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Striped Bass Fishing

striped-bassThe Atlantic striped bass belong to the true bass family unlike the freshwater largemouth and smallmouth bass which actually belong to the sunfish family. In North America the striped bass is also called the stripers, pimpfish, linesiders and rockfish.  This species of sea bass are found in the Atlantic Ocean from Saint Lawrence River down to the Gulf of Mexico along the coast of Louisiana.

Anadromous by nature, striped bass run to freshwater during the months of April up to June to spawn.  It is a fact that during these months, mature striped bass congregate in the mouths of bays and inlets opening to the Atlantic Ocean for their annual striped bass run.  However, not all spawning striped bass and their hatchlings are able to go back to the open sea due to numerous reasons. Most are landlocked because of dams built on the way out to the Atlantic Ocean.This occurrence brought about the proliferation of landlocked saltwater striped bass that eventually adapted to freshwater habitat. Today, you can fish for striped bass out in the Atlantic Ocean or in lakes, waters, lakes and reservoirs that were stocked with striped bass.  Both freshwater and seawater striped bass are prime game fish.

fishing1Tips for Striped Bass Fishing

Striped bass are highly active during the spring and fall season.  Spring is migration time for this fish. Mature striped bass ready to spawn will make a dash to freshwater lakes and rivers. They will naturally come together in mouths of channels, estuaries and bays to make their way to freshwater inlets and water forms. It is up to you and local state policies where and when you can fish for striped bass.

You can fish out in the flats and at beaches for striped bass prefer to stay near the coastline. You can fish in lakes, bays and reservoirs with established freshwater striped bass. The species had been introduced in the Pacific Ocean too and so far scientific studies report that the Pacific Ocean striped bass are thriving well.

Striped bass prefer to eat before sunrise and at dusk. When the sun is high and hot, expect this fish to go deep as they cannot tolerate the sun’s glare.  During summer, it is best to fish for striped bass at night. During the colder months, striped bass prefer shallower and warmer water.

They spook easily so when angling for stripers in lakes and rivers, cast several yards away so as not to spook the fish.  Striper prefer shad for baits but they are also partial to shrimp, sardines,  anchovies, plugs,  flies, spoons and other colorful and jiggly lures. Trolling works well too in deeper lakes and reservoirs.

Note that striped bass usually swim in schools. Where there is one striper caught, another is sure to be caught.  The world record for an angled striped bass was set in 1982 is a 78.5 lbs striper caught in the shores of New Jersey.

fishing1What Gear to Use for Striped Bass Fishing

Anglers who prefer to catch striped bass out in the seawater flats and beaches prefer to surfcast – where an angler firmly sets his feet on the shoreline and wade into the surf to fish.  Since the idea of surfcasting is to “cast” as far away from the shoreline to target a fish, a 12 to 20 feet long pole is a necessity.  The long rod should not  be a problem “weight-wise” as modern rods are ultra light and durable. A standard spinning or conventional reel will do. For hooks, vary the sizes as there’s no telling how big a fish you could catch.

For lake and river fishing, you can use a jerkbait, a flyrod, a spinning rod or whatever rod you prefer to use. The important thing is that you use a smooth and responsive spool. Freshwater striped bass are generally smaller than its salt water counterpart.

fishing1Where to Fish for Striped Bass

Along the Atlantic coastline from St. Lawrence River connecting America’s Great Lakes up to the Gulf of Mexico near the coast of Louisiana is the natural habitat of the Atlantic Striped Bass. Chesapeake Bay is one great spot to fish.

Due to landlocked stripers that thrived well in freshwater populating the interior water forms in North America became feasible. Since striped bass do not eat other game fish but prefer to eat gizzard shad, the striped bass was a great choice for “relocation”.

Today several rivers and lakes all over the United States are inhabited by the striped bass. In Alabama, there’s Coosa River.  In Arizona are the Lake Pleasant, Lake Havasu and Lake Powell. Lake Murray and Lake Cumberland in California are teeming with freshwater stripers so does Reelfoot Lake in Tennessee.