Because live eels are so versatile, they can be easily worked into a tube and worm trolling spead. Aboard the Miss Loretta we typically troll two tube and worms and one eel when targeting big stripers. Using leadcore line we will troll one tube off the port side, another tube off the starboard and an eel directly down the center. Using this striped bass fishing technique we can easily fish three different depths and offer any striped bass in the area a range of bait choices.
When trolling live eels for striped bass it is important to add a stinger hook to the eel’s tail. This striped bass fishing technique is explained in detail here. Trolling eels without a stinger hook will often result in frustration, as striped bass are prone to nipping away at the eel’s tail.
If we notice while trolling that the stripers consistently bite the eel or a particular tube, we will then switch to either all eels or identical tube and worm rigs. If we are consistently hooking striped bass at a particular depth, we will then fish all three lines at that particular depth.
Often times when cruising the wates off Cape Cod we will stumble upon large schools of striped bass. Literally out of nowhere the sonar screen will light up as we pass over a pack of 20-40 pound stripers. One of the best ways to take advantage of these situations is to pitch live eels directly into the center of the school of striped bass.
When cruising we will always keep a couple live eels hooked up on light spinning setups. When we pass over a large school of striped bass, I will spin the boat around and position the Miss Loretta directly on top of the stripers. Crew members will then cast the live eels directly into the bass as we drift through the school. If the stripers are in a feeding mood it will take only a matter of seconds to hook up.
Live eels are certainly one of the most versatile live baits around. When combined with other striped bass fishing techniques, live eels can really help to increase your level of striped bass fishing success.
Tight lines and good luck eeling!