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Top Five Lures for Schoolie Bass

Top Five Lures for Schoolie Bass

First Beach Surfers End

First Beach Surfers End, Newport, RI

From the first holdover bass of March until the bigger bass arrive on the heels of the bigger baits like bunker and squid the surf fisherman is focused on schoolie bass. To learn more about tackle and tactics for schoolie striped bass go here.

Springtime schoolies are small and aggressive as a result, a lot of damage can be inflicted by treble hooks. It is important to modify your lures to either a single belly treble with the barbs crushed and a VMC Siwash on the tail with the barb crushed or one of the inline hook options like the Owner Zo-Wire (try to have the weight of the inline hook match the weight and the gap and not necessarily the size of the hook you are replacing). This will help minimize the damage inflicted on the eyes and gills of the small aggressive bass that are our future.

Top Five Lures for Schoolie Stripers  

Jumpin Minnow rigged for schoolie bass

#1 Jumping Minnow  This is a great-searching lure that with the right rod you can get some distance as well. And topwater strikes are an exciting way to start the season. We modify the Jumpin Minnow to reduce the damage caused by treble hooks and maintain the action. We use a 3/0 Owner In-line as the tail with a #1 VMC 9626 for the belly treble and #4 split rings (Rasco/Owner/Spro) will do the job with all the barbs crushed.

#2 Owner Inshore Slam Jig Head with a soft plastic like Cocahoe Minnow , Zoom Fluke or Bass Assassin Sea Shad There is a great hook on these jigs and well as a corkscrew keeper to hold the soft plastic in place. The 3/8 oz is the most popular. The different plastics have different profiles and tails designs but are of a similar size. As for color selection white is all you need with chartreuse being a good choice for dark days or if the water is off-color.


#3 Small SP Minnow The weight transfer system in the SP makes this little lure casts as though it were much heavier. Great action. Rig it like the Jumpin Minnow above.

#4 Small Bucktail Jig Select a lighter jig (1 oz or less ) to allow a slow retrieve in the shallow water that will warm first. 


#5 Yo-Zuri Mag Darter Casts great, tracks a bit deeper than the SP Minnow


Time to Experiment

The early season is the time to experiment with various lures, varying your retrieves, and learning what each will and won’t do. Experiment in the daylight and later in the season, these varied retrieves can be one of your best weapons in the darkness when larger, picky bass that is feeding but rejecting everything in your plug bag. For example, practice “Dead sticking,” or walking, a spook-type topwater plug at a painfully slow pace. Learn the movement and memorize that rate of retrieve. This technique can save a slow night in July.
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Rob Straus - April 26, 2021

I’ve been replacing treble with single hooks for years and it’s great to see your leadership on the subject. Thank you to a Saltwater Edge for all of your conservation efforts.

Rob Straus - April 20, 2021

I’ve been replacing treble with single hooks for years and it’s great to see your leadership on the subject. Thank you to a Saltwater Edge for all of your conservation efforts.

WILLIAM - August 24, 2020

What do I use in the canal for schoolie bass

Nathan Smith - August 24, 2020

I am really starting to like this site more and more every year. On Surface end last year the inshore swim jig head was amazing with the baby blue/ dark blue body about 4 in Long. I am so excited to use it this year, but with this virus going on I’m really scared to get out there and fish. They say you can go by yourself on certain days depending on the last name. What do you guys think? Do you think it’s okay to get out there right now and try to have some fun with a little catch and release in until the big boys come around? My name is Nathan Smith on Facebook they call me fishing with family I have a really nice website about my shows on Facebook. I had an amazing show last year at the Moon Thai and it was also High tie in May. It was one of the most craziest experiences in my life fishing by myself surfcasting with chunks of pierogi at the end of it so basically I was in a blood bath but the fishing was amazing what time do you guys open today I would love to come by and see your new Riggs. Fishing with family 2020 see you all soon

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