Fishing 411 Episode 2 Arkansas Striper
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Posted On January 06, 2013
Fishing 411 with Mark Romanack
EPISODE 2 ARKANSAS STRIPERS
Ouachita (pronounced wash-it-taw) in western
Arkansas is hands down the place to be for those who are targeting trophy class
striped bass. Mark Rogers, the sales manager for Okuma Rods and Reels, has been
fishing this region for several years and bragging about the 30 pound plus
stripers he catches. Finally I could take it no more and flat out asked if Mark
would set us up on a trip in February.
took about fives seconds for the answer to come via phone text, that simply
read “it’s on”. That two word text started the planning for what would be one
of the most challenging filming trips of the year for the Fishing 411 crew.
turned out that getting the gear together and planning this trip would be the
easy part. Fighting 34 degree temperatures and a steady diet of rain, snow and
sleet made for some miserable fishing conditions. One minute it was miserable
and the next the sun would poke out and lure us into thinking the worst was
over. In the end we caught fish, big fish, but keeping our video and audio gear
working in all that ugliness proved to be our match.
Arkansas striper show is far from our best video work, but it most certainly
highlights a fishery most anglers have no clue about. Big fish are always
impressive and when big is approaching 50 pounds that puts a whole new meaning
into the word.
adventure starts by casting jumbo sized Savage Gear swimbaits to downed tree
tops. This fishing presentation amounts to making hundreds and even thousands
of casts for very few bites. The good news is when a bite occurs it’s likely to
be the biggest fish of your life.
unlike musky fishing adventures we have filmed, catching striped bass is not so
much about the numbers, but rather about the incredible rush that comes over an
angler when the big one bites and finally comes to net.
Okuma EVx telescopic musky rods in in extra heavy action proved to be ideal for
casting the big swimbaits. I matched those rods up with 400 series Isis and
Cedros reels loaded with 30# test Vicious Off Shore monofilament line and a 50#
leader of Vicious Pro Elite Fluorocarbon at the terminal end.
LIVE BAIT TROLLING
those who have never trolled live bait for stripers, almost everything about
this presentation is extreme. The gizzard shad we were using measured as long
as 20 inches! That’s a bait that weighs about 2.5 to 3 pounds!
rods and line counter reels were what you would expect to see on a salmon boat,
only loaded with 40# test monofilament and terminated to a 50# fluorocarbon
leader and a jumbo wide bend single hook. Most
of the strikes came after a striper would terrorize the shad by boiling water
around it two or three times. Then suddenly the board would jump back and
before you could get the rod out of the rod holder, the fish had the line
pulled as tight as a bowstring.
fight unlike any other species of fish, using their broad shoulders and thick
sides to put leverage against the angler. Gaining line is about cranking for
all you’re worth and getting the fish’s head pointed towards the boat. If the
fish gets the upper hand and runs, it’s impossible to stop them.
SUMMING IT UP In
the end we prevailed and boated several striper in the 15-30 pound class and
one chunk that nearly hit the magic 50 pound mark. The weather may have beat
down our bodies and equipment, but looking at the video I’m already pumped up
to do it all over again.
IF YOU GO: www.oneeyedstriperfishing.com with Captain Ron Waymack.