How to Catch Striped Bass in the Summer

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Video freshwater striper fishing in the summer

I know we’re probably all tackle junkies, but please listen to me when I say this: You don’t need to go spend a bunch of money on tackle to make this work. Don’t go spend hundreds of dollars. I’ll provide some links to what you need, but the color and size selection does not need to be overcomplicated. You’ve already done the hard part by finding them. Making them bite is normally the easy (and fun) part.

All I use is a 7/8-ounce jigging spoon and a 3/4-ounce blade bait. For the jigging spoon, I really like the War Eagle Jiggin’ Spoon and for the blade bait, I prefer the Steelshad. When you’re buying both of these lures, get a chrome one for sunny days and a white one for cloudy days.

I also want to urge the importance of using quality lures for this. This is not some lousy sales pitch or anything like that. Simply put, however, these big stripers and hybrids will tear cheap gear to shreds. If you don’t believe me, go try to land a double-digit striper with a bargain-bin spoon or blade bade. Either the hooks or the split rings will break. You have to use something with a little meat to it.

Regardless of which of the two lures you use, you’re going to be dropping them both vertically and fishing them the same way. With a medium-heavy casting rod and 17-pound fluorocarbon, let it drop all the way to the bottom (if it can make it there before a fish inhales it). Once it’s on the bottom, lift or pop your rod tip about 12 to 16 inches and let the lure fall back to the bottom on completely slack line.

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The large majority of your bites are going to happen as the lure is falling, so it’s imperative to become a line watcher when you’re doing this. You’ll pop the lure off the bottom and you’ll notice it didn’t fall quite as far as it did the last time. Or it won’t fall at all. Sometimes you might even feel a slight “tick” on the fall.

When this happens, you have a fish. Don’t second-guess yourself and get into a feeling contest with the fish. Hooksets don’t cost a thing, so rip that rod tip upwards and set the hook as soon as you can. You’ll know if you connected because if you did, it’s going to feel like you’re tethered to the hind end of a dump truck.

When I bass fish, I normally keep the drag tightened all the way down and use my thumb bar and thumb as a manual drag system. I’ll be the first one to strongly advise against this when you’re chasing these linesides. You’ll either break your line or your reel. Keep a steady drag setting on you reel, but make sure to let ’em run for as long as they need to. You’re not going to bulldog these fish to the boat; I can promise you that. So just enjoy the fight and keep constant pressure on them. It can take upwards of 10 minutes to land these fish on medium-heavy bass tackle, so settle in and be patient. The real fun starts when everyone in the boat is hooked up at the same time!

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As it keeps getting hotter outside and the bass fishing continues to slow, make a concerted effort to mix things up and chase some linesides. Not only do they offer a fun way to spend time with your family and friends, but they’ll also make you a much more confident deep-water bass angler. They don’t taste too shabby, either!

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Ethan Smith is a seasoned marine veteran, professional blogger, witty and edgy writer, and an avid hunter. He spent a great deal of his childhood years around the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest in Arizona. Watching active hunters practise their craft initiated him into the world of hunting and rubrics of outdoor life. He also honed his writing skills by sharing his outdoor experiences with fellow schoolmates through their high school’s magazine. Further along the way, the US Marine Corps got wind of his excellent combination of skills and sought to put them into good use by employing him as a combat correspondent. He now shares his income from this prestigious job with his wife and one kid. Read more >>