Auten and New’s striper fishing adventures

What could these two be up to on a winter day? Bryan New, left, and Todd Auten are both South Carolinians that compete full time on the Bassmaster Elite Series.
Only this day is not about competing, sort of, and instead, it’s about a day of fun fishing on Lake Murray in a part of the state known as the Midlands.
Catching largemouth or spotted bass isn’t the goal. Call it a South Carolina thing. Auten and New are out for a day of targeting striped bass, stocked in select fisheries, where they have thrived for decades.
Auten is set up with a Z-Man ChatterBait, chartreuse and white, fit for stained water, with a fluke-style trailer to mimic the baitfish schooling in that area.
The two started the day targeting the backs of creeks, looking for swarms of birds hovering over wads of baitfish. The stripers tend to suspend under the baitfish to feed.
When you find the birds swarming, you find the stripers.
Auten is using a Douglas rod paired with a Daiwa Tatula Type-R CT100XS to get the best performance and action out of his ChatterBait.
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The first catch of the day! Not even close to the size they’re looking for, but it’s a start.
Almost back-to-back catches with a ChatterBait, and Auten starts to find some with size.
New is starting to show some friendly frustration as Auten continues to put more fish in the boat. Fishing shallow with a ChatterBait was Auten’s idea, and now you can see why. New is itching to go try out his technique in deeper water.
Auten and New continue the shallow ChatterBait bite for the remainder of the morning.
Ready to change things up and fish the deeper water, New clean his Humminbird graphs and readies up his side scan.
New’s technique consists of locating the swarming birds over deeper water, seeing isolated schools on side scan, then using Garmin Panoptix LiveScope to see the fish, and run his umbrella rig directly through the mob.
It’s a technique New has perfected over a long period of time, eliminating most of the guesswork and blind casting when locating striped bass.
Auten switches up his technique for the deeper fish, using a Daiwa spinning reel paired with a G-Loomis rod.
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Auten is hooked up again, and it feels a little heavier.
Could he be reeling in the biggest catch of the day so far?
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Not quite. But it’s a double! Caught on double rigged hair jigs.
They aren’t the intended size, but a double up is always a fun experience.
Auten’s double rig continues to do the job as he hooks up yet again.
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This time it's a single catch on the double rig.
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New scores with an umbrella rig.
New is all smiles as the anglers start to find consistent bites and some bigger fish.
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Every friendly fish off consists of trash talking and pure competition. And Auten is starting to find amusement in this with every hookset.
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If you look into the background, you will notice the swarm of birds that Auten and New are using to locate the baitfish where the striper are schooling .
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And we can’t go without a couple good fish jumps!
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“A trash fish,” New said with a laugh. With the Elite Series season starting soon after this fishing trip, he’ll change his tone about this largemouth.
This is about the only time New will get this disappointed catching a largemouth of this size.
The hair jig that has been doing the job all day for Auten.
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New poses with the size of striper targeted by the anglers. His umbrella rig and deep-water technique starts to pay off later in the day with consistent keepers.
Auten and New finish out the day bouncing around to various bird swarms to fill out their limit of striped bass.
That is by relying on the electronics to scope out schools and fish efficiently.
And then, by keeping umbrella rigs in their hands for the remainder of the day.
With a filled-out limit of striper and no clear winner to this fish off, a good ole fish fry is destined for the future.