Striped Bass
It can be said with great certainty that the striped bass is the most sought after gamefish in the New England surf. The striper is not the prettiest, nor is it the fastest, nor the most appealing to pallet. So the reason for its popularity is somewhat abstract. Perhaps it the thrill of standing on slippery rock in surging white water at 2:00 am or the considerable skill required to land a large bass admist a boulder field. What ever the reason may be, the striped bass is persued by the majority of New England surfcasters.
The habitat of the striper varries greatly. They can be found at rocky outcroppings, open sand beaches, bays, rivers, and even the backwaters of various salt ponds. However, my favorite location to persue these fish is on the rocky points and coves of Rhode Island. The hard structure found here offers optimal cover and habitat for bass to stalk their prey.
The array of productive lures for striped bass is nearly as wide their habitat range. Bass will take a wide variety of surface lures, subsurface lures, wooden lures, hard plastic lures, and soft plastic lures. Lure color is personal preference, with black being most popular at night, while any lighter color seems to work in the daytime. My personal choice daytime fishing is usually flat white or pink over white.
We'll start with the most productive striped bass lure: the 9" slug-go. The slug-go works best fished subsurface with a relativley fast retrieve with a contanst twitching action of the rod tip. The lure produces an action that is second to none. If there is a striped bass of any size in the surf before you, you can be sure that the slug-go will catch it.

Another consistant producer is the needlefish plug. The needlefish is typically contructed from wood (although Super Strike makes a productive plastic model.) Needlefish are best worked on a very slow retireve occasionally twitching the rod tip.


It's a well known fact that striped bass eat large baits. Well the metal lipped swimmer is fits that bill nicely. With it wide profile and struggling swimming action, the metal lip is a dead ringer for a dying menhaden or herring. The only drawback with these plugs is their poor castability.
Pencil poppers are an exclent choice for those who like to fish traditional topwater plugs. The lure comes to life with a side to side darting action with only a few twitches of the rod tip.
Plastic swimmers work best when fish slowly at night. Adding an occassional twitch or pause can prove deadly.