Trolling is the popular angling methodology for these concentrating on striped bass (a.ok.a. rockfish) in the course of the spring and fall seasons on the Chesapeake Bay. The 2 main areas which can be the main focus of this text are the beneficial deal with and strategies required to catch rockfish.
TACKLE: Over time we now have experimented with many alternative setups some that labored properly and a few that did not. Beneath are my suggestions as to what works greatest.
RODS: On your planer board rods I like to recommend a 6 to six ½ foot 30 to 50 pound class rod. The rods must have a gimbal and a stable set of guides. Keep away from guides with ceramic inserts. Curler guides are usually not required and a probable signal that you simply over spent. We use offshore angler’s energy sticks which can be found from bass professional outlets and will final a lifetime. Price is round $90 per rod. The entire required traits in your boat rods are the identical besides I like to recommend a 40 to 60 pound class rod as a result of your boat rods are going to usually be used to troll comparatively heavier baits together with in line sinkers.
REELS: On your planer board reels I like to recommend Shimano Tekoda 700’s and for the boat reels I like to recommend Shimano Tekoda 800’s. If you get the reels you’ll want to modify the reel handles out 1 place to the farthest place as it will give the angler extra leverage on the fish when cranking the deal with.
LINE: On your planer board reels I like to recommend 50 pound take a look at mono both clear or darkish inexperienced camouflage. I are likely to steer clear of the excessive visibility traces when fishing the Chesapeake Bay. I additionally usually don’t put braided line on my board reels as a result of braided line has a better propensity to slide out of the scotty clip. If you happen to want to make use of braided line in your planer board reels, and many people do, then I like to recommend at the very least 80 pound take a look at to make sure the road doesn’t inadvertently slip out of the clip. For the boat reels I like to recommend 65 pound take a look at moss inexperienced energy professional. I additionally don’t have any drawback spooling a few the reels up with monel wire. I grew up utilizing wire and we nonetheless catch loads of rockfish on wire line every season. As in your leaders I like to recommend 60 pound take a look at fluorocarbon however given the fee any clear or low visibility monofilament will suffice.
LURES: We use largely chartreuse and white tandem rigs with parachutes affixed. We additionally use umbrella rigs. Our tandems are usually 2 to 4, Four to six and 6 to eight ounce combos with 9 inch shads hooked up. We usually use merchandise produced by native outfitters. For extra info as to the precise corporations and types we use please contact me through electronic mail on the electronic mail deal with given under and I’ll present you many people who can meet your wants. I ought to level out that we do modify our trailing baits very often and have discovered that inexperienced and chartreuse tomic plugs, made in France, work very properly. Additionally do not be afraid to make use of a crippled alewive or tony accetta spoon both.
THE SPREAD: We run 21 traces from a 35 foot Carolina Basic categorical sportfisherman with a 14 foot beam. I do know many a constitution captains who run many extra traces than that. My philosophy is easy. Troll as many traces as you are comfy with. Mitigating components ought to embody the variety of accessible rod holders you’ve, your vessel’s beam width, and your crew’s expertise degree. The very last thing you need to do is compete towards a constitution boat. Most constitution boats run 2 journeys a day and deploy as many rods as doable as a result of it tremendously will increase the chances that they will return to the dock with blissful clients in time to select up their subsequent social gathering. Your typical fisherman that’s on the market for the love of the game should not want a 140 toes span of planer line and 30 rods deployed to catch rockfish.
PLANER BOARD MATH: On the onset of your fishing day you might want to stagger your distances and weights as you might want to discover the place within the water column the rockfish are feeding and modify your trolling depths appropriately. Watch out to not put your heaviest lures to the far exterior place in your planer boards as a result of this will increase the probability of a tangle when the bait is struck. We usually work lightest to heaviest with out important weight variation on our board traces. I might not suggest deploying to the planer traces any tandem with a mixed weight in extra of 14 ounces. We suggest you allow the deeper operating heavier rigs for the boat rods not the planer boards. When deploying your planer rods make sure you modify the bait’s distance behind the boat appropriately remembering that the farthest bait out if struck and pulled out of your clip will drop the farthest distance behind the boat. As an illustration, in case your planer board is monitoring 100 toes a beam of your vessel and also you drop a bait again 120 toes after which run all of it the best way out to the planer board when struck you’ll have the fish 220 toes behind the boat. Why is that this vital to notice? Since you should be cautious to regulate every further line you place out in your planer board line to make sure acceptable separation. If you happen to fail to take action you will spend extra time sorting via tangles than fishing. As an illustration, given the instance above you wouldn’t need to put the following bait 140 toes behind the boat and ship it to a place 80 toes a beam of your vessel as a result of if each baits get struck on the identical time the two fish can be proper on prime of each other precisely 220 toes behind your boat. At that time the one distance separating the two fish and the 220 toes line spans is the horizontal distance between the respective rod holders.
BOAT HANDLING: On the onset of your fishing day we suggest a trolling pace between three and three.5 knots pace over floor. For some inboard vessels this implies it’s possible you’ll must have a trolling valve put in. As a brief resolution you should utilize a sea anchor to gradual your pace however this isn’t a very good everlasting resolution and represents one other potential impediment anglers should keep away from when touchdown a fish. You need to pay specific consideration to your trolling pace and word at which speeds your having extra success. On a gradual day do not hesitate to regulate your speeds. Our fundamental precept is the colder the water temperature the slower we troll. Within the winter months we have trolled as gradual as 2 knots and caught fish.
FINDING FISH: Work the channel edges in a zig zag sample from one facet of the channel to the opposite till you find the fish. Depths from 35 to 80 toes are most acceptable. We regularly drop our boat rods again a little bit farther after we are in the course of the channel and modify them appropriately as we attain the channel edge. Your actually not on the lookout for fish however fairly bait as the place there’s bait there’s sure to be fish. Take note of diving birds and huge faculties of menhaden you would possibly see in your sounder. Mark the bigger faculties and do not be afraid to circle again over these marks repeatedly from a number of instructions.
KNOW THE TIDES: If readers take one factor away from this text it must be the significance of understanding your tide info. All the time have a tide chart in your boat and make sure you make word of the excessive, low and slack tide occasions in your space earlier than departing the dock. Rockfish at all times chew greatest on an ebb or flood tide and are a lot much less more likely to chew on a slack tide. If you do not have a full day to place into your fishing effort be sure to plan your departure time to keep away from fishing in slack tide situations.