Sand eels, silversides, mullet and menhaden. Throughout the season, the northeast’s sand beaches host a variety of food sources for striped bass. Mix the abundance of bait with lateral current and ever-shifting sandy structure, and sand beaches can be some of the most rewarding, and most challenging places to target striped bass. However, a surfcaster who carries these seven striper lures to the sand beaches will be well-equipped for most scenarios in the open surf.
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- One of the best ways to imitate that easy meal is with a floating or slow-sinking needlefish, like the 24/7 Lures 7-inch Needlefish. Cast it beyond the bar and slowly retrieve it over the shallows.
- When the fish are close by, perhaps sitting in the trough inside an outer sandbar, a small, slender paddletail, like the Tsunami Holographic Sand Eel will seemingly outfish just about anything else—especially in the fall.
- Never walk the beach without an old-school swimmer such as the Cotton Cordell Red Fin. If you prefer, load it to help it cast further and swim deeper, or fish it as-is, especially on calm nights, when it will leave a quivering V-wake on the surface.
- A classic topwater popper like the Atom Striper Swiper still has a home on the beach. It remains a reliable way to draw stripers to the surface with a slow-chugging retrieve.
- You’d be remiss not to bring a member of the new generation of minnow swimmers, like the Shimano Colt Sniper Jerkbait. This lure carries internal weights that help it cast further, and it packs a tighter, more frantic action than some of the minnow plugs of old.
- To provide a larger profile, either to match bigger baitfish or tempt bigger fish, a Danny-style plug like the Gibbs Lures Danny Surface Swimmer, is a top pick for the beach. A Danny swims at the surface, allowing it to be fished in very shallow water. It is at its best in good surf, when the action of the plug speeds up and slows down in time with approaching waves.
- And whatever you throw, don’t forget to add a bucktail or soft-plastic teaser, like the Red Gill, above it. Sandy-beach bass are often keyed on smaller baitfish, and will ignore a larger offering, but that large lure can serve as a perfect delivery system for a smaller, better match of the “hatch.”
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