- Posted by Nick Honachefsky
- On August 31, 2018
Striped bass fishing in Jersey is only a spring and fall thing, right?
Wrong. Locals know that resident stripers will bite all through the heat of the summer, its just a matter of knowing where and what to throw at them to get hit. Generally speaking, low light hours and dark hours are the prime times to target bass. The turf will be the backwaters as well as the bays. During sunrise times, back bay sodbanks provide cover and offer perfect ambush points for stripers to stick it to baitfish. Fish outgoing tides through the winding backchannels.
Set up with a lighter 7-foot Shimano Terramar rod, matched with a 2500 Quantum Iron spooled with 30-pound Power Pro and in your lure arsenal, you want to hit the topwater scene first with Stillwater Smack-It poppers, Zara Spooks and TA poppers.
As well, an assortment of rubber baits should be on hand such as Zoom Super Flukes and Fin-S fish tipped on a light ¼ to ½ ounce jighead. Night shifters in larger bay areas will employ the use of live eels to get whacked by a resident bass, many of which are in the 12 to 20-pound class.
The key is to work bridge abutments and bulkheads, drifting by with a fishfinder slide rig consisting of a ½ to 2-ounce egg sinker, 100-pound Spro Barrel Swivel, 30-inch section of 40-pound Seaguar Fluorocarbon Leader and a size 5/0 Mustad Octopus Circle hook. Hook an eel through the bottom lip and out one eye and let it bounce along the bottom, up and over rocks and humps, where bass will be waiting to pounce upon it.
If you exercise due diligence and fish around the high tides coinciding with sunrise or after nightfall, no doubt you can be into many “ghost stripers” without having to wait for the fall run.