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We have been hammering the stripers over the last week and a half catching anywhere from 6 to 26 each time out with spinning gear with SP minnows and tsunami poppers. Lots of herring still in the river so all in all the stripers turned on a little later this year. Over the last couple trips we started to consistently catch slot fish (21 to 24") up to 35". Sorry, but I don't take pictures of fish unless it's over 42" because that's my best river striper. I'm sure I had a couple on but the big ones are tough to get in since we're fishing 6' of water at best in a boulder laden field you can only access at high tide. I lost two that were really big and a couple others that had a chance. They just get into that current and start wrapping around boulders. Even the smaller ones offer an insane fight in the current. The difference between river current and ocean current is tremendous. Heading out again tomorrow with any luck I'll have a picture. 

If you happen to be near the Delaware it's time to take some vacation days. 

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Poopdeck even though I live in a coastal state (Massachusetts) salt water fishing is an alien world to me.  Forgive the questions but I'm curious what is your set up to land a 42" Striper?  What weight rods are we talking about?  Do you fish a leader set up that a freshwater guy like myself would recognize but scaled up in size or is the terminal end something totally different?   Thanks!

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No worries. You guys must have a striper run on some river up there. Although I fish the salt, this report is on the annual striper run up the Delaware river, fresh water. I predominantly fish exactly where the tide ends on the river so it's not within 30 miles of the salt water. You must have missed the part where I mentioned spinning gear. I don't have a fly fishing set up big enough for spring run stripers. If I were to get one it would be at least a 10 wt. come summer I catch a butt ton of 18" and below stripers on my smallie 8 wt. 

My striper set ups are basically in inshore spinning gear. While I have quite a few choices my absolute favorite for stripers, in the river or in the salt from a boat is (don't laugh) a 6'8" medium action rated for 1 to 3 oz or a 7' heavy action rated at 1 to 5 oz, ugly stick tiger lite rod paired with Penn Slammer III 4000 reels spooled with 20 or 30lb test with about an 8' leader of 30 or 40lb mono.

i am a huge fan of the tiger lite ugly sticks. I have rods that I've spent more than double the money for that don't compare to them. At only 80 bucks they are very good rods. Stripers don't need a lot of finesses gear but you do need a reel with a really good drag because every striper over 20"  in a heavy current will be pulling it out. That's why I like the penn Slammer. I also like the oversize handle on the Slammer. 

My PB striper in the salt is 48". I have been trying for many decades to top it. 

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Thanks much-  Yes I do know that they run the Connecticut River all the way from the south coast of CT up into central Mass.  I'm sure there are others.  I'm told the fishing is outstanding on the Connecticut when they run. 

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DFoster the stripers are in the Connecticut river now big bass are caught as far up as the Enfield dam as they chase the shad and bait runs. Thames river in Groton to Norwich also. I fish from a motorized canoe (Grumman sport boat) with a 9', 9 wt. reel with good drag & 200(min) yards of backing, using large 4" + white bait patterns. If fishing from shore I spin fish 7-9' rod with BG4500 reel & 30 lb. braid with 30-40 lb. floro/mono leader using storm type paddle tails 4" +, magic swimmers, sp minnows, loaded poppers . Near impossible to fly fish from shore on these rivers (size, current, & lack of casting access)

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12 hours ago, DFoster said:

Thanks much-  Yes I do know that they run the Connecticut River all the way from the south coast of CT up into central Mass.  I'm sure there are others.  I'm told the fishing is outstanding on the Connecticut when they run. 

You have to get out to chase them then. I was exposed to river stripers about 25 years ago (total guess, maybe longer) and I've never looked back. It's pretty much all I do in the spring. Lots of days you catch nothing but if you get out often enough you will have days where you leave because you just can't reel another one in. When the run ends this year I'm going to tear the boat apart and give it a bit of an overhaul. 

Today the bite slowed, we boated 6 and lost 5. Good topwater action most of the day but we had a lot of blow ups but only a few hook ups. No size all were between twenty and twenty seven inches. Today was the second day of the end of the slot fish. Today they had to be  twenty eight to thirty four inches to keep. All but one today would have been a keeper two days ago, none were keepers today.  Whoever determines the date of the slot is a pretty intelligent person. 

No fish pictures since none were big enough. However, since people like pictures, here's a shot of the river when we launched about 3 hours before high tide. In another hour or so all the rocks would be under water. 3 hours earlier the exposed rocks would have been as far as the eye could see. Although more large fish can be caught further south this is just a fantastic place to fish for numbers with a chance at a big one. The tide ends about a 1/2 up river and this last 1/2 mile is somewhat easily accessible during the high periods of the tide. 

 

 

rocks.jpg

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Thanks for the information guys-  I know I could quickly get seduced with striper fishing and have had several folks that surf cast (traditional tackle) and/or have ocean going boats offer to take me.  But I was really just curious what's involved and how you fish them with a fly rod.   I love all fishing but I have a true passion for wading the smaller, heavily wooded trout streams, solving the casting angles, reading the current and figuring out which fly will entice a wild trout.  I've spent a lot time and money trying to catch fish (or not) barely big enough to qualify as bait to a striper guy.  I don't own a rod larger than a 5 weight and all my fly rods, reels and tying materials are narrowly focused on trout fishing.  Given my present fly fishing obsession, making the decision to "try" striper fishing is one that I can not enter into lightly. 

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I know the feeling. I chased small brook trout in small streams in PA for years because that's what I did growing up. After starting a family I stopped making the two hour drive, 4 round trip, because I didn't have the time to spend a day fishing with 4 hours of driving. The Delaware was minutes from my home and for 5 years never fished it because of preconceived fishing notions. I guess you could say I was a bit of a trout snob. I bought a small boat and started fishing the river because I could be there in minutes and home in 3 or 4 hours. My fishing life changed forever and have been chasing the shad and stripers over pa trout in the spring. In summer it's SMB, catfish and walleye and the fall I'm back to stripers in the salt.  Pretty much good bye trout fishing except for an occasional trip just for the novelty of it. I also understand the fly fishing part and I fully intend on getting myself a 10 or 11 weight in the future but I will never entirely give up spin or fly fishing. Life's to short to pigeon hole yourself. 

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The windshield time is exactly correct.  I work full time, have a home to maintain and 6 grandchildren.  I also play music professionally on weekends and at least prior to covid that ate a lot of valuable free time so if I can get half a day on a weekend to fish I feel lucky.  The salt is an hour and a half drive minimum, 2 to get to striper locations.  The rivers they run in are only an hour but I would still need to buy appropriate tackle for stripers.   I can get to wild trout water within 30 minutes and I have a 4 streams the state stocks within a 10 minute drive one of which is 500' behind my home. 

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