Saturday, April 1, 2017

Striper Watch is On

Look for the start to happen in a couple of weeks. Cocahoe
minnows mounted on jigheads should be hot producers.
It will happen some time this month. We are down to a matter of weeks.  The oceanfront will go from nothing to millions of schoolies. Just when it will happen is open to opinion. If you look back over the years, the big start generally takes place from April 10 to April 20.  A good indicator is a series of warm, sunny days with southwest winds. If we look back over the past three years, the start varied greatly.  These were the days I landed my first ones.  In 2014, I got my first ones on April 22.  In 2015, it happened late on April 29.  And, last year, 2016, I landed the first ones on April 11.
Back in the dead of winter, everyone was predicting an early start because of the warmer than normal winter.  However, March has been one of the coldest on record and that has cooled off the early start talk.  I don't know what all this means, but I am guessing it will be a later start than last year.
The start should see huge numbers of stripers in the 16-24 inch range based on the record numbers of small fish we saw last year. Your best bet will be to hit shallow water spots along the oceanfront that heat up quickly.  Your best lures will be jigs like Cocahoes on jigheads or bucktail jigs with grub tails. Shrimp fly teasers knotted onto your leader can also be very effective.
Watch the blog in the coming weeks for updated reports as I will be looking for those first ones in a couple of weeks.