Stripers have become increasingly popular in the Northeast and mid-Atlantic region, especially since they put up a good fight, can easily weigh in over 50 pounds, and can be caught without a boat. During the spring, they migrate hundreds of miles to spawn in tidal rivers and bays, so shore anglers can easily catch them.
We’ve put together this striper fishing guide to get you ready for the next striper migratory season. Using this information, we know you’ll land yourself a giant striper bass!
So without further adieu, let’s dive right in.
Is There A Good Time Of The Year To Catch Stripers?
Striper fishing is generally at its peak from mid-March through June. You can find stripers in rivers and estuaries, but they’re most plentiful in bays.
At first, striper fishing can seem a bit complicated, as striper season spans a few short weeks. However, once you understand the movement of the fish and the timing of the season, striper fishing is relatively easy if you know where to look and how to lure them in.
Stripers run the risk of being caught by their predators during this month, so they stick to deeper waters to protect themselves. These fish tend to stay in areas with strong tidal currents and water temperatures of 48 to 52 degrees.
Striper fishing starts to pick up by the end of this month. You’ll begin to notice stripers moving back and forth and seeking food and spawning grounds. The ideal water temperatures for striper fishing remain at 48 to 52 degrees.
Striper fishing gets easier in this month, as the temperature of the water rises to 54 to 60 degrees. This is the best time to catch stripers in the tonier areas of New Jersey and New York. Striper activity picks up due to the warmer weather, and they’ll start to move closer to the coast.
The best striper fishing occurs in this month. Water temperatures rise to the mid-60s, and you’ll see the fish become more active in their search for food. Stripers move up on beaches to spawn on these shores, which makes it easier for anglers to catch them.
Is There A Good Time Of Day To Catch Stripers?
Stripers are most active at dusk and dawn, but are also active during the day during warm weather.
Is Striper Fishing Affected By The Moon?
Stripers are affected by the moon, which has an effect on tides (you can use it to your advantage, more on this later). The tides are affected by the gravitational pull of the moon. When the moon is full, this pulls the water in the Earth’s direction. When the moon is new, this pulls the water away from the Earth.
This means that the tide rises higher during the full moon. This is because the moon’s gravitational pull is at its greatest. This also will bring in more water, the tide is higher because the moon is closer, which also brings more water.
What’s The Best Place To Go Striper Fishing?
Stripers are most common in freshwater rivers, bays, and estuaries, but can also be found in saltwater.
Wherever you decide to fish, make sure to pay attention to any navigational warnings, such as small craft advisories, to avoid harsh currents and rough waters.
Is There An Ideal Water Temperature For Fishing For Stripers?
The ideal temperature for striper fishing is between 48 and 60 degrees, but the waters can get as high as 66 degrees during spawn season. In this case, the fish will be more active and driven by hunger.
7 Striper Fishing Strategies
1. Speed Is Your Game
Stripers have a line of lateral plates that run from their mouth to their tail. These plates are sensitive to vibrations in the water, so using vibration-producing lures, such as rattling crankbaits, will put the bass on high alert.
Stripers are ambush predators, so they need to be quick to catch their prey. When they see an object that looks like food, they will strike it. The faster your lure, the more likely it is for the striper to strike.
2. You’ve Got To Work The Whitewater
If you’re shore fishing, find a spot on the bank that is near an eddy, or where the water is moving faster than the surrounding water. If you’re fishing from a boat, the same principle applies, but you need to know where the eddies are.
Stripers are ambush predators, but they are also opportunistic feeders, which means they will take advantage of whatever they find. If you find an eddy where the water is moving faster, the striper will be found there, too.
3. Stay Still
Stripers are sensitive to vibrations in the water, so if they feel even the slightest movement, they will go into attack or retreat mode. This is why the best way to catch them is to stay still, especially if you’re fishing from a boat.
If you’re fishing from a boat, don’t use the boat’s motor. Instead, use an electric trolling motor so you don’t scare the fish away.
4. Using Colors Creatively
Stripers are known to be aggressive feeders, so they love to eat bigger fish. Bass fisherman often use big, flashy lures to catch their prey, so why shouldn’t you?
With striper fishing, you need to match the size of the bait to the size of the striper. This way, you’re more likely to catch your target than other smaller fish that could be hiding in the area.
If you’re looking at the bait fish size, look at the bait fish found around the striper’s home. If you’re fishing off the coast of New Jersey, look for bunker (sand lance), which are about five inches long. If you’re fishing in Delaware, look for menhaden, which are about two inches long.
If you’re fishing a tidal river, look for a thin strip of water that is flowing into the river to where the striper is.
5. Taking Over The Night
Stripers prefer to feed at dusk and dawn. If you’re looking for a striper fishing opportunity, these are the best times to go striper fishing.
Stripers are nocturnal feeders, so to catch them at night, you’ll need to use darker lures. Use the darkest lure you know of, like a jig, crankbait, or other lure that looks like a dark, swimming bait fish.
This will be the best time to catch them because the striper will be the most active where the water temperature is slightly warmer than the air temperature.
6. Don’t Be Afraid To Get Dirty
Stripers are mostly caught by fisherman standing in the water because they are searching for these ambush predators to feed on whatever they can get.
If you’re fishing off the shoreline, you’ll be able to get to the spot faster than if you were in a boat, so you’ll get to the good fishing spot faster. The downside is that you’ll get your feet wet.
If you want to keep your feet dry, get in a boat! The benefit here is that you can go in deeper water to find the stripers. Also, there are more spots to explore from a boat.
7. Tease The Fish
Stripers are all about the chase. So instead of pulling the hook out of the water as soon as it gets a bite, you need to let the striper play with the bait as much as possible.
This will make the striper believe that it has already caught its prey, and that it can eat it all at once. This will cause the angler to land the striper.
Stripers are a huge draw to fisherman because they put up a big fight and are a lot of fun to catch. The key to catching these fish is to be stealthy.
The best way to catch a striper is to use a striper fishing guide to start your search. With the right striper fishing guide, you’ll gain the knowledge to reel in a big one!