Spring Stripers: Night Time is the Right Time



By Rob English


Starting March 1st here in South Jersey is the time to start hitting the bridges at night, fishing for Striped Bass in the shadow lines. Our rivers here have a lot of holdover Bass in the 24”-30” range with the larger migratory fish showing up later in the Spring. I like to head out to my Radar 135 with the Helix Drive late in the evening and wrap up before the sun comes up. During the night, it’s pretty much all top water blow ups as the Stripers are hiding in the shadow lines of the bridges waiting to ambush any bait flowing in the heavy current.

My go to rigs is either some YoZuri Mag Darters or Mag Minnows when there’s a good top water bite going on. If the fish are holding more on the bottom, I’ll switch to one of my customs 1/2oz jig heads with a Bust’m Bait Jerk Bait. While fishing the light jigs, I’ll cast them up into the current with a very slow retrieve just skipping them off the rocky bottom. This technique for me tends to catch the larger Bass as they are holding bottom waiting for an easy meal.

The Radar 135 with the Helix Drive really excels in this type of fishing in heavy currents. I need to be able to hold my position in the strike zones while avoiding getting pushed into the bridge structure or surrounding pilings. Having the ability to be hands free along with peddling backwards for reverse, makes fishing in these conditions a breeze. I can use my time to focus on fishing instead of trying to keep my kayak on track or drifting all over the place. For me, night time is the right time. Though it can be a little sketchy at times all alone in the dark, the Radar 135 with Helix Drive gives me all the confidence I need to catch these conditions successfully.