Fan Talk: Tournament Winning Techniques for NEKF Striped Bass

15 Minutes with New England Kayak Angler Carl Vonnegut

What we learned…

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERALocation:  New England Kayak Fishing Mass Bay Striper Shootout, Boston Harbor

Approach:  This was the 10th year for the annual NEKF Mass Bay Striper Shootout, one of the biggest kayak fishing tournaments in the Northeast.  I was entered in the artificial-only division and I stuck with plastic baits the whole time.  I fished primarily at night, and focused on areas with rocky structure and current.  I like to drift and cast in likely holding areas, and then troll as I move from spot to spot.

Rigging Selection: Hogy 14″ Original Series  (we also suggest the 13″ Jigging Series) rigged on 1/2oz or 3/4oz Barbarian Jig Heads (size 10/0).  Besides using superglue to secure the body to the jighead, I also glue the rigging channel closed for a more durable connection.  I use a heavy duty backlash-style snap for the jighead-to-leader connection.  This “hinged” connection gives the bait more action when pausing or twitching.

Barb Rigged Blamber 13inch Jigging

Why this bait? The 14″ baits have that great serpentine action and are very versatile.  I also use the 13″ jigging baits.

Colors: Black/Pearl, Blamber.

Retrieve: Moderate swimming retrieve with an occasional pause or twitch.  Fishing in 10-15′ of water,  I typically start off trying to keep the bait in the lower half of the water column.   I had a couple fish follow the bait right to the kayak and try to hit it just as it was coming out of the water.  After seeing this, I picked up the pace of the retrieve a bit and it seemed to trigger the bite better.


Gear Used

Rod: 8’2″ Phenix M1 Inshore SMX82H.  I really like this line of west-coast style inshore rods.  Designed for casting swimbaits, they are lighter in weight than most musky rods but still have a lot of lifting power.  The longer length helps me reach around the bow of my 16′ kayak.

Reel:  Shimano Calcutta 400D

Line: PowerPro 40lb

Leader: 7′ length of 50lb mono
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Posted in Casting, General, Hogy Kayak Fishing, Hogy Originals, Jigging, Product Reviews, Striped Bass, Target Species, Testimonials, The Hogy Jiggin'
One comment on “Fan Talk: Tournament Winning Techniques for NEKF Striped Bass
  1. Good stuff. I like the methodical approach to covering the water column and varying the retrieve. It obviously paid off. Nice fish!

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