Steps to Catching Striped Bass in the Fall
Michael Dalgaard, from Denmark, and I enjoyed fishing with light tackle and fly fishing equipment on the Middle Chesapeake Bay. The weather was fair with 2 to 3 foot seas rolling when we left the western shore. We crossed the Bay and got out of the wind, enough to light tackle fish. I was looking for and found some large working birds.Most Productive Light Tackle Technique
1st Step in Fall Fishing - Find the Largest Working Birds
2nd Step - Make Sure You're on Fish
3rd Step - Light Tackle Fishing - Use the Correct Lure -
ZMan 5" Scented Jerk ShadZ - 1/2oz BKD White Jig Head
This is a 2-step technique where you jig the bottom first then move the lure off the bottom and up through the water columns in a jigging action. It’s highly productive on striped bass that are on the bottom or when suspended. Accomplish this technique by snapping the wrist rather than moving the rod by using just the arm.
NOTE: The boat will be drifting down current with the motor off only if you are not in a dangerous location (like the Bay Bridge).
1st Step-Jigging the Bottom
From the up current side of the boat, cast the lure out, put the rod at 9 o’clock and let the lure hit the bottom. Swiftly snap the rod to the 10 o’clock position, lifting the lure off the bottom swiftly. When the line starts to descend again move the rod tip downward in sync with the line until the lure hits the bottom again. Do this 3 times.
2nd Step-Jigging the Water Columns
The lure is still in the water after completing the 1st Step and on the bottom. Swiftly jig the lure twice (Jig-Jig) then crank on the reel handle once (Crank) taking the slack out of the line. Do this swiftly until you get a hook-up or the lure is back to the boat.Most Productive Fly Fishing Technique
4th Step - Fly Fishing - Use the Correct Fly -
5" Half & Half/Chart & White - Count the Fly Down
until it is in Front of the Striper (here was 27 count)
Move the Fly with Short & Swift Strips - Cast a weighted fly and count down to the desired depth (in front of the fish). With 350 grain sinking line and a 9w rod with a weighted fly, it will sink one-foot per second. The fluorocarbon leader should be 20 pound test, 4 feet long.
Start stripping the fly swiftly (no hesitation between strips), with the rod tip just above the water, pointing directly at the fly, in two-foot increments. Do this until the fly is back at the boat.
NOTE: During the drift, since there is current, keep the rod tip just above the water and move it horizontally to keep it pointed directly at the fly. This keeps all the slack out of the fly-line needed for a good hook set.
Capt. Tom Hughes
Fly & Light Tackle Fishing Trips
Understand Your Fishfinder/Chartplotter