The season starts off with the obvious signs of fall. The air begins to chill, leaves start to change and pumpkins are around every corner. The one thing that separates fall from the other seasons for the outdoorsman? The run of the Stripers. Seasonal climate change not only brings in trick or treaters, but brings in the big fish for those of us at Hammonton High School who anxiously await this time. And this big fish was a 27-pound 41-inch Striper caught off the surf of Brigantine.
Cathy Crossland, employee of Bayside Marina in Brigantine, gets to hear about the experiences of the South Jersey fishermen that come through her store.
“This year started off slow, it started to really pick up at the end of October. They were killing them. It’s been one odd year,” she said.
As an avid fisherman myself, I set my sights on catching a Striper of comparable size. I’ve been serious about my hobby for about four years, and I am aware of the techniques that come with fishing. However, I’m not above seeking out advice from those who may know better.
“Stripers attack. You have to keep the bait somewhat close to the ground so that the fish can attack the bait coming up,” advised Crossland. “The best type of rigs to use would have to be either fish finder or dropper rigs, they stay the closest to the ground and allow the Stripers to really attack the bait,” she added.
Following the advice of Cathy Crossland, I set out with my team of highly trained fisherman to test her theories on Striper fishing. I picked up the proper bait, equipped myself with the proper tackle, and headed for the Brigantine Cove. Equipped with both the fish finder and dropper rigs, the day looked promising. The day however, did not end promising. My crew and I did not get as much as a nibble for four hours straight. While walking up and down the beach, other dedicated fisherman informed me that their day wasn’t going much better. It could have been the tides, or possibly just a bad fishing day. After hearing about these fish stories of monster Stripers being caught off the coast of Brigantine, where are these monsters hiding? Or are they in fact just fish Stories?