A variety of methods can be used to catch striped bass from shore. Many of the most popular techniques require you to have a decent sized fishing rod with a rather heavy weighted line that is good for long casts. What many anglers do not consider often is that if you hook into a fairly large striped bass as long as you have done the proper prep work, it is actually easier to land from shore than it is from a boat. Always scope out a good landing location in the event that you hook into a huge Striper. You would hate to get it close to shore just to lose it. It would make a great fish story, however actually bringing it home the dinner table is sometimes what fishing is all about.
One of the most popular Striper fishing techniques is what is referred to as “Surf Casting”. As it name implies it requires an angler to
cast into the surf. The most common plugs used while surf casting are hard poppers, crank baits or plugs. Many anglers also use a softer plastic plugs with squishy tails. These are becoming very popular as many believe that they are more believable to the Bass. A variety of manufacturers make these types of plugs, including Rebel, Storm and Rapala. Take a walk down the tackle isle in the sporting good section and you will be sure to see a large selection of plugs.
Target areas where their is turbulent water. Stripers like an opportunity to prey on a small fish that has lost its sense of direction in crashing waves or fast moving current. Many popular locations consist of what is referred to as a choke point. This is an area where their is a large body of water that needs to funnel through a small opening. For instance a breaker wall with just a narrow opening letting the incoming or outgoing tidewater through would be an ideal striper fishing location.
Using Live or Dead Bait
Stripers can also be caught from shore using baited hooks. Many popular baits are clams, clam worms, squid or pieces of menhaden. Whenever possible I try to fish with live bait, preferably menhaden or mackerel if you can get your hands on some.
A very popular technique that has produced very good results for me over the last few years is to first take a size 5 fishing hook and place a plastic clam worm on it. I then bait the hook with a small piece of squid. I attach a weight a few feet above this rig and I cast out as far as possible. I then perform a very, very slow retrieve trying to mimic a small clam worm crawling on the bottom of the sea floor. Whenever I feel a nibble I let the line go slack for two seconds and then set the hook. I have landed a variety of large Stripers using this method. This method is especially good when I know that a “worm hatch” has recently occurred and the stripers are feeding on worms naturally.
Best Striper Fishing Locations
Stripers are a migratory species of fish so they can be hard to find at times. Target areas where you see an abundance of eel grass or other natural areas where small fish can spawn and grow. Inlets with large amounts of eel grass also produce very good results on a fast moving outgoing tide. Also look for peninsulas that appear to have a sharp drop off. As mentioned above look for “choke points” where the Stripers have limited options to enter or leave a body of water. Always be on the look out for working birds that are diving in the water for bait fish. Once you find a good location, I have found that the same locations seem to produce well year after year.