- Posted by Nick Honachefsky
- On December 3, 2018
As the Fall Run of stripers moves along, late November and early December bring in different types of baitfish to the area, where jigging tactics can effectively mimic the baitfish to claim a large share of fish.
Both wide profile baits such as herring, mackerel and bunker, as well as thin baits such as sand eels and rainfish could be present at any given time and you need to match the hatch.
Start with a 7 foot Shimano Teramar Spinning Rod rated for 15 to 30-pound and lock on a Shimano Stradic 5000 class reel, spooled with 30 to 50-pound braided Power Pro to which a 48-inch section of 30 to 40-pound Seaguar fluorocarbon leader is tied uni to uni knot then a 50-pound TA clip on the end to switch out lures. If wide baits are present, latch on a 1 to 3-ounce Kroc Spoon, Crippled Herring, or Kastmaster for shiny metal lures. Hot rubber baits include the Hogy Pro-Tails, Ron-Z and 3 to 5-inch Storm or Tsunami Shads. Sand eels and rainfish can be imitated with #4 Deadly Dicks, Ava 27 to 87 jigs with rubber tails, and Hopkin’s NoEql for metals, or Fin-S fish, Kettle Creek Paddletails or Bass Assassins all on 1 to 2-ounce leadheads or bucktails.
When jigging, two schools of thought are imposed. Some anglers will drop the rig to the bottom, then simply reel up at a very slow to medium pace up the water column, then drop back down and repeat. Others will drop down, then swing the rod in a swoop to let the jig shoot up and then settle down and repeat that process. If no hits are had after a few swoops, reel up 10 to 15 feet and start jigging again. Striped bass can be hanging literally anywhere in the water column, so its best to have anglers mixing it up to work the bottom all the way to the top. Pay strict attention to the fishfinder screen as well to see at what depths the bass are staging at.
Striper jigging can be fast and furious, and heading into December will be the method of choice to hang a few fish.