DownRiggers for Striped Bass Fishing

DownRiggers for Striper Fishing

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Downrigging for Striped Bass in freshwater reservoirs is not for everyone it can be effective in deeper open waters of fresh water lakes and for Fisherman that like to troll around with the big motor.

Downrigging is defined as controlled-depth trolling. Using downriggers enables you to place the lure at the depth desired and keep it at that depth while moving the boat through areas where the fish are holding.

Downriggers come in all shapes with models and prices to suit the needs of just about any fisherman. They consist of a winch, either manual or electric, a boom and a weight and usually 150ft. of stainless steel wire. The weight is attached to a release device which holds the fishing line.

The lure of choice is cast behind the boat and then the line is placed in the release mechanism of the downrigger. The weight on the downrigger is then lowered to the desired depth. The rod and reel is then placed in a rod-holder and the slack is taken out of the line. Trolling speed is usually around 2mph or idle speed with motor in gear.  When a Striper hits the lure, the line releases from the downrigger and the fight is on.

There are electric and manual downriggers. Manual downriggers usually require 1 revolution of the crank for each foot of retrieval which can turn into a problem fast when you have a hundred yards of line out with a large Striper on and he is running around the boat,   if he hits the steel weight line the fight is over. Using electric downriggers when a fish is on, it is a lot less of a worry allowing you to center you focus on the fight at hand and let the electric winch retrieve the weight line of the downrigger.

A depthfinder / fishfinder is a must in Downrigging. When you locate stripers on the deptfinder, run the baits above the fish, Striper will feed up most of the time.
Many baits can be trolled effectively for stripers Jigs, spoons, rattle-traps, diving baits.
Whatever your preference for fish , at times they can be caught downrigging.

Downrigging will let you cover a lot of Lake at different depth ranges until a pattern can be established. Downrigging is a tool to have in your knowledge of striper fishing. Most Guides I know do not use downriggers preferring the traditional methods of Striper Fishing.

"There are many things in life that will catch your eye,  but only a few will catch your heart.....pursue those."

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Striper Fishing with Downriggers in Arkansas