June 21, 2024

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Top 5 Trolling Rigs for Striped Bass

The “dog days of summer” as they’re too often called, see a shift in the attitudes of many striped bass anglers across the East Coast. At times, it feels like the stripers that arrived only months ago have gone into hiding, and when you do locate them with electronics, they won’t touch a thing. However, when striped bass go deep amid warm, uncomfortable conditions, trolling is one of the most effective methods to presenting an artificial bait in a natural fashion. Whether trolling the boat around acres of bunker, or taking the kayak over promising near-shore structure, these essential trolling rigs for striped bass are proven to put fish in the boat.

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Tube-and-Worm Rig

Application: Shallow water, estuaries, warm water, midday

Rod: Shimano Talavera

Reel: Penn Senator 113H2

Line: 45-pound-test Sufix Performance leadcore

Leader: 40- to 50-pound-test Seaguar Inshore fluorocarbon leader

Trolling Speed: 2 knots

Tip: The worm is a crucial part of the tube-and-worm setup. While natural baits like bloodworms or sandworms work great, they tend to get picked off by smaller, undesirable species. Luckily, there are several realistic, cost-effective scented and artificial “worm” replacements that work equally as well, if not better than a real worm. A durable synthetic bait such as a Captain Bruce Otter Tail, Berkley Gulp Sandworm, or Uncle Josh sea rind trailer will provide similar action to a worm while deterring attacks from small nuisance fish like scup and sea bass.

More About Tube-and-Worm:

Tube-and-worm rigs are a fantastic daytime producer of striped bass in shallow environments.

Bunker Spoon

Bunker Spoon Rig

Application: Trophy-fish hunting, fishing around schools of adult bunker

Rod: 7-foot 9-inch Tony Maja Custom Bunker Spoon Rod 

Reel: Penn Senator 113H2 or  Shimano Tekota 800LC

Line: 50-pound-test Tony Maja Ultra-Soft Stainless Steel Trolling Wire

Leader: 60-pound-test Seaguar Inshore fluorocarbon leader

Trolling Speed: 2.5 to 3.5 knots (but watch the rod—when it is pulsing rhythmically, that’s the sweet spot)

Tip: Outfit the boat with rod holders that position the rods parallel to the water. This tactic will give you a wider spread when trolling two Tony Maja Bunker Spoons, preventing tangles and improving lure action. Also, be sure to leash the rods to the boat!

More about Bunker Spoons:

Bunker spoon
The large profile of a bunker spoon resembles the size and action of a wounded menhaden.

Umbrella Rig

Umbrella Rig

Application: Schooling fish, fishing around sand eels, prospecting for fish

Rod: Tony Maja Custom Mojo Rod

Reel: Penn Senator 113H2 or Shimano Tekota 800LC 

Line: 50-pound-test Tony Maja Ultra-Soft Stainless Steel Trolling Wire

Leader: 80- to 100-pound-test Seaguar Blue Label fluorocarbon leader

Trolling Speed: 2 to 4 knots

Tip: Match the hatch on your umbrella rig. When sand eels are the predominant forage, use small sections of surgical tube or Red Gill teasers; when larger baits are present, like herring or peanut bunker, use paddle-tail swim shads like the Blue Water Candy Striper Candy Chain pictured above.

Mojo Rig

Mojo Rig

Application: Deep water, around schools of bunker, prospecting for fish, trophy-fish hunting

Rod: Tony Maja Custom Mojo Rod

Reel: Penn Squall II Levelwind

Line: 65-pound-test PowerPro Maxcuatro Microfilament Braided Line

Leader: 100-pound-test Seaguar Blue Label fluorocarbon leader

Trolling Speed: 2 to 4 knots

Tip: With the boat at trolling speed, drop the Mojo Rig until it hits bottom. MagicTail Bullet Head tandem or MagicTail Round Head Tandem Mojo Rigs will get the job done. Wait a couple seconds, then let out more line until the rig hits bottom again, engage the reel, place the rod in the holder.

More About Mojo Rigs:

Deep Diver Rig

Deep Diver Rig

Application: Prospecting for fish, around bunker schools, off sandy beaches

Rod: Shimano Talavera

Reel: Penn Squall II Levelwind

Line: 50-pound-test PowerPro Maxcuatro Microfilament Braided Line

Leader: 50- to 60-pound-test Seaguar Inshore fluorocarbon leader

Trolling Speed: 4 knots

Tip: Use plugs that troll to different depths in your spread. While stripers will be hugging the bottom most often, at times, a bait swimming through the middle of the water column will get more bites. Different plugs will have different actions, so carry an array of deep divers like the Rapala X-Rap Magnum, Yo-Zuri 3D Magnum Deep Diver, Mann’s Stretch, and Bomber Certified Depth.

Related Content

Article: Mojo Magic

Video: Master the Tube-and-Worm Rig

The post Top 5 Trolling Rigs for Striped Bass first appeared on On The Water.

The post Top 5 Trolling Rigs for Striped Bass appeared first on On The Water.

Did you miss our previous article…
https://www.hardcoregamefishing.com/know-your-striper-plugs-bottle-plugs/

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