How to Fish for Stripers

How to Fish for Stripers
Stripers are a popular game fish that provide saltwater anglers with sporting opportunities throughout the year. Striped bass are aggressive fish and can be caught with a variety of fishing methods. Anglers using boats have the opportunity to cover a large area but shore fisherman can have success by locating schools of baitfish and waiting for the stripers to attack. Stripers can be caught on bait, lures and flies and are targeted by conventional tackle anglers and fly fishermen.


Difficulty: Moderate

Locating Striped Bass

Things You’ll Need:
  • Rod
  • Reel
  • Lures, bait or flies
  • Boat (optional)
  • Binoculars
  • Fish finder
Step 1
Locate stripers by searching for schools of baitfish. Use your binoculars to scan shallow bays and rocky points. Look for baitfish exploding on the surface of the water.
Step 2
Use your binoculars to locate gulls diving toward the water. Diving gulls are a good indication of baitfish being present and chased toward the surface by striped bass.
Step 3
Look for windblown shorelines in the spring. Shad spawn in shallow water in the spring and will become injured and vulnerable when blown into rocky points. Gulls and herons are a good indication of areas with strong shad populations in the spring.
Step 4
Know the tides in your area. Tides play an important role in striper fishing. The low tide exposes structures where stripers will search for food and it sweeps baitfish outward. The high tide brings in fresh baitfish for the stripers to follow and pushes them toward the shoreline. The slack water between the tides tends to be the least productive time but stripers can be caught by using a fish finder and searching for channels and structures beneath the surface.

Shore Fishing

Step 1
Wait for the incoming tide and be prepared for short bursts of action. The rising tide will bring schools of baitfish toward the shoreline and anglers should be searching for nervous water.
Step 2
Position yourself in an area with a rocky shoreline and structure in the water. Docks and piers create structure that attracts schools of baitfish and stripers. Rocky points are also good for locating stripers.
Step 3
Use bright pink and green lures and jigs on a slow, deep retrieve when the fishing is slow. Keep an extra rod with a top water plug at your side and be prepared to change rods when you spot surface action. Use an erratic, twitching retrieve when the stripers are feeding on the surface.

Boat Fishing

Step 1
Follow the tides and use binoculars and a fish finder to locate schools of baitfish. Once located you can troll bait and lures in the area until stripers begin chasing the baitfish toward the surface. Have an extra rod ready with a top water plug for surface action.
Step 2
During periods of warm weather, look for stripers in deep water. High water temperatures drive stripers into deep water but the fish will continue to search for baitfish. Use a fish finder to locate schools of fish and troll at the same depth.
Step 3
Fish during the first and last hours of daylight. Stripers are more active during the morning and evening than during the day. Stripers can also be caught at night in areas with lighting along docks and piers.

Tips & Warnings

Striper fishing requires patience during the slow periods. Be prepared because the action comes in flurries and is unpredictable. Stripers can also be caught in shallow water and it is not necessary to find the deepest water in the area.
Life jackets should be worn at all times while fishing from a boat. Shore anglers must be prepared for the high tide and cannot be positioned in an area that will become submerged.

Article Written By Zach Lazzari

Zach Lazzari is an outdoor writing specialist. He has experience in website writing as well as standard newspaper writing. He wrote an outdoor column for the Silver World in Lake City, Colo., and articles for Lazzari is currently completing his bachelor's degree online through Arizona State University and lives in southwest Montana.

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