hot rod jigs

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If there is ever a season when it’s necessary to pull out all the stops in order to catch nice striped bass in the Chesapeake Bay, it’s late summer.  There are plenty of small fish to be caught, but getting the bigger ones takes a lot more effort. In my presentations this year, I’ve advised fishermen to take what they know about the five reasons why striped bass bite – hunger, reaction, competition, territory, and curiosity – then consider the five senses fish employ when feeding – sight, smell, sound, feel and taste – and fashion their fishing techniques to maximize their chances. In other words, 5 X 5 = success.

When fish are hungry and feeding aggressively, they’re easy to catch. Fishermen who are lucky enough to find a school of hunger feeding fish blitzing beneath screaming birds are certain to be successful, no matter what kind of lures they use. Unfortunately, it’s not easy to find bigger fish feeding on the surface this time of year. I’m very envious of the few fishermen I know who have the time and money to chase blitzing rockfish all up and down the East Coast. Since most of us have to go fishing close to home in the limited time we have available, we have to look diligently for the few good stripers that might be around.  When we’re lucky enough to find them, we usually have to work hard to convince them to take our lures. Sometimes, they just don’t want to bite. Read More!


Along with sneaking in a couple of catch-and-release fishing trips, I’ve been reading all I can lately about why we catch fish with ease on some days, and why we cant buy a bite at other times. I can’t say I’ve solved that mystery, but I’ve included most of the knowledge I’ve gained in a PowerPoint slide show that I will present over the next couple of months to area fishing clubs. If you attended the Annapolis Saltwater Fishing Expo last weekend, you’ve already seen this show, but don’t be surprised if it morphs into a somewhat different format as I present it to different groups and organizations.  I learn more every time I talk to fellow fishermen, pick up a book, read a magazine article, look at a website, and (especially) when I go fishing.  Here’s a sneak preview of my Strike Triggers presentation:

Have you noticed that some fishermen seem to steadily catch big fish and regularly have successful days even when others don’t?  What are they doing differently?  In my opinion, one trait of consistently productive fishermen is an appreciation for the concept of strike triggers. They may not always call it that, but you can pretty well bet that good fishermen are incorporating techniques in their lures and lure presentations that trick fish into biting even when they’re not particularly inclined to eat.  It starts with a good understanding of the five reasons why striped bass attack a lure. Read More!