Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Playing a Striper/Bluefish Mix

Bluefish are around in good numbers in the Bay.
I've caught more blues in the last three
outings than all of last year!
In the last week I have been out quite a few times from shore and from the boat.  Each time I fished I ran into a mix of stripers and bluefish.  Right now the Bay has good numbers of bluefish in the 5-8 lb. range that are looking for the abundant schools of menhaden.  They are not big enough to take them whole but they have no problem chopping them up.  In addition the Bay has good numbers of schoolies in the 16-26 inch range.  There are also some larger keepers around chasing menhaden, but I've yet to see any big numbers of them.
Go with hard plugs when you have
a mix of blues and stripers.
These small offerings have been hot.
For the fisherman who is using a plug, you will need to adjust your tactics to cope with the blues.  I'll tell you that plastics, either skinny ones like Hogys or Slug-Gos along with plastic bodies on jigheads are the best lures to use for stripers.  However, the blues love the plastic offerings also and will chop them to stubs. It's a waste to use plastics when blues are around.  So, you have very little choice here and you will have to turn to hard plugs if you want to fish.  Three lures have been hot tickets in the last week to catch both stripers and bluefish.  Small poppers made by Creek Chub in the 3-4 inch range have worked well at times along with a Rebel Jumpin Minnow.  I've also had good luck with a Kastmaster XL reeled in quickly and fished on top like a popper. Note that these are all small offerings.  Most fishermen are making the mistake of using plugs that are too big for the finicky blues and schoolies.