The Long A Bomber
While many people are at home watching the World Series, a few people are out in the total darkness waiting for the thrill of the night. What thrill of the night you might ask? A twenty pound striper engulfing a plug in three feet of water. With recent droughts and low lake levels many anglers have forgotten about one tried and true way to catch stripers in the fall and spring. Casting big plugs up into shallow water can be a real treat. If you want, you can even bring along the radio and listen to the game while you fish.
The most popular lure for the night bite for stripers is the Long A bomber by Pradco. All sizes of the lure will work but the most popular is the 7/8oz. 16A Long-A bomber and more recently the A-salt series. These lures come in all types of colors and colors will work. however there are a few tried and true favorites. Number one on the list and the most surprising would be the pink Long-A bomber. At night the pink Long-A bomber is deadly for striped bass. On Lake Lanier, it is by far the most popular color. It is not solid pink, it is pink on the top and bottom with a clear flash down the side. If it is a really dark night, go with a darker bait just like you would fishing a spinnerbait for bass on a dark night. The solid black Long-A bomber or the black with a purple belly are the most popular choices on these dark nights. On the other extreme with a full moon, go with a more natural color like the green flash or new favorite the Silver Herring A-salt bomber. Another excellent choice that is not as popular is the “chicken scratch” color. On the Pradco color chart, it is listed as pearl yellow. The chicken scratch is a carry over from the salt. Chicken scratch is a very popular choice among striped bass fanatics on the coast.
A little more information on the new A-salt series. The A-salt series is a heavier duty version of the Long-A bomber. First of all, the lure cast better than the original version of the Long-A bomber. Second, the A-salt bomber has only two hooks which makes it easier to release fish at night. These two hooks are also a little stronger than the original three hook version so they hold up better for larger fish.
Now that you know what lure to use, you have to know how, when, and where to use it. Once Fall begins to arrive, the stripes begin to leave their Summer haunts and they head for the shallows. In Georgia this is usually right around the playoffs and peaks right at the World Series. As expected, the small fish will be first to pull shallow which is right about the playoffs and it peaks with a good combination of bigger fish right at the World Series. The technique is fairly simple. Cast the lure into extremely shallow water, slowly reel the bait and hang on. A good percentage of your bites will be about three turns of the handle right off the bank with this slow retrieve. If bites are slow do not hesitate to try different retrieves. There are times when they want the bait moving fast and times they want it more like a jerkbait. A good indication they want the bait faster is if you notice you are getting a bite or two close to the boat. Everyone has a tendency to speed up their retrieve right before they get to the boat. Shallow flats are excellent because you can tick the lure right along the bottom in the same manner as a crankbait. At times, sandy banks can be very productive as well as clay points. find a clay point that is adjacent to a sandy beach and you have a match made in heaven especially in the springtime. Once you find a few productive areas you can usually come back and hit them for days on end or even weeks if the weather holds fairly stable. You rarely have to worry about fishing pressure at night.
A few things to remember at night are to have a good hat light like the new one from Hydrow Fish Lights and a Boga Grip. It is really easy to get a treble in your hand when dealing with a striper at night. If you fish at night, this will happen to you at one time or another. Spreader lights on center consoles that have a T-top are also a great addition.
Lake Lanier Striper Guide - Captain Clay Cunningham