Metals, sometimes called tins, are very effective lures for striped bass fishing. Good examples of metal lures are the Kastmaster, Hopkins Shortie and AVA Diamond Jig shown above. You can use the lure plain, add hair, or slide a colored tube on the hook.
The following identifies some situations where metal lures are a good choice for striped bass fishing:
When you need extra casting length to reach the fish, or when you have to cast into the wind. Metal lures are heavy, depending on the size you choose, and they are very aerodynamically shaped. They are the easiest lure to cast for long distances.
When the fish are deep and you have to get your lure down near the bottom.
The Hopkins is a good lure to use when fishing for bluefish. You can move it pretty fast, which is the best retreive for catching bluefish. It is especially good when the prevalent baitfish are mullet. The Hopkins is a pretty good match to a mullet.
When jigging from a boat use a metal lure, lika an AVA diamond jig. Pick a lure weight that will allow near vertical jigging considering drift rate. AVA Diamnond Jigs come in various weights. the A-007 is 1 oz., the A-17 is 2 oz., the A-27 is 3 oz., the A-47 is 4 oz. and the A-67 is 6 oz.
If the fish are feeding on very small baitfish, and it is difficult to cast a small lure the distance needed. Use a metal lure as a casting weight, and attach the small lure like a teaser rigged ahead of the metal lure.
AVA and Teaser
When sand eels are the prevalent baitfish around, use a narrow diamond jig type metal lure like an AVA 17 or AVA 27, maybe with a green tail. You can also rig a teaser ahead of the metal. Both the AVA and the teaser look like sand eels. The heavy AVA allows you to cast further, and on retrieve it stirs up the bottom, and draws some attention. You may catch a double header.
To see a photo of a sand eel follow this link: Sand Eels.
Follow this link to see more about: Diamond Jigs.
Another metal lure to use when the prevalent bait is narrow bodied, includung sand eels, is a Deadly Dick, shown below.
When the stripers are feeding on peanut bunker, use a Kastmaster. This lure is wide and has the silhouette of a peanut bunker. Retrieve it slow, or at moderate speed. Fast retrieves are for bluefish.
A Krocodile Spoon is also a good choice when the prevalent bait are wide bodied. Cast them out and use a slow steady retrieve that causes them to wobble.
When the stripers are feeding on sea herring, use a longer metal lure, like a Hopkins, and make sure it has hair tied to the trailing hook.
I generally replace any treble hooks on metal lures with single hooks. The reason is that I often catch bluefish when using metal lures, even when fishing for stripers. Bluefish are a lot easier, and safer, to unhook if you are using a single hook.
I also use a short leader, maybe 24 to 30 inches when using metals, and also bucktails. The leader is at least 40 pound test monofilament, that is thicker than the line, and gives you something to grab without cutting your fingers. You can even grab it and loop it around your hand to drag a fish up on to the beach.