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David Heath and I hit the water around 7:30am this past Tuesday. The skies were cloudy, the water rough, and it was foggy out. Most anglers would consider this to be a good day to go to work or stay home and do a project. No way.

We started in the channel and looked for fish between 70 and 40 feet. The Raymarine GPS/Sonar/Plotter/Radar Unit lit up with large schools of menhaden, and right behind them were plenty of nice striped bass. We started out jigging soft plastics baits with no success. They were there, but not active. We both changed over to some heavy metal. The most productive lure was a 3 1/2 ounce Specialized Bait, Li'l Bunker, in chartreuse.

Nice Catch Dave
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The fish were holding tight to the bottom most of the time in 70 to 50 feet of water. They were close to the shipping channel since there were large schools of menhaden schooled up there.

The Lure-Specialized Baits
3 1/2 ounce Li'l Bunker


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Most Productive Technique: Jigging High-You must be on the upcurrent side of the boat during the drift. Open the bail and get the spoon to the bottom ASAP. Close the bail and with the rod at 9 o'clock steadily move the rod tip up to 12 o'clock on a 30 degree angle away from your body. Once the rod is at 12 o'clock start dropping the rod tip back to 9 o'clock rather swiftly so there is some slack in the line. Watch the line, watch the line, watch the line, and if it stops moving downward 'set the hook'. If the fish are suspended, crank the spoon up swiftly to just below them, and then start this technique.
Note: The line will tighten up when the lure hits the bottom, or during a fast drift it will tighten up when the spoon has descended as far as possible.

Type of Rod Needed: Extra fast tip, medium heavy, with plenty of backbone. You want a rod with very little to no flex in the tip. I use a 6' one piece spinning rod here.

Dec 4 to Dec 31st - Fly & Light Tackle Trips on the lower Chesapeake Bay.
 
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