How To Surf Fish For Stripers: A Definitive Guide

Surf fishing for stripers is sought-after game anglers love to perform repeatedly. But every angler can’t play this game due to not knowing how to surf fish for stripers. 

FYI, to surf fish for stripers, anglers must need the proper equipment. Plus, they should learn to read the current and, more importantly, must be patient on the shore. 

Below, in this article, we have talked about all the techniques regarding surf fishing for stripers and discussed all the fishing gear anglers must use. So, let’s read.

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How to Surf Fish for Stripers

As we have already mentioned in the intro, the key factor to surf fishing for stripers is to utilize the right fishing equipment, choose the perfect location, read the current, and cast at the right moment. 

So, you need to learn about these facts entirely, and to help you out, below, we have discussed these vital elements to surf fishing for striped bass. Let’s read thoroughly. 

Reading The Current: 

How successfully you can catch stripers depends on figuring out the correct current. It’s because stripers prefer seeking areas with breaks in the current, and they settle in a location close to the current break. 

So, if you can find the perfect current break, you have an ideal chance of discovering a school of stripers. Now, let’s talk a bit about the break current. 

Usually, tides create currents that follow a specific direction on the ocean or river until they meet any obstacles, including piers, islands, rocks, reefs, sandbars, abandoned ships, etc. And when the currents encounter those obstacles, they break. 

And that’s where stripers tend to hide. So, if you can follow the current and find out the break current, you can determine your casting spot. 

When to Surf Fish For Stripers:

Usually, tides occur at either dawn or dusk, which are feeding times for stripers. They congregate in places where river streams flow into another water body during these times. 

So, it is evident that, after figuring out the break current, you need to cast your fishing line during the tidal time. Here’s a pro tip: you can search for a tidal calendar in your area to help you track tides and currents effortlessly.

Another fact you need to keep in mind is that you can easily catch stripers during their migratory and spawning times. In early spring, striped bass will migrate to deeper water, and in the fall, they tend to swim near the coast. Both seasons are perfect for catching stripers. 

However, you can surf fish for stripers year-round because all of them don’t migrate, though. 

Fishing Gear You Will Need For Surf Fishing For Striped Bass:

Below, we have listed all the gear you need for surf fishing. Hence, let’s check them out.

  • Surf Fishing Rod
  • Rod Holder
  • Surf Fishing Reel
  • Fishing Line
  • Leader
  • Circle Hook
  • Sinkers
  • Sandcrabs Net
  • Measuring Tape 
  • Fish Finder Rig

Now, let’s talk about these pieces of fishing equipment in detail to help you choose the best one according to your needs. 

Surf Fishing Rod:

You can’t go surf fishing with a traditional fishing rod. Instead, you need to pick a 7 to 11 feet long surf fishing rod.

Alongside choosing a long fishing rod, you need to inspect its material. We recommend you go with a graphite rod as this rod type is pretty lightweight and durable. You can find such graphite-made fishing rod on this website.

Surf Fishing Reel:

Like the surf fishing rod, you should use no other fishing reel but the spinning reel because this reel is easy to maintain and clean. Also, it helps you learn casting fastly and easily. 

Fishing Rod Holder:

It’s an optional fishing gear that you can use to make surf fishing more effortless. A fishing rod holder comes in handy when you need to take a quick break but without reeling in the fishing line. 

Anyway, while choosing a fishing rod holder, ensure that it’s made out of high-quality material instead of featuring PVC, though. And you can find such a rod holder on this website

Fishing Line:

Many surf anglers, especially beginners, tend to use monofilament fishing lines, which is a huge mistake. Not only are these lines prone to get tangled, but they also can’t tolerate the high stress that striped bass put on the lines. 

That stated, we recommend you should pick the braided lines as they have an excellent diameter to strength ratio. Plus, they are less likely to get twisted and are ideal for saltwater and freshwater fishing. 


Every leader can’t handle stripers, so you need to follow the veteran anglers’ setup to hook and land your striped bass successfully. That said, let’s reveal what avid anglers follow. 

They choose 30 to 50 lbs. fluorocarbon lines with at least 70 lbs. barrel swivels. They can easily connect their primary fishing lines to the leaders with such a combination. You can also follow them to avoid mistakes while surf fishing for stripers. 

Circle Hook:

Like other fishing gear for surf fishing, you should also choose the hook carefully. We recommend picking circle hooks to surf fish for stripers.

This hook type’s benefit is that a circle hook pierces the corner area of the fish’s mouth. Consequently, anglers can effortlessly catch and release fish. 

Now, let’s discuss the ideal hook size. In essence, it depends on what bait you wanna use to catch rockfish. Also, you need to keep in mind the fish size that you want to catch while choosing a circle hook. 

According to experts, anglers should pick circle hooks with a half an inch gap between the point and shank. This hook type won’t let anglers catch small stripers. So, you can follow this guideline to select your hook.


A sinker is another essential surf fishing gear as it helps you cast line far out into the ocean or river and gives your line the stability it needs in harsh weather conditions. 

That’s why you need to choose this item wisely. And while picking, you need to consider the surf and current conditions. Anyway, we recommend selecting one sinker, which weighs at least three ounces.

Sandcrabs Net:

Sandcrabs are excellent baits for stripers. Hence, if you plan to spend the entire day surf fishing on the shoreline, you should keep a sand crab net with you. 

With the help of this fishing gear, you can collect sand crabs quickly and get relief from the tension that you might run out of bait before finishing the fishing day trip. 

Measuring Tape:

A measuring tape is as essential as other fishing items. It helps you accurately measure your stripers and lets you know whether the catch meets your size requirement or not.

So, with all other fishing gear, you should keep this item in your fishing arsenal before surf fishing. 

Fish Finder Rig:

A fish finder rig is one of the most prominent fishing items you shouldn’t forget to keep in your fishing arsenal. It allows your hook to go deeper and gives stripers adequate time to ingest the bait. 

Here’s how your fish finder rig setup should look; it should have a slider sinker with 3 oz. weight. It should also feature beads, two swivels, a circle hook, and a fluorocarbon leader

Hence, these are all the pieces of surf fishing equipment you will need to catch stripers with lucrative sizes. But the fishing gear list doesn’t end here; we have a couple of more items to talk about. So, let’s get started.

Clothing Equipment For Surf Fishing:

Having the best clothing equipment is as crucial as keeping the best surf fishing gear. You need to be ready to tackle all the harshest elements you will encounter on the shoreline while surf fishing.

So, try to wear some surf fishing clothing items before going out on the water. Here are all the items: lightweight & breathable waders, waterproof footwear, sunglasses, etc. 


You should wear a pair of lightweight and breathable waders to keep water, mud, and debris at bay. It will keep you dry and help you walk around the beach all day comfortably. And to grab the best quality waders, you may check this website out.

Waterproof Footwear:

Waterproof footwear is a necessary item when you want to go out on the water for fishing. This gear type will keep your feet dry and healthy and protect your feet from sharp rocks and other harmful objects. 

Hence, we recommend wearing wading boots or fishing shoes to protect your feet. 


If you plan to go surf fishing on blazing days, you should wear a pair of high-quality sunglasses as they will protect your peepers from harmful UV rays. Here we have found some of the best quality, UV-resistant surf fishing sunglasses that you may check out. 

That’s all for the clothing equipment; now, let’s briefly discuss which lure and bait you should use to catch your preferred stripers in no time.

Best Bait And Lures You Should Utilize To Catch Striped Bass:

It’s no wonder how vital bait and lures are in surf fishing. If you master the fishing skill and use the best fishing line and reel, you can still fail to catch a striper if you don’t have the required bait or lures. 

Hence, in this article, we have talked about all the ins and outs of surf fishing bait and lures to help you stay on the right track. So, without any more delay, let’s read. 

Striped Bass Lures’ Fundamental:

Before opting for artificial lures and bait, we recommend using natural bait for the first few catches. After you hook a few striped basses, you can switch to advanced bait and lures like the veteran surf anglers. 

So, as for the first few casting, you should use either jigs or topwater baits. Let’s learn about these baits. 

The Jig:

The Jig & grub are one of the most versatile lures to utilize during surf fishing for rockfish. According to avid anglers, the best setup to follow is a 0.5 oz. red jig head with a white curl tail grub. Such a combination is perfect for luring stripers. 

Topwater Baits:

Topwater baits are reputed for mimicking wounded baitfish, so they barely have any competition when it is about luring striped basses. 

You can use this lure when rockfish tend to prowl for fish during the summer. Its erratic action on the water can attract most stripers nearby and make them strike. So, this one can be an ideal option you can use for a few casting. 

After mastering the casting, and once you level up your surf fishing technique, it’s time to cast with some professional baits and lures. So, let’s explore which baits and lures work great for luring striped basses. 

Best Bait For Striped Bass:

Striped basses eat sand crabs, bunker, sardines, worms, anchovies, herring, shad, mullet, bloodworms, and shrimp. So, you can use them as bait and attract the fish. 

Best Lures For Striped Bass:

If somehow you fail to use live bait, you should try lures to attract stripers. But you need to choose a specific lure type depending on the situation. 

For instance, big lures help you fish comfortably in windy conditions. These lures stay in place no matter how hard the tide drives them towards the shore. 

We have talked about different types of surf fishing lures and their advantages below. So, let’s read on.

Spoon Lure:

Spoon lures are one of the sought-after artificial lures. They can imitate a large baitfish and work exceptionally well in attracting stripers. And you can find some of the best spoon lures at an affordable price on Amazon


The specialty of kastmaster lure is that it doesn’t catch rust over time as it is made out of brass. Plus, this lure is highly durable and versatile, allowing you to choose different shapes and sizes according to your needs. 


Minnows are great for casting far out on the water because they feature gravity shift steel balls inside them. Also, they come with 3D eyes to resemble live bait and lure stripers. You can find these excellent lures on this website

Bucktail Jig:

Bucktail jigs are famous for their versatile color and tail-changing feature. They come in varied styles and colors, including yellow, green, white, etc. 

Speaking of tail-replacing functions, you can replace their tails with whatever you want, such as feathers. FYI, these tails are the key element for luring stripers. 

Mickey Jig:

Micky jig lures are perfect for novice surf fishing anglers. They feature an aerodynamic shape and a chrome-plated body, helping them reach far distances with little effort. Anyway, you can get these lures at a reasonable price on this website


Swimbaits are the most popular lures in surf fishing. They contain rubber or plastic bodies that can imitate fish. However, you need a different jig head to utilize them.


Poppers are comparatively heavier than other lures. So, they promote easy casting in the water. But retrieving these lures requires you to apply a unique retrieval technique. 

So, only professional anglers tend to use these lures. However, once you master your surf fishing skill, you can also use them.

That’s all for the best lures to surf fish for stripers. Now, let’s summarize how you should surf fish for rockfish. 

How You Are Gonna Surf Fish For Striped Bass:

You need to follow a couple of things to succeed in hooking and landing striped basses. First, you need to find a good spot to set up your equipment. 

You should look for areas with many structural covers, such as rocks or reefs. Stripers often congregate in these areas, so you will have a better chance of hooking one if you set up your gear in these spots.

Once you have found a good location, you need to set up your tackle. You will need a surf fishing rod and reel and a good selection of lures and baits. 

You should also use a heavier line than you would use for freshwater fishing, as the saltwater can be tough on lighter lines. Once you have your tackle set up, you should cast your line out into the water. 

Be sure to use a heavy weight, as this will help keep your line in the water where the stripers are swimming.

When you feel a bite, you should set the hook quickly. Stripers have sharp teeth, so you need to ensure that you get a good grip on them before they have a chance to spit the hook. 

Once you have hooked a striper, you need to reel it in quickly. These fish are powerful, and they will often try to run away when they are first hooked. 

If you let them get too far away from you, they can break your line. So, reel stripers in as quickly as you can and keep a tight grip on your rod. That’s the pretty basics of how you should surf fish for stripers. 

Frequently Asked Questions

01. Do You Set The Hook With Striper?

When a rockfish takes your lure or bait, you shouldn’t sweep the rod upward as you usually do while fishing other fish. Instead, you should let the line come tight and fight the fish. 

02. What Size Hooks For Striper?

Different stripers require various hook sizes to get caught. You need to use a 2/0 hook to catch small stripers, and for big striped bass, you should use a 7/0 hook.

03. What Is The Best Bait For Stripers?

Stripers love bloodworms and sandworms the most over other baits, and striped basses eat these baits wherever they find them. Hence, these baits are highly effective in luring the stripers.

04. What Color Lures For Striped Bass?

Yellow and yellow-green colored lures work best for striped bass. According to research, such colored lures can be seen from a far distance, and so these lures perform well in attracting striped bass and other fish.

05. How Do You Find Striped Bass In A River?

Striped basses tend to take rest in staging points while moving into the river. Hence, you need to search for humps, 10 to 15 feet deep holes, and tapering points to find stripers. 

Wrapping Up:

Surfcasting for stripers is an adrenaline-rushed game for many surf anglers. They find thrill in everything from the fish’s water-surface thrashing to fighting with the fishing line. 

However, although the excitement of surf fishing keeps anglers going surfcasting repeatedly, everyone can’t become successful at catching striped bass. 

But you won’t go through such a situation if you follow the aforementioned techniques and guidelines. That’s all for this article; we will reel you in with the next one; till then, stay connected with us on Pinterest, Facebook & Twitter.