Marley

Catching bigger striper

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Ok so through trial and error and speaking to a few fishermen, my son and I are catching striper every outting.  The problem now is the fish are small.  The biggest one we caught was 26" and we have seen folks around us catch larger fish.  

 

Is this an issue that the fish are in layers?  We have around a 3 foot leader, we are anchored and are using a sliding sinker.  Are the bigger fish closer to the bottom, closer to the top?  I don't actually know, we are using a small chunk of mackerel or a small whole mackerel is the bait laying on the bottom?  We fished a new spot and were picking up crabs in between fish which makes me think the bait does sink to the bottom as well which would mean the leader length doesn't matter?

 

My son is hooked, he wants to fish all the time now.  

davidfish.jpeg

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Location you are fishing helps as different areas need different strategy. A start can be finding bigger bait schools and trolling mojos. If that doesn’t work an eel on the bottom also will get you bigger fish. 3-5ft of leader is fine and shouldn’t effect finding bigger fish.
Good luck 

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It really is luck of the draw. I would look for bunker pods. Catch and rig on a  circle hook and drop down with a 2-3 oz weight. Might have to hop around pods to find them.  A lot does depend on location 

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I would say enjoy the fish your catching and the time with your son and dont worry so much about about finding large. The memories I made with my kids were not about big fish, but about the beauty in the fish we caught and the surrounding's we were in, As you put in more time you will gain more knowledge and size will increase.

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teach your son topwater no need for bait cover more ground never snagged lose less gear catch more fish ! been an unreal season so far and dont think i got one under 26"IMG_20220612_154652073.jpg.dd82bb1a279746d575a1d9091099dcd8.jpg

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Posted (edited) · Report post

11 hours ago, riggler said:

I would say enjoy the fish your catching and the time with your son and dont worry so much about about finding large. The memories I made with my kids were not about big fish, but about the beauty in the fish we caught and the surrounding's we were in, As you put in more time you will gain more knowledge and size will increase.

This!!! The fact that you and your son have this amazing hobby to share and spend time together is the best reward of all!!!

 

 

The fact you are consistently finding fish is a huge win, after that it boils down to refining your spots (weather, tides, bait, etc).  Change things up in small increments and see if it helps, and you will learn as you go. There is not secret recipe other then time put in that teaches you how to catch larger fish.

Edited by Kooky

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Thanks for all the advice.  Like all of you have said, I am shooting for incremental improvements.  Speaking to a bunch of people has honed me in on an egg sinker on the main line, 3' leader and a small chunk of mackerel instead of the tangled mess I was getting with my 3 way rig.  Since folks around me were catching larger fish, I did not know if there was something else I could do to improve my catch.  Does anyone float their bait with an inline float?

 

Regarding lures, when we went to the tackle store we bought 1 of everything.  I did get a hit on a deadly dick and a sand eel rubber lure thing, but no landed fish.  I prefer fishing with lures, but bait fishing is easier for my boys.  

 

We definitely see fish, mostly on the bottom but certainly mid water as well.  

David big bass.jpeg

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2 hours ago, Marley said:

Thanks for all the advice.  Like all of you have said, I am shooting for incremental improvements.  Speaking to a bunch of people has honed me in on an egg sinker on the main line, 3' leader and a small chunk of mackerel instead of the tangled mess I was getting with my 3 way rig.  Since folks around me were catching larger fish, I did not know if there was something else I could do to improve my catch.  Does anyone float their bait with an inline float?

 

Regarding lures, when we went to the tackle store we bought 1 of everything.  I did get a hit on a deadly dick and a sand eel rubber lure thing, but no landed fish.  I prefer fishing with lures, but bait fishing is easier for my boys.  

 

We definitely see fish, mostly on the bottom but certainly mid water as well.  

David big bass.jpeg

Nice Bass! What body of water do you fish?

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If you want larger fish you need to understand bait movement. Specifically adult bunker. It’s not enough to find the bunker. You need to understand  the pattern of how it moves in and out with the tide on a given day and chunk structure close by where this bait moves through. It takes patience and observation but it’s not impossible to see how this movement unfolds each and every tide.  When you cut bait think slabs of meat not chunks. The head and some of the body is ideal along with a large hook. I live in ct so these areas are usually rivers and the rocky land adjacent to their mouths. We commonly setup tossing chunks close to shore along rocky structure outside river mouths. You have to be comfortable taking your boat close to shore and be wary of the bottom structure and water depth. I would rig a live well so you will be able to liveline in these same areas when you are able to procure your own bait too. Learning to effectively fish live  bunker is a must have technique for the old toolbox. If you are having trouble finding bait from time to time, fear not. Anchor up off those same rocky coastline areas tight to shore and liveline some scup just as you would bunker. Extremely effective technique where you have an abundance of scup. Large bass routinely hold up in and patrol these areas. 

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Interested in responses to this. I’m in a similar boat (metaphorically speaking, since I fish from the surf). This is my first year going after striper and I’m catching fish consistently and haven’t been getting skunked much, but I seem stuck in the 20 - 32” range. I know people around my area who are catching plenty of over slot fish, but I haven’t quite managed to tangle with any larger fish. I don’t fish bait. (I’m not against it but I come from the freshwater bass world and bait just isn’t my comfort zone). To piggyback on the OP’s question, any tips for chasing bigger bass with artificials specifically?

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5 hours ago, Marley said:

Thanks for all the advice.  Like all of you have said, I am shooting for incremental improvements.  Speaking to a bunch of people has honed me in on an egg sinker on the main line, 3' leader and a small chunk of mackerel instead of the tangled mess I was getting with my 3 way rig.  Since folks around me were catching larger fish, I did not know if there was something else I could do to improve my catch.  Does anyone float their bait with an inline float?

 

Regarding lures, when we went to the tackle store we bought 1 of everything.  I did get a hit on a deadly dick and a sand eel rubber lure thing, but no landed fish.  I prefer fishing with lures, but bait fishing is easier for my boys.  

 

We definitely see fish, mostly on the bottom but certainly mid water as well.  

David big bass.jpeg

Where is your boat... Take me out for a ride and I will explain how to catch on plugs or jigs or liveline on a boat

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4 mins ago, MainelySmallies said:

Interested in responses to this. I’m in a similar boat (metaphorically speaking, since I fish from the surf). This is my first year going after striper and I’m catching fish consistently and haven’t been getting skunked much, but I seem stuck in the 20 - 32” range. I know people around my area who are catching plenty of over slot fish, but I haven’t quite managed to tangle with any larger fish. I don’t fish bait. (I’m not against it but I come from the freshwater bass world and bait just isn’t my comfort zone). To piggyback on the OP’s question, any tips for chasing bigger bass with artificials specifically?

Moon tides, and at night

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