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https://www.fieldandstream.com/fishing-tips-for-catching-resident-striped-bass/

<strong>Dawn Patrol</strong>: A schoolie striper comes in for landing after smacking a popper in Wildwood, N.J.

<strong>Dawn Patrol</strong>: A schoolie striper comes in for landing after smacking a popper in Wildwood, N.J. (Joe Cermele/)

We’re in a labyrinth of sod banks. The water has a purple sheen in the dawn light and it’s mirror-flat. In every direction, another creek arm snakes away into the vast expanse of green marsh grass. As my friend Capt. Eric Kerber nudges us forward with the trolling motor toward a point with mullet flipping off the end, we spook a few fish. Three mud plumes erupt on the shallow bottom in front of us. Along the bank, a bulging push of water zooms away. If you didn’t know this was New Jersey, you’d swear those were redfish and this was South Carolina, yet less than a mile west of our position behind the seaside city of Wildwood lies the Garden State Parkway in rare form—free of traffic because it’s only 5:30 a.m. and because Labor Day has passed.

We get in range, and Kerber fires a Spook to the point. I cast a black foam popper to the opposite bank with my fly rod. The double hookup is almost instant. Kerber’s striper measures 24 inches; mine tapes at 23. For late-summer bass, they’re both a good size. We release them as quickly as possible so we can cast again. It’s a race to connect, because despite the amount of life we’re seeing, we know the second the sun paints this skinny water, the bite will drop dead. We’ve been out since 4 a.m., and by 7 a.m. we’ll be at the diner, but if you want in on light-tackle action with “resident” stripers, keeping odd hours for a short window is part of the program.

Where and When to Catch Resident Stripers

Striped bass are migratory. By the book, August and September finds the bulk of the big oceanic fish between southern Maine and the tip of Long Island. By the same book, these fish will end up wintering off Virginia or in Chesapeake Bay. What many don’t realize is that along every piece of coast that the migration touches, there are bass that don’t follow the herd. In many cases, these are fish that hold over in bays, rivers, and estuaries until they’re ready to join the migration, and in others, they are true residents that never leave inlets and backwaters. These are schoolie bass. A 30-​­incher would be a giant in most locations, but when you live outside the summer range of the big fish, these scrappy youngsters will bend a rod harder than more-common hot-­season players like flounder and croakers. The thing is, the odds of catching one at high noon during your August vacation are slim.

Unlike ocean-roving stripers, little residents tend to be skittish. They live around the same bridges and within the same channels that are ripped over by thousands of Jet Skis, speed boats, party boats, and wakeboarders from Memorial Day to ­Labor Day. During high-boat-traffic times, or when hundreds of people are splashing around at the beaches of bays, these fish lie low. Sunset is the trigger, prompting them to loosen up and feed when the water has quieted.

Fishing after dark or in the early-morning hours is only one side of the equation, however. You also need the right tide to coincide with those magic hours. Similar to trout, backwater stripers like to post in areas where the current carries food right to them. They may hold behind a dock piling or a point, shooting out to smack a peanut bunker or glass minnow being carried by the tide. Unlike a trout river, of course, tidal flow doesn’t remain constant. Success revolves around finding that perfect time when the bass are feeding hard and it’s easy for you to make a natural presentation. This often occurs around the top of an outgoing tide. Once the water drops and the current slows, feeding activity will wane, and the bass that are still chewing can get snobby and selective. They’ll have more time to scrutinize your lures and flies rather than having to make a snap decision to attack.

Go-To Baits and Lures for Resident Stripers

Resident stripers will set up to feed around anything, from marinas to creek mouths to flats, but there is no place I get more excited to target them than in bridge lights. The biggest challenge with doing this is simply finding a lighted bridge you can access on foot or by boat, but if you do, the shadow lines created in the water are magnets for schooling stripers. Forage such as grass shrimp, juvenile crabs, and marine worms are attracted to the glow, and assuming there is good tidal flow below the bridge, these morsels are bonus bites among the buffet of baitfish likely already being pulled under the bridge. Small soft-plastic ­finesse baits and bucktails score here, as do smaller topwaters and plugs, but considering the size of the targets and their scaled-down forage, resident stripers are a flyfisherman’s dream.

I vacation at the Jersey Shore with my family every Labor Day week, and having two small kids means I don’t get much opportunity to fish during the day. My time comes when they’ve gone to bed and I know an outgoing tide will get resident bass blitzing in the lights of a few local bridges. It’s simple fishing; I carry a 9-weight, a popper or two, a few Clousers, and some floating crabs, which, on occasion, I’ve watched bass rise to and sip like rainbows eating caddis. The fun lasts for an hour or so, and then it’s home to bed, but that’s often all you get from these little players. I’m happy to catch them a few times per season, and then before I know it, my in-laws’ beach house is winterized, the temperature drops, and I’m donning thermal base layers, bibs, and a jacket once again, breaking rough inlets at dawn because the migrators are back in town.

Gear Review: Ride the Tube

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<a href=”https://amzn.to/2ZfqfVV” rel=”nofollow” title=””>Denver Outfitters Rod Vaults</a> (Denver Outfitters/)

Rod Vaults from Denver Outfitters are a common sight on the trucks of fly anglers across the country. Now the company is bringing this convenient method of rod transport to gear anglers with the Rod Vault ST. Capable of carrying three or more fully rigged conventional or spinning outfits measuring up to 8 feet long, the Vault is made from tough aircraft-grade aluminum and locks to keep your gear from getting snatched. It also adjusts easily for mounting on any vehicle with rooftop cross bars.

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Hunting

Why Passing This 180-Inch Deer Was the Right Thing to Do

https://www.wideopenspaces.com/why-passing-this-180-inch-deer-was-the-right-thing-to-do/

Facebook: Don Higgins / Higgins Outdoors

Don Higgins passes a giant buck he named Smokey in 2016. You might think he’s insane, but not so fast.

It’s common knowledge in the deer hunting world: if you want to kill absolutely giant bucks, you’ll have to pass great bucks. And, as you’ve seen in another article of ours, Don Higgins recently tagged a buck he called Smokey during the 2017 Illinois archery season. Not just any buck, but the buck of a lifetime.

Many people don’t know the history Don has with this 200-plus Illinois giant. He passed this buck many times in 2016, and Smokey was no slouch. This deer was probably a 180-inch deer then, but Don knew the potential it had with another year of development.

Along with knowing its potential, Don had this buck dialed in. He knew its personality, its favorite bedding area and its favorite place to feed. Therefore, he was extremely confident he would be able to get another crack at him the next year.

Here’s a video of one of the hunts when Higgins passed Smokey. Would I be able to do it? Absolutely not at this point in my hunting career! But do I think he’s an idiot like most hunters screamed? Absolutely not! I admire the man for his discipline, as well as his knowledge and expertise in the woods. And if a hunter has the abilities to let a deer walk like that, more power to him.

Here is the video, check this out!

Passing Smokey

Posted by Don Higgins / Higgins Outdoors on Wednesday, August 16, 2017

As you can see, this is an incredible buck for any bowhunter. When Don posted this video on his social media pages, it was followed with mixed opinions. Some praised him and many said he was a fool because the deer was at full potential.

Don Higgins

But Don was able to silence the haters this year when he harvested Smokey just like he thought he would. A whopping 207 inches of Illinois bone later, Don had harvested his second 200-inch Illinois whitetail.

Well done, Don. I just can’t get over this video and also what Smokey turned into this hunting season.

NEXT: IS IT OK TO SHOOT A DOE WITH FAWNS?

WATCH

oembed rumble video here

The post Why Passing This 180-Inch Deer Was the Right Thing to Do appeared first on Wide Open Spaces.

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https://www.wideopenspaces.com/why-passing-this-180-inch-deer-was-the-right-thing-to-do/

Facebook: Don Higgins / Higgins Outdoors
deer hunting

Don Higgins passes a giant buck he named Smokey in 2016. You might think he’s insane, but not so fast.

It’s common knowledge in the deer hunting world: if you want to kill absolutely giant bucks, you’ll have to pass great bucks. And, as you’ve seen in another article of ours, Don Higgins recently tagged a buck he called Smokey during the 2017 Illinois archery season. Not just any buck, but the buck of a lifetime.

Many people don’t know the history Don has with this 200-plus Illinois giant. He passed this buck many times in 2016, and Smokey was no slouch. This deer was probably a 180-inch deer then, but Don knew the potential it had with another year of development.

Along with knowing its potential, Don had this buck dialed in. He knew its personality, its favorite bedding area and its favorite place to feed. Therefore, he was extremely confident he would be able to get another crack at him the next year.

Here’s a video of one of the hunts when Higgins passed Smokey. Would I be able to do it? Absolutely not at this point in my hunting career! But do I think he’s an idiot like most hunters screamed? Absolutely not! I admire the man for his discipline, as well as his knowledge and expertise in the woods. And if a hunter has the abilities to let a deer walk like that, more power to him.

Here is the video, check this out!

Passing Smokey

Posted by Don Higgins / Higgins Outdoors on Wednesday, August 16, 2017

As you can see, this is an incredible buck for any bowhunter. When Don posted this video on his social media pages, it was followed with mixed opinions. Some praised him and many said he was a fool because the deer was at full potential.

Don Higgins

But Don was able to silence the haters this year when he harvested Smokey just like he thought he would. A whopping 207 inches of Illinois bone later, Don had harvested his second 200-inch Illinois whitetail.

Well done, Don. I just can’t get over this video and also what Smokey turned into this hunting season.

NEXT: IS IT OK TO SHOOT A DOE WITH FAWNS?

WATCH

oembed rumble video here

The post Why Passing This 180-Inch Deer Was the Right Thing to Do appeared first on Wide Open Spaces.

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Hunting

Ruger Announces New Custom Shop 10/22 Rifle with Skeletonized Green Mountain Laminate Stock

Posted from: http://huntinginsider.com/ruger-announces-new-custom-shop-10-22-rifle-with-skeletonized-green-mountain-laminate-stock/

Sturm, Ruger & Company, Inc. (NYSE: RGR) is proud to introduce a new 10/22® Competition Rifle to the Ruger® Custom Shop line of firearms. This new variation boasts a skeletonized green mountain laminate stock and a stainless steel bull barrel. The 16-1/8″ stainless steel bull barrel features black Cerakote® accents and is fluted to reduce […]

The post Ruger Announces New Custom Shop 10/22 Rifle with Skeletonized Green Mountain Laminate Stock appeared first on HuntingInsider.

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Posted from: http://huntinginsider.com/ruger-announces-new-custom-shop-10-22-rifle-with-skeletonized-green-mountain-laminate-stock/

Sturm, Ruger & Company, Inc. (NYSE: RGR) is proud to introduce a new 10/22® Competition Rifle to the Ruger® Custom Shop line of firearms. This new variation boasts a skeletonized green mountain laminate stock and a stainless steel bull barrel. The 16-1/8″ stainless steel bull barrel features black Cerakote® accents and is fluted to reduce […]

The post Ruger Announces New Custom Shop 10/22 Rifle with Skeletonized Green Mountain Laminate Stock appeared first on HuntingInsider.

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Land & Legacy – Determining the Success of Your Season

Posted from: https://sportsmensnation.com/podcasters/land-and-legacy

Here is your pre-season pep rally! We take time this week to discuss how you should gauge the success of your season. Yes, big bucks are fun and play a role in our season, but there is much more weighing in on the success of a long hunting season. The outdoors is a medium or a way for you to draw closer to creation. Don’t overlook the opportunities this season to understand the importance of being silent and listening!

In addition, to determining the success of a season, we also discuss why you need to record your hunting observations. Each hunting season is an opportunity to learn more about what deer want to be doing on your property. These patterns or lack of patterns you are observing are strong indicators of the habitat work that needs to be completed on the property. We walk you through how to interpret these signs on your property. We will teach you to be intentional this hunting season and take a note pad to the stand with you. Learn more about your property and yourself more than ever this fall.

We hope this season is filled with encounters, not only with target deer, but with the Creator himself. Enjoy.Learn.Share! #ForLoveoftheLand

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For the hat trick, we’re on Facebook @ https://facebook.com/FreaknHunting/

Published

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Posted from: https://sportsmensnation.com/podcasters/land-and-legacy

Here is your pre-season pep rally! We take time this week to discuss how you should gauge the success of your season. Yes, big bucks are fun and play a role in our season, but there is much more weighing in on the success of a long hunting season. The outdoors is a medium or a way for you to draw closer to creation. Don’t overlook the opportunities this season to understand the importance of being silent and listening!

In addition, to determining the success of a season, we also discuss why you need to record your hunting observations. Each hunting season is an opportunity to learn more about what deer want to be doing on your property. These patterns or lack of patterns you are observing are strong indicators of the habitat work that needs to be completed on the property. We walk you through how to interpret these signs on your property. We will teach you to be intentional this hunting season and take a note pad to the stand with you. Learn more about your property and yourself more than ever this fall.

We hope this season is filled with encounters, not only with target deer, but with the Creator himself. Enjoy.Learn.Share! #ForLoveoftheLand

Follow FreaknHunting on Instagram @ http://instagram.com/freaknhunting
Catch us on Twitter @ http://twitter.com/freaknhunting
For the hat trick, we’re on Facebook @ https://facebook.com/FreaknHunting/

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