Virginia Fall Striper Season 2012
With the fall run of Stripers already underway in the Chesapeake Bay watershed, and the season preparing to open, anglers are wondering where to go, and what to use for these fish. The fall run of Stripers isn’t as large as the spring run that brings thousands of anglers to the Chesapeake and its tributaries. The fall run coincides early with the Spot run, and if you will be fishing where Spot are prevalent, this would definitely be the bait of choice. Spot are usually around until the middle of October, and until then, they will be the primary food source for the Stripers. Some hotspots year around for Stripers are; The Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel, the White Stone (State Route 3) bridge in the Rappahannock, and the concrete ships at Kiptopeke State Park on the Eastern Shore. You can catch your bait around the pylons closer to shore, and as you make your way into deeper water, begin to drop the Spot down next to the structure to entice a Striper. The best way to rig the Spot is a 40-65lb. mainline with a three ounce inline egg sinker above a swivel. Then tie an 8-12 inch 30-50lb. leader to a 7-10/0 circle hook. The Spot can either be hooked in the head or the back. Get close to the pylons and drop it down. Once it hits the bottom, crank it up two to ten feet, as this is the level that the Stripers are usually holding. This tactic can be applied up and down the Chesapeake on any sort of deep structure. Another bait that is always a good choice, and can be purchased at any local bait shop, are live Eels. Hook the Eels in the head. They can be rigged and fished in the same places as Spot, and they are the preferred food for the Stripers if you plan to fish at night. The same structure can be fished with artificial bait as well. Six to ten inch gotcha grubs in white and chartreuse on a one to three ounce bucktail (depending on the depth) are always a killer combination. Also chrome and blue lipless crank baits, large stump jumper bucktails, as well as six inch sassy shads can also be used. Bass fishermen have already reported catching decent size Stripers as far inland as Richmond VA, on crankbaits and spinnerbaits, so the run is well underway. With the amount of Stripers in the bay this year, chances are, it won’t be too hard to hook up with one of these hard fighting, and good eating fish. Be sure to stop by your local Bass Pro Shops for all of your Striper fishing questions and supplies.
Written by: Grant Alvis