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Spring has sprung and bass are feistier than ever in Cape Cod ponds. Striped bass are just a couple weeks away from beginning to trickle back to the Cape from points south, a trickle that will soon become a torrent of fish swarming into Cape waters and onward to northerly destinations
Any hope that a warmer than usual April would come along and bail us out of the potential season delaying effects of the brutally cold and snowy winter have passed. We're most of the way through the month and there's been only a handful of warm days
Here's a message from the folks at the Division of Marine Fisheries that will certainly affect recreational striper fishing this season: April 2015 The Division of Marine Fisheries (MarineFisheries) has adopted a 1-fish recreational bag limit for Atlantic striped bass in 2015; the recreational minimum size limit remains the same at 28". This bag limit reduction (from 2 fish) was undertaken to reduce recreational harvest in Massachusetts by at least 25%, as required by the interstate management plan
We are now into serious melt-out-time when it comes to the Cape's ponds and lakes. Open water access has improved by leaps and bounds since we started seeing air temperatures soaring into the fifties and sixties over the past couple of weeks
I waved the white flag during the snowstorm that took place on the first day of spring. Tomorrow morning, I won't just be flipping a page on the calendar to April; I'll be waving the checkered flag on what seemed like a never-ending winter season
Trout Stocking Schedule - Southeast District. Due to the heavy snow and thick ice that remains on lakes and ponds across the state, trout stocking likely will not begin until the last week of March or the first week in April, beginning with the eastern region of the state moving westward as the ice and snow melts
On the striper coast or East Coast of the United States the striped bass species (morone saxatilis) ranges from the Gulf of St. Lawrence and Nova Scotia south to the Florida / Georgia border. On the Southern U.S. Gulf coast, the distribution is from the Suwannee River, Florida, to eastern Texas. Only two East Coast reservoirs have self-sustaining populations: the Kerr Reservoir in Virginia and North Carolina, and the Santee Cooper Reservoir in South Carolina. All other landlocked impoundments are stocked.
Saltwater Bass Fishing - Striper Fishing The Spring Run -
The Northerly migration starts as the days get longer and the water temperature starts to rise. When the water temperature hits 50 the stripers will start to actively feed. This is cowbellie season. The big cows will be carrying roe with 6 or 7 smaller studs in close pursuit heading to their river spawning areas. A chance at a nice big fat trophy Bass. Bring your digital camera with you and practice catch and release so these females can finish the spawn. The water temperatures in Atlantic City, New Jersey and Raritan Bay are approaching above 50 degrees. The Chesapeake bay, The Delaware and the Hudson rivers are warming up and as the temperatures rise striped bass and bait fish are on the move to begin their respective migrations.
The annual east coast striper migration begins. And after spawning in the spring the striped bass arrive in New England by early summer. The famous spring run brings them up through well known striper fishing areas like Chincoteague Virginia, the Chesapeake and Delaware Bays, Reheboth Beach, Indian River Inlet, the New Jersey shore, Cape May, Brigantine, Island Beach state park, Long Beach Island, Barneget Inlet and Bay, Surf City, Atlantic Highlands, Monmouth County NJ, Sandy Hook, The New York Bight, the New York Harbor, Staten Island, Raritan Bay, Long Island Sound, Connecticut, Shinnecock Inlet, Montauk Long Island, (known as the mecca for striper fishing) Block Island, Narraganset, Jamestown and Watch Hill Rhode Island, and further north to other famous striper locations such as the New Hampshire shoreline, the North and South Shore of Massachusetts, Boston Harbor, Monomoy, Cape Cod, Nantucket Island, Martha's Vineyard, Buzzards Bay, Penobscot, Saco Bay and the Mid and Southern Maine Seacoast. All the way to Nova Scotia canada.
Following the Striper Migration
Striped bass fishing in June
Saltwater Striped bass spawn from mid-February in Florida to late June or July in Canada.
Striper Fishing The Fall Run
Stiped Bass Fishing the fall Run. This is my favorite fishing season and it is a fantastic time of year for targeting those elusive stripers. The weather is cooler and the big cows are fat and happy. Big Bass don't tolerate water temps above 75� and those monster Striped Bass will seek deeper water and cooler temperatures. Water above 72� holds less Oxygen, so in the warmer months both saltwater and freshwater striped bass will head below the thermocline and near fast moving water and discharges where it is cooler. So keep your eyes on the falling water temperatures because stripers will be most prolific in this environment. The falling temperatures and shorter days will trigger the migration of mullet, spearing and peanut bunker from the back bays. Hungry striped bass will be looking for forage to feed on for the winter stores and their migration along the stripercoast southward brings out an army of stripercoast surfcasters with their eyes at half mast and surfcasting setups at the ready.
The winter time on the east coast brings the striped bass to North Carolina, South Carolina. The Outer Banks (OBX), and Cape Hatteras represent the southern most point of migration. Striped bass found furthur south on the coast as far as Cape fear and Northern Floridas St. James River are believed to be the southern strain or the riverine stripers.
The migratory behaviors of coastal stripers are more complex than those of most other anadromous fish, which spend most of their adult lives in the ocean but migrate up rivers and streams to spawn. Their seasonal movements depend upon age, sex, degree of maturity and the river in which they were born. The major spawning activity for the entire East coast striper fishery is the Chesapeake Bay,(where it as known as the rockfish), the Roanoke River Albemarle Sound watershed and the Hudson River. To a lesser degree the Delaware river and possibly many other rivers along the coast line. In South Carolinas Striped bass are native to the ACE Basin. ( Ashepoo-Combahee-Edisto ) They belong to the southern strain and behave quite differently from their northern relatives. Southern fish, unlike northern fish, never leave their riverine environments. Northern fish spend a considerable amount of time in near-shore waters and then ascend the rivers to spawn. Striped bass in the ACE Basin never enter the ocean, and it is strongly suspected that they never leave the river in which they are born. Striped bass are found in all the large rivers of the ACE Basin, and they over-winter in the estuarine areas of these systems near the saltwater-freshwater interface. Summers are spent in the cooler waters of the upper river, where springs and a dense canopy of trees keep water temperatures lower. They are often found in deep holes in the river or around structures such as old pilings. Bass from North Carolina and the Chesapeake Bay are known to undertake coastwide migrations in addition to annual spawning migrations. They move north to New England and Canada during early spring and return between September and December. Bass inhabiting waters south of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, typically do not take part in coastal migrations. Recent advances in molecular genetics have allowed researchers to investigate differences in populations of striped bass. Evidence strongly indicates that the rivers of the ACE Basin contain a population of striped bass that is unique to the basin.
A member of the perch family (Percichthyidae) the striped bass can be found on both the east and west coasts of the United States, although western stocks do not support a commercial fishery. The fish has been successfully introduced in numerous inland lakes, reservoirs and river systems across the U.S. and is now found also in Europe and Asia. The striped bass was first introduced to the West Coast in 1886, with fish from the Navesink River in New Jersey transported via rail to San Francisco Bay. The West Coast range of the species is from Los Angeles north to the Columbia River on the Oregon / Washington state border.
Striper fishing and striped bass migration is now taking place from Ensenada, Mexico to British Columbia.
On the west coast most spawning occurs between 61 and 69 degrees and the spawning period usually extends from April to mid-June. Stripers spawn in open fresh water where the current is moderate to swift. The Delta, especially the San Joaquin River between the Antioch Bridge and the mouth of Middle River, and other channels in this area, is an important striper spawning ground. Another important spawning area is the Sacramento River between the city of Sacramento and Princeton. About one-half to two-thirds of the eggs are spawned in the
Sacramento River and the remainder in the Delta. More on the stripers spawn / striped Bass / Rockfish (Morone saxatilis)- Spawning Stripers
Have a question or comment about saltwater surf fishing? Join the striper forum - It's free - and check the information on surfcasting in the reefs and rockhoppers or surfcasters and sand men forums. Also get the latest saltwater striped bass report.