It was dark and I couldn’t see a darn thing, but I knew that there were striped bass somewhere in front of me. Every other minute or so, I would hear a sudden SLAP as another aggressive striper sucked down some poor little baitfish off the surface.
The scene was picture-perfect. It was one of those mornings we all dream about. There was no wind and the sky was crystal clear. The fact that hungry stripers were feeding in my vicinity was the true icing on the cake.
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The pops and smacks of feeding bass echoed all around me. As the sky slowly brightened I began to catch glimpses of swirls and footprints, created in the water by the feeding fish.
The colors of morning were impressive. Blues, oranges, reds and pinks reflected off the still water all around me.
I was standing at the edge of a mud flat and a sweeping current was carrying 2-4 inch long baitfish along the edge in front of me. I could now see bass jumping nearly straight clear of the water after the baitfish. Each striper was feeding smack dab in the current, just out of casting range.
My first option was to switch to a larger lure that I could cast farther and reach the feeding bass. However I feared that the larger lure would not “match the hatch” of the small baitfish the stripers were feeding upon.
My second option, the one I ended up choosing, was to simply wait the fish out. Hopefully in time they would move closer to me, within casting range.
Finally The Feeding Bass Came Within Reach
As the clock ticked away the sky continued to brighten and I feared that at any moment the topwater feed would cease. I hoped I would get at least a chance at these fish, before they decided to stop feeding.
Then slightly downcurrent of my position I noticed a new batch of bass feeding and swimming upcurrent. These fish were considerably closer to shore and were moving in my direction.
I held my cast and waited for them to come closer. There were at least a half dozen stripers in the group, taking turns slashing and thrashing at the hapless baitfish.
Finally, the batch of fish was within reach. I went to cast, when suddenly a bass charged away from the pack and surfaced just yards away. This particular fish had moved up onto the muddy, shallow bank in hot pursuit of a frantic minnow.
I plopped my lure directly ontop of the fish’s head and imparted a little action on the lure. The bass took immediate notice, turned, propelled himself forward and engulfed the lure in one fell swoop.