I got out with my good friend Brett W on an invite to fish in the Lanier Striper Club tournament. We started the day slow trolling leadcore and downriggers just looking for active schools. We marked plenty of fish up on points, but most were inactive fish and small groups of Spotted bass. We finally found a decent school of fish in the back of a large cove area. We trolled a set-up of 2 leadcore and two downriggers through the school without a sniff. We quickly turned around, brought in the trolling gear and dropped the herring down and tried power reeling the herring to no avail. Brett had a big 2 ounce Bucktail jig with a 6 inch swim bait tied on and I had a ounce and a half with a 5 inch swim bait. We both dropped down past the school and climbed the ladder with the jig stopping it every couple of feet. That was the key. We both hooked up at the same time using this method but mine broke off. Probably a 30-40 pounder. lol
The action was fast as we managed 2 good keeper fish before the school moved on. These two fish were enough to win the tournament.
Guys, when you get over a school like we did, sometimes you have to act fast because a lot of these schools are moving quickly and you only get one good shot at getting a good fish or two. Just like a lot of schooling stripers, the larger fish will generally be below the smaller fish so dropping a heavy 2+ ounce bait gets it down fast into the target area for bigger fish. In our case, we dropped all the way to the bottom and worked it up from there.
One last thing I wanted to add is that after the tournament the club meets for lunch at a little restaurant in the back of Flowery Branch. It was a lot of fun with a great bunch of guys! I saw a lot of laughs and a lot of smiling faces. That’s what it’s all about.