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Trolling the River for Striped Bass

Viewer Question: “Hi. I am going striper fishing on the St-John River and I will be trolling the river. Is there a certain speed to troll and what would you say would be best to troll with? Oh, by the way, this is my first time bass (striper) fishing – is there a certain place to troll? For example, near shore? Thank you. ” - Charlie

Hi Charlie,

Thanks for writing in, and for the questions on Stripers.

Trolling speed

When fishing for stripers, trolling at 2 to 3 MPH is ideal. You made need to adjust your speed, depending on if you are trolling against the current or with the current. As a general rule, it’s good to troll against the current, as it maximizes lure action.

Best Baits


As far as baits go, the best lure to troll with for stripers is spoons. Of course we are partial to the Viper Spoons, as they are great for Stripers, and thus we highly recommend them! They truly are one of our favorites. Try sizes SP3, SP4, or even SP5’s.

Besides spoons, crankbaits/body baits are also good. Any of your typical Rapalas will work for you, but another good lure to use is the Cotton Cordell, red fin or any of the Bomber lures. Jointed lures work just as well as straight lures.

In general, spoons are best to troll with and if you troll with crankbaits/body baits, then be sure to double check the action of your lure at varying speeds.

Prime Locations

Our top spots for Stripers are definitely drop offs & points. Stripers love to relate to these areas as they are natural ambush areas for them. Try to key in on these spots if possible – if not, your idea to troll the shore line is also o.k. Look for rocky or irregular shaped shore lines.


Further, if there are any creeks or smaller feeder type rivers emptying into the St. John River, then be sure to key in on those areas as well.

It sure sounds like you have a great trip planned Charlie and we would love to hear back from you as to how you made out – so be sure to write us back and feel free to send photos!

Thanks again for writing in and we wish you great success on your first Striper fishing trip! We’re sure you’ll have more to follow. Stripers are so much fun and very exciting to catch.

Until next time, good luck and good fishin’


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