Steve worked the boat into the tide line where the outgoing Ipswich River ran into the incoming tide off the southern most point of Plum Island. Shutting off the motor, we just drifted along in the current, tossing rigged unweighted Slug-Gos into the outflow. In a matter of seconds I felt the slam of a striper as he plowed into my offering and headed upriver toward the yacht club.
The sun had just come blazing up out of the ocean, but the air was still cool. The lawn of the Crane Estate was a beautiful deep green, the shadows from the trees making a dark edge to the mowed surface. A few seagulls were working the rocks on the far shore and Pavilion Beach was yet to be filled with people seeking relief from the city heat.
The fish at the end of my line was not happy with his lot, and he struggled to throw the hook that was embedded in his lip. I knew right off he was a schoolie, so I brought him to the boat as quickly as possible. With a little twist of my wrist I undid the hook. With a flip of his tail he left a small hole in the water and dove back to the dark blue water below.
Fishing with Slug-Gos is one of the more effective ways to catch stripers. Easy to rig and inexpensive to buy, they are one of the best alternatives when you can’t scare up live bait. My tackle box carries a wide variety of both lengths and colors.
Rigging them is quite easy. Start with a 8/0 O’Shaughnessy hook made by Mustad. There are other similar hooks made by others that will work as well, but do not use a shorter shanked hook. Wrap a few winds of thread around the shank near the eye. This rough surface will help keep the Slug-Go on the hook better. You only want to wrap back a half inch or so, finishing off with a couple of half hitches. Now put a few drops of glue on the thread. This will keep it in place nicely.