Striped Bass Trolling Rigs

Five Rigs for Striped Bass Trolling

Tube-and-Worm Rig

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

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.

Additional Articles on Tube and Worm Trolling:
Master the Tube-and-Worm Rig (Video)

Hook More Fish on the Tube and Worm

Bunker Spoon

Tony Maja Bunker Spoon No4 Adult Bunker Porgy
Application: Trophy-fish hunting, fishing around schools of adult bunker
Rod: 8-foot, E-glass, slow-action conventional
Reel: Penn Senator 400H, 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!

Additional Articles on Bunker Spoons:

Four Steps to Bunker Spoon Success 

Local Luremaker: Tony Arcabascio – Tony Maja’s Custom Bunker Spoons

Trolling Tactics for Spring Trophies

Umbrella Rig

Application: Schooling fish, fishing around sand eels, prospecting for fish
Rod: 6-foot, 30- to 50-pound-class conventional
Reel: Penn Senator 400H, 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; when larger baits are present, like herring or peanut bunker, use paddle-tail shads.

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, and place the rod in the holder.

Additional Articles on Mojo Rigs:

Get Started With Mojos

Mojo Magic


Deep Diver

Rapala X-Rap Magnum 20
Rapala X-Rap Magnum 20

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.



3 thoughts on “Striped Bass Trolling Rigs

  1. RK

    Tube and worm can be fished on braid. But this is one case where mono actually works better. The stretch in the mono actually works to keep tension on the hook at the length behind the boat that the strike happens.

  2. David Hescheles

    If trolling for Stripers is your thing (meat and fun fisherman) this article tells you almost all you need to know about trolling. Good summary.

  3. Dee Plorable

    I use Tube n Worm quite a bit. Couple things I’ve learned:

    Light Day use Lighter color tube.

    Dark day use a darker color.

    Cloudy my favorite is mustard color Santini Tube n worm

    Another thing which is my finding. The Berkeley Gulp 2″ Saltwater Sandworm works good also. Sometimes Sandworm sizes at the bait store are too small for trolling so these are a good substitute and last longer. I will also put a small eel on there if trolling under a full moon or at dusk or dawn.

    Just my 2 cents….

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