Sunday, May 10, 2009

Matching the Prey

Here's what some inexperienced fishermen don't get when fishing a plug or lure. You are attempting to match a prey item that stripers are feeding on.

I was out this weekend in my brother's boat in Narragansett Bay fishing for stripers, and it was obvious that many fishermen did not get the above concept. There were tons of stripers rolling and whirling. They were after small bait, bay anchovies to be exact (see photo at right). These were small, silvery/white, slim baitfish, roughly 2-3 inches long. We were killing the bass on small white Cocahoes mounted on 1/4 and 3/8 oz. jigheads. These artificials were a good imitators of bay anchovies in terms of size, color, movement and silhouette. And, they really produced. We picked up multiple fish on just about every drift along feeding schools of fish.

Yet, I saw many boaters going fishless. Some of these clueless fishermen were using large storm lures. Still, others were using large 5 1/2 inch poppers. Others were trolling large swimmers. This situation points out the need to stock small jiglike lures that are killers in the early going when the initial run of bait is small. Lures like small bucktail jigs, Cocahoes, small Storm lures, small poppers (3 in.) and fly teasers all would work when the bait is small. Save that big stuff for later in the season when large menhaden are around.