Once the waters warm up, about mid-July, Striped Bass arrive in great numbers thanks to all the Marine Fisheries work!
Presented here is general information of Striped Bass, its reproduction, habitat, food, fishing season, angling tips, handling and cooking.
The links to the left provide current marine and local weather reports, extended local weather reports, tide charts and the U. S. Coast Guard Navigation Center, featuring GPS information, DGPS sites (which are a must for anyone with a differential GPS), LORAN-C information, Local Notice to Mariners plus a boat load of miscellaneous navigational links and my Site Map. Although most of the links to the left provide local information, my out of state visitors can also find nationwide marine and weather information.
- General information:
The striped bass is a schooling species, moving about in small groups during the first two years of life and thereafter feeding and migrating in large schools. Seven or eight narrow stripes extending lengthwise from back of the head to the base of the tail form the most easily recognized characteristic of this species, hence the old Indian and colonial name of "linesider". Striped bass can live up to 40 years and can reach weights greater than 100 pounds, although individuals larger than 50 pounds are rare. Females reach significantly greater sizes than do males; most stripers over 30 pounds are female. Thus, the term "bulls," originally coined to describe extremely large individuals, has been more accurately changed to "cows" in recent times.
Striped bass reproduce in rivers and brackish areas of estuaries. Spawning occurs from the spring to early summer, with the greatest activity occurring when the water warms to about 65 degrees F. The eggs drift in currents until they hatch 1 1/2 to 3 days after being fertilized. The major spawning activity for the entire East Coast occurs in the Hudson River, the Chesapeake Bay and the Roanoke River - Albermarle Sound watershed. The number of eggs produced by female striped bass is directly related to the size of its body. A 12 - pound female may produce about 850,000 eggs and a 55 - pound female about 4,200,000 eggs.
The striped bass or "striper" is native to most of the East Coast, ranging from the lower St. Lawrence River in Canada to northern Florida, and along portions of the Gulf of Mexico. Stripers inhabit the whole coast surf, inshore bars, reefs, tide rips, bays and estuaries. Stripers are particularly active in areas with tidal and current flows and in the wash of breaking waves.
Striped bass eat a variety of foods, including fish such as alewives, flounder, sea herring, menhaden, sand lance, silver hake, tomcod, smelt, silversides and eels, as well as lobsters, crabs, soft clams, small mussels, sea worms and squid. They feed most actively at dusk and dawn, although some feeding occurs throughout the day. During the midsummer they tend to become more nocturnal.
- Fishing Season:
- Angling Tips:
Angling after dusk or dawn provides the greatest success most of the season, but night fishing is often best during the midsummer. Anglers are most successful when fishing the shoreline in areas where tidal rips, strong currents or wave action create turbulent "live" water in temperatures ranging from 55 to 65 degrees F.
When surf fishing the beaches with swimming plugs and live eels many anglers prefer the 10 to 12 foot surf rod and conventional reel spooled with 30 to 40 pound test monofilament line. However, a medium to heavy spinning rod with 12 to 20 pound test monofilament line is considered ideal by many anglers for plugging, jigging or offering bottom fished baits to bass. Lures are attached directly to the line with a snap swivel. When bait fishing, the preferred rig consists of a pyramid sinker attached to a fish finder and about 2 feet of leader with a brightly colored float attached close to the hook. The float keeps bait away from bottom dwelling crabs, dogfish and skate.
Live lining of herring, pogies or mackerel can be a very productive means of taking large bass. A fairly stiff boat rod with a conventional reel is the preferred rig. Bait fish are hooked through the back or snout using either a single or treble hook.
When trolling for bass adjacent to shoreline areas, the rod should be equipped with a high ratio conventional reel and either carboloy, aluminum oxide or silicon carbide guides to prevent line wear. By choosing among monofilament, lead core or wire lines, depths from the surface to the bottom can be trolled. Many lures, including swimming plugs, jigs, tube and worm and umbrella rigs as well as live herring, pogies and eels lend themselves well to trolling for stripers.
Stripers should be bled, gutted and iced immediately after capture. If they are iced in a large cooler the melt water should be drained occasionally so the fish do not soak in warming water. If they are iced in a boat fish box, remove the fish box's drain plug.
Large bass can be steaked, then baked, broiled or grilled. If steaks are cut particularly thick, they can be stuffed with slices of bacon, onions, tomatoes, green peppers, parsley, apples, and even cranberries and spiced to taste. Place the lightly floured fish in a foil baking dish, add one cup of mild red wine and bake at 400 degrees until the fish flakes.
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Email: Captain Dave