Hybrid wipers coming to Lake Jennings

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There are several techniques that are productive for catching hybrids with both live and artificial baits.  Hybrids are aggressive and fight hard. 

Hybrids occupy distinct spots on structure, so trolling passes need to be exact. Anglers should line up shoreline objects and troll between them. Most strikes will come while trolling because the fish like to hold on the sides of points. 

You can catch hybrids on a variety of artificial baits, like imitation minnows and other crank baits. Hybrids also can be caught on shad, liver and a variety of insects. 

When pursuing hybrids, leave the crappie and bluegill rods at home. Hybrids are incredibly strong, hard-hitting fish. If there is a weak link in your tackle, a big hybrid will point it out to you. More lures are destroyed by hybrids than by any other species of fish, so have extras on hand. 

A long rod with some flex to it helps absorb the shock of the initial strike and keeps the hooks from pulling out of the fish’s mouth. When a hybrid does hit your lure, it usually happens so fast that, if the fish does not hook itself, it often throws the lure before you can react. Sharpening the hooks on your lures is the best way to keep fish from getting off.  

Hybrid stripers will hit both artificial lures and live bait, but the best fish-producer of all is the live shad. The shiner can be drift-fished, fished below a balloon or a float, or hung straight beneath a boat on a tight line.

They have been described as a “football with fins.” When hooked, they will stay deep and pull hard. They generally prefer open water, which means they’re not competing with other predators like black bass, walleyes, catfish and crappie for habitat.  

Besides providing a unique fishing experience, there is another goal. Lake Jennings largemouths are difficult to catch because they tend to suspend off the points. They do this because their principle food is threadfin shad. It is expected that the Wipers will outcompete the bass in harvesting the shad. This should drive the bass back towards the bank to target the large sculpin population in the rocks and weeds. This should put more largemouth bass within easy reach of the shore angler.

The initial 1,000 Wipers will be in the 8- to 12-inch range.  They will not be legal to be kept until they reach 15 inches. They should reach that size within one year and by year three will be 4 to 7 pounds. The limit will be one, 15 inches and over per, person. The hybrids are sterile and so must be restocked periodically. If the initial plant and the resulting angler enthusiasm warrants, additional plants will be made.

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