What is the Best Striped Bass Fishing Lure?

The Best Striped Bass Fishing Lure is a White Bucktail Jig

The topic of this post is the best striped bass fishing lure. Striped bass are a very popular game fish. They thrive in both fresh and salt water. Many striped bass are caught by anglers using live bait. However, many anglers pursue them using artificial lures. There are many effective striped bass fishing lures, but there is one bait that exceeds all others.

best striped bass lure

The best striped bass fishing lure is a white bucktail jig. There are several reasons for their success and productivity. Bucktail jigs are very versatile. They can be cast, trolled, and vertically presented. Bucktail jigs can effectively mimic bait fish and crustaceans. They are available in many sizes to cover every angling situation.

Striped bass fishing with a bucktail jig video

There is evidence to support the claim that a jig was the first fishing lure used by humans. A jig is basically a hook with weight, usually lead, molded in near the eye. This weight gives the lute it’s action and name. The hook is then dressed with some type of hair, synthetic or natural. Soft plastic tails are also used and are quite effective.

light tackle trolling in saltwater

White is a natural color for a fishing lure. Most bait fish are silvery or white in color. At the very least, almost all of them have a white belly. Some darker colors can be included to add contrast and a darker back. Of course, bucktail jigs are available in a wide variety of color patterns.

Best striped bass fishing lure

As mentioned above, the reason that the best striped bass fishing lure is a bucktail jig is the versatility of the bait. These lures can be used throughout the entire water column. Anglers can cast a bucktail jig to breaking fish on the surface, work the mid-depths by trolling or casting, and fish the bottom either by vertically jigging or drifting.

striped bass fishing tips and spots

As in most fishing situations, anglers who match the size of the bucktail jig to the available forage will usually have more success. Fortunately white bucktail jigs are available and just about every size and weight imaginable. Again, white bucktail jigs with some darker green or other natural color tide in will effectively mimic a pogy, sardine, herring, or other common forage of striped bass.

Anglers can purchase Capt Jim’s E-book, “Inshore Saltwater Fishing” for $5 by clicking on the title link. It is 23,000 words long and covers tackle, tactics, and species.

The weight of the bucktail jig is also an important consideration. There are several factors which will determine the best weight of jig to be used. The primary concerns are water depth and current speed. A 1/2 ounce jig may be fine for casting or drifting and water that is fairly shallow with little current flow. Conversely, anglers fishing in deep water with a strong current can go up as high as 6 ounces or more.

striped bass fishing tips

White bucktail jigs are just as effective for striped bass when freshwater fishing as they are in saltwater. Stocking of striped bass into freshwater reservoirs has been a huge success for fishery management officials. Most of these lakes and rivers were also stocked with forage species such as blueback herring. White bucktail jigs effectively imitate these species.

Best bucktail jigs for striped bass

Anglers have quite a selection when it comes to choosing the best white buck tail jig. There are many manufacturers who offer a quality lure. Capt. Jim Klopfer has been a fishing charter captain in Sarasota Florida since 1991. He also grew up fishing in Chesapeake Bay.

Spro jigs

bucktail jig

Capt. Jim’s favorite bucktail jig is the Spro jig. It is available in many different sizes and is a quality jig that will hold up to the rigors of saltwater fishing. While white is primarily used, there are many other color choices and combinations of the Spro jig to choose from.

Click here to shop Amazon for Spro jigs

“Fishing Lido Key is a participant in the Amazon Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. ”

Sea Striker jigs

Sea Striker makes excellent bucktail jigs for striped bass. They are made from quality components and are quire durable. Sea Striker jigs come in a great variety of colors and sizes.

Click here to shop Amazon for Sea Striker jigs

VMC jigs

VMC jigs are a great choice for freshwater and saltwater anglers requiring a smaller jig.

Click to shop Amazon for VMC jigs

Adding a trailer to a bucktail jig

best striped bass fishing lure

As has been previously mentioned, one of the aspects of the bucktail jigs that makes it so effective is its versatility. One extremely effective technique is to add a soft plastic trailer on to the jig. Swim bait tales and yield tails are most commonly used in both can be extremely productive. These add both bulk and action to the bucktail jig. In fact, many anglers rarely fish this lure on its own.

Both live bait and cut bait can also be used in conjunction with a bucktail jig when fishing for striped bass. Live minnows and bait fish along with live eels can be hooked through the lips and fished effectively. Long, slender strips of cut bait that tapered to a point work extremely well on a bucktail jig, too.

Best striped bass rods and reels

There is no single rod and reel outfit that works best when fishing for striped bass with bucktail jigs. The size of the fish being pursued is the primary consideration. The size of the bucktail jig being used as a secondary factor, though it is tied to the size of the fish as well.

Oklahome striped bass

A medium action conventional or bait casting rod around 7 feet long with a matching real is an excellent all round combination when fishing with bucktail jigs for striped bass. This outfit will work very well for drift fishing, light trolling, and vertically jigging. Anglers can spool the real with 20 pound to 30 pound braided or monofilament fishing line.

Read a comprehensive article on striped bass tackle in this article

Spinning tackle certainly has its place when casting jigs for striped bass as well. This is particularly true when chasing schools of striped bass that are feeding on the surface. Anglers will often have to make a slightly longer cast while keeping the boat away from the feeding fish. Most anglers surf fishing you spinning tackle as well. The best all round spinning outfit for striped bass would be a 7 foot to 8 foot medium action rod with a 5000-6000 series reel.

Tailwater fishing for bass and catfish

Bucktail jig fishing techniques for striped bass.

There are several techniques that work very well when fishing a bucktail jigs for striped bass. These primarily are casting, drifting, and trolling. All three of these techniques will produce striped bass for anglers fishing in both freshwater and saltwater.

Casting bucktail jigs for striped bass

Bucktail jigs can be cast out and retrieved to catch striped bass in a variety of situations. Perhaps the most fun and exciting condition is when striped bass are feeding on the surface. The bucktail jig is cast to the edge of the school and worked back in an erratic manner. This will almost always elicit a strike from actively feeding fish.

Chesapeake Bay Bridge striped bass

Bucktail jigs can also be cast out towards shoreline structure and cover. Flats that are in 5 to 10 feet of water and then drop off sharply are prime spots. Striped bass will often stage on the edge of this drop in wait for the current to bring food to them. Any type of cover such as submerged or fallen timber, rocks and seawalls, docks, and bridges can all be prime spots to cast a jig for striped bass.

Drift fishing with bucktail jigs for striped bass

Drifting is an extremely effective technique that is used more when saltwater fishing manner freshwater. The reason for this is the strength of the tide. Tides will often move the boat along at 45 knots. Anglers simply bounce a jig off the bottom or work it in the mid-depths in search of fish. The main benefit in this type of fishing is that anglers can cover a lot of water in a relatively short period of time. Inlets are prime spots to drift fish for striped bass.

Trolling bucktail jigs for striped bass

Trolling catches a lot of striped bass for anglers fishing in both freshwater and saltwater. Once again, it allows anglers to cover a lot of water in a fairly short amount of time. Trolling also offers the advantage of being able to present multiple lures at various depths in search of fish. This can be a huge advantage when fish are scattered out throughout a large area or in different depths.

In conclusion, this article on the best striped bass fishing lure will encourage anglers to add a white buck tail jig to their tackle boxes!


Jim Klopfer

Capt Jim Klopfer has been a fishing guide in Sarasota, Florida since 1991. He grew up in Maryland, fishing the Chesapeake Bay waters. Capt Jim has been creating an writing articles about fishing for decades, contributing to many regional and national publications. He also lives part time in the North Carolina mountains where he fishes for trout and other species. Capt Jim Klopfer is a wel rounded angler with 50 years fishing experience, and he loves to share what he has learned with other anglers!

Recent Posts