SALTWATER

WHAT — Saltwater striped bass

WHERE — In North Carolina, fish the two US 64 bridges between the mainland and Roanoke Island across Croatan Sound. In South Carolina, the upper end of the Wando River holds stripers thanks to some supplemental stocking of native strains of river stripers.

HOW — Fish cut bait at the bases of the bridges near Manns Harbor using pinfish or crab. You can also cast a curlytail grub between the pilings. Moving water from wind or tide works best. On the Wando, stripers love crankbaits in chrome or blue hues. 

LAUNCH — You can launch beside the US 64 bridge at Manns Harbor to fish the NC bridges. Paradise Landing off US 17 just before Awendaw gives you good access to the upper Wando.

INSIDER TIP — Inshore stripers aren’t as big as their ocean-going kin. Downsize your baits and tackle appropriately.


FRESHWATER

WHAT — Landlocked striped bass

WHERE — In North Carolina, head for Lake Tillery on the Yadkin/Pee Dee chain. In South Carolina, Lake Murray in the Midlands is hard to beat in the winter.

HOW — Try a two-pronged approach in either state. Free-line a couple of large shiners behind the yak while casting noisy topwater plugs or bucktails to schooling fish in and around the backs of creeks. 

LAUNCH — The public ramp at 307-A Lakeshore Dr., in Norwood, N.C., will put you about midlake on Lake Tillery. Dreher Island State Park is a great centrally located kayak access to Lake Murray.

INSIDER TIP — Contact Rodney Criscoe at Joe’s Bait and Tackle in Albemarle (704-982-8716) before you fish Lake Tillery; visit Lake Murray Reports Facebook page to find out where they’re biting on Murray.