Rigging For Striped Bass
There are a number of techniques one may employ when fishing for striped bass. This usually
depends on the various "fishing conditions" at the time. To be successful, a stripah anglah must be
aware of the tide, the wind, what the target species prefers to eat (and where this prey may be
located at a particular time), whether it is sunny or overcast, the clarity of the water, the topography
of water being fished (holes, humps, points, sunken structure, flats, sandy bottom vs. rocky bottom,
etc.) and perhaps even barometer reading and moon phase. Striped bass are known to be "roamers"
and travel  great distances (sometimes miles in a single day.)
Here in
the Hudson River, N.Y., a small contingent of stripers live in the river year round. These fish
are either very young and small, or are older fish that are usually found in the Croton-on-Hudson area
(or further south) early on in the Spring. The fishing season for stripahs starts on March 16th each
year and their favorite food (Alewife and Blueback Herring) are not quite up that far into the river by
that time most years. So, many earlybirds that are willing to brave what may prove to be cold, rainy
weather, will usually troll with lures, drift bloodworms or sandworms (that
can be obtained in a few
places at this time) or use frozen chunk bait saved from the previous season. As the water warms the
herring begin to enter the river and can be harvested to use as bait. As the bait-houses(tackle shops)
begin to open, a variety of bait becomes available (the ones mentioned above with the addition of live
eels). Various options as to how to rig up (and  some equipment necessary for each) depending on
the technique you choose to employ, are described below.
Drifting worms/Eels: Option #1
Drift fishing is an option that covers a wide range of area known to hold stripers (as seen on a
fishfinder) Tie a triple swivel to the main line. Then a 3 -6 foot leader of 30 -60- lb. test monofilament
is tied to the triple swivel, to which a 4/0 or 5/0 (for bloods, sandworms or eels) wide gap circle
hook is tied. A blood or sandworm is threaded onto the hook. Tie a 12 - 18 inch dropper line to the
other loop of triple swivel, then  attach a 3 - 6 oz. bank,ball or pencil sinker to the line (depending on
strength of tide). The rig will keep the bait just off bottom, moving in a natural fashion as you drift.
Drifting worms/Eels: Option #2
Adding an additional hook can increase your chances of catching fish. The second hook is added by
tying a dropper loop 8 inches below the swivel. Five(5) hooks per line are permissible in the Hudson
River. (Two rods per man)
How to Tie a Dropper Loop:   
1. Form a loop in the line.
2. Take hold of one side of the loop, and make 6 or more turns
around the line itself - keeping open the point where the turns or
twists are being made.
3. Take hold of the other side of the loop, and pull it through the
center opening, use a finger in this loop so that it is not lost.
4. Hold this loop between your teeth.  Pull gently on both ends of
the line, making the turns gather and pack down on either side of
the loop. Draw up the knot by pulling the lines as tightly as
possible.  The turns will make the loop stand at right angles to
the line.
Drifting Worms/Eels: Option #3 - Slip Rig with In-line Egg Sinker
Some anglers prefer to slide an egg sinker directly onto the line then a plastic bead (for sound) and then tie on
a swivel. 3'-4' of 40# - 60# test monofilament is tied to a 7/0 or 8/0 wide gap circle or octopus hook. The size
of the weight is dependent on the strength of the current and the wind, with 2 -4 ozs. usually doing the trick
on the Hudson River under normal conditions. A drift sock can help slow the rate (and fix direction) at which
your boat drifts in heavier wind or strong current
"Live-Lining" (Using Live Herring)
Fishing with live herring can be done while slowly trolling, drifting or from an anchored boat. Fishing with live
herring from an anchored boat (in 3 - 12 ft. of water) is our preferred way to rig up for monster stripers. This
method coupled with creating a good chum line has proven to be irresistible for a hungry linesider. We here at find that employing this technique during an ebb tide (outgoing) has produced better
results than at any other time on the Hudson, with
flood tide (incoming) being the next best time.
You will find that stripers usually swallow a herring head-first. They either pick it up and turn the bait around,
or swoop it up in that position already. For this reason, we prefer to rig the weight with a sinker slide, so the
striper does not feel the weight before the bait is entirely in its mouth. It doesn't really matter on those
occasions when these
"herringhounds" just slam it and totally engulf the herring in one explosive strike. There
are a variety of sinker slides available that all do the job. There have been complaints by anglers using braided
line that the line has cut through the plastic slides. There is a black metal slide available that solves this
issue.(middle image)  

The pyramid or bank sinker clips on the various snaps displayed above, with the main line running through the
slide. A swivel (or plastic bead and swivel) should then be tied to the main line (below slide). A  3' - 5' leader
of 40# - 60# monofilament is tied to the swivel on one end and to a 7/0 - 8/0 wide gap circle or octopus hook
on the other. We have experienced many more "lip hook sets" with these types of hooks than with "J" hooks,
enabling a quicker and healthier release of fish.
Live -Line Slide Sinker Rig
"Chunking" (Using Chunk Herring or Clams)
Chunking can be done on the drift or from an anchored boat. The rig set-up for chunking is basically the
same as for live-lining (above) except we suggest adding a float 3/4 of the way down the terminal leader
between the swivel and the hook. This helps keep the bait off of the bottom and visible. Brightly colored
floats act as an attractant as well. Again, we find that chunking results are better during an ebb tide, with
a flood tide being our second choice. However, Ziffy
has caught a 37 lb. female chunking a fresh herring
head from shore at a
dead slack tide ! . . and has the picture to prove it . . .
44" - 37 lb. female
caught on a fresh herring
head at
dead slack tide
off shore in 8 feet of
water on a "chunking
rig" like the one to the
left. *A long terminal  
leader and sliding sinker
does make this rig
difficult to cast from
shore however.
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Live-Bait or Chunk-Bait Float Rig:
Fishing with live herring or chunk bait can also be fished on a "Float Rig" while slowly trolling, drifting or from
an anchored boat. Some stripah anglers use balloons tied to the line instead of these clip-on or sliding floats.
The idea is to get the bait off the bottom or to where fish are found to be suspended. We usually fish float rigs
anchored in shallow water or while drifting a drop-off where stripahs are seen suspended on the fishfinder.
We use bobber stops tied onto the line at the depth we prefer the float to stop and hold the bait at a precise
measurement above bottom.
Bobber stops are basically thread tied in a pre-tied knot on a tube that enables it to be slid up the
main line. The thread is then slipped off of the plastic tube and fastened tightly to the main line
(by pulling the two strings hanging off each end. The plastic tube is then discarded. A plastic
bead (that is supplied with the bobber stops) is then threaded on the main line
below the knot. This keeps the
knot from sliding inside the float as the float works its way up the line. The float is then threaded onto the line
after the bead. A sliding barrel sinker is then tied on (or large split sinker attached). A sturdy swivel is then tied
to the line below the sinker. The weight holds the line vertically and keeps the bait down where it needs to be.
The float sits vertically in the water at whatever depth the bobber stop retains it. The Hudson River has eel
grass and waterchestnuts growing on the river floor in skinny water (shallow) and this rig keeps the bait from
falling down below it, otherwise your bait may be virtually invisible to the targeted

Weightless Tube N' Worm Rig:
The Weightless Tube N' Worm rig is especially productive in the shallow flats when the water has warmed
above 55 degrees. The surgical tubing (when trolled
slowly) resembles a swimming eel (another delicacy of a
hungry striper). We begin by trolling @ 2 MPH in 3'-7' of water slowly letting out line containing a tube n' worm
rig, palming the reel once in a while in order to keep the line perfectly taught as it lets out. When the rig can be
felt bouncing off of the bottom, reel in 1 or two turns, to keep the rig just off bottom. This rig requires patience
and a
slow troll! Weaving  slowly on opposite 45 degree angles, back and forth, helps the bait appear more
natural. The scent of the fresh worm or herring strip should bring them investigating. To convince yourself of
this rig's potential, all one needs to do is hold it in the water close to the boat to witness its motion in the water.
The arc of the "T-Man" Striper Tube makes it swim in a fashion that is IRRESISTIBLE to big hawgs lurking in the
shallows! . . . . looks just like a big juicy unexpecting eel!
Aaabbsolutely Delicious!  Give it a try . . . and some time to work!

                                                                                                     For a great article on fishing this rig,
click here!

Weighted Tube N' Worm Rig:
When fishing the Tube N' Worm rig in water 8'- 20', it is recommended to attach a T-Man Quick Change
Weighted Keel. This heps keep the bait just off bottom (where most eels reside)

Patience with this rig can pay off with
the trophy bass of a lifetime.
The BIG ones lurk in the rocky shallows
when the water warms up and that's
where you want to fish this baby!
To Main Line
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Bobber Stop & Bead
Fishing License - NY

New Recreational
Marine Fishing Registry
Requirement (2012)
Hudson River

Circle Hook
bottom of this link page)

Tagged Stripers

Striper Cooperative
Angler Program