August 19 2020

Why You Should Match Your Bait To The Size Of The Stripers


ryan collins my fishing cape cod breakfast

A lot of my striper fishing is done using artificial lures. However, over the past few years I have enjoyed fishing for bass with chunk bait.

I've found that stripers will often show interest in chunk baits, even during the middle of a hot summer day, when nothing else is working.

However, I recently learned a valuable lesson in regards to the size of the chunks I should be fishing with.

I usually like to use fairly large chunks in hopes of enticing a big striper, but I think the mouths on the striped bass in the following video were probably too small to swallow the size of the chunk I was fishing with. 


Click play below to watch how they pass the mackerel chunk around to one another, until one fish finally manages to take it down. ?

I filmed these fish on August 13th over a sand flat in about 8 feet of water.

The tide was nearly low, and there was a school of about 25 stripers cruising over a sandbar. I was able to keep the fish in the same general area by chumming heavy. 

What did you learn from this video clip? Please LMK by commenting below!

PS-Members of My Fishing Cape Cod can learn more about this clip, and watch an additional 5 minutes of underwater footage by clicking here.

Tight lines! ?

What do you think?

Let me know by commenting below.

  • Doris, my wife, and I will be on the Cape the week of the 14th for three days. Hopefully, I’ll do some Striper fishing in the canal. The video was very interesting because it showed Stripers could be finicky!

  • I chunk about 1/2 the time I go out. I have always had better luck chunking with some sort of current. But I watched a video a while back about the correlation between the size of the chunk and the fish… as we all know bigger bait doesn’t always mean bigger fish. And smaller chunks doesn’t mean smaller fish. The quote from the video was something along the lines of: “who doesn’t like a chicken nugget, sometimes your not in the mood for a burger”.
    With that being said I also have the most success with using about a1 1/2 – 2” piece right above the tail.

  • Awesome video Ryan! And an interesting concept has been brought up. When chunking, which I don’t do often, I have always tried to find a smaller to midsized piece of bait. My thought was always if a piece of bait was just lying on the bottom I’d want it to look like a scrap or leftover not a full meal. Used to catch some nice fish up off the beaches of York Maine with about a 2” cut just before the tail. Now seeing that video confirms for me why I’d feel a hit and wasn’t able to get a solid hook set. The fish seem to pick it up and want to swim off without just inhaling the bait. Again. Awesome stuff @admin

  • After the initial apprehension by the fish to take the bait it was very evident how competitive with each other the fish can be once there is a take as they all jumped in for a bite.

    • That is a good point for sure Gary. It seems that if one fish out of the school takes interest, then suddenly other fish also become interested. I’ve watched this behavior several different times in some of this year’s underwater and drone videos.

  • Wow! 2 great videos! What did I learn? Stripers can be finicky! The chunk Mackerel pieces appeared too big. But I couldn’t tell the size of the fish we were watching? Also seems like they weren’t really in a feeding mode. I loved watching the crabs coming in and out trying to get a piece of the action! Loved the tutorial/ chumming one! Glad you got your bigger guy in the end! But man! I hope you don’t get bit by a GW or seal pulling in the catch. Maybe you use a net now? Did the bloody shorts come out clean? Great job Ryan!

    • I would estimate most of the fish in the video to be about 24-26 inches in length. I also think they were just “relaxing” and not really in the feeding mode. I still don’t use a net (tough to break old habits) and those shorts were thrown out a long time ago! LOL.

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