What’s Your Favorite – Early Season Striped Bass

Fresh migratory bass are making their ways up the MA coast.  These bass are migrating their ways up local estuaries and rivers chasing bait and warm waters. Typically, when targeting these early season fish we have to downsize our offerings and light tackle techniques. I reached out to a number of our Team Why Knot anglers to see what their 3 favorite early season striped bass lures were. It’s interesting to see different styles and lure choices from different anglers.  Please limit the fish’s time out of water and if you can, crush the barbs and use single hooks to limit damage.



Matt Zimmermann – @mzimm03

  1. Flies – Olive/White or Chartreuse/ White Clouser’s
  2. 1/2 oz Al Gags Whip It Fish or any small soft plastic (3-5″)
  3. Jumpin’ Minnow
Al Gags Whip It Fish
Olve/White Clouser

Joe Gugino  –  @j_googe

  1. Flies – White/Chartreuse/Olive Clousers or Decievers
  2. 1/4 oz. Al Gags Whip It Fish – silver, white, black/silver
  3.  Heddon Super Spook – Bone
Olive White Chartreuse Deceiver

Will Beringer  –  @willy_b_ranger  

  1. 6″ Hogy w/ 1/4 or 1/2 oz jig head
  2. Jumpin’ Minnow
  3.  Workhorse Lures Zip Needle
Jumpin’ Minnow – Bone



6″ Hogy

Jesse Minoski – @ifish23 

  1. SP Minnow – Sand Eel
  2. Mag Darter
  3.  Pencil Popper (small)
Mag Darter


early 2

SP Minnow – Sand Eel

 Mike Kelley – @m_kelley3

  1. 4″ – 6″ Tsunami Swim Shads Style – Pearl Spot, Black Back
  2. 5″- 4/5 oz or  6″ 1 1/2 oz – Savage Sand Eels –  Dirty Silver
  3. 7 1/2″  Super Snax Long Cast Plastics Size:  Black, fished rigged unweighted or 1/2oz Joe Baggs jig head
Tsunami Swim Shad
Savage Sand Eel

 Sean Kearney – @ Seank_fishing

  1. SP Minnow – I don’t know if that lure can be off anyone’s list. Just a machine.
  2. 3″ Choopy Lures – Pike
  3. 1/4- 2 oz bucktail or jig head tipped with pork grind or soft plastic
    3″ Choopy Lure



Now is the time, to try something new!

If you never have, early season is a great time to pick up a fly rod.  Once you hook your first striper on the fly, you won’t look back. All you need is an 8wt rod, floating or intermediate line, and a clouser or deceiver fly.  If you are fishing the right waters, you won’t need to be able to cast a mile to catch a fish. These early season fish come into harbor, estuaries, and rivers in search of bait. Our favorite times to fly fish at most our spots are the last 3 of outgoing, and beginning 3 hours of the incoming tide. With less water to fish, this allows the fish to be more concentrated and we are able to fish structure and drop offs.

If you have any questions on setups, flies, or anything…shoot us an email at whyknotfishing@gmail.com

Tight lines this season,



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