- By Brandon Wikman
Fishing has been one of the more popular prescriptions outdoor enthusiasts cling to when deer season has all but simmered. The rapid quest for fish begins for the majority of anglers during the late spring and early summer. This is especially true for the Midwest.
Recently, I had the incredible opportunity to fly into the beautiful state of Georgia to film an episode for The Next Generation TV show. My dearest and most respected mentor, John Stamper of Student Outdoor Experience assembled the game plan blitz. He setup a world class fishing trip on Lake Lanier. We were to seek a species of fish that’s unheard of in my neck of the woods. The fish is called a striper. These fish carry a big belly that’s complimented by a bad attitude, which make them a fishing favorite for many in the southern states.
My initial response to fishing these over-sized bass was quite simple. How? Thankfully, my fishing partners were reluctant to educate me on these critters of the deep. Striped bass can live up to 40-years. They have been known to tip the scales to over 100 pounds! I knew I was in for a spectacular time when the fishing gurus began tossing those numbers into the equation. It became very apparent that we weren’t fishing for little bluegill anymore…
I learned that striped bass eat a variety of different foods. They will bite into alewives, flounder, sea herring, silver hake, and even eels. Their appetite is super large, hence their massive sizes.
After sifting through the seaweed of sport fishing the notorious striper, I was ready. The boat splashed into the water before daylight and we were fishing before light! Fishing during the faint light seemed out of the question; until I was awakened, literally.
The first few casting experiments were a way for me to test my virgin fishing abilities into the water of striper. To my surprise, I was blasted with a few rock-solid strikes from a few wicked whoppers! The light blue sky grew brighter as the fishing ensued. I soon learned that these fish ate heavy during dusk and dawn. The time was prime.
As I gazed into the fogs of la-la-land completely swept away by the beauty of Lake Lanier, my pole took a nosedive. The battle of wits was on. My heavy-duty rod and reel zipped and wobbled recklessly as I gave my best attempt to wrestle the eager fish. My line went back-and-forth as we both tugged. The battle busted ground after eight minutes of brutal cranking of my reel. I was able to get the fish close enough to the boat where a net could be dipped and scooped.
My first fish of the morning was a 10-pound striped bass. I couldn’t be any happier! We fished throughout the morning and into the afternoon. We caught several more respectable fish, which truly enhanced the filming portions of the trip.
I was delighted to have had the chance and open-invitation to test my skills on the deep freshwater fish they call the striper. Thanks John for everything!