by Landon Williams
I can't claim to be a striper fishing expert but here are few things I've learned over the last couple of years while trying to figure them out myself and by fishing with others.
1. Fish the structure. Stripers can be caught anywhere from the middle of a fast shoal to slow deep bends with fallen timber for cover. Stripers are roamers and when they are hungry, constantly on the move. Finding them is the hardest part of the game!
2. Keep a wide variety of flies in your arsenal. Well prepared river striper fisherman carry everything from deep diving baitfish patterns to floating popper or creasefly style bugs. I've still yet to catch a striper on the surface but there's a reason the local guys fish topwater jerkbaits in the middle of the shoals! Larger Clouser style flies are hard to beat though.
3. Be patient. Don't expect to go and wear em out your first night out there. Pay your dues and, if possible, fish with more experienced folks if they are willing to take you under their wing.
The cool thing about striped bass is that they are readily accessible during their migratory spring runs, even for boat-less anglers. Many of our North Georgia reservoirs have them with spawning runs up the rivers and creeks feeding the lakes. Don't limit yourself to just spring time fishing either as many fish will stay up river all the way through the summer, perhaps due to the cooler more oxygenated water our rivers offer.
I may still be heart broken from tonight but I'm hoping I'll finally win one of those tugs of war soon!