Morone saxatilis aka striped bass, Is probably one of my favorite fish to target. These fish provide a great challenge for anglers. Aside from locating where they are feeding finding the correct presentation is more important. Stripers are notorious for focusing on what they are feeding on at the time and ignoring anything else.
Right now it's early March here on long Island, still very early in the migration. Even so according to Sean Jones reporting for OnTheWater.com there are stripers being caught in estuaries in the back bays. I prefer not to disturb them even though they are here as the season to keep them doesn't open up until April 15 and will end December 15. While I don't see anything against catch and release I don't want to stress anymore fish than I need to at this pre-spawn time.
I on the other hand like to get things like my rods, reels, and other tackle ready. I need to get more trailers, treble hooks, and asses what lures need to be replaced. Everything needs to be in tip top shape before I head out.
The Minimum size restriction for keeping a striper is 28 inches and one per person. That makes catching a keeper give me so much more of a sense of accomplishment. When the season opens I can't wait to have one bending my rod.
I like many anglers prize this fish not only because of the challenge involved but the absolutely delicious meat. Beautiful, firm white meat I could swear there is no fish oil, taste like butter to me.
I love their meat, but, in the spring I need to move fast and get out there when they are here as the large migration through our back bays will come and go. In April the water temperature is usually around 40-45 F. It doesn't take long for that to rise up. According to McClane's New Standard Fishing Encyclopedia spawning begins at a water temp of 55-65F and a maximum of 67F. During this time they move into brackish or saltwater rivers and estuaries.
After this the migration moves north with few fish remaining behind. A mid summer catch of a striped bass is not rare but at the same time not hot. Some Anglers have success surfcasting eastern Long Island in Montauk. There is no need to worry because once the fall starts to close in, the water temp starts to drop again. This means the migration south to their winter waters traveling yet again through Long Island and with a bit lengthier of a visit.
Spring time striper fishing is probably one of the most exciting ways to shake off those winter blues. A quick trip to a bait and tackle shop and i'll be square for the season.
Thank you for reading!!!
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A perfect opportunity to use the stringers I just made:
OnTheWater.com/forecasts cited in paragraph two