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Top 5 Fall Striper Surf Fishing Baits & Lures

Top 5 Fall Striper Surf Fishing Baits & Lures

By Owen Gartner

This fall anglers from Maryland to Massachusetts will be setting their sights on the fall striped bass run. Every year, millions of striped bass, often called striper or rockfish in the mid-Atlantic region, migrate from their North Atlantic summertime feeding grounds down south to warmer water for the winter. Importantly, this migration also coincides with the runs of several baitfish species, such as peanut bunker and silversides, which migrate from the estuaries where they spawn into the ocean. These schools of baitfish and migrating stripers run into each other and create a coastal feeding frenzy like no other along the Mid-Atlantic coast from September through December. 

Illustrated graphic of the Fall Striper Migration

To help you make the most of this hot striper bite, we’ve put together a list of the best surf fishing baits and lures for striped bass we carry here at Discount Tackle.

1. Yo-Zuri Hydro Minnow LC

Yo-Zuri Hydro Minnow LC in Black Silver

Designed specifically for inshore and coastal saltwater species, the Hydro Minnow LC is a plug to be reckoned with. It’s weight transfer system allows for ridiculously long casts, a must when fishing from the shore. Additionally, it’s made from super-durable ABS plastic and comes pre-rigged with saltwater grade split rings and 3X strong trebles, so it’s got the heft and durability to survive savage strike and battles with those 50lbs+ fish of a lifetime. The large eyes, tight life-like wiggle, and fantastic color selection simply seal the deal.

2. Nomad Design Streaker Jig

Nomad Design The Streaker Jig in Orange Warbler

Originally designed as a high pitch speed jig for deep drop fishing from boats, the smaller sizes (40 to 120 grams) of Nomad Design’s Streaker are excellent at mimicking sand eels, one of stripers favorite snacks. All Streaker jigs come fitted with super strong and super sharp BKK 5X Strong jig assist hooks matched perfectly to the size of the jig and are ready to fish straight out of the packet. 

3. Z-Man Striper Eye Jighead with Z-Man DieZel MinnowZ or Scented Jerk ShadZ

 Z-Man Striper Eye Jighead in Pearl with a 5 inch Z-Man DieZel Minnow in Sexy Mullet

With their widely successful ChatterBait and TRD/Finesse ShroomZ product lines, Z-Man has quickly become a household name among freshwater bass anglers, but they make lots of great saltwater oriented tackle as well. Chief among these offerings is their Striper Eye Jigheads, a sub-series of their Eye Strike Jigheads, designed with a heavier weight and stouter hook for striped bass fishing. Additionally, if your're looking for a jighead with more hook size and weight options, be sure to check out the Z-Man HeadlockZ HD Swim Jigheads.

Pair either of these jigheads with one of the fantastic ElaZtech swimbaits or soft jerkbaits that Z-Man offers, such as their DieZel MinnowZ paddle tail swimbaits (available in 3 inch, 4 inch, 5 inch, and 7 inch sizes) or Scented Jerk ShadZ Pro-Cure attractant-laced soft jerkbaits (available in 4 inch, 5 inch, and 7 inch sizes) and you've got a perfect presentation for when stripers are keyed in on baitfish. 

4. Fish Head Bucktail Underspin with Berkley Gulp! 6 inch Floating Grub

Fish Head Bucktail Underspin in Chartreuse with a Berkley Gulp! 6 inch Floating Grub in White

Both soft plastic curltail grubs and bucktail hair jigs are staple presentations among striped bass anglers, coveted for their ability to mimic a wide range of aquatic forage such as baitfish, shrimp, crabs, and squid. This Bucktail Underspin from Fish Head has the added advantage of a swivel mounted Willow blade that adds a bit of extra flash and vibration to the lure. This added flash, in addition to the attractant scent found in the Berkley Gulp! 6 inch Floating Grub and all Berkley Gulp! products, is a great choice when fishing heavily stained or choppy water because it makes it easier for fish to track and strike the lure.

5. Cotton Cordell Original Pencil Popper

Cotton Cordell Original Pencil Popper in Chrome/Blue

Topwater lures offer some of the most enthralling fishing experiences out there thanks to the savage "blow-ups" they can provoke. This is no exception when surf fishing. Not only are pencil poppers fun to fish, they make excellent surf fishing search baits that can be cast far and used to cover lots of water. Larger pencil poppers, like the Cotton Cordell Original Pencil Popper, which has a wide range of striper oriented colors available in its 6 inch (1 ounce) and 7 inch (2 ounce) sizes, are particularly effective when fish are feeding on larger baitfish. Additionally, if you are fishing an unfamiliar area, the Original Pencil Popper can be an excellent tool to determine where fish congregate. 

While the action on this lure is excellent, we strongly recommend saltwater anglers upgrade the stock split rings and hooks with more robust options such as Owner's HyperWire Split Rings and Gamakatsu's 4X Strong Treble Hooks.

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