Four Best Striped Bass Trolling Lures

Striped bass fishing is fun! It’s great sport and with responsible harvest, good eats too. One of the most effective way to target striped bass is trolling. Trolling allows boat anglers to cover ground, methodically searching to hunt down bites. It’s also a great way to get away from the fleet of taxi cab like boats chasing surface feeds. Each season, patience on the troll is rewarded with some of the largest striped bass of the run.

Here’s the Four Best Striped Bass Trolling Lures proven over years on the water!

Bunker Spoon

A big fish lure, bunker spoons are well known for catching trophy striped bass. When slow trolled, these large keel weighted sheet metal spoons wobble with a wide swimming pattern. Their action is something big bass can’t pass up! When looking to present a large bait profile deep in the water column there’s no better striped bass trolling lure than a bunker spoon.

Jimmy Nacion caught this 40# class striped bass slow trolling a #4 Tony Maja bunker spoon on wireline.
Jimmy Nacion caught this 40# class striped bass slow trolling a #4 Tony Maja bunker spoon on wireline.

Available in variety of colors and sizes. The larger and heavier sizes are best for waters deeper than 50′. White and chartreuse are two popular colors that will produce on any given day’s conditions.

Bunker Spoons Imitate: Large/Medium Bait Offering: Bunker, Porgy/Scup, Flounder, Butterfish, Mackerel, Herring, Junie Weakfish

How To Fish: Traditionally fished on monel wireline using 8-9′ moderate action e-glass rods. A successful newer school movement is fishing bunker spoons on braided line with an inline drail weight to achieve desired depth. Bunker Spoons are best trolled with outrodders like the Reel Innovation Outrodders, American Custom Fabricators ACF Outrodders, E-Z Outrodder by Tony Maja. Want to learn more about the finer points of Trolling Bunker Spoons For Striped Bass & Blues? Check us out at Fishermans Headquarters.

Top Choices: Reel Innovation Bunker Spoons, Tony Maja Bunker Spoons, Reliable Bunker Spoons, Spoonfed Bunker Spoons. Bunker spoons are one of the four best striped bass trolling lures.

Mojo Lures

Mojo Lures are strong hooked heavy lead heads wrapped with synthetic hair to dress and pulse in the water. Basically they are nothing more than an oversized bucktail jig, one of the most versatile saltwater lures of all time. Mojos are commonly rigged with a large 9″ rubber “sassy” shad. Available in many different sizes/weights, a Mojo Lure can be used in just about any trolling situation. Depending on conditions and the circumstances, the 4/6/8 oz weights are great in shallow waters and the larger 16-32oz weights are best in deeper waters.

Mojo Trolling lures have the unique ability to catch striped bass of all sizes. This 32oz Mojo was swallowed whole by this 24# striped bass. Photo: Fish Head Charters
Mojo Trolling lures have the unique ability to catch striped bass of all sizes. This 32oz Mojo was swallowed whole by this 24# striped bass. Photo: Fish Head Charters

Mojo Lures Imitate: Large Bait Offering – Adult Bunker, Squid, Mackerel, Herring

How To Fish: Pick the weigh size and color you prefer and drop down to the desired depth. Kick back and wait. Occasionally pick up the rod and jig it a jig or two. But hold on it can trigger a strike from a indecisive fish that was following the lure. Mojos can be trolled on braid in a more vertical fashion than any other trolling lure. This allows the ability to add more lines (rods) into the spread. Want to learn more about the finer points of Trolling Mojos For Striped Bass & Blues? Check us out at Fishermans Headquarters.

Top Choice: Magictail Mojos. Mojos are one of the four best striped bass trolling lures.

Diving Plugs

Hardbait plugs are the most realist trolling lures an angler can find to imitate live bait. Deep diving plugs have a sassy swimming action and an undeniable attractive vibration which striped bass and other game fish hone in on. Their profile and color patterns can be perfectly matched to the local baits. Quality deep diving plugs swim true and can be trolled in just about any condition and at any speed. All of these features make them a great everyday search bait.

When it comes to fishing plugs for striped bass DO NOT over look fishing the classic big wood lures! This classy striped bass was caught by the author, Captain Greg Cudnik on a "Big Ben" XXL Deep Diver by Cedar Run Lures.
When it comes to fishing plugs for striped bass DO NOT over look fishing the classic big wood pikies and trollers! This classy striped bass was caught by the author, Captain Greg Cudnik on a “Big Ben” XXL Deep Diver by Cedar Run Lures.

Diving Plugs Imitate: Bunker, Mackerel, Herring, Weakfish, Bluefish

How To Fish: Keep it simple! Rig up with 40-50# braid and a leader 3-6′ leader. We suggest tying the leader directly to the front of the lure. If using a snap swivel and the lure is not tracking straight. Remove it and see if that helps. Some lures are so touchy they are negatively affected by the use of a snap swivel.

Suggested Tackle:Depending on style (there are many) the large diving lip gets the lures deep without the need for wire line or trolling weights. This allows for a much lighter rod. We suggest fishing 40-50# braid with a 15-20 class rod with a softer tip. Use braided line with a 50-60# leader full arms length 5-6′ makes for easy leadering fish boatside. Plugs can be fished in different depths depending on model. Commonly used as a mid water column bait in a spread.

Top Choices: There’s so many deep diving hardbait lures available in today’s market leaving anglers confused. First think about how big of a bait do you want to present and how deep do you want to target? Some of our top choices include… Bomber CD30, Nomad DTX 165 & 200, Mann’s Stretch Plugs. Diving plugs are one of the four best striped bass trolling lures.

Umbrella Rig

The only way to imitate a school of small baitfish is to deploy an umbrella rig. These weighed wire frame bars rigged with numerous baits really stand out when game fish are keyed in on small baits. Certain times of the year striped bass want a small offering. If conditions are rough and fish are deep, getting a small jig in the zone could be difficult. Sometimes these same fish are in small packs but spread out and on the move. Run and gun fishing with lures has left the area frothy with boat wake. Now what? These are just a couple situations which present the perfect opportunity to troll umbrella rigs.

Striped bass stalk and prey on schools of bait fish. There's no better trolling lure to imitate a school of bait better than an umbrella rig. Photo: Willie Davis
Striped bass stalk and prey on schools of bait fish. There’s no better trolling lure to imitate a school of bait better than an umbrella rig. Photo: Willie Davis

Umbrella Rigs Imitate: Sand Eel, Baby Bunker, Eels, Mullet, Tinker Mackerel, Smelt, Sardines, Worms

Suggested Tackle: 30-50# monofilament is doable. We suggest 50-65-80# braided line on an Avet MXL/LX Lever drag reel, Matched on a 6′-6’6″ 20-50# Class rod.

Top Choices: 9’ers

9’ersn offers a great selection of baits, sizes, and colors. The rubber shad and the sand eel are most popular. If bluefish are present the tube umbrella is a great choice as it stands up to the toothy critters. The 9ers umbrella rig is a tree like rig/frame that is nearly tangle-less. Usually fished with a drail weight or wireline achieve target depth. 9’ers umbrella rigs are one of the four best striped bass trolling lures.

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Author: FishHead.Greg

A Long Beach Island native with life long experience fishing and navigating the local waters, Greg is a distinguished Master Captain (the highest qualified operator license), holding a US Coast Guard Masters 50T Near Coastal License with Towing Endorsement. Raised in and now managing his family's bait and tackle business, Fishermans Headquarters (Since 1962, The Saltwater Fishing Bait & Tackle Experts) Greg is daily immersed in fishing. He is the Chief Contributor of FishingLBI.com (Long Beach Island's best fishing report blog) as well as the Admin for the shop's social media pages (on Instagram and Facebook). Be sure to follow!

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