Ghost Shrimp Versus Striped Bass
My Target Objective:
Trophy Sized Striped Bass from the Shorelines of a Freshwater Fishing River
It was a beautiful Saturday around mid morning quite a few years ago. I set out for a 30 minute drive for a little freshwater fishing from the banks of a popular river out towards the Bay Area of Northern California in the United States of America.
On the way there I stopped off in the last little town to pick up some bait from the local bait and tackle shop. I grabbed about a dozen live ghost shrimp and about half a pound of fresh shad, and then headed on out.
Once I arrived to my fishing spot I immediately set up two fishing rods. My medium action rod was a Shakespeare Ugly Stik rigged with 14 pound Shakespeare Red Cajun monofilament line and baited with fresh shad. My heavy action rod, which is actually designed for salmon fishing, was spooled with 20 pound test line and baited with ghost shrimp.
I used the ghost shrimp because sturgeon run through the river and they love it. I doubted that my set up would be able to even handle the sturgeon, but I thought why not have a little fun in the sun. If a small one were to hit then I could have a chance. Besides, other fish love hitting the shrimp too... I've had success catching those stripers with it.
I wasn't getting any action from my smaller set up. But, every now and then I would get a good tap, nibble and pull on the heavier rod. The fish would seem to start to take the bait and drop it as soon as they felt pressure.
Finally, I get a pretty good hook set into one of those bait stealing fish. And then my reel just starts screaming. The fish peels line off
like crazy. What an exciting fight this one was.
After fighting the fish for a bit, I start to get the striped bass up close to the bank. But there was a little problem. The fish was tangled in a bunch of old fishing line. It was going to be tough to even get to the striper. The tide was low, the land was flattened out, and the rocks were extremely slippery from all the algae.
The striped bass was just sitting out there at about 8 feet from me. It looked directly into my eyes as I looked directly into hers. She was a beauty. She had the hook embedded into the corner of her mouth. The ghost shrimp was hanging from it with the miracle thread. I told her not to be rude and to wipe her mouth at least when she was finished with her little morning snack. ;-)
I wasn't sure what to do. I didn't have my net with me. So out of desperation I tugged a little. Then a little more. Then one last tug and... Snap! She glared at me for about 3 seconds before realizing that her lucky ass was free to live for another fight.
I know that flippin' female seen how I was salivating over her body. Darn right I was looking at her like a piece of meat. I was hungry and my meal ticket just swam off for some other lucky fishermen. What a two-timing...
Well, that's my fishing story about the striped bass that got away with my ghost shrimp. I guess it could be fitting to say that striped bass disappeared like a ghost in a ghostly fashion... or not. =) Oh well, at least that's one way to practice catch and release.
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