we usually try to drag something (ie: bunker chuck, bunker head, whole bunker, croaker) to see if anything hits, while drifting our eels and bucktails. we've done it four or five times this year and haven't had a run off with it yet. my theory though, you gotta try! different reports show a wide range of things being pulled out of these things stomachs while cutting them up.
I was thinking that there are a lot of 20-36" fish that are aggressive and fast and they are the ones reaching the bucktails first. There may be a fat cow underneath them that doesn't get a chance to hit the bucktail as the smaller fish beat them to it. Kind of like trying to catch a 10lb largemouth in a pound full of sunnies. Just a theory. A big, live spot would be great.
Scott.........The biggest striper I personally caught was in the rips, a fish just over 45 pounds. I caught this on one of the inshore rips where the tide doesn't run very strong. Instinctively, large stripers know they can't hunt effectively in the turbulent rip conditions we most commonly fish. Interestingly, every large cow that inhabits the bay this time of year, swam through the rips to get there, so they obviously are there on their voyage. Stripers in the rips are sight hunting compared to olfactory (smell) hunting in the calmer waters of the bay. This is the reason bucktails are so effective. This year we caught some fish close to 30 pounds using live croakers in some of the middle shoal areas in the rips. There are always exceptions to all generalities, and some days, clams will outfish all other baits, even in the rips, although this is rare. And, what keeps fishing interesting, is that you never know what will happen! Catch em up my friend.
Thanks for the advice guys. We will be fishing bucktails. I was just wondering whether there was a way to seek out that one monster. Maybe I'll pack one bunker with my sandwich and give it a try. I just don't want to get in anyone's way while they are fishing bucktails.
As capt harv stated..very rare to find a big fish in the middle of a pac of rats, especially this late in the run. You wan't big fish in the rips, best off fishing at night in the Spring as there are a few select spots they'll bite during the last and first hr. or so of a tide change.
I'll be back in the Spring - that's a given. I'll be happy just catching two keepers. It's always exciting thinking about the possibility of that big cow coming along. Just like dreaming of that monster 12-point buck before deer season opens.