Striped Bass

Deep water is the place you need to look for Striped Bass. You will not catch them often in water under 6 feet deep that Largemouth bass love. Unlike Largemouth Bass they tend to feed in the middle of the water column. Largemouth Bass we know feed primarily either towards the surface of the water or at the bottom. This is why a depth finder can be a valuable piece of equipment when fishing for Striped Bass. I have on many occasions used my quiet trolling motor and a depth finder to determine the exact depth Striped Bass were feeding at. Again the Striped Bass is an exact fish. When you learn its patterns and habits you can often catch them in great numbers and great sizes.

Another habit that separates the Striped Bass form the Largemouth Bass deals with the movement in the water. Largemouth Bass prefer water that does not have a great deal of current. Striped Bass on the other hand prefer a somewhat fast current. In the absence of a fast current Striped Bass can and do feed in calm water. So long as the water is clear and deep you will find this fish in a variety of locations. Given the choice however this fish prefers water that has movement. Your initial strategy in location this fish is now clear. You will look for an area of deep water that is very clear. If you find multiple areas that fit this description go with the place that has more current.

The best bait for Striped Bass is of course live bait. The Striped Bass has a keen capacity for smell; oily baits are definitely a plus. Because of the size of this fish even 12 inch long bait is not too big. In fact if you want to specifically target very large Stripers then you should be using baits of this size Always keep your baits as lively as possible. The fresher the better is the rule of thumb you should always remember when targeting this species.

The Striped Bass will also attack a wide variety of artificial baits as well. I have found the spoon to be the bait of choice however. Silver is definitely the color of choice. I prefer a front weighted spoon that is very wide rather than long narrow bait. The best way to fish this lure is by trolling over a deep water area you suspect hold Striped Bass. This is where your depth finder is critical. If you can discreetly scout an area and determine the depth which the Striped Bass are feed you can set a trolling speed that will get your spoon to that depth much easier than by casting. It is very important to keep your hooks very sharp. Large Striped Bass often have very hard mouths, a sharp hook it critical to a good hook set.

My second artificial bait of choice would be a crankbait. When selecting a crankbait you want to go large. I prefer a six to eight in long deep diving crankbait. Again I prefer bait that is wide rather than long narrow bait. Again make sure the hooks are razor sharp.

This in a nutshell is how to fish for Striped Bass. You will certainly enjoy catching one. They fight much tougher than any Largemouth bass you will ever hook.

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Dan Eggertsen is a fellow bass fishing enthusiast to the point of obsession. :) He's been providing solid advice on bass fishing since 2004.

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