Fishing a Striped Bass Blitz

This section provides some tips for fishing a blitz from the surf.

A blitz is a feeding frenzy where striped bass, and maybe bluefish, attack a dense school of baitfish. It is usually accompanied by birds diving for scraps, with the birds signaling the location of the blitz.

Blitz Tips

Blitzes often attract a crowd of fishermen, all trying to get in on the action. Cast accurately, be careful not to cast across your neighbor's line.

Use a 10 foot rod to maximize casting distance. The blitz may come in close to the shoreline, but you want to be able to reach it when it's further out.

Use a lure that you can throw far, and that can be quickly and safely unhooked from the fish, while standing in place. A bucktail is a good choice. It is a single hook with a handle, the handle being the lead jighead. If not a bucktail, a metal lure is good if it has only one hook. Next best is a pencil popper. The blitz may not be within your casting range for very long. You don't want to waste a lot of time, or lose your place while unhooking a fish. Unhook your fish and release it. Cast out and catch another.

If you are not in a crowd, or perched on a rock, and you have more time to safely unhook the fish, a pencil popper may be the best choice. Pencil poppers are effective lures for fishing a blitz, especially if they are yellow.

Striper Blitz at Montauk

Fishing a Blitz at Montauk
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Often bluefish are mixed in with the stripers. Both the bluefish and the younger, more aggressive stripers will be on top. More stripers, and maybe bigger ones, could be down below picking up scraps. If you're after the bigger stripers, use a lure that will sink below the blitz before starting your retrieve. Again, a bucktail or metal would
be good choices.

Matching the hatch doesn't seem so important when fishing a blitz. The fish are in a feeding frenzy and will hit almost anything.

Although teasers would be very effective, don't use them. Teasers add some drag and reduce casting distance. With a teaser, you might hook a double header. A double header is difficult to control in a crowd of fisherman. Also, bluefish can bite off the teaser and maybe your line.