Stripers are hot on several Carolina lakes
Anglers are catching plenty of stripers and white perch on numerous Carolina lakes right now with spoons. Some anglers call it bottom-bumping, some call it perch jerking, and some just call it spooning. It’s a simple technique, and anglers are hooking plenty of fish with it.
Stripers don’t mind the cold weather at all. And white perch aren’t bothered by it either. They are stacked up in big numbers, and eating stunted and dying baitfish.
Tony Alexander is taking advantage of the bite right now on Lake Murray, but the bite is just as hot on other lakes with striper and white perch populations. Jordan Lake, Mountain Island Lake, Santee, Lake Norman, Lake Wylie, Gaston, and Hartwell are all giving up good numbers of stripers and white perch.
The key, said Alexander, is finding the bait.
“The striper fishing is hot this time of year, especially when it’s really cold. The colder it is, the better the striper fishing is,” he said. “And some good-sized white perch are also mixed in with them.”
Some anglers like Leroy Suggs on Santee’s lower lake watch the birds to find striper schools. The birds are fishing too, and are diving on the same baitfish the stripers are chasing from below. A good pair of binoculars helps, and when he spots a big flock of diving birds, Suggs motors over, then casts spoons at the busting schools of stripers.
White perch — nuisance, or bonus for striper anglers?
Alexander finds most of his stripers with his depth finder. Stripers appear as large Vs under the bait schools, which can look like clouds on the screen. Holes that range from 20 to 40 feet are prime locales for striper schools right now.
Using Berry’s Flex-It Spoons in white, chartreuse, and threadfin shad colors. He has them tied onto 12-pound test line and fishes with a medium action casting rod paired with baitcast reels.
“I drop the spoon to the bottom and rip it up off the bottom. Then I let it flutter to the bottom, then rip it up again. I do this over and over and over,” he said.
The stripers often hit it on the initial fall. But sometimes they hit it while the angler is ripping the spoon up. It’s a method that looks strange to anglers that have never done it, but it is highly effective this time of year.
“You can rip it up as fast as you want and the stripers will chase it down. It’s not possible to move it too fast for them to catch,” he said.
Some anglers find the white perch to be a nuisance, especially when they’re fishing for stripers. But Alexander said they can save the day when the stripers are lockjawed. And he said their filets make a fish sandwich every bit as good as the stripers do.
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