On the west coast shiner perch are considered to be one of the best baits for stripers and halibut. They are frequently found residing in the surf or near pier pilings. When you find one, you will normally find many more as they usually thrive in schools. They range in size from 3” – 5” and can be caught with sand worms, shrimp or even small pieces of anchovy.
There are several ways to rig live shiners, but I prefer using about a 5’ 60 lb. fluorocarbon leader with a loop knot about halfway up where I attach a live bait hook. I’ll have a barrel swivel up top and a snap to hold the 2-3 oz sinker on the bottom.
This allows the bait to float above the bottom while letting the bait swim freely. Make sure to hook the bait just through the lips and boney portion of the snout to keep it from flying off the hook on the cast.
There are several lures that used to emulate shiner perch but I personally like the famous rattle trap in both sinking and floating models. It’s profile seems right on target with the shiner perch. Other plugs that do equally well are the Jackall Doozer, Black Dog Bait Fish and the River2Sea Twin Vibe.
Up to about 2009 I had absolutely no confidence in topwater lures. I viewed topwater as a technique to employ only when fish were busting in massive numbers. Never would it be my first choice out the bag until I stumbled upon a (read more)
This article is based on my personal experiences in using the SS little neck in surf fishing for striped bass. I would say 90% of my striper surf striper hookups were enticed by the (read more)