NJ Saltwater Registry

NJ Saltwater Fishing Registry
Targeting Spring Striped Bass in the Back of Raritan Bay "Tip"
Monday, 16 April 2007 18:13

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Here are a few tips that produce for me when I target early season Striped Bass. Please click “Read More” for the entire tip …


In March-April, I fish the back of Raritan Bay (Cliffwood-Keansburg) using 2 rods, one with a high low rig and the other with a fish finder rig. Clams are the bait of choice. USE ONLY FRESH ONES. I will hit creek mouths and sedge banks. Incoming tides have always been better for me. I bait up by cutting clams in half and using the ribbon from the shells. Also, I’ve gotten many Striped Bass by using just the ribbon. I try to stay away from the crowds, fishing at dusk and at hard to reach spots that a lot of fisherman will not hike to.

In late April to May I head to Sandy Hook using the same approach from the surf. By boat I'll start between the 1 can in Keyport to the Keansburg pier in 10-20 ft. of water. I'll get a bushel of clams and take 2 dozen and put them in a 5-gallon pail with a little water and smash them to make a soup. By smashing the clams in the boat I think it mimics the clammers with their rakes and rings the dinner bell for the Striped Bass. As the water warms I head to deeper water, switching to chunking bunker. Again fresh is best but I have had luck with vacuum-sealed frozen bunker as well. I cut my bunker into 4 pieces discarding the tail section. I also use a fish finder rig with 60# fluorocarbon. The heavy line tends to hold up well if blues are around. I like to anchor upcurrent of any kind of structure (i.e. a dip, rocks, mussel beds, etc.). I try to cover all parts of the water column. I also like to set out a floater by casting in front of the boat and letting it drift back.