Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Meadowlands Stripers Striking Paddletails

Again the weather seemed right, as it did Saturday, and stripers responded at DeKorte Park. The double culverts in the corner drew all the action but a missed hit all the way out by the bridge over the sluiceway. I caught one on the way out, and another on the way back, both approaching 20 inches, and my son lost a better bass to a bad knot.

We ran out of paddletails! The area around the double culvert eats lures. In one of my photographs you can see the stumps from Atlantic white cedars cut long ago. We tried smaller swim baits without paddles on light tackle, but got no hits on these. The water was stained from recent rains, and the paddletails sent vibrations through it. I prefer to use an 8 foot rod with a heavier swim shad, because I can reach farther range, and work the lure better in very close--I imagine stripers move right up to the culvert mouths. 

Possibly, had we arrived earlier by two or three hours we would have caught more stripers. By the time we left at 5:00, the acreage had reduced to mud flats with several creeks coursing through them. But it was a very nice time. My son enjoyed having his first striper of the season on. And the energy of this place is very exciting. I bet no place in the world exists like the Meadowlands combining wilderness and urban landscape. Jets breathed just overhead coming into Newark, as American egrets passed over us between them. Trains rushed nearby while tractor trailors took the turnpike, and the Empire State Building and Manhattan skyline loomed large in the nearby distance. The Kingsland Landfill is still in operation almost a stone's throw away, and we heard heavy earth-moving equipment grinding down the day's work.

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