Thursday, November 12, 2009

Changing Tactics at Night

By day most fishermen are killing the schoolies. Indeed, we have a bonanza of 15-24 inch schoolies right now along the south shore. These fish are mostly hitting some type of small jig....bucktails, Cocahoes on jigheads or other plastic jig type lure. However, these lure cease to be effective after dark. Darkness is a time to change tactics.

Most fishermen are packing up and leaving as it gets dark and they are missing some quality fishing for keeper stripers. To catch these, you will have to unsnap those jigs and go with something more attractive to large stripers that are prowling the surf at night and looking for a meaty meal.

Here is my top four list:

1. Hogys- These plastic stick baits move enticingly in the water like an eel and are my top producers in the night surf. I like the 9 inch black skinny Hogy hooked Texas style with a large 6/0 curved hook up front. I've also used the large rigged Hogys with success. I like to use this at the end of a leader that has a black Deceiver fly as a teaser. Cast and twitch along on the retrieve.

2. Swimmers- In shallow, moving water I like some type of swimmer. I like the plastic Bombers in shallow water breachways, especially in the backwaters. In the open surf where there is big bait, try a large wooden swimmer like a Danny. Go with the extremes in color, either white (or light color) or black.

3. Needlefish- These are hot where long casts are needed or when there is a wind in your face that prevents a long cast with a Hogy. They work well off beaches or shallow water, rocky areas. I usually fiddle around with fat and skinny models depending on my casting needs. Once again, go with the extremes in color, either a white/yellow or a black.

4. Big Bucktails- Fishing a deep water breachway? Go with a large bucktail jig of 1-2 oz. spiced with a pork rind tail. Fish it right along the bottom with bounces of the rod tip.