We spent 15 minutes on the phone with Amanda Grueter to discuss casting to striped bass throughout the water column with the Hogy Heavy Minnow Jig in Buzzards Bay, Vineyard Sound and Cape Cod Bay fisheries. Here's what we learned...
Angler Amanda Grueter
Amanda Grueter and her husband, Chip, are active anglers and Hogy users. Amanda's biggest joy has been teaching and sharing her fishing and boating passion with her husband who had never boated or fished before meeting Amanda. When it comes to fishing and boating, she is very proud to have helped make him the amazing fisherman and safe and excellent boater he is today.
They are very active in the fishing community as advocates for Hogy products and love to share their passion however they can, whether that be showing local anglers' new techniques or giving them free gear to try out Hogy products. They especially love being mentors to the next generation in their extended family.
Targeted Species: Striped Bass
Location: Fairhaven, Massachusetts
With her main port being in Fairhaven, Amanda can easily access some of the best fisheries in Massachusetts such as Buzzards Bay, Vineyard Sound, Cape Cod Bay, Stellwagen Bank and some of the better tuna spots south of Martha's Vineyard.
Tides: These areas are all very tide dependent. When fishing offshore for tuna, Amanda enjoys slack tide +- an hour. When fishing inshore, she typically prefers an outgoing tide but this year, she has noticed the fishing has been excellent from the morning throughout the afternoon. She hasn't found a particular tide that fisher better as it's been very consistent straight through. Although it's slowed down significantly the past week, she does expect it to pick back up with the approach of the late summer bluefish and albie/bonito run.
Approach: Depending on the day, Amanda often starts her day off by heading to whatever location they want to fish that day. One of her favorite fishing spots would be the Elizabeth Islands or Gay Head.
When heading out to the fishing grounds, Amanda often looks for birds on the radar and uses that to guide her to the right spot. Once there, she visually looks for bird activity and depending on what she chooses to do (surface casting is her favorite), she also looks for fish feeding on the surface.
Amanda really enjoys topwater action, especially when her nieces and nephews visit her, and she can introduce them to new techniques and retrieves that range from topwater casting to marking fish on the sounder and teaching them how to jig or slow retrieve them up.
Rigging/Lure Selection: 1.25oz Heavy Minnow Jig
(good for fishing throughout the water column and they cast very far).
Why This Bait?: Amanda has found that this lure gives everyone the opportunity to cast because the Heavy Minnow is great for long range. It serves the dual purpose of targeting fish on the surface and reaching schools further from the boat. This year, the fish have loved the smaller bait and Amanda has restocked on the smaller 0.5oz lures which the fish have been loving when feeding on micro bait.
Colors: Olive (stripers), Shrimp (albies and bonito)
Retrieve: Amanda will cast the lure out, let it sink for 5-7 seconds and retrieve it slowly. When fishing in a mix of striped bass and bluefish, she has found that a quicker retrieve will entice the bluefish whereas a slower retrieve will entice the striped bass. This technique works in weeding out the bass from the blues.
Rod: Star Rods Seagis Spinning Rod, 7', light/medium. This rod works best paird with a 10-20lb line and can be used to cast a variety of lures from .5oz to 1.5oz.
Reel: Shimano Stella 4000
Line: 20lb Braid
Leader: 10 - 15lb Fluorocarbon