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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The name of the game in striper fishing is bait. Without good bait the game is over before it started. Find you a good bait tank. I use a 30gal. In the boat and a 50gal. In my truck. I use Super Bait tank tanks. I can keep bait a very long time in these tanks. They have a good filter system and oxygen infuser. I upgraded the filter material in mine. But that’s another story. There are other good tanks on the market. $400.00-$600.00 for a good tank pricey but necessary in my opinion. There are homemade tanks that work OK but if you can, get a good tank. Now learn to through a cast net or find a good bait shop. Lots of baits work Blue backs are probably the most come in shops. Next electronics. Like many anglers I can’t always afford what I want so instead of the lawrance sonar I wanted I got the eagle. They are the same only you can’t get as high tech with the eagle and they are cheaper. Get one with GPS or do like I did and get 2 one sonar and one GPS they where on sell and cheaper to buy separate. Now you need rods, the ugly stick striper rods are cheap and work great get you a tidewater reel to go on it and you have a good set up cheap. But if you can afford better rods & reels then do. My rule is buy the best equipment you can afford. You will need planner boards I like the yellow bird boards. They pull well and want water log and they changed to a better clip so you don’t have to change out the clips anymore. There are other more pricey board's like the offshore boards but I can’t justify the price and my birds pull just fine. Now rod holders, get drift master rod holders they are great and they have many different styles to choose from. The thing to remember is get them with right hand threads for the right side of the boat and left hand threads for the left side of the boat. This way the pressure from the rod being pulled will tighten them not loosen them. If you put a right hand thread holder on the left side of the boat it can come loose and spin around towards the back of the boat. You will need a good trolling motor. I love my motor guide best motor on the market, but Minn Kota has the auto pilot which is great for a long day trolling. The thing stirs itself. If I had it to over again it’s the one I would get. Now the best advice I can give you getting started is learn to use your electronics and if you ain't marking bait look some where else. No bait usually means no fish. That’s the basics now go find some fish. :D
 

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Very interesting read. Thanks a lot. My boat didn't have any elecronics on it when I got it, so my wife got me a Humminbird set up for my birthday. Wasn't my first choice, but I'll take it just fine. Has temp and spedo and what appears to be a decent display. Haven't installed it yet.
 

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Red X Angler
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Good info Marty.. Thanks!!
 

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Thanks Marty! I got to spent a day striper fishing with Sniper (Troy) on Jordan last year and the one thing that has stuck with me most was how much care and effort he put into bait. From preparing the tank, to the catching & sifting the shad on the lake, to repeated checking and culling while we were out. he was way more careful with them than I had ever considered being with bait. Those shad were treated like first class citizens. (at least until they jumped on a hook and went overboard!)
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
No way around it, good bait is the key. I have my tanks setup with a multistage filter system. First the tanks come with a scale catcher in the top of the filter box. Next I have three 1" layers of filter material course to fine then in the bottom of the filter I have activated charcoal. The charcoal helps with the ammonia the fish produce. All I use in the water is rock salt. I have used many chemicals on the market but I think salt works as good as anything and Its cheap. Keep and eye on the water tempurature and you can keep baits along time. I have 2 dozen bluebacks in the tank in my boat (30 gals) as we speak that have been in there for 5 days with one 70-80% water change. The only baits that are nearly impossible to keep in a tank are skip jack herron (18"-24") I have and insert for my tank that I made that acts like tuna tube's that seems to keep them pretty well. Come saturday those bluebacks will be hardened up and mean as the devil.
 

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when you use shad or minnows for any fish .. it seems that if you dont take care of the bait, you wont be catching anything.. i feel it is very very important to keep those baitfish lively. Now, EELS, on the other hand, i spent a day striper fishing with my neighbor a few months back.. we caught our limits within the first hour and kept releasing for bigger ones. even after the eels died... we worked them just like it was a hook tail worm and the bass just kept hitting them cast after cast. I am hooked on eels as striper bait in cold weather. but when it warms up, i will be right back to baitfish.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
There are many different lures you can troll, plugs and plastic swim baits. These should be large lures 12” minimum size on the plugs and plastics as big as you can find. Big is the key even in lakes with smaller populations of fish (6-10lbs) these fish will hit the bigger baits. You can pull these in the same kinds of spreads you pull live baits in. I pull live bait most of the time. But when looking for fish and bait on my electronics you can spend many hours idling around at around 2.5 mph the perfect speed for Umbrella rigs. Any time I am reconing and area I put out 2 u-rigs. Put them anywhere from 50’-250’ behind the boat. I usually put them out around 125’ to start. They are a fun way to fish and they help disqualify water. If you pull them through good marks and catch nothing you may not be marking striper but if you catch one then you know. They definitely catch fish and if you are going to be covering that much water anyway you might as well be fishing. I always keep a fly rod in the boat which to me is the ultimate way to fish. When stripers start working bait on the surface, it’s awesome. Maybe I will start another thread on that subject.
 
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I have some pike size lures, rattletrap, in line spinners, etc. Hopefully, i'll mark some fish and be able to get something in their face.
I noted your location Marty... the first few times i visited N.C., it was hiking along in Pisgah for days.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
It’s a beautiful part of the country that’s for sure. I grew up here and my two boys are 8th generation WNC. My family has been here a long time. My great, great grandfathers name P. Massey is on the historic Haywood county courthouse corner stone. My grandfather Wayne Wiggins was the head game warden over the Pisgah national forest and helped start the cradle of forestry. I love where I live and am proud of my heritage.:D If your ever in this area let me know maybe I can steer you into some fish.:)
 

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Red X Angler
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How well do those deep diving/trolling crankbaits work? Around here even in the main channel 12-25 ft is the deepest. I was wondering if you can use a deep diver without all the planers and such when you don't need 20+ ft.
 
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maybe with some lead-core line you could get down more. i guess i should get another battery, since that's how i'd have to pull...
Marty, you should be proud, my family "tree" is scattered like dust :(
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
You can use a three way swivel and get lures much deeper. A system I have not used very often but have seen walleye fisherman on fontana use to get floating rapalas into deep water. Tie the main line to the swivel then the lure on about and 5-8 ft leader then around a 2-4 oz lead on the bottom. Just pull them along bouncing the lead on bottom.
 
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