Second Saturday Striper Tips: Celebrate “Oktoberfish”

Most people get excited for the month of October for many reasons: a changing season, comfortable weather and also — Oktoberfest.

I say forget that, and focus on OKTOBERFISH.

October can be the best time of year to fish for striper and white bass. The fish are adapting to the weather changes and water cooling down, which results in more aggressive feeding patterns.  They are gorging on shad, crawdads, and anything else they can ambush and fill their bellies for the upcoming winter months.

Before hitting the water, check out the fishing rules and regulations. 

This time of year, the bite gets especially active, leading to more opportunities for top-water action or boils.

The water temperature will slowly get colder, but will average in the mid 70s or high 60s this month.  Once we get later in the season, like Dec.- Feb.,  the water will get much colder, resulting in a slower bite.

This also means air temperatures will be getting very cold at night, making it uncomfortable — and difficult to night fish.

This is another reason why anglers should fish during October: the weather is comfortable during the day and night.  Compared to summer, anglers should focus on a little more shallow water. Try fishing for striper at the depth of 40-65 feet.

 

Early morning striped bass fishing at Lake Pleasant. This month, try jigging spoons off the bottom.
Early morning striped bass fishing at Lake Pleasant. This month, try jigging spoons off the bottom.

Get “jiggy” with it — AZ style

Jigging spoons will be effective this time of year. Bounce the spoons off the bottom or try experimenting retrieval speeds when jigging. Anglers should also fish coves and shorelines since striper will be chasing shad towards the shore/structure to ambush them.

This will create boils and great top-water conditions.

Try casting paddletail swimbaits or use top water spooks to increase catch limits.

 

Although we're just passed a new moon, fishing with submersible lights will still be effective until the Oct. 16 full moon
Although we’re just passed a new moon, fishing with submersible lights will still be effective until the Oct. 16 full moon

Fishing stripers in the dark

The night bite will really be on fire this month.

Be sure to chum and use a good underwater lights to attract baitfish. I went with friends last weekend to Lake Pleasant and my friends and I averaged a bite — or a fish — every minute using frozen anchovies on a dropshot rig.

It was a blast, and we had many doubleheaders all night long.  Take advantage of the aggressive bite and current fishing conditions while they last.

Check out more fishing resources, and Tight Lines!

Barry Worman is the moderator of the Arizona Striper Fishing Facebook page

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