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Joe Hask

Can You Catch Stripers From Shore

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I fish norfork lake and was wandering if you can catch stripers off the shore. I would also like to find out the best way to do so

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ive been askn that question for 2 years and everyone is very tight lipped. from what i understand they should be around tecumpseh under the bridge or up to the forks. im not the best source of info though cuz i live an hour away and have never really caught anything good at norfork. well i did catch a 6 pound smally 3 years ago at the forks in a freezing rain event while fishing for stripers. but ive seen lots of pics from this time of year of big stripers from stump hole to dawt

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Stripers from shore no matter the lake or even the ocean is a tough go, you are talking about a fish that is highly mobile and and might be in your casting zone for only one cast unless you get them in an area where they cannot go any further I.E. A dam or other barrier. The exception is if the food has moved to an area and is hanging out there. Last year both Prairie Creek and Avoca had this happen when the shad were up on the flats for spawning. The food was concentrated in an area and everyone came to the buffet. When the food left so did the customers.

To stay on stripers constantly you need a boat as they prefer open water. One solution I use to employ in Cali was the use of a Float tube ( fun being towed ) It gives you a chance to move around in areas they are known to be and not locked to the shore. Price on the tube can be from 80 bucks on up but its good for multiple species so worth the investment IMO.

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... The exception is if the food has moved to an area and is hanging out there. ...

There's the key. If you can thrownet big gizzard shad from the bank, there's a good chance you can catch stripers there too, assuming it's the time of year they go there. I'll share some things I learned doing it on Beaver Lake in the fall for 10 years in a row.

Oddly enough, I 'discovered' the trick from a boat. While sneaking back into the shallows at the very back of a long cove to catch some shad one evening, I saw several dozen large dark tordepos streaking out below me in the ~5ft clear water (it was barely light enough to see). Had to be stripers says me, carp aren't that numerous or spooky, and too big and fast to be anything else. The shad were there, and instead of going back out the half mile or so as I planned, I fished the area till midnight instead. NADA.

Came back the next evening. Same thing. My boat spooked them out and they didn't return. It so happened that the spot was one you could access from shore, so I left the boat home the next evening and returned in my pickup.

To skip over hours and hours (and hours) of subsequent trial and error, here's what I learned to have the best results (at that time and place);

The big gizzards were doing their annual fall routine to the backs of long coves. This began at surface temps of 52 and lasted till it cooled to 48. If you could catch (or at least see) shad from the bank, the stripers would be there.

While the shad were there day and night, the stripers only moved into the shallows under the cover of darkness. Specifically, they came in at dusk, fed for an hour or two, then left. Happened again right before dawn. Every freakin' day while the shad were there, you could set your watch by it.

Using live shad or throwing cranks or jigs was only marginally successful. Believe it or not, the best bait (by far) was fresh cut shad fished on the bottom! I can't stress the word fresh enough though, a shad caught yesterday and kept on ice wouldn't get hit. At all. Don't even think about that frozen storebought stuff here.

The method and rigging was critical too. A slip rig (ala catfish) with an ounce or more of lead above a swivel and a 2ft leader to a 5/0 hook, using 1/4 to 1/3 of a big gizzard shad. The head third's as good as the mid third, with the tail third saved for last. Stab it a few times to let the magic ooze out Use too light a sinker, and it will lift on the take, tick on the bottom, and cause a spit bait. The line has to flow freely on the take, the slightest resistance makes them spit it. I preferred heavy spinning or spincast reels that the line will just fall from. Use a baitcaster set light enough for them to take, and the initial 5ft burst can backlash it, but that would be preferred to a small-capacity spinning rig. When you do hookup, a big one can easily take 40-50 yards of 20lb line before you can turn them and get some of it back.

My best sets were with 3 8-11ft rods.. Make the cast, take out the slack, and set it on a forked stick catfish style. Throw the bail, push the button, whatever it takes to let the line spill. Pull the line out sideways to the rod a couple feet, and set an empty can in the loop of the line for an audible strike indicator (it's dark afterall). Keep lights and noise to a minimum, especially light on the water.

When you hear a can fall, grab the rod as quickly as possible, but don't grab the line. If the line is still going out, engage the reel with the tip down and set the hook when it tightens. Hard. Even with practice, you'll only hookup about 1 in three times. If they feel any resistance they'll spit it out. Give too much line before the set and you'll have to take out the slack from the angle of the bottom-hugging sinker. Another lost fish.

If you take a partner, keep an extra empty can handy to toss at their feet when things heat up. It's a real hoot!

Keep in mind this was a specific situation, and might require adaptation to another place or season. But yes, you can catch 'em from the bank. Sometimes it's even the best way. As mentioned, I did it 10 years in a row, so it's not a fluke.

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Not priceless really, I paid for it thru determination and curiousity, but was refunded many times over. I haven't done it for several years, but I still get excited when I hear a can clink on the gravel. :-)

But I'd never turn down a free beer! :-)

Added

Don't try this if you have a heart condition. Seriously.

Seriously.

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lol, done that before myself its all about Bait + Timing + Stealth = Striper.... I used either spinning reels with the bail open or baitrunners with the alarm/clicker on and finaly circle hooks came out so it was a matter of the can on ground and when it went off the rod loaded and the fish was on. Circle hooks make a lot of evil go away.

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can you do it anywhere on norfork? people keep sayin that stripers pile in tecumpseh and dawt but i have yet to see more than a couple a year come outta there

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You can try it anywhere, but without the bait being present its farting in the wind.... Another option to live cut bait is, buy a cast bubble fill it 1/4 to 1/2 full with water or shot and pin a bait on about 3 to 5 ft below the bobber. One more option for live baiting is to use a surf rod and spool it with 20lb to 20lb test line, tie on a 4 to 6oz torpedo sinker and flink it as far as you can. Next make a 5 ft leader with a snap swivel on one end and the bait on the other and slide it down the line, when the fish hits reel like crazy to catch the weight up to the snap. Keep in mind BAIT is the key you have to be where it is.

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btw a cast bubble filled with about 20pcs of shot and a 5 ft leader with a fly behind it is deadly on whites or fish boiling on top water.

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