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3 Simple Tips For Catching Stripers From Shore On A Bucktail Jig

I have fished for striped bass from shore using bucktail jigs for as long as I can remember. When I was a kid, I would often cast bucktail jigs from the beaches of Cape Cod Bay before and after school.

Bucktail jigging is a technique that's been used on Cape Cod (and all around the world) for many years. The bucktail jig has literally been a staple "go-to" striper technique for generations.

This article was originally published here on My Fishing Cape Cod way back on May 28th of 2014, immediately after I returned home from this striper fishing trip. Today I wanted to re-publish this article with new information, videos, and links to other helpful resources about catching stripers from shore with bucktail jigs.

I really recommend always having at least one bucktail jig in your striper arsenal at all times! In this post I will share with you 3 simple tips for catching stripers from shore on an old classic - the bucktail jig.


Tip #1 - Fish The Jig In Current

Bucktail jigs work well in areas of no current, however they really shine in spots where the current is ripping. Often times, but not always, I find these current-laden areas are in close proximity to points of land, navigation channels, or other odd pieces of structure.

Stripers seem to enjoy current, and where you find current, you can normally find at least a small striper or two. A bucktail jig cast upcurrent, and then slowly worked down along the bottom as the jig tumbles with the tide, is a great way of catching bass holding in the current.

Below is a video clip I filmed way back on May 28th of 2014. This quick 47 second video outlines the simple jigging technique.

Additional Resource #1

During the 2019 Cape Cod fishing season I jigged the same spot shown in the above video, with My Fishing Cape Cod member and US Navy veteran Anthony Besaw. We captured the entire trip on film and it was broadcast as a TV show episode on NBC Sports Boston.

This TV episode would be a great watch for anyone interested in learning more about jigging for striped bass from the beach. I've included a preview of the episode below. If you're a member of My Fishing Cape Cod and would like to watch the full episode, then please click the blue button beneath the video.

Tip #2 - Add A Trailer

To increase the effectiveness of the bucktail jig, consider adding a white curly tail grub. This combination works very well on schoolies and it will also entice a larger striped bass if there is one in the area.

Red pork rind and various other soft plastics can also be used in place of the white curly tail grub. In general I would say I've caught more big bass by using a red pork rind as a trailer, then by using a white curly tail grub.

Often times, but not always, a white bucktail jig tipped with a curly tail grub will outfish a naked jig. When fishing in areas of current, the slow up and down rod motion will cause the curly tail grub to flutter and "kick" through the water as it tumbles with the tide.

When fished in calm areas with no current, an angler can make the lure flutter and kick by "swimming" it through the water column by consistently reeling the jig towards shore at a moderate speed.

Additional Resource #2

Our surfcasting mastery course is 100% free and delivered every Tuesday via email. Lessons were created to help you become more adept at catching striped bass (and other species) from shore. Included are lessons about jigging for stripers, as well as lessons about plugging for stripers, and much more. Click below to signup for free and get immediate access to your first email lesson.

Surfcasting Mastery

Weekly surfcasting lessons delivered via email to help you catch stripers and other species from shore.

Tip #3 - Use Braided Line

As mentioned above, bucktail jigs do catch plenty of fish in calm areas devoid of strong current. However I feel that bucktails really shine in spots where the water is moving.

Because braided line does not stretch, it is much more proficient at detecting bottom than traditional monofilament. To detect bottom (and bites) keep the line taught as the jig free falls through the water column.

Depending on the strength of the current and how deep the area is, the jig will require varying amounts of seconds to reach bottom. 

Because braid does not stretch, the sensation of the jig impacting bottom will travel better along the braided line, and you will be able to "feel" the jig hitting bottom. This feeling of the jig hitting bottom is often just a small tap and it is an easy feeling to miss.

Braid also helps to make it easier to detect bites when bucktail jigging. Often the bite comes as the jig is falling and braid makes it far easier to feel when this occurs.

Additional Resource #3

Throughout this website you'll find dozens of posts about jigging from shore, jigging at the Cape Cod Canal, and jigging from boats. To make it easier to navigate, I've gone ahead and included links to some of my favorite jigging from shore posts below. ?

In Conclusion

Jigging with bucktail jigs is one of the most effective ways to catch striped bass here on Cape Cod and throughout the striper coast. Bucktail jigging is a great way to target stripers in the midwater column and along the bottom.

In addition the resources included above, one of the best places to ask for information about jigging is our members' forum. We have loads of helpful posts about the best equipment, jigs and techniques inside our forum, and I've included links to some of my favorite jigging threads below. ?

Thanks again for checking out this post! As mentioned at the beginning, I first published this article way back in 2014. I hope you've found the new additions and resources which I just added to this post to be of good value.

For obvious reasons I have not included my favorite jigging locations and spots here in this post for the entire world to see. However I am always happy to help members of My Fishing Cape Cod discover new areas and productive spots, so if you are a member, then please don't hesitate to ask.

Tight lines! ?

What do you think?

Let me know by commenting below.

Leave a Comment

  1. what ounce of bucktail do you recommend for surf fishing? Iive in CA,

    1. 1oz-2oz is plenty enough for the vast majority of surfcasting I do here on Cape Cod.

  2. Hello there! Just getting back into the sport. My son (6) loves to fish and it’s something fun we can do on the regular, together. We are up in Scarborough Maine about 5 minutes south of Portland. I’ve never really fished salt water but we just bought a house down the road from the water. Anxious to start fishing with him for Stripers. Any tips or advice for a rookie? Anything would help! Thanks!!


    1. Awesome Tom!

      Even though this is a Cape Cod based website, you can learn A LOT about how to catch stripers, from basically anywhere.

      I would recommend enrolling in our free surfcasting video course for starters >

      Keep us posted and tight lines!

  3. I’m a novice when it comes to boats and fishing but ready to learn. I just bought a boat to take to a local island beach from our home in Chatham, MA. I would love to fish while on the beach. Can you recommend what I need…….rod, reel, jig, bait, tools, etc.

    1. Hey Joe! Sounds like an awesome place you plan on exploring and fishing.

      Some helpful surfcasting gear can be found on this page >

      Stop into Goose Hummock in Orleans and tell them you are from My Fishing Cape Cod and they will definitely be happy to help you get setup.

      I would also recommend joining our website as a member if you plan on getting serious and fishing more here on Cape. It is a tremendous resource especially for people just getting started >

      Tight lines!!!

  4. A true beginner here but very anxious to go surf casting next week while down in Yarmouth for vacation. I have a top and bottom rig ready to go but not much else. Where do you suggest I go to fish and what do you suggest I use for bait/tackle.

    1. Very nice! Sounds like fun.

      The top bottom rig with some fresh squid would work well for fluke, scup and sea bass, if fishing off the south side in Nantucket Sound. I would bring some topwater plugs as well for bluefish.

      For striped bass I would recommend fishing Cape Cod Bay or Outer Cape beaches at night with swimming plugs, live eels or fresh dead sand eels.

      Gluck and let us know how it goes!

  5. Hey Ryan. Wicked post! See you on the shore.

    1. See ya out there Alex!

  6. I truly enjoy reading your articles and watching the videos !! Grreat info for those of us who visit the Cape, but don’t live there. Keep up the great job, It’s very much appreciated.Tight lines and bent rods !!

    1. Thanks Scott! I am really happy you are enjoying MFCC.

      I will certainly keep up the good job and tight lines to you as well!

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