Introduction to Light Tackle Striped Bass Fishing: Part 1
I have been writing a multi-part series for a saltwater print magazine and thought I would get some discussion going by posting the series.( The magazine has first American print rights only, so I can publish it here, but will delay each part to allow the article to be in print circulation for a while before appearing here.)
Feel free to post anything you may have written in another thread or if you have comments about my particular article feel free to post in this thread.
----- Saltwater Light Tackle Fishing for Striped Bass: Part 1
By Brandon White
I receive a lot of emails and give a lot of talks to fishing groups and regularly get the question of what exactly is light tackle fishing, or light tackle jigging (LTJ) as it is sometimes referred, for striped bass and how can that person do it. The best way I know how to explain exactly what light tackle fishing is and how to do it is to describe what rods, reels, line and lures I use as well as what situations work best for this type of fishing. My goal is that after you have read this article you know what light tackle fishing is, have an idea of the type of rod, reel, line and lures you need and give some tips of how to approach different types of fishing situations and where/when you can practice this technique.
Light Tackle Fishing Introduction
The best way to describe light tackle fishing is that it is downsizing tackle from trolling and bait equipment to lighter more sensitive equipment, lighter rods, smaller reels, lines and lures to target a variety of fish species.
Light tackle saltwater fishing has its roots from freshwater anglers where they have used spinning rods and bait casting rods in ultra light to medium heavy action to cast artificial lures for species such as largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, trout, perch, crappie, sunfish and other similar species.
Freshwater anglers started replacing trolling and bait techniques, once the norm in targeting saltwater fish, and started using their freshwater tackle in saltwater to catch striped bass, snook, trout, redfish, bonefish, permit, tarpon and other saltwater species. Anglers quickly realized that using light tackle with many of the same artificial lures as used in freshwater produced exciting fishing. As soon as this new wave hit the saltwater scene, fishing tackle manufactures recognized the emerging market and started making specialty saltwater reels, rods, lines and lures that could withstand the rigor that the saltwater environment presents. With the boom of all the new tackle, and buzz among anglers of what a blast it was, saltwater light tackle fishing was born.
While we will talk about light tackle fishing for striped bass, much of the equipment and techniques can also be used to fish for other species such as redfish, trout, bonefish, snook, trout etc…
Next in this light tackle fishing article series we’ll take a look at rods.
Historically speaking, I think we can thank Joe Brooks and Lefty Kehr who were probably the first saltwater light tackle fishermen. When I was a kid just starting to fish in the 60's and 70's they were beginning to tarpon fish and bone fish with the fly and I can remember their exploits in Field and Stream and Outdoor Life which I read religiously. They were real pioneers and the leading edge of this great sport. I think Joe Brooks lived in Richmond where I lived. Another great would be Curt Gowdy and The American Sportsman which was televised with many great fly fishing adventures. It might be interesting to dig back and try to pinpoint how this all began.
Do you/we have any of the old 'force' pete d posts?? If not, I have some on paper at home and can try to scan them in and post them. Not trying to stir up trouble, but some are asking about how to fish lite tackle/rips/etc.
I've always loved light tackle fishing with spinning gear I've fished & caught Tarpon, sails,mahi,amberjacks,cobia & tuna with spinning gear as many others have.When fishing for large Stripers or other fish that may be released I believe in upsizing the line to heavy line and landing the fish as quickly as possible to avoid exhausting the fish.This rule also applies to other fish that could be dangerously stressed with a long,knocked down,dragged out fight on light line.There's no point in possibly killing a fish just for the thrill of a fight.I hate watching films that show a light tackle record seeker catching a large fish on very light tackle then releasing it into shark or barracuda infested waters to be eaten alive because it was too tired to flee the predator.I'm sure most light tackle fishers agree.I'm also a believer in circle hooks or barblessed hooks on lures.too many times I've had fish swallow a hook or lure or had the trebbles damage the fish in vital places.I'm not convinced that hooks just disolve in a few days in a fishes gut.Sure,it makes us feel better releasing the fish believing that but I'm just not a believer.It's our responsibility to keep fishing a renewable resource and to start teaching the children to do the same.I can see circle & barbless hooks becoming mandatory in the future.