• Posted by Nick Honachefsky
  • On April 19, 2019
  • Comments
  •  2

Striper season is upon us with the peak of the run set to crash Jersey’s shores in the next month and a half.

This time of year, many anglers get pigeonholed into a one trick pony type of mindset where they will only impart one technique; whether it be trolling, snagging bunker, jigging, etc, but successful anglers will know to bring all tackle and gear required not just for one tactic, but to cover all applicable tactics to adapt to how the bass are biting.

Case in point, I fished Raritan Bay this week with Matt Pyndus and Mike Brickle and we started by trolling 4 to 24 ounce MagicTail Mojo balls after we began marking fish. After a pass, two rods went down to produce a doubleheader catch of 25-pound bass. Thinking that was just the start, we kept trolling at it for another hour or so, but realized the fish simply weren’t keying in on the big shads anymore, even though we were still marking fish.

A quick call to a friend gave us an insight. We broke out some lighter tackle spinning rods where we lanced on A Band of Anglers Flying Bucktails, Storm Shads and Vision eels. Dropping jigs to the bottom, we simply let them drag near the bottom with subtle twitches whereupon we connected one after another with schoolie bass. Other anglers in the area put numbers of well into 40 plus fish per boat by jigging with light tackle while trollers had a rough go at it. That subtle adaptation put more fish in the boat.

On the way in, we witnessed gannets diving onto bait schools, so the rods were once again rerigged to switch out to topwater Ocean Born Flying Poppers on the 75-pound TA clips as well as a few bunker snags to see if we could procure any fresh baits. There’s no doubt that some days out one tactic will overshadow the others in producing fish, but be prepared to adapt and switch gear throughout the day from trolling, jigging, or livelining to insure you maximize your catch.


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