Pro Talk: Slow Your Roll with Big Swim Baits for Spring Stripers

Posted by Capt. Ross Gallagher on

15 Minutes with Capt. Tyler Nonn

Here’s what we learned…

Location: Chesapeake Bay major river mouths, structure, bridges, rock piles, and rips. 

Tides: Generally I like the last half of the incoming tide and first half of the outgoing. Watch the wind direction – because of the general shallow nature of the Bay wind can delay, hold back or alter the current greatly. Safest bet is to keep your baits in current and fish your spots following the tide and flowing water.

Approach: When in arriving to a spot, even in deeper water try to get up tide and drift without running the motor. In shallow water this can be crucial for fooling bigger striped bass into biting.

Bait Selection: Hogy® Swimming Jig with 7inch Thumper Tail

Why this bait? During the spring fish are keyed in on river herring that are of similar profile and size as the Hogy Swimming jigs. When selecting a lead head size try to use the lightest weight head while still being able to thump the bottom during your retrieve.

Color Selection: My go to bait in most situations is the 1.5–ounce Swimming Jig in bone/chartreuse.

Retrieve: When fishing deep structure cast the jig up current to allow the bait to fall under slight tension. This allows the bait to fall to the bottom fast but you can detect a hit if a fish eats it while it is dropping. Snap the rod tip violently up and allow the bait to fall back toward the bottom under control. When fishing the Hogy Simming Jig, slack line is your enemy! When fishing bridges or river mouths I’ll let the jig hit the bottom and slowly retrieve the bait back to the boat allowing the thumper tail to do its job, thump! When fishing flats this bait becomes a great search bait that doesn’t wear your arm out. Cast and retrieve and vary your speed to adjust for depth. Make sure to keep your bait off the bottom and in most situations keeping your jig in the lower third of the water column will pay off. The Hogy Swimming Jig with the 7” Thumper Tail allows me to quickly hit spots without retying baits and wasting time on the water!

Rod: 7′ St. Croix Inshore Mojo series rods

Reel: Shimano Stradic 5000

Line: 30-pound test Hi Vis PowerPro braid, 40-pound test fluorocarbon leader tied via double uni knot.

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