Blind Casting For Striped Bass — Strategies for Boat Anglers When Known Fish are in the Area
Notes: Although I prefer to either target stripers I can see on the surface, mark down below or use structure as a target to focus on, I do find myself blind casting occasionally in big open water.
When: This situation usually occurs just after or just before large feeds that have been in the area or at slack tide when the bait has scattered. Often this situation occurs early in the morning or on low light days.
Go-To Lures: I like large Charter Grade swimming plugs, poppers, sliders and squids that make a lot of noise. The larger the size or commotion, the wider you extend your target range. I also like simple, highly visible or contrasting colors like glow, orange or black. The lure needs to be big for 2 reasons. 1) It needs to be large enough for a striper to see it from as far as 40’ away and 2) It needs to be big enough for a large striper to justify the effort required to intercept or attack it.
In calm conditions, I will often fish soft baits, preferably the 7″, 10″ or the 14″ Hogy Original rigged with a Swimbait Hook or a Circle Hook, as well as small Hogy Epoxy Jig® Lures.
In less calm conditions or if I am not raising fish, I will search the water column with larger Hogy Epoxy Jig® Lures or Hogy Pro Tail Paddles with weights varying depending on wind and depth. I will cast out, work the bait a it and then let it fall; maybe 10′ on the first drop and more as I get closer to the boat.
Methods: For starters, I associate this style of fishing with long drifts. I study the wind and tide and determine the drifts I want to take. This may be in an area with lots of birds hovering, baitfish marks on the finder or slicks associated with bait. I prefer to alternate from a fast retrieve with lots of commotion or slowly working a plug sub surface. Blind casting in open water is a numbers game. The more casts you make = the more commotion in your area = more fish in your area. One tip I like to mention here is that its worth firing off a cast with a weighted soft bait every so often. You may be calling fish in, but they may be keyed in on small slower moving baits.