Top 5 Trolling Rigs for Striped Bass

striper trolling

Tube-and-Worm Rig

Tube-and-Worm Rig

Application: Shallow water, estuaries, warm water, midday
Rod: 15- to 30-pound-class, 7-foot conventional
Reel: Mid-size conventional
Line: 45-pound-test leadcore
Leader: 40- to 50-pound-test fluorocarbon
Trolling Speed: 2 knots
Tip: The worm is a crucial part of the tube-and-worm setup, but during the warmer months, porgies and other bait-stealers can clean off rigs quickly. At this time of year, a synthetic bait such as an Otter Tail, Berkley Gulp Sandworm, or piece of pork rind will weather attacks from small species.

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tube-and-worm striped bass
The tube-and-worm rig is a great daytime technique during the dog days of summer.

Bunker Spoon

Bunker Spoon Rig

Application: Trophy-fish hunting, fishing around schools of adult bunker
Rod: 8-foot, E-glass, slow-action conventional
Reel: Penn Senator 113H, Shimano Tekota 800
Line: Ultra Soft Monel Trolling Wire (50-pound test)
Leader: 60-pound-test fluorocarbon
Trolling Speed: 2.5 to 3.5 knots (but watch the rod—when it is pulsing rhythmically, that’s the sweet spot)
Tip: Outfit the boat with rod holders that position the rods parallel to the water. This tactic will give you a wider spread when trolling two spoons, preventing tangles and improving lure action. Also, be sure to leash the rods to the boat!

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bunker spoon striped bass
Bunker spoon striper -Photo courtesy of Bay Park Fishing Station

Umbrella Rig

Umbrella Rig

Application: Schooling fish, fishing around sand eels, prospecting for fish
Rod: 6-to 7-foot, 30- to 50-pound-class conventional
Reel: Penn Senator 113H, Shimano Tekota 800
Line: 50-pound test Ultra Soft Monel Trolling Wire
Leader: 80- to 100-pound-test fluorocarbon
Trolling Speed: 2 to 4 knots
Tip: Match the hatch on your umbrella rig. When sand eels are the predominant forage, use small sections of surgical tube or Red Gill teasers; when larger baits are present, like herring or peanut bunker, use paddle-tail shads.

Mojo Rig

Mojo Rig

Application: Deep water, around schools of bunker, prospecting for fish, trophy-fish hunting
Rod: 20- to 40-pound-class conventional
Reel: Mid-size conventional
Line: 65-pound-test braided line
Leader: 100-pound-test fluorocarbon
Trolling Speed: 2 to 4 knots
Tip: With the boat at trolling speed, drop the rig until it hits bottom. Wait a couple seconds, then let out more line until it hits bottom again, engage the reel place the rod in the holder.

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Deep Diver Rig

Deep Diver Rig

Application: Prospecting for fish, around bunker schools, off sandy beaches
Rod: 20- to 40-pound-class conventional
Reel: Mid-size conventional
Line: 50-pound-test braided line
Leader: 50- to 60-pound-test fluorocarbon
Trolling Speed: 4 knots
Tip: Use plugs that troll to different depths in your spread. While stripers will be hugging the bottom most often, at times, a bait swimming through the middle of the water column will get more bites. Different plugs will have different actions, so carry an array of deep divers including the Rapala X-Rap Magnum, Sebile Koolie Minnow, Mann’s Stretch, and Bomber CD.

10 on “Top 5 Trolling Rigs for Striped Bass

  1. Matt

    New tekota 600 big enough? You’ve got 800 listed here. Think the 600 is as big as they make the new version.

  2. Tim

    Is anyone using leadcore line for trolling bunker spoons, umbrella rigs, or mojos opposed to monel wire or braid?

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