October 16, 2010

SEBILE Surf Fishing Lures for Striped Bass

SEBILE High Surf Fishing Lures for Striped Bass

The high surf is a mystical area where land, ocean and sky intertwine into one ever-changing existence. It's beautiful, at times peaceful - but rarely ever tranquil or docile. Whether working together or pushing against each other, forces of earth, water, wind, weather and moon tide create a constantly active, alive area. Excitement, action and power persist in the high surf, made even more enchanting by the large, aggressive striped bass, bluefish and weakfish that swim in our dreams and desires under the glistening stars.

The high surf angler needs to strike a balance of conditions, fish and tackle. Any one of those aspects cannot be out of synch. Lures for high surf fishing need to be as powerful as the environment, the quarry and the rod, reel and line to be used with the lures. With that prerequisite in mind, I have made a simple list (see below) of all SEBILE hard plastic lures weighing approx. 2 ounces or heavier, and that may potentially be applicable to surf, inlet, jetty and shore fishing with high surf gear.

Items listed in yellow I have already added to my store. Items in light blue, I have just ordered this week, and expect to add to my store very soon (provided they were still in stock at the warehouse as of the date I ordered them).

If you are looking for or can't find any other SEBILE lures you'd like to use in the high surf, please email me at Russ@Bassdozer.com and let me know. I may be able to add them to my store or else I can special order them for you (if they are available in stock in the warehouse).

Model Size Weight Type Casting Jigging Line Test
Magic Swimmer 190 FSK 7-1/2" / 190mm 3 oz / 90g Fast Sinking 4 to 8 ft   20 to 50 lb
Magic Swimmer 228 SSK 9" / 228mm 4 oz / 120g Slow Sinking Wake to 8 ft   30 to 65 lb
Magic Swimmer 228 FSK 9" / 228mm 5 oz / 145g Fast Sinking 6 to 12 ft   30 to 65 lb
Stick Shadd 155 FL FW + 6-1/4" / 155mm 2-1/4 oz / 65g Floating Wake to 1 ft   20 to 50 lb
Stick Shadd 155 SU FW 6-1/4" / 155mm 2-1/2 oz / 70g Suspending 1 to 2 ft   20 to 50 lb
Stick Shadd 155 SK FW + 6-1/4" / 155mm 3 oz / 84g Sinking 2 to 15 ft   20 to 50 lb
Stick Shadd 155 FSK FW 6-1/4" / 155mm 3-7/8 oz / 116g Fast Sinking 3 to 20 ft   25 to 50 lb
Stick Shadd 182 FL FW + 7-1/4" / 182mm 3-5/8 oz / 108g Floating Wake to 1-1/2 ft   25 to 65 lb
Stick Shadd 182 SK FW + 7-1/4" / 182mm 4-3/8 oz / 132g Sinking 3 to 20 ft   25 to 65 lb
Stick Shadd 182 FSK FW 7-1/4" / 182mm 5-1/4 oz / 156g Fast Sinking 5 to 30 ft   30 to 65 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 SK 5" / 124mm 2-1/2 oz / 70g Sinking 6 to 14 ft ≤30 ft 20 to 50 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 ML 160 FL FW 6-1/4" / 160mm 1-7/8 oz / 53g Floating 4 to 10 ft   20 to 40 lb
Koolie Minnow ML 160 SK FW 6-1/4" / 160mm 2-1/4 oz / 64g Sinking 5 to 12 ft   20 to 40 lb
Koolie Minnow BRL 190 FW + 7-1/2" / 190mm 2-3/4 oz / 78g Floating Top to 10 ft   20 to 50 lb
Splasher 152 FW + 6" / 152mm 2-3/4 oz / 78g Floating Topwater   20 to 50 lb
Bonga Jerk 125 FW + 5" / 125mm 2 oz / 60g Floating 2 to 4 ft   12 to 40 lb
Bonga Jerk 165 FW + 6-1/2" / 165mm 4 oz / 120g Floating 2 to 4 ft   30 to 80 lb
Bonga Minnow 125 FW + 5" / 125mm 2 oz / 55g Floating Topwater   12 to 40 lb
Salt & Sun Series Size Weight Type Casting Jigging Line Test
Bonga Minnow 125 S&S 5" / 125mm 2 oz / 60g Floating Topwater   25 to 50 lb
Bonga Jerk 125 S&S 5" / 125mm 2-1/4 oz / 65g Floating 2 to 4 ft   25 to 50 lb
Bonga Jerk 165 S&S 6-1/2" / 165mm 4-1/4 oz / 125g Floating 2 to 4 ft   30 to 80 lb
Koolie Minnow BRL 190 S&S 7-1/2" / 190mm 3-1/8 oz / 93g Floating Top to 10 ft   25 to 65 lb
Flatt Shad 124 XH-SK S&S 5" / 124mm 4 oz / 120g Extra Heavy Sinking ≤20 ft ≤150 ft 25 to 50 lb
Stick Shadd 155 FL S&S 6-1/4" / 155mm 2-3/8 oz / 68g Floating Wake to 1 ft   20 to 40 lb
Stick Shadd 155 SK S&S 6-1/4" / 155mm 3 oz / 90g Sinking 2 to 15 ft   20 to 40 lb
Stick Shadd 182 FL S&S 7-1/4" / 182mm 3-5/8 oz / 115g Floating Wake to 1-1/2 ft   20 to 65 lb
Stick Shadd 182 SK S&S 7-1/4" / 182mm 4-3/4 oz / 142g Sinking 3 to 20 ft   20 to 65 lb
Splasher 152 S&S 6" / 152mm 2-3/4 oz / 78g Floating Topwater   30 to 65 lb
Splasher 190 S&S 7-1/2" / 190mm 5-1/2 oz / 165g Floating Topwater   40 to 100 lb

FW : Full Wire Reinforced
+ : Also available in Foam-Filled Salt & Sun series

Please note there are two different SEBILE series for striped bass fishing:

  1. Full Wire Reinforced  Lures of exceptional strength for brutes that can destroy ordinary lures. A doubled stainless wire, welded for maximum strength, runs through these lures from end to end, along with extra strong hooks and split rings
  2. Salt & Sun Series  For the most ferocious big game species! The strongest hooks available, super heavy duty split rings and reinforced bodies are foam-filled so even hard, toothy bites don't faze these lures. The foam-filled inside helps keep the internal construction held solidly in place and defies destruction.

The hottest SEBILE lures for striped bass fishing in New England, the northeast and mid-Atlantic states in 2010 have been the Stick Shadd 182 (top), Magic Swimmer 190 FSK (center), Stick Shadd 155 (bottom).

The 3 oz Magic Swimmer 190 FSK (top) has gained good acceptance by the surf crowd. Shown compared to Flatt Shad 124 (bottom).

Savvy surf anglers after trophy stripers have been bigging up to Magic Swimmer 228 in both 4 oz SSK and 5 oz FSK versions (top). Shown compared to the 3 oz 190 FSK version (bottom).

The Stick Shadd 182 (top) and 155 (bottom) in both SK and SSK versions have been phenomenal for Cape Cod Canal, surf and boat anglers during the 2010 season.

Stick Shadd 182 (top), Stick Shad 155 (center) and Flatt Shad 124 (bottom).

One of the next possibilities I see for high surf fishing is the Flatt Shad 124 SK and Flatt Shad 124 XH-SK. These are large lipless vibrating crankbaits, and anyone who is already familiar with using the Stick Shadd SK, FSK and Magic Swimmer FSK and SSK models, I feel that you should be able to make use of the Flatt Shad 124 SK & XH models in similar situations and circumstances.

It helps to think of the XH as just another FSK. So essentially you have the Flatt Shad 124 SK and "FSK" (XH-SK) which should be a great addition to the arsenal of anyone who is already using the Stick Shadd SK, FSK and Magic Swimmer FSK and SSK models.

Will the Flatt Shad 124 be the next SEBILE lure to be discovered by surf anglers? It comes in 2-1/2 oz SK (Sinking) and 3-3/4 oz XH-SK (Extra Heavy) versions.

The way to tell them apart is written under their tails.

Koolie Minnow 160 ML weighs 1-7/8 oz and looks perfect for surfcasting off deep beaches, jetties and inlet areas.

Tips How to Fish the SEBILE Fast Sinking Magic Swimmer

If someone asked you what is the number one action that fish go for, keep in mind the answer is often a falling action, and the Magic Swimmer Fast Sinking model has got it built right in - a beautiful swimming/falling action on the drop.

As a result of their unique and heavy balance, the Magic Swimmer FSK will swim while sinking without reeling. This gives you something totally new and unique for a jointed hard bait, as you can use the Fast Sinking with a regular, steady reeling and it will swim amazingly like the original Magic Swimmer swimbait - but you can also stop reeling to let the Fast Sinking model riggle or swim beautifully on the fall!

The Fast Sinking Magic Swimmer is a long distance casters too, thanks to its heavy body weight.

Swimming on the Fall

As soon as your Magic Swimmer Fast Sinking hits the water, simply close your bail or engage the reel to lock the spool and let your line come semi-tight. Don’t leave slack line as that may cause the Magic Swimmer to sink head down and the tail hook may foul the line. But simply by having the resistance of a semi-tight line, you will provide for a level descent as your Magic Swimmer Fast Sinking alternates in a right/left swimming motion during the drop or fall. There's nothing you need to do here except keep a semi-tight line and have the rod ready to set the hook. You may have bites at any time during the fall, before you ever turn the reel handle, from the moment the lure hits the water until it sinks down to reach the level you want to begin retrieval. This falling, swimming movement is an action that no other hard baits really have, and you can simply alternate a reeling and pause phase to have your lure going up (as you reel) and down (when you pause), but swimming constantly all the time, even on the pause it swims to attract fish. Simply reel the Magic Swimmer Fast Sinking along for a number of feet, and then suddenly stop reeling for a number of seconds. You don't use the rod, just the reel to do this. Simply keep the rod in position for a good hookset throughout the retrieve. You'll get bit most often during the pause as the lure keeps swimming down. That provocative falling/swimming action has proven to be exceptionally effective - and so easy to do.


This is simply turbo-charging the tactic described above. Do the same thing, use a semi-tight line to let the lure sink/swim to the level where you want to start, and then reel speedily so the lure suddenly bursts up and away. This will attract and excite any predator fish in the immediate vicinity. Then just as quickly stop. The sudden halt is what triggers an impulsive, powerful reaction strike. Depending on depth and distance, you may be able to repeat this a couple times, keeping in mind that as it is reeled, the lure will rise higher. You can only speed-reel for a limited number of short bursts during which time your plug will rise higher and higher up in the water column. Once the lure has been speed-reeled up higher than the point you want, then switch to using the semi-tight line tactic to let it descend on the sink/swim again until the plug descends deep enough again so you may start another series of speed-reeling bursts all over again.

Quartering a Current

To quarter a current is to cast the Magic Swimmer Fast Sinking so it lands approximately forty-five degrees upcurrent. Then let the force of the current swing it around as it drifts back down, reeling at first in order to maintain a semi-loose line while the lure is still upcurrent from you. Note when we discussed the previous tactic - casting into non-moving water, we espoused that you maintain a semi-tight line. In moving water, we recommend a semi-loose line. They're not the same thing. In non-moving water, a semi-tight line will metabolize the lures built-in swimming momentum. Whereas in moving water, the water flow energizes the lure's swimming momentum, so a semi-loose line is needed to allow that. A semi-tight line in moving water would work against and negate the natural sinking/swimming motion that is so magical with these lures.

Truly, the exact angle and spot where you drop your cast really needs to be calibrated (depending on current speed and depth) so the lure swings down into prime position when it swims directly in front of you - as that is the key place and exact instant for a strike. The heavier nature of the Magic Swimmer Fast Sinking lets you drop the cast in at the precise spot with greater accuracy. As the current sweeps the Magic Swimmer Fast Sinking back down at you, it will sink down while swimming along. You don't need to do anything to impart action - the swimming is all built into the lure itself. You do need to be reeling in just a little line, maintaining a semi-loose line so the lure will maintain a level posture as it continues to sink and swim on the drift down.. If you let the line go too slack, the lure will angle nose-down and may foul the line with its tail hook. Nor do you want to wind in line at too fast a pace, since that will defeat the lure's natural sinking/swimming action as it moves along with the current. That portion of the cast is the set-up for what happens next, meaning as as the lure comes perpendicular to you (directly in front of you), there is a brief instant when water flow pressure neutralizes and overrides gravity's downward force, and your Magic Swimmer Fast Sinking achieves an almost neutral buoyancy as it floats and swirls most naturally. That is often the moment when the connection is made between fisherman and fish, when the lure is no longer drifting down, but floating freely right in front of you, buffeted by the swirling current. The Magic Swimmer Fast Sinking is fairly neutral for an instant there, like an astronaut in a weightless environment! What happens the next instant is the lure switches over to being downcurrent from you. It does an about-face 180 turn and starts rising in the current. This sudden rise is a strike trigger. You can't really do it with the rod tip or with reel and line manipulation. It is only the current and the dead-drifting swing tactic that makes such strike trigger moments possible. If there is any fish-holding boulder, hump, drop-off, shell bed, rise, ledge, sand bar or whatever may hold fish, you really want to orchestrate the instant of the 180 turn-around and rise to happen right there in front of you. Once you understand and perfect this, you will realize that you do not catch many fish on the part of the retrieve when the lure is coming down current. That part of the drift is only used to set up and prepare for when the plug gets directly in front of you, and that's when you do your catching - upon the point of the weightless equilibrium, turn-around and rise. Nor will you get as many strikes once the lure drifts past that point and swims down current from you. You will get most of your strikes directly in front of you. So you must strive to drop your cast at the exact angle and spot upcurrent that lets the lure sink/swim down to the depth and distance where it's exactly perfect in front of you where fine, strong fish are feeding in the current. if you ca n do that, you are going to catch more fish than you ever believed possible with the Fast Sinking Magic Swimmer.

Bassdozer says: "Taking the tail treble off and using the Magic Swimmer with only the front belly treble helps reduce tangles and does not upset the lure's balance or swimming action. It makes for a more dependable connection when you hook a very large, strong fish as well, because the part of the body between the front nose and the belly hook is the strongest single piece in a Magic Swimmer. For big fish, fast current or rough water, replace the belly treble with one at least a size larger using an oversized split ring. Using the lure this way, with no tail hook, it doesn't really affect the number of hook-ups, and makes it easier to unhook fish prior to release."

How to Fish a Flow, Tide or Current with the Stick Shadd SK and FSK

In terms of fishing in saltwater, in particular for current-loving striped bass, the real secret to success, the most important thing to understand is that you do not work a Stick Shad SK or FSK. It works for you. You need a cross-sweep, and you need to slack line a Stick Shadd SK or FSK, using the sweep to activate it. Any tight line or rod pull will negate the action. Any working against the flow will negate the action. Work with the flow with a slack line drift. This is a different approach than any other striper plug. Most other plugs float meaning have a specific gravity or buoyancy greater than one (1). SK and FSK Stick Shadds do not. Swimming plugs with a specific gravity greater than one, you always require some resistance (no matter how slight, even if just thumbing line while a plug drifts) to work the attached lip or angled darter or bottle plug head based on resistance to it. This resistance drives them under and wiggles them. Most guys do not understand the Stick Shadd SK and FSK. Resistance they are accustomed to using to activate all other plugs instead negates an SK's or FSK's action. To explain in terms of fly fishing, it is more like drifting a weighted nymph or a sinking streamer fly for trout - but even more so since it is only a slack line drift that allows a Stick Shadd SK or FSK to act like a natural baitfish swimming downtide tail-first.

So rather than cast and retrieve them, the trick is to drift them without reeling. Simply make a quartering cast uptide (they cast like bullets), and let your Sinking or Fast Sinking Stick Shadd drift back down with the tide past you. Only reel enough to take in excess slack, but never let the line come completely tight. Always have some slack play in the line. As the SK or FSK swings directly in front of you, if you know what to feel for, you will feel a pronounced tug pull tight on the line - which is the slack line snapped tight and the Sinking or Fast Sinking Stick Shadd suddenly jumping, turning about face as it stems the tide and then starts to rise swiftly as water pushes against it and against the line. This is the high percentage point to get hit - the exact moment the drifting plug snaps tight, turns about-face and begins struggling to rise up in the water column.

Next, if there is any bottom structure, a rock, a pool or eddy where stripers like to hold, then you need to position yourself and your cast to have the Sinking of Fast Sinking snap about-face and rise right in front of their noses. When I say rise, for a few seconds, it's very much a loose line rise with as little line tension as possible. In fact, after a few seconds, you may desire to freespool line if the water pressure is starting to build too much line tension. If no hit, simply let the plug swing on as slack a line as possible all the way downtide from you. You may need to freespool line to keep the tension out of it. A second high percentage hit point is at the very end of the drift as the plug almost washes up onto the beach - almost parallel to the shoreline. There really is no line retrieval involved (except to reel in to make another cast).

Another comparison is that, if you know the art and subtle nuances of drifting a weightless live eel - then you know how to fish this plug. The key to Sinking or fast Sinking Stick Shadd success is to drift one the same as a weightless live eel.

Which Stick Shadd Model to Use When

  • Use the 5-1/4 oz Stick Shadd 182 FSK in the heaviest winds, the roughest water, the fastest flows and/or the deepest locations. Also when you need to cast the furthest to reach distant fish or drop-offs.
  • Use the 4-3/8 oz Stick Shadd 182 SK or the 3-7/8 oz Stick Shadd 155 FSK for various moderate conditions of wind, tide and depth.
  • Use the 3 oz Stick Shadd 155 SK for lighter winds, flatter or calmer sea conditions, slower flows and/or shallower locations.

The Stick Shadd 182 and 155 come in Fast Sinking and Sinking models that look identical, except for the inscriptions under their tails.

SEBILE Lures for Striper Trolling and Inshore Boat Casting

Striped bas fishing takes many forms, and small to mid-sized boats are another means used to cast lures into the frothing breakers, to chase down breaking fish or to cast right up against the rocks or sand. In terms of casting lures from a boat, many of the lures already mentioned are worthy of your consideration.

Trolling for stripers is also an option.

For shallow water trolling along the beaches and offshore sandbars, consider the SEBILE Magic Swimmer 190 or 228 FSK and the Flatt Shad 124 XH-SK for starters. If you need lures that ride even shallow than those, the SEBILE Magic Swimmer 228 SSK and Flatt Shad 124 SK don't troll very deep at all.

SEBILE has the deep water striper troller's needs covered too, with the Koolie Minnow LL Long Lip family of deep-divers.

Koolie Minnow 190 LL (top), 160 LL (center) and 136 LL (bottom) address the deep needs of the astute striper troller.

Model Size Weight Type Trolling Line Test
Koolie Minnow LL 136 FW + 5-1/4" / 136mm 1-1/2 oz / 42.5g Floating ≤46 ft 12 to 30 lb
Koolie Minnow LL 160 FW + 6-1/4" / 160mm 2-1/4 oz / 63g Floating ≤50 ft 20 to 40 lb
Koolie Minnow LL 190 FW + 7-1/2" / 190mm 3 oz / 88g Floating ≤64 ft 20 to 50 lb
Salt & Sun Series Size Weight Type Trolling Line Test
Koolie Minnow LL 136 S&S 5-1/4" / 136mm 1-1/2 oz / 45g Floating ≤46 ft 20 to 40 lb
Koolie Minnow LL 160 S&S 6-1/4" / 160mm 2-3/8 oz / 67g Floating ≤50 ft 20 to 50 lb
Koolie Minnow LL 190 S&S 7-1/2" / 190mm 3-1/2 oz / 105g Floating ≤64 ft 25 to 65 lb

FW : Full Wire Reinforced
+ : Also available in Foam-Filled Salt & Sun series

Those are just a few of the many SEBILE lures you may find useful for a few of the many ways to catch for striped bass. Please enjoy!

For pricing and current availability, please visit http://www.BassdozerStore.com.

Thank you for your business. May your next fishing trip be your best ever!