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Striper fishing live bait

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  • Striper fishing live bait

    I've been getting into/trying to get into live bait striper fishing the past year or so. Ive got to the point i can usually catch some bait and i have enough rods and equipment that i definitely have no excuse for not catching them, but i havent quite figured it out yet. Mostly deciphering between a school of striper or a school of large bait or catfish etc... i think im just fishing in the wrong spots a lot. is there anyone out there interested in going out? I dont have tons of time to go, but usually once every week or so. I have a fairly junky but functional boat thats usually in the water at the lake thats big enough for a few people.

  • #2
    I went out today from about 4pm to 6pm and yesterday about the same time; lots of bait and looked to be some fish on the sonar starting before the splits over the flats and up past jett island, caught 4” shad / herring pretty easily both days and ive been running 4 downlines between 10-25’ depending what depth it looks like the striper are at and 4 planer boards, but other than a couple bites that didnt hook up no luck. Fished yeaterday on the deep side of jett island around the front of the park beach area and today from the flats before the splits up to the front of the park beach where it seems like the bait gets chased in the evenings. Has anyone been having any luck or are yall fishing uplake more? I hate going uplake when it looks like theres fish where ive been at, but i havent been able to get anything to bite.

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    • #3
      Have you done a charter with Jim Hemby? I'm not much of a live bait fisherman but I have done an outing with him before. He's a master when it comes to reading and deciphering the depth finder and is probably the best on the lake when it comes to live bait striper fishing. May be worth it to do a trip or two with him.

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      • #4
        I second what Kyle says about Hemby. I am not a live bait fisherman either. Big girls should be moving up the ends of the arms if the muddy water ever clears.

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        • #5
          Yeah id love to go out with hemby and hopefully will one day. Ive had enough help from people as it is already that i should have figured it out already lol... Ive been trying to convince some friends to split a trip with me but no luck, and its hard to drop 4-500$ for a day of fishing, although im sure i would learn a lot. Im hoping to get out later today actually and give it a shot again, although ive heard they havent been biting so great. Just good to get out on the water. Id like to go with hemby or tony or someone once a month for a year, and get a good feel for the seasonal patterns and stuff. Ill let yall know if i have any luck or not.

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          • #6
            Caught bait just north of days bridge (about 4-6” shad) and kept going north past the s turns, but diddnt see much after it got shallower than 20’. after the s turns it was mostly iced over so i turned around and trolled 6 planers and 2 downlines from about where the no wakesurf bueys are to in front of hunters, hooked up one decent one about 25” at almost where it splits north if hunters in about 18’ of water. that was about it. Anyone having better luck elsewhere?Click image for larger version

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            • #7
              I haven't had much luck either, just been getting into it, very difficult. Thank you for the reports

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              • #8
                great pix, dood! well done!
                sigpic

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                • #9
                  Went out today in the morning till a out 11; looked like striper on the sonar and put downlines down to them in about 25-30’ of water on the north side of stubbs bridge and also some near rose valley, had rods bend a couple of times but no hook-ups. Hopefully tomorrow is better. Anyone catching any yet?

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                  • #10
                    Anyone catch any striper the last few days?

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                    • #11
                      Rookie striper fisherman here. We went out for the first time on Sunday. Found what appeared to be bait around the 208 bridge but had zero luck in catching any. May have all been too deep? I am throwing a 5' cast net. Should we be looking further up the lake for bait in shallower water this time of year? I am used to catching bait with the cast net in shallower water that i can see them and throw at rather than trying to locate them on the sonar. Any help would be appreciated!

                      Trolled and threw some rattle traps for a bit over what the sonar was showing as fish around dike 3 and up just above the 208 bridge without so much as a bite.
                      Chris

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                      • #12
                        Welcome aboard!

                        Bait will up and down in the water column, depending on the predator fish are doing - deeper when they're not being bothered, shallower when the predator fish are pushing them up. Your electronix are gonna be invaluable to you when it comes to locating bait. May just be a matter of weight on the net. Some of the striper doods will chime in.
                        sigpic

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                        • #13
                          Yeah; ive been catching most of my bait from the splits uplake to hunters landing. If the bait is deep i think youll need a bigger net than 5’. Im throwing a 10’ net thats 1.5lbs per foot, i got it at highpoint. Talk to tim or carlos there if you want to get a bigger one, they will treat you right and they know more about it than i do. If you want to go out one day im happy to show you how to catch them using sonar in deeper water; its not too bad, but the windier it is and the deeper they are the tougher it is. Around stubbs bridge has been real good for bait lately. If you want to stick with the small net try to go uplake till you stop seeing them on the sonar and turn around and catch the shallowest ones you can find. I caught some 3-5” shad in about 15-20’ of water right before hunters landing today. I should have tried fishing from there to stubbs bridge but i had to get back for family stuff and when i went out this evening (4:30-6p) i tried fishing them near dike 3 just to try it and see, but no luck. Seemed like there were a couple people casting to them in the current that were catching smaller ones though. Im hoping to get to go out wed. Maybe or this friday and try again.

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                          • #14
                            Try throwing 4" to 5" swim baits on a 1/4 or 3/8 ounce jighead at dike 3. you can usually catch a few fish there.
                            Kirk
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                            • #15
                              Thanks for the tips guys! Just ordered up a 9' cast net with 1 1/2lbs per foot weights. Hopefully this guy will sink a bit faster than the cheap 5' one I have been using. Going to be a couple of weeks before we can get back on the water. I think we will launch up at highpoint next time and try to focus on the upper part of the lake. Mark, it would be awesome to catch up with you sometime and have you show me the ropes of the deep water bait if we could have our schedules line up! I have a lot to learn on this lake and about striper fishing in general.
                              Chris

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