i catch about a hundred a year on average from that general area, more on a good year if there are lots of schoolies. there is so much structure in the water there it is also one of the easiest places to lose a striper too.
there is no garunteed hit or bait. in fact, stripers are noted for changing their feeding habits. at one point i was taking a duffel bag full of gear with me every time, now i just take a box or two, or maybe three....lol
until i establish a pattern, i work through the optuions:
size of bait: huge; med; small
pattern: natural - match the hatch; flashy - stand out
depth: bottom; mid; top water
speed/pauses; ; on bottom; dead slow drift; jerks; running/trolling; fast food(burn it)
where; along shore; short cast; cast to the max.
what: bait; swim bait; crank; spinnerbait; bucktail; etc. etc. etc....
tide and and time of day/night.
a lot of variables, so try a few each night untill you catch one or get some hits, then base your next outing around that pattern.
most years i track the striper catch and what it was caught on, so the next year i have some idea where to start with them. you had one take the bucktail, so i would work based on that to start.
if your looking for a garanteed hit for striped bass might as well just play play sation.....ive fish st-john last summer with bait and ive caught 19 keepers on the falls area.... spent some hours even days without hits......it takes alot of patient for it.....also fished a whole summer without catching any then last year i caught some from beginning to end of season....but u dont fish striped bass expecting youll get one....i just go open minded but the one fish youll catch will erase all the frustration u have...lol
Shore fishing for them is hit or miss I find if you go out in the boat id say you have a 90% chance of hooking one, I think there was one day last year we didnt get any stripers, some days we got 10 all over 15 lbs and a couple 25 lbers. I use one of two things, 5oz sinker and a hook with bait on it. Or buck tail jigs I tie myself, the ones you buy i find are garbage, I like short buck tail with long thin red strip and reflective strands. Sometimes Ill put a big yellow rubber tail on the back. I personally think those 20 to 30 dollars lures are a waste of money. The most succsesul over all though seems to be the bait and hook, let it sit on bottom or throw it out and let it frubble in the current.
Also i find off shore the dock behind the reversing falls resturant on the OUT going tide is pretty good. I find north end you lose alot of gear and its hit or miss..plus the sewage pipe is right next door,so on the incoming tide all the sewage from the north end indain town floats right in there, gross.
I spent plenty horus to and a few days without compeltely anything, The buck tails as you say ipop are working had 2 on but didint land them so I'll be prepared next time . also what else have you caught out of thier, Anyone answer this really I seen birds diving bringing up tons and tons of fish mackerel maybe? Hering? not to sure what it was btu theen at one poitn I swear them seaguls pulled a small striepr out, *not sayign it is lol* Just exageration but it was massive could barley fly with it and had the whole flock of birds chasing this one bird struggle to even hold the fish lol was quite the site to see lol , But yea now im rabbling lol so yes what else has anyone caught ?
there are a lot of eels there, tommy cod, yellow tail flounder...and any bait and sport fish that swims through. i have caught scalpin from the dock, herring, alewives, menheiden, and a buddy even caught a little 1.5" sand ell on a 7" rapala (the hook was actualy through the mouth, and the same size as the fish - lol, we figured it was swimming with its mouth open when the rapala hit it).