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How to Catch Bluefish and Stripers, while Fishing for Fluke and Sea Bass - Part 3 of 3

I got a great rush from fighting the fish as it was pretty strong and pealing drag occasionally. As I reeled it closer to the boat, I could see that it was a nice striper. Initially, I thought I had a blue on… bonus! Measuring at 32 inches, into the cooler he went.

(continued from part 2)

That was too much fun and I still had a few more hours of fishing time to try it again. The other two boats in our party also set out “bonus lines”.

Out goes my mackerel-baited Viper again, and it’s back to jigging for more great sea bass action. It was probably about 15 minutes later when my Viper rod was screaming again. This time it was a blue.


At the end of the day, along with plenty of sea bass, I ended up with 4 blues and one striper, which to me, I would have to say were all bonus fish; fish that normally I wouldn’t have caught while strictly jigging for sea bass.

The blues ranged from 6 to 13 pounds…. all nice fish which left me a smiling happy camper. The other boats also caught a few nice bonus blues.


The same suspended “bonus line” fishing can be done even while drifting and targeting fluke. I could be 3-way bottom fishing for fluke using Vipers rigged with squid, and at the same time, set out another line and suspend a Viper tipped with cut-bait, squid or soft plastics.

Fresh menhaden also makes great cut-bait for the Viper Spoon. I avoid using menhaden that are reddish in color as that is a sign of spoiling. I try to rig my Vipers with the freshest natural bait possible to avoid rejection from the fish.

Fish will rarely take old freezer-burnt, rancid or spoiling bait.

If I use these baits, chances are I won’t get a bite. The fish will easily detect the freshness status of the bait with their keen sense of smell. It’s also a good idea to change your bait after a while as it can become waterlogged and loose most of its scent and oils.


The spoon portion of my Viper will do its job of attracting fish to my offering on the harness, all I have to do is to make sure that my offering is fresh to increase my chances for a hit.

If i had a choice between using a frozen mackerel or fresh, naturally I’ll use the fresh one. I’m certain it would work ten times better.

It’s worth giving the “bonus line” a try folks. Just suspend your baited Viper and forget about it…meanwhile, with your fluke rod, you can get down to business and concentrate on those big doormats.

Good fishing!


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