Finding Buggs Island Stripers Dec 13, 2019 13:21:43 GMT
Post by Ghost Comanche©® on Dec 13, 2019 13:21:43 GMT
Finding Buggs Island Stripers
by Bob McNally @ www.boats.com
Get past pesky catfish to find the prize
Question.....I truly enjoy taking my son striper fishing at Kerr Reservoir on the NC/Virginia border. I have the boat. I mark the fish. I even get the fresh live bait. I've used a variety of rigs. I've caught plenty of catfish (largest was 38"!) But yet the stripers elude me. What resources can you suggest for me to get some fish?
Answer.....If you're consistently catching catfish instead of striped bass, you're likely fishing too deep and too slow, and not using lively enough shad baits to tempt stripers.
One of the best and least expensive ways to learn the striper ropes on Kerr would be to hire one of the better lineside guides on the reservoir. Check with some of the larger marinas and bait shops around the lake, contact the best guide, and learn from his years of experience.
If you want to continue your own research, here are some tips for striper fishing on Kerr: Lake Kerr, or Buggs Island Reservoir, is one of the few lakes in America where landlocked stripers spawn naturally. The 50,000-acre lake on theVirginia-North Carolina border also has a just-deserved reputation for giving up some of the biggest average-size stripers caught in the nation.
Like many good striper lakes, Kerr has two peak periods of lineside activity: one in spring, the other in winter.
October and November are peak times for "fishing the jumps" on Kerr. The Clarksville area of Kerr seems to be an especially good region for "jump fishing."
Anglers watch for diving gulls feeding on baitfish driven to the surface by schools of rampaging stripers, then they run to the melee in boats and cast to the fish.
All standard striper lures can be productive at such times, from streamer flies and poppers to chugger plugs, crankbaits, spoons and jigs. Most fish average 5-10 pounds, but fish to 25 pounds always are a possibility.
During January and February, hardy anglers willing to brave strong winds and cold temperatures do well on Kerr stripers by stillfishing with live shiners in the Nutbush Creek area and near the lake's dam. Most fish are caught at 12- to 20-foot depths.
Savvy anglers do not set out baits until they "mark" stripers on graph depth recorders. Once stripers are found, they position baits just a foot or so above the fish and wait for strikes. The mouths of feeder creeks and points near them are favored by Kerr striped bass in winter.
A lot of boat riding often is needed to locate stripers on graph recorders, but it's time well spent since it improves the lull between strikes.
In spring, stripers make a major spawning run up the big feeder rivers of Kerr. The run starts in April, but the fish "stage" at the river mouths in the main body of the lake during March, and excellent striper action can be had at that time of year for pre-spawn fish.
Trolling with live shad, jigs and diving plugs along submerged river channel structures in 20-30 feet of water is a top method of taking March stripers from Kerr. Work the creek mouths at the upper end of the reservoir.
The bulk of the spring run, and the best fishing, occurs in the Dan River near the town of Danville, and in the Roanoke River (also called Staunton River) near Brookneal, Va. The peak fishing is in April and May.
Much of the best action only is available to wading and shoreline fishermen, and anglers working from small skiffs and aluminum jonboats because both rivers are shallow where stripers hit best. Standard spring striper technique for working the rivers is to cast bucktail jigs, and big diving plugs such as "Rebels," "Brook," and "Redfins" toward the banks. Some fishermen do well with cut baits, and live shad or herring is deadly if such baits can be procured.
Action in the Dan River usually heats up first. Female stripers caught during spring average 12-15 pounds, while males average 5-6 pounds. Some linesides in the 25- to 30-pound range are caught from the rivers every