Using Your Charts to Troll Up Structure-Loving Striped Bass
Striped bass are structure-loving predators. Voracious feeders, they like to use the terrain of the bottom and the movement of water to help them hunt. With stripers, it’s all about eating as much as possible while expending the minimum amount of energy. “Striped bass are lazy fish, “ jokes C-MAP Senior Manager, Light Marine Sales Ken Cirillo, explaining that they much prefer to sit and wait for the current and underwater terrain to funnel food their way.
Successful fishermen take advantage of this trait by presenting baits and lures in areas where striped bass can use their “lazy” hunting style — places like shoals (areas where repeated currents build up underwater “sand dunes”), rockpiles and wrecks. Here, stripers can hold still in the current and wait for sand eels, clams, squid and other tasty morsels to come to them.
These spots are well mapped and generally known by all private boat anglers. However, the savvy fisherman uses his boat’s chartplotter and echosounder to gain better understanding of the underwater terrain, tidal currents and other conditions in the area he’s fishing.
Say, for example, you’re using the productive and popular technique of trolling with wire line. By pinpointing your position on the C-MAP 4D charts and observing the strength/direction of the currents, you can keep your lures in proper position relative to shoals and other structure. “Seeing the orientation of the shoal clearly on the color display and understanding the position and direction of the boat adds a level of precision to the otherwise random technique of trolling. Being able to accurate position your lures with repeatability is the key to success,” added Cirillo.
It’s a very effective technique — one made much easier by the use of C-MAP 4D charts on a compatible GPS/chartplotter like the Standard Horizon CPN Series plotter Cirillo runs on his 29-foot Blackfin Magic.