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Striped Bass

striper

Scientific Name: Morone saxatilis


Common Names: striper, rockfish, rock, linesider

 

The striped bass is currently the most sought-after coastal sportfish species in New Hampshire. This highly migratory fish moves north from the mid-Atlantic area during the spring and back southward during the fall, spending roughly the months of May through October feeding on Great Bay’s abundant food resources, including river herring, pollock and silversides. The Chesapeake Bay and Hudson River estuaries contain the major spawning and nursery areas for East Coast striped bass. Spawning typically takes place during April and May in the freshwater tributaries of these estuaries.

 

bassAlmost all females are mature by the time they reach 36 inches in length and 5 to 9 years in age. The striped bass has a large mouth and sharp, stiff spines located on the gill covers, anterior dorsal fin and anal fin. A full-bodied fish, the striped bass is bluish to dark olive dorsally, with a silvery belly and sides. Several dark, lateral stripes, reaching from the gills to the base of the tail, are the most prominent features distinguishing the striped bass from other coastal species. Stripers caught in New Hampshire range from 10 to more than 50 inches in length, and can weigh in excess of 50 pounds. Due to successful coastwide management implemented in 1981, striped bass catches have greatly increased in recent years.

 

Catching Striped Bass: Striped bass can be taken from shore and from a boat while casting, trolling and drifting. Fly fishing for stripers has become increasingly popular in recent years. Popular striped bass fishing spots include shorelines, bridges or docks with nearby drop offs, holes, or strong currents. Striped bass fishing is especially good during an evening or early morning tide, as stripers are nocturnal feeders. Live or natural baits are effective, especially live eels, pogies (menhaden), and chunks of mackerel, squid or herring. An 8- to 10-foot surf rod and reel spooled with 30- pound test or a medium to heavy spinning rod with 12- to 20-pound test line is preferable, depending on fishing location. Effective lures include the spoons, poppers, lead-head jigs and swimming plugs. Effective flies include streamers that look like bait fish. A particularly good one is Lefty’s Deceiver.

 

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Video Library - Striped Bass

 

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