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Daddy Mac Lures Pro Staffer Tim Moore: 3 Must-Have Striper Lures

By Daddy Mac Lures Pro Staffer Tim Moore from Tim Moore Outdoors

Which lures work best for striped bass often varies based on geographic location. Stripers are migratory. As they migrate north each summer they have a variety of different food sources, but this variety changes along the way. This can alter the size, profile, and color of the most effective lures in each area. No matter where the stripers are along their range, they have three main prey types that they key in on. Small baitfish, medium to large baitfish, and eels. Here are three types of lures that closely imitate these prey items, and ones I never leave land without when pursuing striped bass.


Soft plastic paddletails, often referred to as swim shads, vary in size and mimic small to large baitfish, such as mackerel, alewives, or menhaden. A 6” swim shad is a staple in my striper tackle box. Paddletails are designed to not only mimic bait in size, color, or profile, but get their name from their large paddle-like tail designed to create thumping vibrations in the water. As much as a baitfish swimming through the water will entice feeding stripers, it’s the vibration created by the paddletail that calls them in and triggers strikes the best. You can cast and retrieve, or rip them through the water column and pause to let them sink briefly as if to imitate a wounded fish.

Soft Baits

Stripers find eels irresistible. They find the erratic action of a soft plastic eel-imitating bait even more irresistible. Soft baits, such as the original Hogy imitate eels, a favorite forage for striped bass. You can rig a Hogy weightless and twitch it in slow moving shallow water to entice cruising bass, or rig it on a jig head and fish it along the bottom in rocky areas where eels might be most likely to hide out. Slowly twitching a Hogy is a favorite of many kayak anglers due to the explosiveness of a big bass when it hits.

Vertical Jigs

Daddy Mac Lures Pro Staffer Tim Moore from Tim Moore Outdoors with a nice Cape Cod Striped Bass caught on a Daddy Mac Lures Elite Deluxe 2.8 jig in Sand Eel Green vertical jigging.

Vertical jigs, like most lures, vary in size, color, and profile. The name vertical jig often leaves many anglers fishing them straight up and down, but these lures are deadly when casted and retrieved. Daddy Mac Lures makes one of the most comprehensive lines of metal vertical jigs on the market. The wide range of sizes and profiles allows you to tailor your lure to what the fish are eating, or match the hatch. While vertical jigs are very effective when fished below your kayak or boat, they really shine when casted out, allowed to sink to the bottom, and then retrieved back. Vertical jigs are my first choice when stripers are holding on deeper structure in fast moving currents.

There are many lures on the market that work well for striped bass. The ultimate choice of which lure we use often boils down to our confidence in a specific lure. We use the lures we believe work best and we use our favorites most often, sometimes to a fault. If space is limited, such as it is in a kayak, it becomes important to narrow down the options. Regardless of where you fish for stripers, walk into any tackle shop and you’ll see these three types of lures on the shelves. Partially because they sell, but mostly because they work.

Tim Moore is a full time licensed NH fishing guide and owner of Tim Moore Outdoors. LLC. He is a member of the New England Outdoor Writer’s Association and the producer of Tim Moore Outdoors TV. Visit for more information.

Tim Moore


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