How to Fight Striped Bass on The Hudson River

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Here at Ace Charters we pride ourselves as being one of the best family oriented striper fishing charters on the Hudson River. That being said, we often have to deal with instructing novice anglers on how to do battle with some very large sea run striped bass with some exceeding thirty pounds. So how do we go about instructing our newbie women and children anglers as well as our novice males? This article will outline what we do and why we do it.

Before we can get into the actual battle between the angler and the striper, we first have to get the hooks into them. There are several different scenarios that come into play when we are trying to get the stripers to bite. There will be days when you will find us fishing off of anchor and we will be using chunk bait, live bait, or both. For those of you who want us to and we do recommend it until you get the hang of it, we will set the hook and then hand the rod off to you. If you watch us, we will get to the rod as quickly as possible and without removing the rod from the rod holder, reel down as fast as we can until the rod loads up. Then we will lift up on the rod smoothly like we’re lifting a sledge hammer over our heads to set the circle hook. Notice that we didn’t jerk the pole to set the hook like if we were using J-hooks, for if you jerk on a circle hook, it will just pull out of the fish’s mouth.

 The other scenario that we will encounter when fishing for stripers on the Hudson River is dead drifting. In this situation, we will be drifting down the middle of the river with either whole live or dead bait, and you will be holding the rod in your own hands keeping it in the strike zone. When the bite occurs in this situation we like to describe it or call it “Click, Click, Boom”! You will feel a tap (click), then another tap (click), and then the rod will load up and bend over (boom) as the fish engulfs the bait. Your job is now to just lift up on the rod to bury the circle hook into the fishes mouth! Remember the sledge hammer technique and not to jerk the rod, just lift hard.

Whether the rod is handed off to you, or you set the hook yourself, there are a few things that you will need to do.First and foremost, the single most important thing that you need to do is to is keep a good bend in the rod. You must keep a taught line. The second most important thing you should do is to pull the rod straight up towards the sky. for if you pull side ways the fish will have an excellent chance of escaping. We typically remove circle hooks from a fish’s mouth by rolling them sideways. Doing battle with a huge striper is give and take. When the fish decides to pull and dive for the bottom of the river or run towards the center of the channel, your job as an angler is to stay square to the fish and just hold on. When the fish stops pulling, it’s your turn. Your job will then be to lift up and reel down in a smooth and flowing motion always remembering to keep a good bend in the rod. No slack should ever enter into the equation. We will have the drags set on the reels so that a mature striped bass can run if it needs too.

You will be excited! After all, you’re supposed to be. Fishing is supposed to be fun. During all this excitement if you can keep a good bend in the rod, pump and reel when the fish lets you, and pull straight up towards the sky, you will be well on your way to successfully battling and landing a huge sea run Hudson River striped bass;bringing it to the net. We will be there to help you and give you prompts if needed to keep you in good form so that you can catch yourself a huge striper.

Check out the video below of fighting stripers

Female battles Hudson River striper

Just click on the picture thumbnail above to view the video!

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