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Saltwater lures and plugs for striper fishing
Striper fishing tackle

Jim:

I am a totally new comer to striper fishing and saltwater fishing in
general.  I like to fish from shore, not surf casting, around structure,
from jetties, etc.  I need to know what size lures should I be using?  When
I read some of the forums and the "expert" advice there is a lot of
conflicting advice.  Each person has his own techniques and that is OK but
for me to learn it is confusing.  I use a seven foot casting rod and reel
outfit.  Using 30 lb power pro line and I really like to fish surface
lures.  Need some help?

 

A leadhead jetty caster (sort of a modified bucktail jig with a longer shank hook and a bullet head.)
is a good choice here.

What do I buy to put in my plug bag?
Lures for each part of the water column.

What type of lures are used for stripers?
Plastics, Wood, resins, rubber and Metal.
Topwater, swimmers and bottom lures.

What are the categories of Plugs?
Surface Swimmer, Subsurface Swimmer, Mirror plug,
Bottle Plug, Popping Plug, Rattle Plug, Darter Plug, Pencil Popper Plugs,
Bullet Plugs,Needlefish plugs, Stainless steel jigs, Block tin squids,
Rigged Eels, Diamong Jigs, Kastmaster, Chromed Spoons, Leadheads, Jigheads,

There are So many what do i use?
The short answer.
Lures that resemble the forage base
available in the area you will be fishing.

Where can i purchase some of these?
Many of these items can be purchased at various online
tackle stores. a google web search with the keyword will
bring you to many. You can also click on the links below
and it will take you to some secure and reputable stores
where you can purchase them.

What are the most popular striper lures?
Besides the custom lures the Atom Striper Swiper, Atomizer,
Smiling Bill bucktails.
Kastmaster metal lures, a Mambo Minnow, Assalt Bomber,
Rebel broken back, Cotton Cordell Pencil Poppers and red
fins. FinS soft plastics, storm shads and sluggos.
Red gill sand eels

What type of retrieve do I use for all my plugs?
A good rule of thumb is to avoid carrying a bag full and changing lures every few casts. Master a few and become
comfortable with the action of that particular lure. Learn under what conditions a particular lure is most appropriate.
The surface swimmer has a verical lip which will give it a side to side motion. It is maximized when retrieved very
slowly. You want it to lazily swim along like an unsuspecting baitfish. Keep the line taught and speed up when a wave hits it like its riding in the wave. With popping plugs its best to vary the retrieve and even let it sit. The design of the plug makes it wiggle. gentle pop, hesitation and gentle pop.
Work these over rocks and rocky outcrops. The pencil popper you point the rod at the popper and move the tip up and down in a rapid motion. Soft tip rods are best here.
On the subsurface swimmers these are most effective when worked slowly, the faster you retrieve them the deeper
they will dive. Bottle plugs were designed to be cast a mile, due to the shape and their aerodynamics. The big lower lip design pulls it under. It dives during your retrieve and will dive deeper as you speed it up. Slow retrieve and it will still wiggle. When using darters vary the retrieve and twitch the rod tip. Keep the line taught.
Needlefish are best worked when there are sand eels present and without twitching. Let it sink and then retrieve it. With steel jigs let them sink for a few and retrieve them at a speed that will allow them to move side to side.

Probably the most important element is matching the hatch. Identifying what the forage is at any given time and the size of that forage. What are the stripers feeding on? Sand eels, peanut bunker, herring, mullett, snappers, worms, crabs, etc. During different times of the year they will be feeding on different baits. When they are actively feeding though they will take almost any live bait. Clams, seaworms, bunker, live spot, croaker, snapper, porgie.
As a general rule This is what you probably should have in your arsenal. From 1/4 ounce to 3 ounces.

Popping plugs or surface lures (topwater lures) are most effective during low light conditions such as dawn or dusk. I use the 7/8 ounce poppers mostly.

Metal lures, (tins) such as Kastmasters or Hopkins are best during bright sunlight conditions. This varies according to the size of the available bait as well.

Swimming lures, both shallow swimmers and deep divers work best during the day when fish are less likely to come to the surface to feed and at night when they are close to the bottom and less active.

Bucktail Jigs and eel lures like the sluggo and tube and worm take fish during both day and night. These should be worked along the bottom at an extremely slow retrieve even better when a piece of pork rind or squid strip is added to the hook.

Also large "prop baits" which can be really effective when faced with a wind that gives you a good chop on the water. It can really aggrevate them. If you only have one plug to do battle with make it a bucktail jig. It will catch you fish on all parts of the water column.

If you would like to discuss this article more go to rigs lures tubes and other frequently asked questions n the tackle and gear forum of out message board.


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