The club divides striper fishing methods into three categories: bait fishing, trolling and casting. Bait fishing is done with live shad, cut shad and live panfish in a pinch. Trollers can use artificial or live baits with down riggers, plainer boards, lead core line and weighted lures. Casting is done with crank baits or a type of jig.
Shortly after I joined the Club I had the opportunity to fish with some established members. We did bait fishing and trolling and were reasonably successful in both cases. For me, if there is ever a chance to catch fish casting, I much prefer that.
At one of the early general meetings I attended, a gentleman gave a presentation on casting for stripers at night. I don’t remember his name and I’m not sure if he was a member or not. After that night I never seen the speaker again. During his presentation he discussed the usual course of action: begin fishing around 11:00 pm, the fishing would probably end around 2:00 am, cast the lures as close to the shoreline as possible and use a slow retrieve. He mentioned some of the lures he would use, like: Bomber Long A’s, floating Repalas, Rebels, Redfins and Thundersticks. All of this is pretty much universal among our Club members. Then as he was about to end his presentation he added one last piece of advice, “If the paint on your bait starts to peel, go ahead and scrape off the rest of the paint. For some reason stripers like the bone color under the paint.”
That little piece of advice was inculcated somewhere in my head, but I never thought to use it until years later. About a year after I joined the Club, I agreed to help recruit members to assist with the 4H fishing class. Each call I made usually ended with fish talk. To one member in particular, I mentioned that I enjoyed casting baits at night for stripers. He asked if I had ever tried a Thunderstick in the rainbow trout pattern. I answered that I had not. Then he told me I should because the pattern was deadly.
I promptly bought 10 of the Thundersticks in the rainbow trout pattern. They certainly worked well enough. I went so far as to encourage other people to use the pattern. After some years of use the paint started to peel on some of the Thundersticks. I thought about repainting the lures, then I remembered the gentleman and his presentation. It would be so much easier to scrape off the paint rather than repaint the lure. I did and I can tell you it works and works well.
Good luck and keep the lines tight, Paul