Studying Time: 6 minutes
The islands of the northeastern US are heaven for topwater Striper fishing. Lengthy Island, Block Island, and the islands off Cape Cod have a few of the finest Striped Bass motion on the market. And it’s not simply Stripers – the topwater Bluefish chew’s excellent, too.
What makes these spots particular? One phrase: boulders. On this brief information, we’ll check out what makes boulder fields such a terrific place for working topwater lures. You’ll additionally discover some recommendations on the way to get essentially the most out this epic fishery.
Why are boulder fields good for topwater Striper fishing?
Boulder fields are a dream looking floor for Stripers and Bluefish. The crashing waves pump the water with oxygen and the rugged construction holds loads of seaweed. This attracts a ton of baitfish, which relaxation and feed in sheltered pockets. And the place there’s bait, there are Stripers. Numerous huge, imply Striped Bass ready to ambush prey within the currents and whirlpools.
Navigating these waters isn’t for rookies. You possibly can simply run into the rocks so it’s essential to preserve your head on a swivel even when there’s a fish in your line. The rewards could be properly definitely worth the effort, although. You possibly can fish each tides and a wide range of currents, supplying you with loads of choices. You too can discover some absolute monsters if you understand how to work the waters correctly.
Methods to Discover the Good Fishing Spot
Boulder fields are complicated and doubtlessly harmful fishing spots. Due to this, it pays to do your analysis and plan your strategy fastidiously. Right here’s a brief intro to organising round these rocky fish magnets.
Scouting the Space
To get essentially the most out of a spot, it’s vital to see it at each excessive and low tide. Check out the lay of the land. Is it flat and gradual? Steep and rocky? You possibly can anticipate the identical underwater. On the whole, Striped Bass and Bluefish each like rugged construction. Search for areas with steep drops and large rocks, that’s the place the largest fish disguise.
Be looking out for currents and “nervous” water. This reveals there’s construction under. Polarized sun shades are a should when fishing right here – not due to the solar, however as a result of they’ll allow you to see the rocks extra clearly. Clearly, you need to preserve one eye in your sounder as you scan the underside.
Approaching the Boulders
The most effective fishing is in not more than 20 toes of water. You’re searching for the most important boulder in a gaggle. That’s the place the largest, most aggressive Stripers will arrange store. Begin by working the deeper fringe of the sphere, casting into shallower water and transferring nearer with each drift. Maintain a watch out for factors and pockets the place weak fish may disguise – predators will likely be doing the identical factor.
The currents can get fairly quick over the boulder fields. For those who’re drifting too shortly, use your trolling motor or push pole to sluggish you down. You possibly can even run the engine in deeper water – the fish gained’t thoughts it so long as there’s loads of wave noise.
When you discover a promising spot, circle spherical so that you’re fishing the windward face. The topwater currents will likely be stronger right here, creating whirlpools across the base that Stripers and Blues like to hunt in. After your first hook-up, you’ll love looking right here, too.
Topwater Fishing Strategies
There are a ton of ways and dozens of various lures that work properly for topwater Striper fishing. For now, although, let’s take a look at a few tried-and-true strategies ways and the way and when to make use of them.
Straightforward Does It: Stroll the Canine Fishing
The “stroll the canine” is among the finest retrieves you’ll be able to ever be taught. At its most elementary, stroll the canine fishing means zigzagging lures again in direction of you as you retrieve, mimicking an injured fish. You do that by twitching the lure in with the rod itself, angling the tip down and solely reeling in to gather the additional slack.
Enable your lure sufficient slack to leap and settle. This provides it that signature zigzag. Get a really feel for the rhythm as you stroll in your lure. If you get within the move, stick with it on the similar tempo till you end your retrieve, then repeat. You too can strive pausing and rushing up when you grasp the fundamentals. This provides cussed fish extra time to strike.
Strolling the canine works finest on calmer days. Robust winds will mess up your movement. Extra importantly, the noise and spray from waves breaking on the boulders can fully cowl up your retrieve. Fish on a relaxed day with a lightweight breeze, although, and it’s a good way to attract Stripers up from the underside with out inflicting an excessive amount of commotion.
Quick & Loud: Popping
Poppers and chuggers are designed to make plenty of noise on the floor. They every get their names due to the noises they make. Poppers run alongside the floor making a lightweight splashing “pop.” Chuggers dig in additional, supplying you with extra of a loud, deep “chug.”
Whichever one you go together with, taking part in together with your retrieve is the important thing to success. Some days, a quick regular retrieve will work. Others instances you’ll have to play your lure free and erratic. Construct up the noise and the motion steadily to tempt within the fish with out spooking them.
This can be a nice approach for breezy days when there’s an excessive amount of noise and commotion to make use of extra refined strategies. You too can use it to “wake the fish up,” making a couple of casts to get their consideration, then switching as soon as they’re out and lively.
What to Pack for Good Topwater Striper Fishing
Bringing in huge fish is about extra than simply approach. Packing the appropriate rods, reels, and lures is vital. Go for a medium-heavy spinning rod with loads of play within the tip. You’ll want a matched spinning reel with 30-40 lb braided line and a fluorocarbon chief to match.
With regards to lures, spooks are an apparent alternative when “strolling the canine”. You also needs to pack some normal poppers, in addition to plugs if you wish to strive for Bluefish. White lures work higher within the day, whereas darker colours are finest in low mild – as is the chew generally. No matter you utilize, eradicating the entrance hook makes life so much simpler for those who’re planning to launch the fish.
Right here’s one thing you might not have considered packing: a kayak. Having a kayak or a paddleboard with you helps you to get deeper into the shallows than you’ll be able to on a ship. You possibly can solely do that on calm days, but when the forecast is ok, bringing a board or a kayak offers you much more choices.
Methods to Keep Protected Whereas Fishing the Boulders
With a lot construction and such uncommon currents, boulder fields could be tough for those who don’t take precautions. At all times regulate your drift, even for those who’re on the catch of a lifetime. You possibly can simply run up on the rocks for those who’re not paying consideration.
Utilizing your electronics to trace and repeat secure drifts makes issues so much simpler. Maintain your anchor handy in case you begin drifting too shortly. If the climate’s tough, you might need to preserve your engine working the entire time, with the lean good and excessive to keep away from huge rocks.
Forgive us for stating the apparent, however don’t fish alone. Ideally, it’s best to have somebody who is aware of the waters with you. If not, do your groundwork properly and also you shouldn’t run into any bother. Ensure you go away a float plan with somebody again residence, although. Simply in case.
For those who’re getting out on a kayak, at all times keep in sight of your buddy on the boat. Pack the usual security package – PFD, zip-locked cellphone, water, and a walkie-talkie so that you don’t need to shout. Most significantly: nevertheless you’re fishing, don’t overlook to have enjoyable!
Did our ideas enable you to land a trophy? Something you’d do in another way? Tell us your topwater Striper fishing ideas under – we’re at all times seeking to up our recreation!