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I want to do an article for the Hook, Line & Sinker on stripers -- the overlooked fish.

If any of y'all target them with any regularity, give me a holler.

Let's go fishing for them, tell me how it's done and I'll make you famous.
 

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Come on up, bring a bottle or two and we can do a little freshwater striper fishing. It's a great bite right now if you stay on them.

I'm sure it's a different fishery there due to temperature differences but for starters here's how I'd try out your rivers.

If it's been very cold recently and the water is cold I'd look for an artificial warm water discharge such as a power plant or manufacturing facility that uses lots of water for cooling. Using a depthfinder with a temp guage I'd drift or motor downstream looking for bait pods and hopefully find some that looked like fireworks with stripers actively feeding.You can either catch bait and drop them down or if they are shallow I'd use planer boards and give the stripers plenty of leeway. Balloons are good for any depth you want to cover if you are drifting. To cover a little more area I'd suggest using planer boards or believe it or not outriggers help if you've got nothing else. You can use them off the rod tip or get as technical as you want with a seperate planer system. Even if your drifting or slow trolling I'd keep a bait near the bottom too just in case.

If the river has inverted due to extremely cold weather then I'd use downriggers and get the baits down to the stripers slowtrolling with an electric trolling motor or if the current is strong enough use an outboard.Up here rainbow trout are like candy to big lazy river stripers. If you can't get trout then skipjack shad are ok. Skipjack will take small spoons or sabikis so they are easy to catch and you don't have to keep them alive long.

If it hasn't been very cold recently and water temps are relatively mild then I'd watch for birds and fish "rolling" on the surface in the morning and right before dark. Luckily stripers are schooling fish so if you find them just stay with them and they will eventually start feeding. They can move tens of miles a day so don't be suprised to find them gone in a matter of minutes. If you fish frequently they aren't too hard to keep up with. Unfortunately I don't fish often anymore so I have to do a little searching each outing unless I can get some help from a fishing buddy.

Looking forward to hearing Brant's take on your fishery.Am I close Brant?
 

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Goodluck,

It sounds easy, but I've fish the last 4 months for nothing but Stripers in the Blackwater. I've trolled, used live bait, andcasted. You name it. I've only manageda few number of fish, andno big ones. The southern rivers are tough. Not an overwhelming number of fish.I could be all wrong, butI'vefished hard for them. Still trying. Best of luck to all those of youfishing for Stripers out there. I hope your doing better than me this season.
 

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David Ridenour (1/12/2008)If you can't get trout then skipjack shad are ok. Skipjack will take small spoons or sabikis so they are easy to catch and you don't have to keep them alive long.
Ah, yes! Skipjack! Best striper/catfish bait in the world on moving water, ESPECIALLY under large river dams! A technique I also use back home in Louisiana under the Red River lock and dam south of Shreveport is using the large corks with a stopper on the line that allow your line to have enough below the water to be in the depths of the fish but to drift into the backwater of the dam where you'll find some of your largest fish! Good luck!
 

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Sorry most of my Striper experience was on the Coosa River when I was growing up. We trolled for them (they liked it deep and fast) using Hellbenders. Sometimes we used Hellbenders with Rooster tails off the back.

But thanks for reminding me of how much fun they were, I will probably give it a shot in the Spring.
 

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We used to catch them off the George Andrews Dam in Columbia Alababma when I was growing up. This was 20 years ago.
 

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Hey, I live in Swansea, Massachusetts. I'm 20 and have been fishing the Atlantic since I could stand upright. It's really interesting to hear that there are Stripers in the Pensacola area! They are the most commonly sought inshore species up here.(Along with the bluefish.) I will be moving to Navarre in just 2 weeks, and I'm looking forward to some great fishing! How big are the Stripiers usually down there? By the way, these forums are great! I am getting some EXCELLENT information from all of your experienced members! Thank you!
 

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look for birds, wireline troll BIG bucktails or shad along structure . But if you want a nice big cow striper drift eels on the bottom on deep structure. Come up here right now they're as thick at the mout of the chesapeake bay as the snapper down there.
 
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