There are fanatical fishermen and then there are those who take their obsession to another level--these people are known as striper fishermen. Their attraction to the pursuit of striped bass is understandable however, as this species is known to live 40 years and reach weights of up to 100 pounds. While many people think of striper fishing as being offshore, the fish also inhabit many rivers, and it pays to have some helpful hints when angling for them there.
Reading the Water
Knowing the likely holding spots for stripers is important when fishing rivers. Look for areas that allow the fish a break from the force of the current, yet still provide access to food sources. Examples of this are seams in the current and spots near behind rocks and submerged trees. Look for the foam lines that form in rivers. These foam lines are gathering spots for insects, so the smaller bait fish will be there also, and in turn, the stripers. Seams can be identified by the spots where water that is moving in different directions or at different speeds meet. Do not make the same mistake that so many fishermen do and stand or park your boat in the area that you should instead be casting toward.
A few ways to retrieve your lure that have proven to be successful for stripers both involve working the river current to your advantage. The first of these methods is known as back reeling. To do this, cast downstream to the head of the seam and then reel backward, keeping just enough pressure on the lure so that it is working against the current, but "losing ground." This serves to simulate a bait fish that is too weak to fight the current. Another way is to cast upstream and reel just enough to keep the lure from hitting bottom, allowing the lure to arc through the spot you are targeting, twitching your rod tip as you go to entice a strike.
Trolling for Stripers
Trolling for stripers is best done slowly, and a speed of 2 to 3 miles per hour is a good place to start. Many experienced fishermen prefer to troll against the current, maximizing the action of the lure. The lure of choice when trolling for stripers is definitely the spoon. Try different sizes until you determine which is most effective, and then stick with it. Crank baits and body baits can also work, but you should check their movement underwater first to make sure they have enough action.