I am sure most of you are aware of the effects of Hurricane Sandy, and it has really put a damper on the early part of the Fall Striper Run in NJ. That being said, it truly has devastasted so many people, and I feel fortunate that I personally still have a place to live and am able to fish after what i have seen from New York and Northern NJ. I haven’t been out at all this Fall Striper Season, and I was excited to get back on the water after almost of month of being on land (longest streak on land for me in years). After a decent report from Prissy Wicks (Cape May Rips) my friend Vinny and I wanted to spend the day tossing bucktails in the Rips for Striped Bass. This is by far my absolute favorite type of inshore fishing. It truly is an art, and there is no feeling like when a striper hammers your bucktail and it starts screaming drag off of your reel after you slam the hook home.
We got an early start and dumped the boat in the water at Spicer’s Creek Public Ramp at first light. We were fishing by 6:45am in the middle of the incoming tide and started off searching different Rips until we found a spot that produced a few keeper fish for us. The water temperature was 49 degrees which is colder than the past few years during this time of year. The bite wasn’t consistent so we continued to look around. We tried a few more areas and finally found the school. Every drift we were getting hooked up. We had it to ourselves for about a half an hour until other boats caught on that we were catching and came in, but the bite was HOT and we kept catching even after everyone came in on top of us (very common in the Rips in case you didn’t know). By the time the tide slowed down at 9:15 am and the melee was over, we had caught 16 stripers all ranging from 30-38 inches.
We waited out the slack tide (usually unproductive in the Rips unless you troll a little or know where to move during certain stages of the tide) by eating an early lunch on the boat then went back at it for the top of the outgoing tide, but we only had a few bites without any connections. We decided to quit while we were ahead and got back into the boat ramp before the tide got too low to get the boat back on the trailer. The hot baits were 3oz. white ‘smilin bill bucktails’ ,also known as the ‘Andrus Rip Splitter’, with either a pork rind or a 6″ chartreuse sassy shad. This is pretty much all we ever throw in the Rips, and it has produced for us year after year.