Trolling Rips for Striped Bass
Example: Trolling Rips
- Lure Selection: With squid and herring being the top two food sources in rips, white, pink and amber are the hot colors. While traditionally the most popular lure styles for trolling rips are skirted lures, bucktails, parachute jigs and large flies, I personally like trolling with unweighted softbaits on lead core, especially in springtime conditions that can be very weedy.
- Work The Signs: Rips seem to fish best in the spring when there are loads of bait moving through the area, particularly squid. As usual, peak portions of the tide are best. If there are stripers feeding on bait in a rip, you will most likely see signs.
- Birds: Will be hovering or diving. Sometimes they’ll even drift with the tide
- Cruising Fish And Bait: Study the rip, often you’ll see bait spraying at the edge or just in front. Also, look in the leading waves. Often you’ll see stripers stemming the tide or cruising through. They’ll come and they’ll go.
- Bait: Look for any of these popping up in the rip: squid, crabs silver Sides, sand eels, herring.
- Wind: Wind won’t matter all to much other than the fact some rips can get dangerously big if the wind and the tide are against each other. Be very mindful of your safety when fishing a heavy-duty rip so that you don’t get swamped.
- Tide/Current: Peak tides for rips. It’s the tide moving consequently the waves and crashing over the shoal and or the turbulence caused with the current below that is starting the party. Wire line and lead core line are go-to’s in rips. Although rips tend to be very shallow, the heavy currents associated with them call for the extra weight to stay subsurface or near the bottom.
- Light: In springtime, rips fish all day due to the huge amounts of bait and cool water to keep the stripers active all day. Twilight light times are best though when there’s a lot of bait feeds can go on all day during peak tides.
- Depth: Rips are often shallow so the fish will be at all levels of the water column. Ideally you want your lures to be a deep as possible where the larger fish will be.
- Approach: Schools of baitfish are getting swept by the tide over the sand bar or reef, making them vulnerable to stripers that are lying right on or behind the tip line, waiting in ambush to pick off unsuspecting prey. Basically the name of the game is to present your lures in a manner that imitates baitfish being swept downtide and then struggling to swim against the current when pursued by predators. Unlike the casting method outlined above where you are stemming the tide, you will be in constant motion working an “s-pattern” or “crab walking” in front of the rip.
- Approach the rip head on.
- About 200 feet in front of the rip, begin a turn to start positioning the boat so that it is parallel to the rip.
- Keep heading this direction until the lines are almost parallel to the rip or maybe 20 feet in front of the rip.
- Turn up tide, and away for the rip. This will allow your lures to swing over the rip in a horizontal presentation before changing direction to follow the boat up tide. This is where the strike will usually occur.
- Once the lures pull out of the rip, repeat the process. NOTE: You can walk back and forth over a tight area.