(Picture: Pray for the Striper)
I went saltwater fishing with my brother. We went to Captree State Park in southern Long Island. There, we took a party boat, Captain Gillen II. Weather was not so promising: swing of pressure system. And it was cold... br.... We did bait fishing with clam. As usual at a party boat, we used heavy tackles. What we did was to drift away our hook along the current and wait. I often gave jigging motion. At first spot, I caught a small one, 25 inches. At fourth spot, finally, I hit the bull's eye. There was a strong nibble, then I set hook. It gave me an awesome 10 minute fight! Even my tough casting reel made noise of dragging, which I have never seen before. I could not be so sure whether I could win the game. But I landed the monster. It was a beautiful fish, and it was a keeper which all of us wished so badly. I didn't measure this, but it was easily over 30 inches.
At home, I made sashimi with the Striper. It was not easy to fillet such a big one. I could get enough and more sashimi to feed six people. Taste was so good and fresh. We really enjoyed it. Here is a picture of Striper sashimi. It was the best day in my fishing life! I caught the biggest fish and made food of it to feed my friends.
Here are some tips for Striper fishing when you go fishing on a party boat:
-Reel: pick a fully spooled reel. If it is not well spooled, ask a mate to switch it. You need reel out line a lot in order to drift your bait.
-Bait: Many party boats use clam meat for bait. You may think that they are too big. But don't worry about it. You can use a whole clam for one hook. Striped bass has a large mouth, and there is no problem to attack a big bait.
-Line: I think it is a real key of success. You need reel out line long enough to drift your bait. My suggestion is to reel out till you cannot feel the full weight of your sinker. It means that your sinker hits the bottom and does not move, while your bait drift along the current. It may sounds hard. But when you try it by yourself, you can understand what I said. When you give long line out, the most troublesome problems is line tangle. It is annoying, but it seems unavoidable. Alway mind other's line to reduce your chance of tangling.
-Sinker: Your mate may set the tackle for you. But usually, they put a heavier sinker than necessary. Always, lighter sinker is better because it makes little resistance when fish hit your bait. At this time, I could catch one after switching the sinker way light one.
-Bait Action: I believe action is not that significant for bait fishing. Light jigging may be enough.
-Location: Tail of a boat is the best. Because you need drift your bait away to back of the boat. You can do this at each side, but tail is most convenient. When you set hook, you need move to the tail to land fish.
(Picture: I am fighting with the almighty striper. You can see the heavy rod bending)