The striped bass, also known as rockfish, linesider, or Atlantic striped bass, is a prized trophy game fish in North America. Many love the species for its runs and hard hits that will cause sore arms and when conditions are right will bite all day.
Striped Bass are a hardy breed, able to live in brackish, saltwater, and freshwater. No wonder “strippers” are sought after.
The world record striped bass, according to the IGFA, is the 81 pounds 14 ounces fish caught in the Long Island Sound, Connecticut by Gregory Myerson on August 4, 2011.
Unfortunately, I have never caught a true trophy striped bass, but the thought of fighting this powerful fish keeps me up nights. The bone jarring strikes and the long runs are a reason to keep up the chase. (source)
The world record striped bass, according to the IGFA, is the 81 pounds 14 ounces fish caught in the Long Island Sound. Gregory Myerson caught this record-striped bass in 2011. And despite striped bass fishing being a popular sport among anglers, no one has managed to catch a bigger fish than the one Gregory caught over a decade ago. (source)
The striped bass is a popular game fish found primarily along North America’s Atlantic coast. People introduced this species to other parts of the United States for recreational fisheries. The striper is anadromous, which means they’re born and spawn in freshwater before moving to the saltwater. (source) The striper is the state fish of South Carolina, Rhode Island, and Maryland.
Some of the most crucial waters where the striped bass spawn in the United States include River Delaware, River Hudson, Massachusetts Bay, and the Chesapeake Bay.
You can find striped bass in rivers, salt ponds, sandy beaches, and rocky shores. They tend to appear between early April and late Fall while migrating south in winter.
Generally, the age of all the fish, including the striped bass, is determined by the rings on its scale. But in most cases, length is proportional to age, so here is a chart on how the length corresponds to their age:
|Age of Stripped Bass||Length of Stripped Bass||Weight|
|5 yrs||(17-23 inches)/ (43.18 – 58.42 cm)||(3-6 pounds)/ (1.36-2.72 kg)|
|6 yrs||(24-27 inches)/ (60.96 – 68.58 cm)||(7-10 pounds)/ (3.18-4.54 kg)|
|7 yrs||(28-31 inches)/ (71.12-78.74 cm)||(11-14 pounds)/ (4.99-6.35 kg)|
|8 yrs||(32-35 inches)/ (81.28-88.9 cm)||(15-18 pounds)/ (6.80-8.16 kg)|
|9 yrs||(36-39 inches)/ (91.44-99.06 cm)||(19-22 pounds)/ (8.62- 9.98 kg)|
|10 yrs||(40-43 inches)/ (101.6-109.22 cm)||(23-26 pounds)/ (10.43-11.79 kg)|
|11 yrs||(44-47 inches)/ (111.76- 119.38 cm)||(27-30 pounds)/ (12.25- 13.61 kg)|
Chart link: https://nj.gov/dep/fgw/pdf/2002/digmar10-13.pdf
Long Island Sound is the Atlantic Ocean’s tidal estuary and marine sound that lies in New York to the South and Connecticut to the northern side. The Long Island Sound forms a mixture of saltwater from the ocean and freshwater from its tributaries. Therefore, it is the best habitat for an anadromous creature like the striper.
The widest part of the Long Island Sound is 21 miles wide, and its depth varies between 65 feet and 230 feet. Plus, there are numerous Connecticut cities on its shores, so you can get a beautiful place to spend your night when fishing for a giant striped bass in the Long Island Sound. (source)
Chesapeake Bay, Virginia
Besides being the most significant American estuary, the Chesapeake Bay is every fly angler’s destination thanks to the many fish species calling this place home. Therefore, it’s no surprise why this estuary is considered a key feature in the economy and ecology of Virginia and Maryland. In fact, over 150 streams and rivers flow into this Bay’s huge drainage basin.
The Chesapeake Bay is famous for its striped bass population, locally known as the rockfish. Once on the verge of extinction, the rockfish population has increased and even stabilized thanks to the cessation of striped bass fishing to let them repopulate.
Therefore, rockfish fishing is controlled right now. You can only fish a specific quantity from May 16th to December 31st and from January 1st to March 31st. (source)
Ambrose Channel, New York
The Ambrose Channel is a premium channel near Fort Hancock in New Jersey. It’s the only shipping channel ships use to access the Port of New Jersey and New York. The entrance of this shipping channel is marked by the Ambrose Light, which doubles as pilot boats’ staging region. Ambrose Channel is home to one of the Line Class World Record striped bass caught in 2017 by Jesse Wynn.
But it would be best if you had heavy tackles to fish the Ambrose Channel; after all, you’ll need heavy jigs or sinkers to fish in deep places with powerful currents. Plus, braided lines are crucial for keeping your fly at the bottom away from the dogfishes. (source)
Bradley Beach, New Jersey, USA
Bradley Beach is one of the best fishing destinations in New Jersey for fly anglers looking for their prized striped bass. Situated in Monmouth County, this is the first American borough to charge bathers for beach access.
Bradley Beach started minting their beach access in 1929. However, you can still fish at the beach in certain spots, including 2nd avenue, Brinley, Park Place, and Lake Terrace’s beach jetties. (source)
The most popular catches at Bradley Beach are Striped bass, Black seabass, and Summer flounders. So, with your 8-wt fly rod, you can track your prized catch, but make sure you adhere to the fishing regulations in the regions.
Google Map Link: https://www.google.com/maps/place/Bradley+Beach,+NJ,+USAfirstname.lastname@example.org,-74.0210102,2344m/data=!3m2!1e3!4b1!4m5!3m4!1s0x89c22f89d59842b9:0xe2709a9e4e5c7e41!8m2!3d40.2023354!4d-74.0120814
Big Striped Bass in the News
The Arkansas Game and Fish board posted a photo of Stephen Tyson Jr. with a massive striped bass he caught during the Phoenix Bass Fishing League tournament. Tyson Jr. got lots of attention from the local news thanks to his catch which he released after discovering that it’s not a black bass. Unfortunately, he did not weigh the fish, so we may never know how close he came to the state’s record of 64 pounds. You can read more on his catch at this link: https://www.thv11.com/article/sports/outdoors/arkansas-pro-angler-reels-striped-bass-lake-hamilton/91-586ce3a8-2ab2-4207-9ef3-51ae8b8c749b.
Technique For Finding Monster Striped Bass Close to Home
The history of this species in North America dates back to the pre-colonial era; in fact, most accounts by the first settlers talk about the abundance of striped bass in this region. Therefore, if you believe striped bass is in your area, you should visit your state’s department of natural resources offices or website and confirm.
After confirming that they exist in the local waters, you can do some research online or visit the local fly shops to find where and when you can find them.
Massive anglers tend to be strong fighters, so you should come equipped with a reliable fly rod. The best option for catching giant striped bass is a 7wt or an 8wt fly rod like the Sage Salt HD can help you present your fly to the striped bass.
You can match your rod with a reliable fly reel like Sage Spectrum Max Fly Reel, ideal for both left and right-handed anglers.
Since you will be dealing with small flies, you need a reliable floating line like the SA Amplitude Grand Slam. This line lasts longer, and it can cast further than most options.
When fly fishing striped bass, I always come up with a fast-sinking line that can help me present my flies to the fish. Since striper basses respond to rapid retrieve in summer, I usually use short or long strip-pause techniques with varying durations. This retrieval method always attracts a striped bass and perfectly works most of the time.
Most fly anglers fail when striped bass fishing because they under prepare, which means using a small or the wrong fly to attract striped bass. And while poppers and streamers have been the best option for years, shrimp, lobster, worm, and even crab imitations have been gaining popularity in the last few years. But when going for massive striped bass, I always use flies that imitate what they love, including eels, squid, or herring.
Clouse minnow is an exceptional fly that works with most species, including striped bass. Most anglers can agree that a white/chartreuse Clouser minnow has captured more striped bass than any other fly in the market. Here is why:
- Its jigging motion tends to drive striped bass crazy
- It’s available in different colors
- Available in a wide range of sizes, you can pick a more significant option when dealing with massive striped bass. (source)
As its name suggests, this fly can surprise you and even get you to adjust your casting technique for better results. In fact, the kick from this fly when sinking is unlike any other fly in the market. Here is why:
- The fact that you can tie it from 3 to 14 inches means that you can target even the biggest striped bass in the market
- The rainbow and pearl colors always work for me
- You can also use it to catch other fish species (source)
A deceiver is a perfect option for folks looking to weed out the shaker and small schoolie stripers. This deception has helped me attract huge stripers for the last few years. And for a 10 inches long fly, the deceiver is relatively easy to cast. Here is why I love this fly:
- It can help you catch massive striped bass
- Available in a wide range of colors, but my favorite colors are black and white
- It’s easy to cast (source)
The striped bass is known and loved by fly anglers for its hard hits, runs, and aggressive behaviors that can make this sport fun. Therefore, ensure you come equipped with a 7wt or 8wt fly rod and a reliable reel and sinking line. With proper training and research, you can finally land your dream striped bass.
Looking for more Striper articles?
- Everyone wants to talk about how big….So what is the biggest striped bass? READ -> The Biggest Striped Bass Ever Caught
- What flies do you need? Read about my favorites in -> Best Flies for Stripers
- Want more about Bass gear? How about -> Best Rod, Reel and Line for Bass
- Want more “How To” Read -> How to Fly Fish for Striped Bass
- Wikipedia contributor, Striped bass, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Striped_bass/ Accessed February 21st, 2022
- IGFA staff, Striped bass, https://igfa.org/igfa-world-records-search/?search_type=CommonNameSummary&search_term_1=Bass%2C+striped/ Accessed February 21st, 2022
- Wikipedia contributor, Long Island Sound, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Long_Island_Sound/ Accessed February 21st, 2022
- Wikipedia contributor, Chesapeake, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chesapeake_Bay#Fishing_industry/ Accessed February 21st, 2022
- Wikipedia contributor, Ambrose Channel, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ambrose_Channel/ Accessed February 21st, 2022
- Wikipedia contributor, Bradley Beach, New Jersey, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bradley_Beach,_New_Jersey/ Accessed February 21st, 2022
- Umpqua staff, Clouse minnow https://www.umpqua.com/clouser-minnow/ Accessed February 21st, 2022
- Umpqua staff, gamechanger, https://www.umpqua.com/gamechanger/ Accessed February 21st, 2022
- Umpqua staff, deceiver, https://www.umpqua.com/deceiver/ Accessed February 21st, 2022