Striper, Rockfish, Linesider… The Striped Bass is a fish of many names. It doesn’t matter what you name it, one factor stays the identical. It’s probably the most in style and fascinating recreation fish in North America, with laborious hits and runs that’ll hold you in your toes. Mix this with its capacity to stay in each freshwater, saltwater, and brackish water, and it’s straightforward to see why Striped Bass fishing has stood the take a look at of time.
In addition to its hard-fighting perspective, this fish tastes scrumptious and may develop large. We’re speaking between 10–30 kilos, though varieties weighing 80+ kilos have been recorded. It additionally has the honour of being the “state fish” for eight states, from the plain selections (New York and Rhode Island, anybody?) to locations a lot additional afield.
Lengthy earlier than it was focused for its glorious recreation properties, the Striper was the Atlantic Coast’s prime market fish. This led to overfishing on this area, which implies that this species is now closely regulated. However don’t fear. Releasing your catch safely doesn’t take away any of the rod-bending pleasure that Striper fishing brings with it. With out additional ado, let’s dive in…
Prime Striped Bass Fishing Areas
Though the Striper is native to stretches alongside North America’s Gulf and Atlantic Coasts, this beloved sport fish has been efficiently launched into loads of fisheries exterior of its pure vary. This contains locations as far-flung as New Mexico, California, and the Carolinas. It may also be discovered all through the Midwest and even alongside Canada’s West Coast, albeit in a lot smaller numbers.
As this species is so widespread, we’re focusing our consideration on completely different areas inside the USA the place it’s most plentiful. Let’s delve in…
The East Coast
If there’s a religious house for Striped Bass angling lovers, it needs to be the USA’s East Coast. Right here, Striped Bass fishing isn’t only a sport – it’s a lifestyle. Because of business and leisure overfishing, East Coast anglers are very vocal about conservation and training catch and launch.
- Lengthy Island, NY: Smack-bang in the course of the annual Striper migration, this can be a mecca for surf and Striper fishing. You will discover them all around the island and within the Lengthy Island Sound, however one of the best fishing is round Montauk.
- Cape Cod, MA: Boasting entry to Cape Cod Canal and Bay, Nantucket Bay, and the highest fishing spot of Martha’s Winery, Cape Cod is a Striper haven. Overfishing has been an issue traditionally, so anglers follow catch and launch, which suggests this Striper fishery is again at its greatest.
- Chesapeake Bay: Striped Bass is named Rockfish on this space, however anglers view it as extra of a valuable gem! Catches across the 40 lb mark are frequent, particularly close to the bridge tunnel. This fish inhabits these waters year-round, however is closed for harvest from January–February.
- Jersey Shore, NJ: These fish migrate north every spring, which is while you’ll discover ’em displaying up all alongside Jersey’s Atlantic Coast. Ocean Metropolis, Lengthy Island Seashore, Sandy Hook, and Cape Might particularly see loads of Striper motion.
The East Coast typically steals all the consideration in relation to Striped Bass fishing. The USA’s Southern States, nonetheless, have sufficient prime Striper fisheries to essentially maintain their very own! This area boasts the “Striper Capital of the World,” Lake Texoma, in addition to quite a lot of different incredible hotspots.
- Lake Texoma: This fishery boasts a mix of freshwater and saltwater from the close by Crimson River, and is the right habitat for Striped Bass. In reality, these fish find it irresistible a lot right here that they’ve began reproducing naturally. You may fish Lake Texoma from both Texas or Oklahoma.
- Savannah River Chain: Spanning the border between Georgia and South Carolina, this chain system is house to Lakes Thurmond, Hartwell, Richard B. Russell, and extra. Even higher? They’re house to loads of Striper!
- Lake Lanier, GA: This man-made lake is fairly synonymous with Bass fishing. It boasts over 600 miles of shoreline and a booming Striper inhabitants, particularly in February and March. Species weighing round 30 kilos are frequent right here.
- St. Johns River: Striped Bass was stocked right here and now thrives on this river, because of the cool springs that hold temperatures on the milder facet. The brackish waters round Jacksonville are an particularly productive spot.
The West Coast
In contrast to the East Coast, initially there have been no Striped Bass on this area. As an alternative, they have been launched to the West Coast in 1879, when simply over 100 fingerling Bass have been launched into the San Francisco Bay. Since then, they’ve thrived – though it’s positively true that the variety of Striper hotspots right here doesn’t fairly rival these on the East Coast.
- California: If there’s a spot that’s on par with the East Coast, it needs to be the San Francisco Bay. Depart from San Francisco itself, and focus your consideration close to Alcatraz and Treasure Islands, and Raccoon Strait. The Sacramento River south of Butte Metropolis, Lake Havasu, and the California Aqueduct canal system are additionally Striper hotspots.
- Oregon: This fish initially migrated to Coos Bay from California. It’s remained robust on this space and all through the whole Coos River System. The Umpqua, Coquille, and Smith Rivers additionally boast thriving Striper populations, particularly through the fall.
Striped Bass Fishing Seasons
Right here’s one thing else that provides to this species’ recognition: If you understand the place to go, you’ll be able to truly goal Striped Bass year-round. Beneath, we’ve highlighted the most well-liked methods to catch this fish relying on while you’d wish to go fishing.
Throughout this month, Striper wish to linger off open seashores and round rips and tidal streams that move into bays or open waters. In New Jersey, juveniles and small males go away their wintering spots and make their approach to open waters. Late spring ushers in some actually massive Bass right here! Chesapeake Bay is particularly action-packed throughout this month, too, because the spring Striper run takes place in April. Lake Texoma’s Bass fishing additionally heats up now.
In June, bigger Striped Bass varieties depart from New Jersey’s waters and head north in the direction of New York, so comply with their lead and make your approach to Lengthy Island and Montauk. California’s Striped Bass head north from San Francisco Bay to Level Reyes and Monterey Bay throughout summer season, that means that shore fishing for Striper is at its greatest. June and July are usually the busiest months on Lake Texoma, because of the variety of Striped Bass!
For fall’s hottest Striper motion, head to the border between South Carolina and Georgia, the place the Savannah River’s chain of lakes lies. Richard B. Russell Lake is completely positioned right here, and it presents up a number of the greatest Striper fall fishing obtainable. On Chesapeake Bay, large Striped Bass make an look in late fall.
Winter is commonly an angler’s least-anticipated month, because of the mixture of colder climate and loads of fish making their approach to deeper or hotter waters. Not in relation to Striped Bass! Nearly all of these fish migrate south and congregate on the mouths of rivers and bays. They are often discovered all through Chesapeake Bay, the Carolinas, and pockets of Cape Cod Bay, however don’t neglect in regards to the Northeast solely. The Hudson River in New York is a hotspot in winter, too.
Learn how to Fish for Striped Bass
Technically, there are a lot of alternative ways to chase and catch Striper. Masking ’em all would imply writing a guide, so we’re sticking to the “need-to-know” information that apply in most Striped Bass fishing conditions. Fortunately, the setup you’ll want is mostly the identical, regardless of whether or not you’re fishing in saltwater, freshwater, or brackish water.
Bait and Deal with
First issues first: the Striped Bass is a voracious and opportunistic feeder. Which means, when you by no means fairly know what they’ll assault, there’s probability you will have one thing in your sort out field or stay bait effectively that’ll lure them in.
Want utilizing stay bait? You’ve got fairly the listing to select from. Eels, bunker, herring, shad, crabs, bloodworms, and sandworms are all efficient in tempting Stripers. Should you’re utilizing synthetic lures, attempt mimicking these bait fish with plastic or rubber eels, a swim shad, or by combining a tube lure with a stay worm. Diamond and parachute jigs are in style, too.
Relating to your setup, the principle factor to contemplate is the dimensions of the fish you’re in search of. Should you’re chasing smaller education Bass, utilizing medium-light spinning sort out is the important thing. A 7′ medium rod with quick motion will do the job completely, and is one thing that many anglers have already got of their fishing toolbox. You’ll be capable to solid mild lures however nonetheless deal with a big fish if it bites!
Should you’re anticipating to come across colleges of big fish, go for a heavier spinning outfit. It will allow you to float or “chunk” bigger items of stay bait into the present, and can be utilized for vertical jigging with heavy spoons and jigs over underwater construction. This setup is ideal for extra hardcore anglers who need to do some heavy-duty trolling with massive bait throughout saltwater fishing grounds or bigger lakes.
You don’t must spend money on any particular sort out for Striper. Braided or fused strains weighing 30 kilos or extra, connected to a 30–50 lb fluorocarbon chief, will do the job.
At their core, Striped Bass are structure-loving fish. Any method that permits you to focus your consideration round underwater construction, rocky shoreline areas, and different nooks and crannies can result in success. It will differ relying on the place you select to fish, what time of 12 months it’s, and whether or not or not you’re fishing from a ship.
For almost all of anglers, trolling from a ship is the best approach to goal Striper. You may cowl massive areas of water till you hit the jackpot – a lot of fish! This method is frequent on massive lakes and open waters, particularly when the fish are additional offshore. Should you’re going to be trolling, attempt implementing both an umbrella or mojo rig. These rigs assist to create the phantasm of a college of bait fish, which attracts Striped Bass.
Then there’s one thing utterly completely different – surf fishing for bass. These fish might be caught from shore with a reasonably easy setup, particularly through the spring and fall months within the early morning, late night, and even at nighttime. A regular surf fishing setup is all you want. This consists of a protracted (8–10 foot) surf rod, a saltwater surf fishing spinning reel, and stay bait corresponding to eel or shad. You’re all set!
Striped Bass Fishing: An Encounter With Sport Fish Royalty
By now, we expect it’s fairly clear why Striped Bass has endured as certainly one of North America’s most well-known recreation fish. Doing battle with certainly one of these guys is like dwelling via historical past, they’ve been part-and-parcel of America’s fishing scene for that lengthy! All that’s left now’s to expertise a Striper combat first-hand. You understand the place it’s essential go, and you understand what it’s essential deliver. Rods and reels on the prepared – let your battle with this well-known fish start!
Have you ever ever been Striped Bass fishing? The place did you go? Any ideas and tips you’d wish to share? Tell us within the feedback. We love listening to from you!