New England Stripers E-mail
Thursday, 13 September 2012 00:00

 

Crisp Striper

If you look at a map of the Massachusetts coastline, you’ll see it’s perfect for hunting feisty stripers, with over 1500 miles of tidal shorelineGregg Crisp has been an avid fisherman all of his life. In 2007 he rented his first kayak and discovered kayak fishing.  A year later, a new kayak was in his driveway and he has never looked back. He frequents the waters around Boston in search of striped bass, and also spends plenty of time chasing black bass in the sweet water. 

Greg Sunrise2 Manchester Harbor As an environmental contractor he has traveled and lived all over the United States, and he has fished in over 20 states. Crisp currently resides in New Hampshire with his wife and two sons. Gregg authors the Blog YakFish.net, is part of the Yak Angler.com, YakDaddy.net, & Rat-L-Trap ProStaff and is a member of the Jackson Kayak Fishing Team.

“I love traveling and fishing new areas. I have been all over the country and fished the majority of it. Now that I have the kayaks I need to go back and do it with them.” But, most often he fishes the areas around Boston.

“I generally consider Boston Harbor and the North Shore of Boston home. However, I am willing to travel to find fish as my ‘home waters’ are all ready two hours from where I live. I chase stripers locally from May through October when they are around. This year I am looking at investing in a full drysuit so I can extend that season.” Crisp employs a variety of methods in his search for big linesides but most often relies on throwing lures.

greg1 “I love casting and cranking for bass, whether it's a 14" Hogy on a jig head or a SuperTrap (www.hogylures.com). There is something about having the rod in your hand, and working the lure when a fish takes it. There may be more ‘sure fire’ ways to catch fish but they are not as much fun for me. I’m most often casting soft plastics and hard baits, but if I'm on the water I'll have a lure dragging behind me all the time. When the sun comes up and the fishing slows down, I'll turn to the tube and worm set-up to produce fish consistently.

“Timing wise almost all my trips start or end in the dark. The only time I do daylight only trips in taking new guys out, or scouting a new area. I like leaving areas with lots of boats and kayaks to look for that one quality fish outside the main school. I don't like fishing crowds unless I have to.

“I run braid on all my reels and tip it with 20#-50# fluorocarbon. For jig heads you can't beat the Hogy line for the durability and strength you need to drag big stripers off the rocks. When I run a tube I always use a high quality ball bearing swivel at my main line to leader connection as well as at the top of the tube, the Butchie Builts all come with one. The rest of the time my leader is tied to the main line. I use a Modified Albright knot to tie my leader to my main line and the Uni-Knot to tie on the terminal tackle.”

Crisp paddles the Jackson Cuda and Big tuna models, and prefers the Aquabound Manta Ray paddle. For fishing stripers, he recommends Rat-L-Trap and Hogy lures, as well as the Butchie Built Tubes for the ‘eel bite.’

“Having a fresh water background I use a lot of ‘Musky’ gear as it tends to be slightly lighter then a lot of the striper specific boat gear. Plus, they are
designed to cast heavy lures and generally have a fast action. I like the St Croix Musky Mojo series rods. They are a very good bang for the buck.”

“For reels, I like the Abu-Garcia classic round bait casters, and the Penn Fierce Spinning reels. I put my money in the rods rather then reels. I do this because they get beat up on the kayak and I don't want to worry about what I am doing to a $300-$400 reel.”


 

har1Another Beantown denizen who has honed in on the many a striper frenzy is Eric Harrison. Harrison is a Hobie guy, with both the Revolution and the Oasis in his current stable. He also builds his own custom rods. “I'm very particular about the tools that I use to fish with. I need something powerful, but light and sensitive enough to fish plastics and cast big lures for hours without tiring. I use mostly United Composites blanks like the 80 MEGA, these rods are sensitive and light, but have the pulling power to get big fish out of the rocks.”

He prefers the Shimano Calcutta BSV when fishing striped bass. “It is a rugged little reel, light enough for hours of casting, but with a decent drag. It has a power handle, which makes battling big fish more comfortable, and a thumb-bar, which makes repeated casting easier. I also like the BSV because it doesn't have a level wind. That makes it easier to get a little extra distance on casts when needed.”

Harrison also loves the Boston Harbor area, as well as the Massachusetts North Shore. “Massachusetts is a great fishery because we have so many types of habitat. Rips, boulder fields, flats, and open water fisheries are all accessible to the kayak. Boston Harbor has some very strong rips that create feeding alleys for the fish, and when the fish aren't in the rips, they can be found grubbing in the rocks nearby.

“Most of my striper fishing is done with big plastics at night. I use other methods as well, but generally focus on artificials. I also like to use big plugs or swimmers, they usually elicit powerful hits. I fish striped bass year round in Massachusetts. Stripers are summer visitors here, arriving in late April and leaving by the end of October. Mass is a major part of the summer feeding grounds for stripers from the whole eastern seaboard. Some fish winter over in our rivers and harbors and I target those fish in the off season.”

har4Hogy lures are tops on Harrison’s list as well. “My favorite plastics are made by Hogy lures and I usually use the 13 or 14-inch baits. Bigger fish definitely have a preference for bigger plastics, so in the summer time I rarely use anything smaller than the 13-inch Hogy. I use jig heads on my plastics that allow me to effectively work the whole water column. Stripers generally feed best in the bottom third of the water column, but when turned on will come up and feed on the surface as well. I keep rods rigged with a couple sizes of jigheads to allow me to work the top or bottom as well as get deeper in strong current.”

For terminal tackle, Harrison is very particular and exacting. “I use heavy leaders around the rocks because big stripers will often try to rub the lure off in the rocks and weeds. A 50# leader keeps fish from breaking off when they are powering through structure.

“Stripers have an incredibly tough mouth. I have fished for many types of fish around the country, but never had a fish straighten hooks like a striper. Most jig hooks will bend out on big bass with little pressure because sometimes only the point will penetrate so all the pressure is on the bend of the hook. I have been fishing with the Hogy Barbarian weighted swimbait hooks and found that they are the best hooks to use for big fish.

 

Comments  

 
0 #1 cheapkayaksonline 2012-09-24 09:22
Jeez. There's some big old fish there. I've never taken my 2 Person Fishing Kayak over to the States but looking at some of the crackers you've caught there... Might have to ;-)

Great catches fellas!
 
 
0 #2 uncleduke 2012-12-05 11:20
Nice artical. I'm gonna have to come and fish with you Boston boys a few times next season for shure.
 

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