Stripers – Southern Style

While traveling to Alabama for business, I had the opportunity to break away and fish Lake Martin with good friend Brian Smith and Jim Perimore (local bass guide). Since Brian had spent time with us out West, he wanted to treat me to southern Striper Bass fishing. Once we arrived at the dock early Saturday morning, I explained to Brian and Jim that I had never fished for Stripers. Jim explained we would target the fish a couple different ways – downriggers using a hyper action flash lure similar to an apex and live bait! Jim stepped on his 24ft. open guide boat rigged with full electronics, downriggers and most of all a sun top! Jim shared a couple of his secrets with us on how taking care of live bait to establish the right bacteria is key….

In Search Of Striper

In Search of Striper

Secret Live Well

Secret Live Well

First Setup....

First Setup....

Now Jim is no ordinary guide, this guy hunts Stripers and can sniff them out with his trusted K9. Jim watches his Lowrance LCX19C sonar waiting for images representing holding Stripers at about 40 feet deep. From there he likes to drop a sinker with live bait to entice a bite. Once Jim sets us up for the first drop, we could watch Stripers swim up to the bait for a “drive by” Jim calls it! Bummer as we thought we would have our first strike well before the heat and humidity would play a factor.

Sonar Hunting....

Sonar Hunting....

K9 on Duty

K9 on Duty

Fishing in the South can be a little humid to say the least. Luckily we had shade under the sun top as the heat began to climb. After a couple hours trying to attract a Striper on live bait, Jim decided to have us pull our gear and change rods for downriggers. Jim hit the throttle and put the boat on plane in search of another area to try a different technique. We arrived close to shore where we could gaze at incredible lakeside vacation homes.
Vacation Homes

Vacation Homes

Small Fixer Upper...

Small Fixer Upper...

This time Jim was determined!!! We dropped the downriggers running bright apex style lures wrapped with different fluorescent colors for attraction. Once Jim located Stripers suspending just of the shelf about 40 feet,  he set the depth. As we trolled multiple passes, we observed Stripers approach the lures however swim off as if not interested. Like most fisherman, we began to discuss our big game stories. Ends up Jim has a background in biology working with multiple fish and game projects. Jim loves to elk hunt so we knew the day would be entertaining filled with tall tales of days ago! Wouldn’t you know it, I pull out my cell phone to call home and check on things while Brian’s rod takes a dive releasing the line from the downrigger clip – “fish on” Brian replies! I’ve been poached…..
"FISH ON"

"FISH ON"

K9's on the Job!

K9 on the Job!

1st Striper in the Boat!

1st Striper in the Boat!

Brian ended up fighting the fish for about five minutes before being netted. Once I got a close look at the large bass, I realized they look a lot like a monster shad with the chrome color of a salmon. All I could think was “what a cool species of fish”. Way to go Brian – we got the skunk off the boat!

fishing-lake-martin-018

Unfortunately the rest of the day proved to be a lot of trolling while observing Stripers “window shop” according to Jim. It seems these fish can be tricky to entice a bite! I want to say Jim and Brian were a pleasure to fish with while taking in the sites. Hats off to Jim for all the pointers as he shared his passion for Striper fishing. All I can say is I’ll be back for another try! Fishing is fishing and catching is catching! Thanks for the friendship guys while spending time pursuing the outdoors.

fishing-lake-martin-020

Headed back to the NW....

Headed back to the NW....

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About the Author

Troy Neimann

Troy Neimann

Troy Neimann lives in Central Oregon with his wife of 19 years and their three children. You can find Troy with his family, friends and partners out most weekends enjoying the Lord's creation "Pursuing The Outdoors".