwater sodbanks. We were on the hunt to utilize lighter tackle for some sporting fights on smaller bass of 20 to 26 inches.

Williams’ set up consists of a 7 foot Penn Battalion rod matched with Penn Conflict II 2500 spinning reel spooled with 15-pound Spiderwire and a top shot of 20-pound fluorocarbon leader to which a variety of soft baits can be tied on. Williams opts for a 3 to 4-inch DOA CAL in pearl coloring with a red ½-ounce leadhead, but will also toss Zoom Super Flukes and 4 to 5-3/4 Fin-S fish in Albino White and Bubble Gum color patterns.

On our trip out, we did battle with 26 stripers all ranging from 16 to 25 inches, but what the bass lacked in size, they made up for in tenacity and toughness, ripping drag off the reels and providing blow-up type action in shallow waters. The key to fishing sodbanks is to make your casts as close to the bank as possible, and that means inches off it, as many times stripers will be hanging in the shadows of the overhanging bank, waiting to come out and pounce on a bait that happens by. If your cast comes up short even by 5 feet from the bank, chances are you aren’t in the zone and need to recast.

These early season stripers will be hanging around throughout the month of May in Jersey’s backwaters and as the month progresses, look for larger model brethren to move on in with some fish pushing the 15 to 20-pound mark. Meantime, hit Jersey’s backwaters along the ICW and creek outflows to target sodbank stripers, you won’t be disappointed.

Gear Used


Battalion Inshore Rods

Inshore or near shore, the PENN Battalion family offers the actions, balance and durability to get the job done. These rods feature both EVA and cork grips, Fuji® aluminum oxide guides, and a 30 ton graphite blank.



Conflict II Spinning Reels

The PENN Conflict II features stealthy cosmetics, a Lightweight design (our lightest spinning reel ever), and silky smooth HT-100 drag. The RR30 Rigid Resin body and rotor are extremely lightweight and durable.



Ultracast Invisi-Braid

Spiderwire Ultracast Invisi-Braid Superline represents the best of SpiderWire performance because it is the highest quality, best performing series in the SpiderWire brand. Only the best technology.


Lunker City


If any artificial lure can mimic a baitfish better than the original Slug-Go, it’s got to be the Fin-S Fish, with its thinner, deeper-bodied profile and forked tail. The Fin-S Fish has been part of the Lunker City line up since the mid-eighties.



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