By Todd Corayer
Striped bass, renowned for their opportunistic, often lazy feeding style yet beloved for their line-stripping runs when hooked, are a conundrum to many. Successful striper fishing requires all anglers to be prepared for both moods, armed with tools to force bass to attack – to call them on a real-world, DNA level. When tides, temperatures, winds, and even Nature herself are working against you, the Shimano CURRENT SNIPER Splash Walk is the one, special, exciting lure to beckon the biggest stripers.
At 3 3/8 ounces, it’s a 7 ¼” long cast spook reminiscent of classic search baits, combining high-tech design and old-school fishing sense. At rest, its rear section sits low with just its head peering over the surface. It’s an exhausted, wounded fish. At full throttle, it’s a drum roll of rattles and splashes working perfect patterns, rising, crashing, exploding, dominating the surface, zig-zagging in a frantic flight reaction. I think it makes stripers angry.
Combine a Shimano Teramar North East 7-foot, Medium Heavy power, Moderate Fast action rod with a Shimano Spheros SW reel spooled with 30-pound-test braid to work the CURRENT SNIPER Splash Walk properly. You’ll need some sensitivity to present it in tight locations, coupled with real backbone to hold fish tight. Tie 18 to 24 inches of 30-pound-test fluorocarbon leader directly to braid and the Splash Walk directly to your leader.
Splash Walks perform best when you understand how stripers hunt so take a few practice casts off the dock before you pick a spot. “Right, left. Right, left. Right, left. See? Just like that,” Captain Jack Sprengel of East Coast Charters taught me. It takes time to learn the method, to find that sweet rhythm but the best fishing often comes after listening to solid advice. “Right, left, right, left…” Proper cadence develops after a few casts. Keep your rod tip up, your reeling steady. Find your timing of rod up and down, right and left. Slowly, you will develop muscle memory, making the Splash Walk suddenly heel right, left, right, left. Water will splash as it hauls itself up and down, driven by your smooth power and control. It’s a deadly siren call and a lot of fun to retrieve.
Cast again, let the Splash Walk hit the surface. Lower your tip, reel in any slack, start the march. Right, left, right, left. Watch it work, hear it call out pleas of a wounded, struggling fish fleeing hungry bass. Now pause again. For me, this is the most critical moment for successful striper fishing with a Splash Walk. This spring, I landed a 32” striper in 60° water off Rhode Island. After a partial retrieve, I paused to adjust my kayak seat with a bone-colored Splash Walk lying motionless, thirty feet in front of me. That’s when a big female attacked it; her violent reaction came close to ripping the rod from my hands.
So set the tip, take away any belly in your line and haul back. Launch it out of the water, give bass some notice. I love watching it take off, making it work side to side then disappear in a burst of tail and head, and then feeling the rod bend hard. Best advice? When fishing a Splash Walk, don’t let your guard down. Hold on tight, watch the action, grip and grin indeed. Such a DNA-level attraction will make your own heart race when everything explodes. The CURRENT SNIPER Splash Walk is pure fishing magic.