ISOutdoors - page 20

IS
Outdoors
to be quiet to avoid spooking them, but
during the Redfin Season striped bass do
not appear to have the luxury of eating
where they choose.
The key to finding topwater striper in the
spring time is to find where the gizzard
and threadfin shad are spawning along
the shore. This shad activity is easy to
find by looking for blue and white herons
wading along the bank. Next try to locate
a spot you can observe where the wind
is blowing the shad up against a point,
rocky bank or sand flat. When you spot
herons wading along such shoreline area,
carefully ease up to them to avoid spook-
ing these birds to flight. When you are
close enough, cast your bait right at the
edge of the water.
If the herons spook easily there is proba-
bly not much in that area, but if they stay
and you see them catching shad you are
right where you need to be. If the fish are
really active you cannot miss but some-
times you will have to figure out what
lure and action works best. Sometimes
they want you to stop and just let the lure
set still. If a fish strikes your lure don’t set
the hook until you feel the fish because
they will often swat at a lure several times
before eating it and if you set the hook
too early you will just pull the bait away
from a striper. When a big lineside first
hits your bait, stop the retrieve. Next
lightly twitch the lure a little to draw an-
other strike.
When topside feeding is hot, a variety of
surface baits work well. I like the Cordell
Redfin and similarly sized Rebel and Ra-
pala topwater plugs in the 8 to 10 inches
long category. When it is windy I like to
throw a 6” Pencil Popper because it is
heavy, you can make long casts and it
works well in a heavy chop. Other good
choices for striper surface action is a Mir-
ror Lure Top Dog or Top Dog Jr. the Storm
Rattling Chug Bug in the 3 1/2” and 4 1/2”
size.
If you have not experienced late spring
surface action for striped bass, you will
not be sorry if you a plan a trip to your
favorite striper lake this month.
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