Strategies When Rip Fishing for Stripers from a Boat
Notes: Fishing rips is simply a variation of fishing submerged structure and also very similar to fly fishing for trout in a fly stream. In a rip line caused by a sand bar, schools of baitfish are getting swept by the tide over the sand bar or reef and made vulnerable by the commotion of the rip. Stripers who like to make eating as easy as possible, will lay right on or behind that line in ambush, picking off unsuspecting prey.
When: You need strong tide to make a rip, so obviously the peak stages of the tide are best. Rips often form in shallower areas where the water warms more quickly, which can be a benefit in the cooler months of the spring and fall.
Go-To Lures: Matching the hatch (as always) is key. In New England, hot rip fishing is often associated with squid runs and nothing beats an unweighted or lightly weighted soft plastic in terms of imitating a squid. A softbait that can be rigged weedless such as a 10” Hogy Original on a Swimbait Hook is ideal because rips often get weedy from the tide pushing weeds and debris that is stirred up. Anglers will also through pink, bone and amber top-water baits.
Method and Approach: Stem the tide with your boat just in gear with enough thrust so as to just hold your position. Pick a good spot in the rip where a u-shaped gully with peaks on either side of it have formed. Now cast perpendicularly to to 30 degrees up tide. Once the lure hits the water, your focus is to get control of the line with minimal slack between you and your lure. Now let current move the bait toward the stripers that are waiting in ambush. While the bait is drifting down tide impart action in the lure and your reeling is more for eliminating slack than to propel the lure forward. If you time it perfectly, the lure will start swinging into the rip and directly behind your boat just at or behind the rip line.