The challenge with striped bass fishing isn’t always about finding them, sometimes it boils down to getting them to bite! On this mid June morning, Capt. Mike found himself amongst acres of schoolie to slot size bass feeding on very small silversides. In scenarios where an abundance of small baitfish are around, it can often be difficult to entice a striper to hit your lure. The key to triggering a bite here is “matching the hatch” and dialing in an effective retrieve. In this case, the 3/8oz Hogy Epoxy Jig fished with a “Reel-Pause-Reel” retrieve was the ticket to success.
Striped bass, along with many other species of fish, can be extremely difficult to catch when feeding on very small baitfish. From silversides to anchovies, these tiny baitfish have a profile that many lures have a hard time imitating. This is where lures such as The Hogy Epoxy Jig shines! The Epoxy Jig, especially in the smaller sizes, is perfect for “matching the hatch” of any small baitfish. Here is the technique Capt. Mike was using in the video above finicky striped bass feeding on small silversides.
The name of the game here is getting up tide and up wind of feeding fish, this allows for long drifts and minimal rpm changes that can spook the fish. Being upwind also allows for maximum casting distance, especially in this case where Capt. Mike is using the 3/8oz Epoxy Jig. If fish are on the move, keep note of your cast placement. You want to lead the school to increase your chances of a fish seeing your lure and decrease your chances of spooking them.
The way in which you retrieve your lure can often be the determining factor in hooking up. On this given day the striped bass would only hit our epoxy jigs when fished with a “Reel-Pause-Reel” retrieve. Why this retrieve was so effective when paired with the 3/8oz Epoxy Jig, was because it gave the striped bass “FOMO” and created a reaction strike. Accompanying this with keeping your rod tip high to give the epoxy jig a nice wobble in the water, made for a very natural presentation.
The lure that Capt. Mike found success with on this day was the 3/8oz Hogy Epoxy Jig, particularly the silverside color.
This small 2.5″ jig was the exact size and color of the silversides these striped bass were feeding on. This was a day where “matching the hatch” was amplified to the max!
- Rod: 7′ St. Croix Legend Xtreme
- Reel: Shimano Saragosa 5000
- Line: 30lb Braid
- Leader: 12lb Fluorocarbon
- Reel-Pause-Reel triggers a reaction strike.
- Don’t be afraid to downside leaders for finicky fish. I’ve been known to go as low as 12lb fluorocarbon.
- Make sure to crush your barbs and keep fish wet to minimize damage.
Want to learn more about fishing for striped bass? Check out The Hogy Striper Playbook!
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