Friends Robert Gomez, Jason Bluhm, Ken Pizzagoni and I purchased a striper fishing trip at our annual San Tan Chapter Mule Deer Foundation banquet. The four of us make up the current executive of the San Tan Chapter. Don Martin from Striper Hunter has consistently been a donor to our banquets and we finally decided to pull the trigger on a trip for ourselves. The peak of the season was past when we finally made it up in mid-August but I must say that Don didn’t disappoint.
Our interactions with Don leading up to the trip were great. He provided detailed directions to his house in Meadview. He provided great info on what to bring and answered any other questions we had. The plan was to meet Don at his place in Meadview, he would feed us dinner, and we would be on the water (Lake Mead) by 10 PM or so. Dinner was great (included in the package) and there was plenty to eat. Don is meticulous in his preparation to hit the water and clearly has a system down. Prep went like clockwork, from bait to tackle to boat, to ice. Don utilizes a checklist so nothing gets forgotten.
As promised, we were out on the water around 10 and quickly we were headed to Don’s honey hole. Don began his secret ritual of chumming and bait and parking in just the right spot; soon we had lines in the water. We were past the peak of the season and the night started out slow. Slow to the point that Don was fretting a bit early on. Eventually the bite picked up and remained fairly steady through the night. All told, we boated 102 stripers, 5 catfish and 2 big carp.
Don is a wealth of knowledge and between knowledge and system he provides a high-quality, enjoyable fishing trip. He can provide the rods and tackle or you can bring your own. He provides the bait, chum, water, sodas, etc. All he asked us to bring was some dry ice. We fished through until about 530 in the morning, we were even surprised with some sudden showers in the wee hours of the morning. We were back at the dock by 6:30 AM or so, and headed back to HQ.
Don has a system for everything and that includes cleaning fish and taking pictures. At the time we all kept thinking “Lets just take some pictures” but we stuck with Don’s method and all of the sorting and hanging of fish paid off with some really cool photos. We cleaned them assembly line style with two of us running electric filet knives, one cutting ribs and the driver aking a catnap.
If you’re interested in a great fishing trip in Arizona, or fishing striped bass specifically – I’d highly recommend Don Martin and his outfit Striper Hunters. Stripers are fun to catch and great eating too. They’re my new favorite thing to fish. Don runs a tight ship (pun intended), is friendly and hospitable, knows his stuff, and will for sure make it a great trip for you.
You can find him on Facebook here: Striper Hunters
You can also watch a video detailing one of Don’s trips below.