Hunt For Big Stripers Part II

Currents are very confusing for a lot of people and with a good reason. When you think about trying to explain why water is going out during the time of incoming tide, its difficult. Obviously the simple explanation is that large bays take time to drain through a narrow opening in the inlet,and there is a delay in current change. But still, when you come to the spot at three hours into incoming tide and the current is still moving out, it you can drive you up the wall. When targeting fish with lures I find that the most ….or I should say the best results come during the time of moving water. It’s not surprising then that most lures are designed to work at their best during periods of moving currents. What I also notice is that once the current starts to flow and fish start to feed they are rarely the big Fish from your dreams. Most of the time aggressive fish feed during the time of stronger current and big fish feed…… well during times you and I take a break haha…… Just kidding on that one but yes it seems a lot of times that we take a break, because the current has slowed down and fish have moved off, somebody nails the biggest fish of the night during that time. Is this an anomaly? Nope, especially in the inletsP1010041r455555555aaa

When fishing on the open beach the current is not as pronounced as it is in the inlets. This is why it’s often easier to predict movement of bigger fish into the area in the inlets that it is on the open beaches. Do you target breachway’s and inlets specifically looking for big fish if we already know current is the king there? Does this mean that you only target bigger finish during the time of a slower current? Not at all. For the most part to make it as general as possible you use leadheads during the stronger current period and live and rigged eels and giant shads during the periods when current slows down.P1010002
How many times have you had a good bite of decent size fish during the time while the current was running only to have a bite slow down as the current wanes. Like most of us you probably walked away thinking that the bite is over. After all no one fishes during slack right? To some extent this is true particularly if your purist with plugs. Many of the lures that we use are much more effective during the time when water is moving at a good clip. So most of us go grab a coffee during the time when tide or current is changing. But let’s look at what happens in the place where there is a strong current when the current ends or slows down.

All of the fluke and flounder that have that been buried in the sand for six hours facing into the current will now have to unearth themselves and change position , 180 degrees in the opposite direction. Can you imagine millions and millions of these fish exposed for the first time, trying to reposition themselves? Do you honestly think that big bass do not know this is about to happen? Do you honestly think big bass not know that storm is coming and they won’t be feeding for few days? You run to 7-Eleven to get milk and bread as soon as weatherman yells STORM ,what makes things they don’t?
Add to the equation all the blackfish, seabass and bergals that have to change the position in a rocks because the tide is either going to drop or rise.They are going to be exposed to predators too.
Now I’m sure you have heard before, particularly from Crazy Alberto about why he likes to fish the time around the waning current and why he feels there is only a 20 minute window for him to catch the biggest fish of the day? I never really explored this in details with him so I’m just going to give you my opinion but it seems to me that with all this big bait shifting around, exposed to predators, it would only seem natural that the big bass will be waiting to pounce on them. Let’s be honest, all they need is one or those big meals and they will be set for today. During the time of the strong currents you will find bigger fish closer to the bottom 99 out of 100 times. The exception here is if the big bait is traveling high in the water column. But like I just explained before, you don’t need to have a lot of bait in the area for big fish to feed. There is plenty of food for them already. In fact, a lot of times when you have a lot of bait there is so much competition for the food and aggressiveness of smaller fish usually results in them gets to your lure faster then a calculating big cow. So as far going after big fish in a fast water, I would go with big jigs fishing them as close to the bottom as possible without dragging the bottom. This requires quite a bit of finesse and also requires you to observe the changing conditions and speed of the current. Most of the time you will have to increase or decrease the size of the jig as the speed of current changes. Otherwise you will be the dredging bottom or floating too high in a water column. Big fish only need a small depression in the sandy bottom in order to break the flow of the current and just because you can’t see it, that doesn’t mean its not there. My feeling on the structure has always been that big fast rips are great for all a lot of fish but the back eddies of those same rips might not be as good for “numbers” but they give you better shot at one big fish

more thoughts coming up in Part III


River’s End Tackle, Old Saybrook CT    STRIPER SURF DAY                                    

                                March 21st, 2015  10-4

Under the snow there really will be a spring run.  Get ready and celebrate it at Striper Surf Day. It’s a great day to hang out, take in a seminar and tell some lies with fellow surf rats. We’ll have great speakers and an emphasis on how to demonstrations, factory reps, sales, raffle prizes, great food and good friends.



Toby Lapinski – conducting a seminar on “How to fish Block Island” Toby, Steve McKenna and Dennis Z. will also be fielding questions during an open Q&A format seminar.

Steve McKenna – will be demonstrating how to rig sluggos and load Redfins and Northbar Bottle Darters.

Dennis Zambrotta – will demo how to rig teasers using Redgills and Senkos and how he rigs his redfins 4 different ways depending on surf conditions. He’ll also be signing copies of his book “Surfcasting Around the Block”

Dave Anderson – will demo his online magazine “Surfcasters Journal” Be sure to sign up or renew your subscription

Adam Romagna – is displaying antique striper plugs and can help ID and appraise your old lures.

Shimano – Roy Levya will demonstrate their new line of long distance surf rods and reels, including the new 9’6” model.

We’ll also have various reps from

Van Staal,  Mak Surfcasting, Tsunami, Stormr,

Albie Snax lures, Gibbs lures, Guppy Lures,

Northbar Tackle and more.

It’s free, just show up.

9 comments on “Hunt For Big Stripers Part II

  1. Awesome John

    Great info thanks Z,
    I keep it simple when targeting tide times.. 🙂
    I just fish non-stop for 3 days without sleep and food till I drop 🙂 that usually works for me and I am assured in my heart that I didnt miss anything swiming by in any weird tide stage 🙂 hee hee hee


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