There are many different ways to fish for Striped Bass. While we could certainly write several books on the various techniques and strategies, we will discuss a few of the most popular methods and hopefully pass along some tips.
One of the more popular methods for catching striped bass is bait fishing. Baitfishing is usually best during the winter months when water temperatures are below 55F and / or the water clarity is poor. Some of the more popular baits are threadfin shad, mudsuckers, sardines, anchovies, minnows, bullheads, blood worms, and pile worms although, striped bass can be caught on many other types of bait. While most baitfishing is done while anchored, some anglers will drift with live minnows. Most anglers use a sliding sinker rig comprised of about 15 lb test leader ranging from 20 to 30 inches in length. A good quality hook ranging from 6/0 to 7/0 with a sharp point is tied to one end of the leader. A swivel is tied to the other end of the leader. On the main line, a plastic sinker slider runs through the line and will be stopped from sliding onto the leader by a snap swivel. The leader is then attached to the main line by the snap swivel. Sinkers ranging from 1 to 4 oz are attached to the plasitc slider. You should use just heavy enough weight to keep the sinker on the bottom. A sliding sinker rig is used because when a striper begins to eat the bait the least amount of resistance will be felt by the fish.
Another popular method for catching striped bass is trolling. Trolling is most effective when the water clarity is good and water temperatures are above 55F. The traditional trolling set up utilizes a wire spreader that allows a rebel to be attached to the longer leader that comes from the wire spreader and a lead head jig attached to the shorter leader that comes from the wire spreader. Today, a popular trolling technique is to simply attach a deep diving, broken back rebel or bomber to the main line. The most effective manner to troll, whichever set up you use, is on the bottom of a sand bar. Nothing beats that feeling when you are trolling along and a huge striped bass slams your rebel.
Vertical jigging is becoming a popular method for taking striped bass. This is a simple technique that requires a lure such as a hopkins or any other type of jig / spoon. Basically you just attach the spoon / jig to your main line and then lower the spoon / jig to the bottom and then raise and lower it about two to four feet off the bottom while you drift. Some successful anglers will troll until they detect a school of fish and then utilize the jigging method for some fast action.