Hot Summer Success with Landlocked Stripers on a Range of SEBILE Lures
During July and August, my fishing partner Bill Bjork and I have been making it our mission lately to test a wide range of SEBILE lures for landlocked striped bass fishing. It's been a lot of fun!
In the heat of the summer, many of the stripers stay very deep, in water depths up to 70 to 100 feet of water - or suspending 70 to 100 down over the bottom that may be 200-300 feet deep.
That does not mean to say they won't rise to the top to chase bait for brief periods at dawn and dusk, but they really are not coming into shallow water at all right now, because it is too hot and they would die quickly.
As the season cools off in late September and October (also in early spring), the stripers will certainly move shallow, but right now, it is not possible for them.
Why I mention that is, Bill and I have been using mainly deep trolling lures as well as lures we can cast into surface feeding boils when the stripers rise to feed on the top over deep water.
Each of the photos below shows and tells about a different model or size of SEBILE lure for hot action with summer stripers in deep water.
Koolie Minnow 118 BRL Big Round Lip. Bill Bjork lifts striped bass that blasted SEBILE Koolie Minnow 118 BRL Big Round Lip in Ghost Violet color, The 118 BRL is not a very deep diver and we do not usually use it to troll. When cast, it flies a great distance, and best of all, the BRL may be reeled quickly to have an ultra-wide roll that drives all gamefish wild with the BRL's wicked tail-whipping action. On a slow retrieve, the BRL 118 it stays about five feet deep. The faster you reel, the higher it swims, even flicking and splashing the surface of the water like a fleeing preyfish on high speed retrieves.
Spin Shad #1. On tough days when the stripers are finicky and very difficult to approach, they may be hard to catch on the larger plugs. That is when SEBILE's 3/4 oz Spin Shad #1 in White Lady color often proves to be the best lure and best color. Even when the fishing is difficult, it is still not impossible to catch the stripers with the persuasive Spin Shad #1 White Lady! It is our preferred finesse fishing lure for persnickety stripers that won't hit anything else.
Flatt Shadd 66 XH Extra Heavy. We cast and retrieve the Flatt Shad 66 XH. We do not use it to troll. Instead, we cast it to surface feeding activity. It can be reeled in anywhere from just under the surface (fast retrieve) to 4-6 foot deep on a slow retrieve. The XH in the name stands for Extra Heavy meaning that the 66 XH weighs a hefty 3/4 oz instead of the standard 1/2 oz 66 SK model. So if the surface feeding fish suddenly dive underwater (as they often do) to chase the baitfish down deeper, allow the 66 XH to sink since it can be deep jigged effectively down to 60 feet deep using thin diameter braided line.
Koolie Minnow LL 118 Long Lip. Day in and day out, the SEBILE Koolie Minnow LL 118 in Natural Perch (trolls to 43 ft) is one of our favorite and most productive striper trolling plugs and colors! We can and often do catch stripers on the full range of Koolie LL Minnows - LL 90 (trolls to 20 feet), new LL 102 (30 ft), LL 136 (46 ft), LL 160 (50 ft) and LL 190 (63 ft). However, if we had to pick just one for freshwater stripers, it would be the LL 118 model (trolls to 43 ft).
Vibrato #42. The 1-1/2 oz SEBILE Vibrato #42 in Holo Greenie color was cast out at a surface-feeding school and then jigged every few seconds as it descended down to mid-depth striper schools. Even in a boil, there tends to be far more stripers at mid-depths underwater than on the surface, and that is why sinking metal lures like the Vibrato can be more productive than surface lures.
Using Different Vibrato Sizes for Different Situations. The Vibrato is a new SEBILE lure for 2011, and I feel there are several different uses for the different Vibrato sizes. The Vibrato can be cast a long distance. It may be retrieved near the surface, allowed to sink slowly to mid-depths or vertical jigged near bottom. The 3/4 oz #21 may be used with lighter tackle or whenever fish are very finicky and finesse or a subtle presentation is necessary to catch them, such as when they are feeding on tiny baitfish. The 1 oz #28 and 1-1/2 oz #42 are more for general purpose, everyday normal use in moderate depths. The 2 oz #56 and 3 oz #84 sizes are for when fish are hunkered very deep, not rising up and staying very close to the bottom. So a full range of Vibrato sizes are useful to apply under different conditions.
Koolie Minnow LL 102 Long Lip. SEBILE Koolie Minnow LL 102 (trolls to 30 ft) in Golden Shiner landed this "checkerboard" striper. The LL 102 is a new size that's coming from SEBILE in 2011.
SEBILE Color Choices for Summer Stripers. The Koolie Minnow LL 118 in Golden Shiner (trolls to 43 ft) was the most productive plug this particular dark, overcast morning. In general, the best summer striper colors for us have been: Golden Shiner (OG), Natural Shiner (O), Natural White Perch (NK2) and White Lady (Q2). Those all rank among our (and the striper's) favorite Koolie LL colors. In other SEBILE lure models, the Sea Chrome (SC) and Blue Althea (O4) colors have been strong producers. Based on our success with SC and O4 in other models, we also plan to try another blue back color soon - Natural Sardine (ND2) in the Koolie Minnow LL 118. It should be a good one!
Koolie Minnow LL 136 Long Lip. Bill Bjork landed this one on yet another SEBILE plug - trolling the Koolie Minnow LL 136 (trolls to 46 feet) accounted for many stripers this morning.
Spin Shad #2. Striper above was landed on SEBILE 1-1/4 oz Spin Shad #2 by casting into the area where a school of surface feeding stripers were seen, and after the school went down, I then let the Spin Shad #2 sink to mid-depths while jigging the rod tip every so often while reeling in slowly.
Flatt Shad 96 XH Extra Heavy. The extra heavy 96 XH lipless in Blue Althea color works for Bill Bjork by both trolling (14 ft deep) and deep jigging (up to 100 ft).
Double Dipping Right Under the Boat. Bill dropped the Flatt Shad 96 XH over the side of the boat and let it sink to the depth where the fishfinder showed a striper school under the boat. Usually, when one of us lands a hooked fish that we caught by trolling or casting, it is common for an entire school of stripers to follow the hooked fish and the school will appear on the graph under the boat for a minute or two, during which you can vertical jig another fish or two using sinking lipless Flatt Shads (66 XH or 96 XH), Spin Shad tailspinners or Vibrato metal lures dropped over the side and lowered to the depth the school shows on the sonar.
Koolie Minnow LL 190 Long Lip. Fishing buddy Bill Bjork caught this one on another big SEBILE plug for trolling stripers. The Koolie Minnow 190 LL which can be trolled down deeper than 60 feet.
ACast Minnow 165 DR Deep Runner. Freshwater striper that struck a SEBILE ACast Minnow 165 DR (trolls to 45 ft deep) in Blue Althea color. This plug stirs a lot of water and pulls pretty hard against the rod tip. Because of its powerful water-stirring action, I prefer 20 lb test braid to troll it.
Rattsler 85 VLL Very Long Lip. A hard-fighting freshwater striped bass landed by trolling a SEBILE Rattsler VLL crankbait in 30 feet of water. The lure itself runs about 20 feet deep when trolled with 10 lb test braid.
SEBILE Striper Selections for Deep Trolling, Jigging & Open Water Casting
The table below summarizes the range of lures we have been using lately. Note they are all lipped crankbaits, lipless cranks and lipped minnow plugs (plus the Vibrato and Spin Shad metal lures). We have not even tried SEBILE's exciting range of topwater lures lately, including the Splasher, Slim Stick, Ghost Walker and Bonga Minnow which all provoke explosive surface strikes. There's been little chance to try the Stick Shadd or Magic Swimmer lately either, even though those are the top two SEBILE saltwater striper models in the Northeast Atlantic. Nor have we tried the Bonga Jerk or Onduspoon #3 for casting and trolling lately! And I have probably left one or two out.
|ACast Minnow MR 165 FL||6-1/2" / 165mm||1-1/2 oz / 45g||Floating/Diving||≤12 ft||≤16 ft||12 to 30 lb|
|ACast Minnow DR 165 FL||6-1/2" / 165mm||2 oz / 56g||Floating/Diving||≤22 ft||≤45 ft||16 to 30 lb|
|Crankster MR 65 FL||2-1/2" / 65mm||5/8 oz / 18.5g||Floating/Diving||4 to 6 ft||≤12 ft||10 to 20 lb|
|Flatt Shad 77 SK||3" / 77mm||3/4 oz / 22g||Sinking||4 to 8 ft*||≤40 ft||10 to 25 lb|
|Flatt Shad 96 SK||3-3/4" / 96mm||1-3/8 oz / 40g||Sinking||5 to 10 ft*||≤30 ft||16 to 40 lb|
|Flatt Shad 124 SK||5" / 124mm||2-1/2 oz / 70g||Sinking||6 to 14 ft*||≤30 ft||20 to 50 lb|
|Flatt Shad 66 XH SK||2-5/8" / 66mm||3/4 oz / 21g||Extra Heavy Sinking||4 to 6 ft*||≤60 ft||10 to 20 lb|
|Flatt Shad 96 XH SK||3-3/4" / 96mm||2-1/8 oz / 60g||Extra Heavy Sinking||6 to 14 ft*||≤100 ft||20 to 40 lb|
|Flatt Shad 124 XH SK||5" / 124mm||3-3/4 oz / 112g||Extra Heavy Sinking||8 to 20 ft*||≤150 ft||25 to 50 lb|
|Koolie Minnow LL 90||3-1/2" / 90mm||3/8 oz / 11g||Floating/Diving||≤8 ft||≤20 ft||10 to 16 lb|
|Koolie Minnow BRL 118||4-5/8" / 118mm||3/4 oz / 22g||Floating/Diving||Top to 5 ft||10 to 25 lb|
|Koolie Minnow BRL 145 FW||5-3/4" / 145mm||1-1/2 oz / 42g||Floating/Diving||Top to 8 ft||16 to 30 lb|
|Koolie Minnow BRL 190 FW||7-1/2" / 190mm||2-3/4 oz / 78g||Floating/Diving||Top to 10 ft||20 to 50 lb|
|Koolie Minnow LL 102 (New)||4" / 102mm||5/8 oz / 16.5g||Floating/Diving||≤12 ft||≤30 ft||10 to 20 lb|
|Koolie Minnow LL 118||4-5/8" / 118mm||1 oz / 27.6g||Floating/Diving||≤18 ft||≤43 ft||10 to 25 lb|
|Koolie Minnow LL 136 FW||5-1/4" / 136mm||1-1/2 oz / 42.5g||Floating/Diving||≤22 ft||≤46 ft||12 to 30 lb|
|Koolie Minnow LL 160 FW||6-1/4" / 160mm||2-1/4 oz / 63g||Floating/Diving||≤28 ft||≤50 ft||20 to 40 lb|
|Koolie Minnow LL 190 FW||7-1/2" / 190mm||3 oz / 88g||Floating/Diving||≤30 ft||≤64 ft||20 to 50 lb|
|Rattsler VLL 85||3-1/4" / 85mm||5/8 oz / 17.5g||Floating||≤10 ft||≤20 ft||10 to 16 lb|
|Spin Shad #1||3/4 oz / 22g||Sinking||3 to 8 ft||≤25 ft||10 to 20 lb|
|Spin Shad #2||1-1/4 oz / 35g||Sinking||5 to 12 ft||≤40 ft||12 to 25 lb|
|Vibrato #21 (New 2011)||3/4 oz / 21g||Sinking||≤1 ft||≤50 ft||10 to 20 lb|
|Vibrato #28 (New 2011)||1 oz / 28g||Sinking||≤2 ft||≤60 ft||10 to 25 lb|
|Vibrato #42 (New 2011)||1-1/2 oz / 42g||Sinking||≤4 ft||≤100 ft||12 to 30 lb|
|Vibrato #56 (New 2011)||2 oz / 56g||Sinking||≤6 ft||≤150 ft||16 to 30 lb|
|Vibrato #84 (New 2011)||3 oz / 84g||Sinking||≤10 ft||≤200 ft||20 to 50 lb|
FW: Full Wire Reinforced. A doubled stainless wire, welded for maximum strength, runs from end to end, along with extra strong hooks and split rings.
* : First number is casting depth. Second number is trolling depth.
There are still plenty of SEBILE lures we hope to have fun using soon!
That's why I say, "There are so many SEBILE lures that will work well with hot summer stripers - and so little time!"
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