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EzFishN

Striped Bass Tips Needed

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Looking for some tips for stripers. I've been out few dozen times with no luck. What am I doing wrong? I'm starting to think these fish are unicorns! I few of my minnows come back looking like they have been chewed on. I'm guessing smaller fish. 

I've also paid several guides with zeroing out, and only 1 15lber (I didn't even get to land it). I won't burn any of the names here. 

I'm tired of burning cash with no fish. I think I had one on, I was out near rocky branch on a main lake point with an island in 40ft of water, as soon as i dropped it in, about 5 seconds letter my reel was dragging like crazy but apparently I missed hooking up (too excited and jerked vs just reeling in). One day I was out bass fishing (wrong equipment that day) and had my side finder light up like no other. There was several hundred giant fish staged throughout Indian Creek N. of lost bridge. I've also had this happen near the S side of Bear Claw Island, visually even seen them in the water rolling shad.  I've also tried fishing down the (South) the river, from 412 bridge, to War Eagle, to Mont Ne, Hickory Creek, Rambo, Big & Small Clifty, hell I've fished nearly the whole lake after 5 years and still can't figure it out. I've also tried the wee hours of the morning and staying out at night. 

How long do you sit or troll an area before moving on? Am I using too small of hooks? Are these fish getting line shy, or my weight, swivels? I'd even entertain taking someone out or paying someone if they can guarantee me a fish.  So far I've only managed to catch a 25lb Gar on these setups.

 

Setups I've tried.

  • 6 Rod setup, Using Okuma Cold Water Reels and Okuma GLT Lake Trolling Rods 7'6,   I ran planer boards to stager my presentation and keep fish from getting boat shy. 
  • Targetting Main Lake Points, mouth of main coves. I bought a fishing map at walmart, have AGFC website, and analyzed Navionics maps. 
  • Depths - 40 - 80 feet. I've even tried getting closer to bank with my planner boards in 20ft or less. 
  • Using Owner or Gamakasu 1/0 Circle Octopus Hooks, or size 1, Octopus Hooks. Stayed away from bigger hooks unless I catch some gizzards. I've seen fish stair at my bait with a hook in it for crappie fishing. If anything I've learned to keep things downsized on beaver. 
  • Brooder Minnows, the big fat ones from HL&S in Rogers. I give them extra G Juice and ensure I use lively baits. 20 Gallon Aerated live well. 
  • Nose Hook bait through upper jaw through nostril. 
  • Focused Channel Swings, gravel points, flooded timber, Main Lake points, under water humps & points, islands, bluff walls, middle of the channel, creek arms, secondary points, I've even chased shad into less than a foot of water and no striper :)   Time to try my new cast net and land some bigger baits. 
  • Focused on finding the 'green water' (stained) with some tint to it vs clear or muddy, seems to hold more fish that I can find on the graph. 

Method one. 

  • 20lb coply with 3 way swivel using 1 oz sinker and 10ft, 10lb fluorocarbon leader. I use this fishing deeper water. 3 foot leader for weight to swivel. 
  • Trolling speed. 1.0 - 1.8mph (I speed it up if going over shallower areas or pick it up off bottom)
  • Line out 40-80 ft. 
  • 25-35 ft of line behind planer board. 

Method two 

  • 20lb copy with inline swivel and using 5/16 or 1/4 split shot and and 10ft, 10lb fluorocarbon leader. Split shot is put on main line above swivel. 
  • Trolling speed. 1.0 - 1.5mph
  • Line out, 100-150 ft or more. I've tried using 35-70 ft, but doesn't seem to get down enough. 
  • No Planers used. 

 

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I guess if you really want to catch some stripers go get some umbrella rigs ( not Alabama rigs) start by the islands by prairie creek and drag them around with your big motor. You will catch your unicorns....lots of em. 

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Thanks BigFishes. I assume you're talking about captain Macs umbrella rig. Hair jigs or swim baits? Any recommendations for target weights and depths?

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Yes, I use the captain macks 

swimbaits or horse heads with trailers 

you’ll want to come up with some kind of heavy duty lure retriever 

think heavy duty/durable  on the equipment 

Anywhere from 15-30ft, somewhere around 2.5-3 mph will get you started, then hunt them down like everyone else

if you try pulling umbrellas be prepared for high levels of frustration while you are learning.... there is a ton of method to be learned in this madness 

 

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Hopefully they aren't any worse than trolling A-Rigs. I've got plenty experience doing that and a super duty lure retriever. 

Are you  fishing in 15-30 feet of water, or is that the depth you are trying to present the lure at? I assume still the same points I've been trying to fish, staying 100 yards out or so from the bank in 40-80 feet of water? 

I just ordered a couple of the Okuma Umbrella Rig Rods support to the weight and two of the Capt. Mack pro rigs. Anything more than two is hard to manage in my opinion, especially if you caught up in brush and don't have any deck hands to help real in the others. 

 

 

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No I mean pull them in 15-30 fow ( it’ll vary just a good starting point) sometimes you’ll be right against the bank other times you might be way out on a flat, if I’m alone I only pull one, I pull two if somebody is with me. 

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The last 2 days I have been just running points basically launching at Indian Creek and running to roughly the island off of Starkey. I have had several fish hooked and come off and landed 3 fish in the 5-6lb range all throwing a spook looking for deep to shallow transitions and top water activity. 

I have not hooked up with anything huge but I have been putting some fish in the boat and fishing in a way I enjoy. 

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I cut the swivels off, I tie the rig with 40# green big game. The main line is 50# big game. The Big game is cheap and stretchy  but it’s super strong. On a side note Devan S. Is right, we have also been catching stripers in the areas he has been talking. 

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@Bigfishes1 Thank you again! The family and I had a blast this Father's day weekend which happened to be my birthday too.

Saturday morning, fished from 6am - 9am, around the island by the dam, 6 in the boat. 

Biggest fish was about 10lbs or so, but we didn't get an official weigh ins; these fish seemed to get stunned fairly fast in the heat, but we held them by the tail and they all made it back. Catch & Release! 

 

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