The striped bassfish can be very elusive at times for any number of reasons. But having said that, catching this predator is not that difficult if you are prepared.
And striped bass fishing is no different then anything else, there is no free lunch – you´ll need to practice and be prepared to bring home a boatload of the Striper.
Prepare & Practice
Before you attempt to practice you should make sure your spool contains enough line. The line should fill up to the bottom of the chamber on the top edge of the spool. A full spool does not have to revolve so quickly as the line peels off on the cast. If the spool is only half full you are going to need more force to overcome greater rotational inertia in getting the spool going. This is sure to result in problems.
You should treat yourself to a set of casting plugs. They are not expensive and will make practice in the back yard that much more enjoyable.
Choose the biggest plug, as this is the best to get the feel with when you are first starting out.
You should sit down, holding the rod and reel in the correct position, and with the rod point in the air. You then allow the plug to drop to the floor, feathering the line as it drops, but only stopping the spool as the plug reaches the floor.
By continually doing this exercise for a minimum of 20 minutes, you teach your thumb the process of controlling the spool.
As the line drops to the floor you should be able to feel the rotating spool, tickling your thumb as it spins. Your 20 minutes practice teaches your thumb to feather the line on the way out to the target, to stop the lure or bait when it reaches its target, and not to point North.
Twenty minutes is not much when you consider the practice required for the golf swing! If you’re prepared to do this the advice is well worth heeding.
Having driven the family mad with your 20 minute feathering exercise, you should then be ready to take on the dog in the back yard.
Once outside, flex the rod back and forth whilst holding the spool with your thumb. This is not a 20 minute exercise – just flex the rod back and forth to get the feel of the rod loading and unloading. It is a continuous backwards and forward motion taking the rod well back, but don’t stop the rod in the back position
Practice at home
You will by now have conditioned you thumb, brain and arm to all the essential things they’re required to know, do and feel, during the cast. For your first few casts you should aim to lob your plug to a given target. Make sure your reel is tilted to the side, your grip is relaxed, and your elbow is by your side. There is no need to bring your upper arm into the action during the cast.
Your first casts should be gentle and high looping. Keep the movement fluid and gentle. Glance at the target you wish to cast to, but watch the plug as it glides through the air. As it travels you should be feathering the line with your thumb, ever so gently. As it reaches the target zone, your thumb should stop the spool.
That 20 to 30 minutes practice in the lounge will make the whole deal so easy. In a matter of a few casts you will find your confidence soaring. Once that feeling is achieved a whole new world of fishing pleasure will open its door to you.
Not surprising to find kids learn this technique quickly and very soon are able to land the lure in a bucket at thirty paces.
Although these reels are called baitcasters, they are best suited to lure casting. Sure you can cast bait with them too, but they are the only way to go when tossing lures for species from trout and largemouth bass to striped bass.
When you’re using artificial lures, the baitcaster is the best because it’s extremely accurate, is a one-handed operation, and doesn’t twist the line. The baitcaster is also excellent when fishing for bigger fish of any species on light line. Once you start using them you will be hooked better than the fish you are chasing.
There are some terrific baitcasting rods and reels out there waiting for you to discover them. Today’s units are light and extremely comfortable to use, making three to four hour’s casting easy, provided you take the time to buy right.There are many good baitcasters out on the market and most are very well designed. When buying a baitcaster, mount the reel on a rod and get the feel of it. If the release lever forces your thumb out wide, or if the thing feels uncomfortable, try another.
For really light lures and loads you may find a threadline reel easier to get distance with, but it will not be as much fun, and you may sacrifice a little accuracy.