Deep in the clear water of upper Wilson Lake below Wheeler Dam, I see a flash of silver, and then I see the fish clearly. On Cape Cod Bay in particular, live eels account for many big striped bass each spring, summer and fall. I let the jig sink, and then I start a sharp retrieve that provides motion to the jig. I can count on one hand the good nights in the surf I’ve had when it was bright from the moon. Know Where To Go During the summer and the early fall, fishermen are much more likely to find the striped bass in the lower main lake. Two methods work with live bait. They simply go deep and head for the next county. The bite is usually best in the early morning or late afternoon. So, can these trophy stripers really live in Alabama waters in July, and can they actually be caught in July? But between the two extremes comes your best bet for some of the most exciting fishing freshwater has to offer. And they need cool, well-oxygenated water. Striper will hit the slab spoon on the lift and fall so make sure you keep slack out of the line to detect all strikes. Winter. I can’t even slow it down. After a good chase and some good luck, I have the powerful fish under the boat. One of my oldest mentors, Matt Squillante, gave me a lot of useful advice, but one of the most important things he taught me was to fish all northeast storms. Well over 20 pounds, the fish holds still so I can have my trophy pictures taken. I need to learn to be careful of what I wish for. Stripers prefer water temperature around 55- to 68-degrees. In daylight, bass hightail it to deeper offshore structure. The summer surf is different than any other time of the striper season. At dawn, I’ll time my arrival for when the moon is close to the western horizon and there is still some darkness. Live eels can be used to fish for bass in deep water. “Two distinct patterns emerge at this time, and they’re on opposite ends of the lake. Finally, there is really no substitute for time on the water. If you’re fishing for a giant striper, you need a good lure that will attract the monstrous strikes. The wading surf fisherman can find these deeper holes too, just a little closer to shore. Sign up for our FREE Fishing Reports Today! Simply put, however, these big stripers and hybrids will tear cheap gear to shreds. That usually means a clearing northwest or southwest wind. During the early summer especially, freshwater striped bass fishing can be awesome at night in conjunction with the spawn of schooling bait like alewives and shad. The solid thump is replaced by an energetic run as the rapid and powerful beat of a strong tail is transferred through my line to my hands on the rod. If you don't believe me, go try to land a double-digit striper with a bargain-bin spoon or blade bade. You have to use something with a little meat to it. If you fish a spot for more than ten minutes with no bites, then move to another spot. Dead Stick Fishing-Freshwater Striper Lures, Jig Heads. Jig dead shad, spoons, and jigs here. Most of their diet is composed of large gizzard and threadfin shad. If fishing is your favorite summertime activity, then Smith Mountain Lake in Virginia is where you want to be. Alabama’s true freshwater trophy fish—the striped bass. When a big stripper clobbers a surface bait, it’s the toughest battle in freshwater fishing. Environmental factors had a major impact on fishing this summer. These are saltwater fish stocked in a freshwater lake. Hybrid stripers have a wider body and rarely exceed 20 pounds. You can investigate likely striper … It deserves its life, and some other angler deserves a chance to catch this trophy, too. If you are on a lake that freezes over, you can catch hybrid striped bass ice fishing. “For hooks, there is only one choice: Daiichi Bleeding Bait circle hooks. One is a technique similar to fishing a plastic worm for bass. Deep-diving crankbaits are also very effective for stripers. So, where can we find the right combination of food and cool water that the trophy stripers want? Cloudy days can be better than bright, sunny days.”, He continues, “When fishing the tailraces, you have got to learn to read the seams between turbines. They become strictly nocturnal inshore feeders during the warmer months. The dog days of summer will be spent in deep water near the dam fishing live-bait. Same goes for extremely cold water. Of course, always wear your life-vest.”. fish such as shad. I’m desperate to catch something. I often add a pool umbrella inside a seat pedestal when fishing in direct sunlight for long periods of time. Summer bass will lie in wait in this deeper water for some baitfish to stray over the edge. So take what you learned in this story and put it to use this summer. Fishing live eels is an exciting and effective ways of landing big striped bass up to and above the 40 lb (18 kg) mark. You can catch freshwater stripers many ways including casting lures, fly fishing and drifting with bait. With a solid thump that stops my jig and shocks my arms, a big ‘un has decided that my jig and twister-tail looks too much like something good to eat. Concentrating your efforts five days before and after will usually provide you with some nice fish. Anglers looking for trophy stripers up the creeks need to move slowly, quietly, and they should be prepared for a more deliberate presentation. My Downrigger Tips for Hot Summertime Striper Action - I want to thank all of you for the positive feedback and comments on our channel. A long rod will help you to cast further and with more accuracy – it will also let you use lighter baits. It’s worth fishing with artificial lures at dusk and dawn, when stripers will be moving into or out of their inshore territories. These lures are deadly on the bigger stripers positioned behind rock piles in the direct currents below the dams. Stripers move into the headwaters of river-run reservoirs and find near-perfect water temps and plenty of dissolved oxygen, along with a never-ending supply of forage fish. Our buddy Brian Barton is a professional guide on the big lakes of the Tennessee River in North Alabama, and he says, “Yes! I can’t stop this fish. Silver Hooks will cost you fish! “Fishing around power dams is always dangerous. 1. This circle hook allows for an extremely high percentage of hookups.”. He grunts as he lifts the fish into the boat, and then I realize just how big this striped bass is. The more time you spend surf fishing, the more you learn, and the more you learn, the more you will catch. The dark of the moon is decidedly better for striper fishing. These spring-fed creeks and streams flowing into the big lakes may be deceptively small and narrow. Go to your favorite spots or find some new ones, fish at the appropriate times and in the appropriate conditions, use the aforementioned artificials as well as some of your favorites, and you will no doubt fake out some summertime stripers. Here are five tips to help you catch a keeper. Stripers Searching for SML Stripers. However, there are advantages to fishing the small streams for trophy summer stripers. Bank-fishing access is outstanding on both sides of the tailwater, but this section may not provide suitable striper habitat through the heart of summer because of pump-back operations, Bales said. Most lakes have one or more marinas with lighted boat docks and slips that attract baitfish such as threadfin and gizzard shad. Photo by Ed Mashburn. We may anchor on a deep hump or set up a slow drift over structure. Staying on top of the movement of our striped bass requires being on the water everyday. Fish in the upper-twenties with an occasional 30-pound striper are common.”, Fishing below the dams in summer means finding fish of all kinds. During the dog-days of summer fishing can grow tough, and chumming for striped bass, jigging, and ... if you skewer them with a thick, heavy hook), and gently toss your bait just beyond the light-line intersections. If a bait they like is offered, they’re going to bite it. A surfcaster who can find these locales will almost always find stripers. During the summer doldrums, bass feed most actively at night or dawn when the water is coolest. When it kicks and recovers, I let it go. With so many different lures out there, it can be easy to get lost in all the choices. I’m presently staying for the week out on Sekonnet Point). Lake night fishing – how to fish for stripers. My favorite summer striper fishing occurs in much shallower thermal refuges. Yet, lakes offering miles of flowing, cool, oxygen-rich tributary streams and rivers area balm for impoundment stripers fleeing warming still water. “If I’m fishing in the creeks with cold water spring areas, I prefer to use cut skipjack or live gizzard shad. Captain Brian Barton advises, “When fishing in hot weather, it’s important to remain hydrated and protect yourself from the sun with quality sunscreen products. The water is moving just a bit, and the shadows under the trees on the shoreline are growing lighter. Many striped bass lakes don’t provide sufficiently oxygenated deep water for hot weather striper survival. Captain Brian says, “The fish in the creeks relating to the cooler water tend to be larger in size. This one is great for topwater fishing Tawakoni Hybrid Striper! I have fished those three islands in the summer and have done well using artificials. Artificial lures work so much better when the water is white! The first thing to remember about this time of year is that bass become nocturnal. Heck, one of the best striper fishermen I know wears splash pants and hip boots. Your email address will not be published. The first one inhaled a 2/0 “Platinum Blonde” streamer, tied by the legendary Joe Brooks, in Virginia’s portion of the Roanoke River when dew was still fresh on my fly fishing obsession. Using Live Fishing Bait on Striper Bass Dale Wilson, a guide on Smith Mountain Lake in Virginia, lands husky stripers casting and retrieving white jigs with a saddle hackle tied in along the flanks of the lure for extra flutter appeal. Well, there are a couple of places in the North Alabama lakes that meet all of the needs of stripers. The best fishing is during the summer months, especially in the northeast along the coast of eastern Canada and into the St Lawrence. Freshwater Striper fishing on Lake Lanier can be very challenging which is why many people hire a Lake Lanier Fishing Guide. The world record hybrid striped bass weighed 27 pounds 5 ounces. When fishing for stripers, a rod that is around 6 or 7 feet will be ideal. If you are searching for a Dead Stick Fishing Jig Head, you want a 90-degree bend black platinum hook to start with. 1. A Fly Fishing Obsession . I would add to that list by indicating that I really like to fish shoreline spots that have some white water. A metal-lip plug, a “light” Red Fin or a Yo-Zuri Surface Cruiser cast into a whitewater-filled rocky cove might just produce that one decent bass of the night. Using down-riggers to troll baits that will run 20-to-30 feet deep works well. There are big, dangerous things down in the swift water, too. The Dead Stick Jig Head should ride quietly in the water! First, the turbulent and swift water just below the massive dams of Lake Wheeler and Lake Pickwick are classic and dependable places where stripers find the conditions ideal for survival. A short rod, on the other hand, will let you set the hook quickly and will work better in close waters. This cast puts my big, heavy jig into some potentially dangerous territory. The second location where trophy striped bass are found in July is not as obvious as the fast water below the big dams. The Striped Bass, which will be the main focus of this discussion, is the largest in size and weight of the genus. (Hybrids are stocked in these lakes.) These currents can change greatly in a very short period of time when turbines are shut down or added. A seam is a region of slack water where the currents of two turbines meet. You can catch limits very quickly, but remember, this time of year it's very hard to release a fish. The striped bass population is in fair condition and should be similar to the last couple of years. Can you tell me where I might have success surf casting at any of the nearby beaches. Nothing in my striper box was even close. The striper, also known as the striped bass or rockfish, is an extremely popular recreational fish found in North America. striper Fishing Lake Hickory. I’ve been using Hopkins and some poppers. All Rights Reserved. Bait is pushed into the seam making them easy targets for feeding fish. You need to be mentally sharp at all times and pay close attention to your surroundings. During the summer, we occasionally get storms that produce winds from the northeast. Also, weather conditions can change quickly, so anglers will need to keep an eye on the sky. Block Island, Cuttyhunk and Martha’s Vineyard all have large populations of summering striped bass. When the dams are not generating, the fish tend to suspend in the water column in the deepest water present.”. Nighttime and even daytime action can be very good during these blows, but extreme caution must be exercised. If an angler takes the time to explore the feeder creeks and streams, some of these spring areas can be located, and some world-class fishing can result. But after the peaceful dawn and early morning, a little excitement would make things better. The big stripers won’t be far away. Rivers offer far better summer striper habitat than slackwater impoundments. Brian Barton. They are an open water fish. The striper pattern during September is a continuation of the dependable summer pattern of live-bait fishing. Do not fret, the bass will be there. “A quality rod, reel, and line are all essential for battling big stripers in strong currents,” he says. It deserves its life, and some other angler deserves a chance to catch this trophy, too.”. “If I’m fishing a tailrace, a 1-oz Mister Twister hair jig bumped along the bottom is hard to beat. The sun is barely up, and this July morning is already getting hot. Lake Norman. VA Freshwater Fishing. Though lighted docks are a year-round hot spot, be sure to check them at night during the summer. Notably, we experienced record ocean temperatures. Fish in the upper-twenties with an occasional 30-pound striper are common.” But this is the true freshwater trophy fish of Alabama—a striped bass of well over 20 pounds. Powerful and very changeable currents are created when water is released through the power-generating turbines of the dams. The cooler water of the springs create “thermal refuges” of deeper cooler water which permits stripers to spend much of the time in summer in safe and healthy conditions. But one of my favorite tactics is trolling. Hybrids also school underneath the turbulent water of the Tennessee River dams.”, Captain Brian continues, “Stripers are very aggressive fish. This will enable you to cast without having to deal with a cumbersome rod. The summer surf is different than any other time of the striper season. Instead of just riding around looking over a lake, you’re fishing while you explore it. Buggs Island Lake, Striper Fishing Opportunities by VDGIF. I’ve been lucky enough to have fly fished for freshwater stripers since their advent in the mid-’60s. I am not a fan of surf fishing on bright, moonlit nights. September 11, 2019 September 11, 2019 cshockley4 Bass Fishing, Fishing, Lake Fishing, Smith Mountain Lake, Striped Bass, Stripers Leave a comment. This is one reason “wet-suiting” has become popular; it enables summertime surfcasters to get out to the deeper water that may only be a cast and a half from shore but will be crawling with bass. If you are afraid to fish the big waves and wild white water generated by powerful summertime low pressure systems, then wait until the storm winds down and fish your spot(s) the night after the first clearing wind blows through. With 32,000 acres of water and 520 miles of shoreline, Lake Norman is one of he largest lakes and best areas to catch striped bass. I work it toward the surface. This spoon has a smaller profile to match the hatch in early summer with a faster fall rate. And the best night fishing is along the central coast of North America during the mid summer months of July and August. Because pump-back operations did not begin until late last summer, striper fishermen have not yet learned how a complete summer of full-scale operations will affect dog days fishing. In daylight, bass hightail it to deeper offshore structure. Got a rod and reel for freshwater stripers? “I only use seven-foot B‘n’M Silver Cat medium-action spinning rods. Either the hooks or the split rings will break. Once we know when and where to look for a trophy striped bass in July, then it’s very important to make sure we have the right gear and bait. This looks to be a good day. The birds are starting their day, making their morning calls and looking for something to eat. When the first rumble of thunder is heard—and it can be hard to hear over the sound of the rushing water below a dam—anglers need to make plans to make a run back to the ramps. During spring, striped bass may be found in the upper end of the lake and in the river above the lake as fish travel upstream to spawn. This striper took a Striper Pig fly in an upriver tributary of a large impoundment. Many anglers will argue about which kind of a baits work best for stripers. The first thing to remember about this time of year is that bass become nocturnal. You’ll have to do your homework if you don’t have the experience of surf fishing many areas. “Good current along with normal or above normal pool levels is the key,” Captain Brian says. A closer look at the forage being pushed to the surface by the blitzing bass revealed newly hatched threadfin shad measuring less than two inches long. They need lots of food; primarily smaller. Some just go for the night, fishing hard from dusk to dawn and sleeping on the return trip. Some of the streams that feed into Wilson and Pickwick Lakes have springs which add their much cooler water to the normal flow of the streams. Save your efforts for the darker times and watch TV on the full moon nights. I’ve tried some surf casting on Lloyd’s Beach, with no luck. Another strategy I use during the summer is to fish the beach during stormy weather. I manage to hold on, keep my tired hands on the rod and reel, and gain enough line for my buddy to slide an oversized landing net under the fish when I roll it over at the surface. “If you see schooling fish chasing shad on the surface, go to them immediately and swim a Sassy Shad just under the surface, or cast a live shad with no weight into the school.”. Follow this link to see the World Record Freshwater Striped Bass. During the summer I like to fish after dark, I like to fish around the new moon period, and I like to fish with lures. If your state allows, you can rig tip-ups with live bait to include gizzard shad, threadfin shad, and alewives. Striped bass die when they are exposed to warm water. However, there are advantages to fishing the small streams for trophy summer stripers. Any time we fish below the big dams in North Alabama, we need to be careful. Freshwater Fishing; Sites & Forecasts; Striper; Striper. The key to finding trophy stripers in summer is to find cool water and lots of food fish. Get outdoor trends, data, new products, and tips delivered to your inbox. I think it is important to note though that stripers will come in to the shoreline during the daytime in the summer months if there is a storm. A kayak fishing enthusiast, he loves paddling into those hidden honey holes in search of all types of gamefish. Here’s an Uglystick! Then my buddy asks,” Do you want to go get another one?”, Striped bass have very particular living needs. Locate it and there will be stripers in it more often than not. About Striped Bass; Striped Bass Top Spots ; The following areas were selected by Florida's freshwater fisheries biologists as being the most likely to be highly productive for stripers, striper hybrids (sunshine bass) and white bass during 2020. Then the fish decides somewhere else would be a better place for it to be, and it leaves the dam and races downstream. Take a look at my fly store www.freshwaterstriperflies.com for Striper Pigs and other good striper flies Furthermore, I’ll try to get out when it’s cloudy or there is some stormy weather around the full moon. I know which ones have white water around the rocks or shoreline or at the mouth of an inlet on certain wind conditions. Directly below the dams, the stripers tend to run from five to 20 pounds with an average of about 12 pounds. Boy, was he right. Any hints you can provide would be immensely appreciated. Summertime and the living and fly fishing are easy - if anglers focus on cool water refuges for freshwater stripers. Freshwater fish aren’t supposed to be this big. Of the last four 40-pound bass I have landed, three have come right after nor’easters and in coves that face east. July is one of the best times of the year to take stripers on Pickwick Lake. Look for areas of deep water near a raised hump. Stripers usually remain in the area and come looking for disoriented baitfish that have been pushed into east-facing shorelines as a result of the storm. Believe me, it’s well worth the effort. Hooking and losing a striped bass of trophy size is not the best way to determine that the tackle being used is not the right stuff. This is especially true on waters new to me. They are a nomadic fish that can migrate up to 8 miles a day. It is easier to fish Lake Norman during he cooler months because there are a lot less boats on the lake. If you want to be successful at catching big bass in the surf from mid-June until mid-September, at least around Rhode Island waters where I fish, you must fish after dark. Clouds negate the brightness and those nights can produce fish as well as new moon eves. Using topwater baits that closely mimic alewives is the way to go. Many moons ago, while I was fly fishing for surface-feeding stripers on Virginia’s Smith Mountain Lake, repeated casts with a size 2/0 green and white Deceiver produced nothing but frustration. I use the 7/0 circle hook when using large shad for bait. Believe me, you are not missing anything! The world record freshwater striped bass weighed 69 pounds 9 ounces. Seasonal Considerations for Freshwater Striper Fishing. I know several guys who routinely board a ferry for shore-fishing excursions. The ghost towns around well-known striper spots are populated by tired-eyed fishermen, looking for that next blitz. If the fish are suspended, I like to throw a Mister Twister Saltwater Sassy Shad in white/pearl or white pearl/black back. Summer is the only time of year that many northern lakes and rivers get warm for the bass to spawn. Then I ease the fish back into the clear water. “I have three rigs I use depending on where I’m fishing and the conditions that are present,” Captain Barton advises. When summer’s fluking and tourism passes, the same spring craze is reinvigorated by the reverse migration of the stripers as they head south. A quality line like Vicious fluorocarbon in 17 or 20 lb test will work well. A striper is an eating machine. These are large, powerful fish, and if rod, reel, line or any other equipment is not up to snuff, the angler will soon learn all about it in a sad and depressing way when the fish breaks free and the line goes slack. Captain Brian says, “The fish in the creeks relating to the cooler water tend to be larger in size. I can remember that of those productive nights, fewer still occurred in the summer. Ed Mashburn writes extensively about fishing for Great Days Outdoors. However, I’ve dressed stripers with small crappie and white bass in their stomachs.”, “Stripers will surface many times in the early morning or late evening,” he adds. Knowing where to go surf fishing is another important part of catching summertime bass. That can be the magic hour. At times, dusk and dawn can be extremely productive, especially around full moon periods. John, I’ve had success on 3rd beach and second beach in the corner by the cliff, Your email address will not be published. “This kind of fish is too good a thing to only catch once. I focus on fishing around the new moon periods in July, August and September. Alabama Trophy Deer Hunts for Every Budget. If the water is too hot, they may feed shallow occasionally, but quickly return to the oxygenated rich, cooler water. Summer striper fishing is the most productive time of the year. I have been fishing the surf for a while and have a repertoire of surf locations where I like to fish. Best Time for Striper Fishing in Texas-Fall (Sept-Oct) This kind of fish is too good a thing to only catch once.

freshwater striper fishing in the summer

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