We spent 15 minutes on the phone with Capt. Tyler Nonn to discuss the fall fishing patterns for striped bass on the Chesapeake Bay. Here's what we learned...
Location: Chesapeake Bay, major rivers and river mouths
Tides: Generally I like the last half of the incoming tide and first half of the outgoing tide. On calm days look for any points, ledges and structure that are hit with heavy currents. Currents position bait, and when you find the bait fish won’t be far away. Note these spots on your chart or GPS so on choppy days you can revisit them with ease.
Approach: When in arriving to a spot you believe fish are holding, 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. When fishing working birds be sure to get upwind or up-tide and drift into the fish. Don’t run through the birds. That’s a sure bet to put the fish down. Pay attention, even sitting birds can give away fish.
Rigging Selection: Hogy Barbarian Jig Heads – 6/0 size 1/2-1oz weight.
Bait Selection: Hogy HDUV 7inch Jiggin' Eel Tail Series
Why This Bait? During the fall, fish are keyed in on smaller “peanut bunker” migrating out of our river systems. When selecting a lead head size try to use the lightest weight lead head while still being able to thump the bottom during your retrieve.
Colors: Bone, silver, amber and bubblegum
Retrieve: Cast up current of holding fish and allow the bait to reach bottom without a great deal of tension. When water temperatures are warmer I tend to snap the rod tip more violently than in cooler temps (below 60 degrees). After snapping the jig up, allow the rod tip to fall toward the water following the jig back down, and then repeat. Slack is your enemy. To avoid slack don’t drop your rod tip faster than your jig is falling through the water column. Be ready for fish to eat on the drop.
Rod: Medium action 7′ St. Croix Inshore Mojo series rods
Reel: Shimano Sustain FG 5000
Line: 30-pound test Super 8 Slick Aqua Green PowerPro braid
Leader: 30-pound test fluorocarbon leader
Line/Leader Connection: Double uni knot.