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Trolling For Striped Bass and How to Troll for Stripers

Trolling for striped bass seems boring until that big striped bass about rips the pole out of the pole holder. Knowing how to troll for striped bass is important for every striper fisherman that owns a boat.  Some times trolling for stripers is one of the best ways to fish for striped bass when they are not hitting cut bait or they are schooled up and moving around.  Trolling for stripers can also lead to some great meals besides some of the best striped bass fishing you have ever had so learn about it in this striped bass fishing article and enjoy!
Trolling for striped bass is an exciting way to fish.  Those stripers hit hard, which feels pretty good to us fishermen, and when they hit a lure being trolled at a good pace, it is like they mean to tear the fishing pole right out of the boat every time!   Don’t get me wrong, I love to fish with a bait runner too, but I love the excitement of when a big striped bass hammers that Rebel lure.

When the stripers are running good, I have even been known to catch them two at a time.  I use a fishing rig that has a Hair Raiser lure on a split ring up about 3 feet from the jointed backed Rebel lure.  I attach a three way swivel to the line that goes to the fishing rod with the three foot leader tied to the other end that has a snap swivel at its end to attach whatever color Rebel I use.  I snap the split ring directly to the third eye of the three way swivel and Hair Raiser lure with no leader at all.

The Hair Raiser is a giant fishing jig with a large and heavy jig head on it which acts as a weight for the entire fishing rig.  The Rebel that I use is a deep diving sort with the big spoon on the front that drives the lure downward when pulled through the river.  If the water is a little shallow, I might switch to the Rebel that has a much smaller spoon on it and that doesn’t dive so much and I run the tackle a little shallower, especially if there are a lot of snags in the area.

The striped bass like to run in schools and sometimes, just like when shad fishing, you will see a second or third fish follow the one that is on the hook right up to the boat when you are getting ready to net it.  Sometimes those other fish just can’t resist that second lure as they think that other fish is getting all the food.  So next thing you know, you have two fighting fish on the line!  When they are thick, I like to set the hook and continue trolling a minute or two to tease those other fish into attacking the free lure while the rig is still amidst the school of fish.  Then if nothing else hits shortly, I fight the one I have in.

I use this fishing technique when the smaller striped bass are being caught, but not when the larger lunkers are in the river.  Then, I might use the two lures in the same manner, but when I know I have that 20 or 30 pounder on there, the battle begins immediately!  

When I was a kid, fifty years ago, they used to plant salmon down in the delta of the Sacramento river in Northern California so they could make it past all the predator squaw fish further up the river where the salmon spawn or in the hatcheries up north.  They would drop those fingerlings into the river and they would head for the shade of docks, pilings, and other structures immediately.  The stripers would go in an absolute feeding frenzy!  My dad and I would troll along these shady areas and catch some huge fish and a lot of them.  We would keep our limits of the good eating small fish and fish until we could hardly reel any more.  I wish we would have taken more pictures of those fish and some videos of the action, but owning a video in those days meant you were a movie producer!  Boy what a lot of fun.  Some days we would find where water was rushing out of a duck pond or big pump and cast lures or big minnows or gobes and fish that swift and shallow fast moving water with no weight and have the time, and fights, of our life.  If the stripers weren't hitting, we would settle down for some good sturgeon fishing or some fast action catfishing. I was raised in the Sacramento delta in northern California so there was always some fish to be caught.  We would even fish out of our floating duck blind for both sturgeon and stripers and catch a lot of both.

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I believe it is illegal in California to use a game fish as bait. I say this because I used to use bluegill for bait until I showed a friend how I caught stripers and the next day I walked up as the warden was writing him a ticket for using bluegill for bait.