By Richard Obie
If you are a surf angler, hooking a sizable striped bass in the surf is one of the most exciting experiences you can have. The secret is choosing the right rig and the right bait for the job. Here are my two favorite surf fishing rigs for this sought after fish.
The Fish Finder Rig
There are various forms of the fish finder rig, but the one detailed here has caught more striped bass than any other. This surf fishing rig is best used with live bait, eels hooked through the the tail are always the top choice, followed by either menhaden or herring. Leader length between hook and swivel should be around 20 inches. Attaching a weight slide above the swivel will make the bait presentation much better than a fixed version. Striped bass have excellent eyesight so try and keep the rig as simple as possible. The fish finder rig works well because it allows the live bait to move naturally in the current.
The Hi Low Rig
There are also many versions of the high low rig, but this is the one that seems to catch the most striped bass. This rig works well because smaller bass tend to sit higher in the water while the larger fish will stay closer to the bottom. For this surf fishing rig tie two 5 inch dropper loops on a 5 foot length of leader, keeping the loops around 12 inches apart and tie your hooks to the end of the loops. 15 inches below the bottom loop attach a weight snap, and 15 inches above the top loop tie on a swivel for the main line. The object of this rig is for the fish to hook themselves, so circle hooks will work the best. Try using a larger bait like bunker chunks on the bottom loop, and a slightly smaller bait like blood worms for the top loop.
Using these two surf fishing rigs will greatly improve your chances of hooking and landing a striped bass. Visit Surf Fishing Tips and find out which baits are best for which fish and more great tips to increase your catch rate.