When I am trolling for stripers I like to try different techniques in order to find the best pattern that works for that particular spot or day. When I am out for the big ones I like to drag a tandem rig with different size baits on the same line.
I will tie on a large bait like a ball head jig then lead the bait with a smaller bait like a mojo. This gives the fish a look that appears like one fish chasing another and that will turn on the bite a lot of times.
I start with a large rod and at least a 40-pound test line. I then tie on a three way swivel and two lengths of leader line. On the short length, usually about three feet I tie the smaller bait.
On the longer leader, about 5-6 feet I tie on the larger lure, which is a larger version of the front lure, or a similar lure like a ball head jig instead of the streamline mojo. As the lure is trolled passed the fish it looks like a big fish is chasing the smaller fish which creates a strike as vicious as any you have ever seen.
It is like the striper wants to kill the lure instead of just eating the bait. I have used this on a smaller scale like when I trout fish I throw a Gulp grub and a Gulp shrimp on the same line with one behind the other, or when I fish for perch, I tie one or more jig heads above the others and it looks like a school of baits.
You take the same technique and make it larger. I have 12-ounce mojo lures that I run in front of a 20-ounce ball head jig. When you add a plastic trailer on the baits it makes for two lures more than 12 inches each. This is not for your average striper but when you go for the big ones you have to give them a presentation that will make them want to strike.
Right now off the coast of Virginia Beach, Va., the big girls have moved in off the three mile mark and have began to make their way into legal waters.
The bite has just begun for the year with the warm weather we have had they are running late and they probably won’t make it down to our coast so if you want to catch a big rock this year you will have to travel.
In Virginia waters it is different than Carolina with the size and area you can fish. The Chesapeake Bay is off limits for keepers and you can’t go beyond the three-mile mark offshore so it limits the fishing area.
The slot size is 17 to 27 inches, and you can keep two fish, but anything between 27 and 37 is off limits.
If you catch one over 37 inches it counts as both of your fish so you can only keep one. In other words, you get two small ones or one big one. The out-of-state license is only $25 for the year for salt water, and you can be at the docks in an hour so it is not as far as you think. If you get a chance to go send me some pictures and a report to email@example.com and I will use it in next week’s report.
What’s biting, where...
The fishing report is looking up with reports from the beach of some fish being caught off the beaches in Hatteras on live bait. The puppy drum have picked up and they seem to be everywhere around the island.
Good keeper size drum have been hitting cut bait from ramp 55 to the sound. The off shore bite had some king fish hitting early in the week but it looks like it has slowed a little right now but that could change any day.
The yellow fin and black fin bite is still out there also when the boats did get out they did well. There is also reports that the blue fin tuna are making a showing, which means if you are in the tuna bite you could get the fight of your life when a blue fin hits.
It is not unusual to catch one while trolling for stripers off the coast.
The local scene is still a rockfish bite with keepers being brought back to the docks in the canal at Coinjock, Manns Harbor Bridge and the Albemarle Sound Bridge in Edenton.
Stretch lure along with swim baits have paid off around the bridges with yellow working well in Edenton and reds are paying off in the Coinjock but that tends to switch with the mood of the fish on that day. There is a rumor that larger fish have moved to the sound bridge area, but I have not got any pictures yet, so we will have to see the proof first. I mean, after all, we are fishermen, so we tend to stretch the truth every now and again.
I got a chance to hit the ponds on the kayak this past week and although I didn’t do very well my buddy did with a nice three-pounder on a swim bait right in the middle of the pond.
I also got a report from Tom Condrey about a nice fish he caught in Halls Creek. He was throwing a crank bait up onto the flats and working it back into the channel when he caught his fish.
If you get a chance to get out I could use the report so send it to my email or hit me up on my face book page Fishing with Mike and check out my new video on how to tie knots. I should have it up by this weekend. Until then it’s tight lines and good luck.