Rockfish, striper, linesider.
More than 300 pages dedicated to your favorite fish, the striped bass
Here for The Striper Room
Florida Fish & Wildlife Saltwater / Freshwater Fishing
Striper Record Striped bass 42.25
Apalachicola River Gadsden 12/14/93 Alphonso Barnes Florida
Hybrid (Sunshine Bass)
Florida Striped Bass Fishing reports.
Tides for the Florida Coast
Florida Striped Bass
Striped bass are one of the
nation's most popular coastal sport fishes. Further north along the
Atlantic seaboard the fish spawn in fresh water but migrate offshore
to mature. Due to Florida's warm temperatures, however, stripers here
behave differently. In Florida, stripers spawn in freshwater coastal
rivers only to a very limited extent and stay in fresh water to mature.
They cannot survive the warm ocean temperatures. Even in fresh water,
they are confined to areas near springs during summer where they frequently
lose weight, even in 72 F water. read more at
fisheries top 10 list
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Sunshines are artificially spawned by
biologists with the Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission
in hatcheries at Green Swamp and in northwest Florida. They are created
by crossing eggs from white bass with sperm from striped bass, according
to freshwater fisheries exec Bob Wattendorf. The result is a silvery,
striped fish that looks a bit like both parents, and reaches a maximum
size somewhere between the pan-sized whites and the leg-long stripers.
Florida sunshine Bass. The hybrid striper
species called the "Sunshine Bass"does best in chilly water like the
50's and the 60's. This is prime time for these lure eating torpedoes.
The state record on sunshines
is 16.31 pounds, and similar crosses around the nation have produced
even larger fish, up to the 27-pound, 5 ounce all-tackle record
caught in Greers Ferry Arkansas
The FFWCC stocks about 1 million sunshines per year in lakes around
the state. One of the best spots anywhere happens to be in Hillsborough
County; Medard Reservoir, southeast of Brandon, gets 70,000 per year.
The 700-acre lake is rated one of the top 10 spots in the state for
Other recommended spots include the St. Johns River, which also boasts
lots of adult stripers of 10 to 15 pounds, the Ocklockonee River and
its headwaters at Lake Talquin near Tallahassee, and the Apalachicola
River below Woodard Dam, definitely the best spot in the state for
sunshines, stripers and whites - state records for all three species
came from this area.
All three species have similar life patterns. They live mostly in
open water, where they prey on shad and other schooling baitfish; studies
have indicated they rarely prowl the grassy shores, and so don't compete
with largemouth bass for food. More importantly, they rarely feed on
And all prefer cool water, and will travel miles to seek it out in
summer. They feed and grow best at water temperatures in the 60s and
low 70s. In spring, all attempt to migrate up rivers to spawn. But
in Florida, there are few rivers long enough or with enough flow to
allow the fertilized eggs to float the required time before encountering
saltwater, so natural spawning is almost nonexistent.
However, biologists have discovered that put- and-take stocking has
created a whole new fishery, but one that's still little-known compared
to the pursuit of natural species like bass and crappies.
Catching sunshines is a matter of locating them, for the most part;
they're not hook-wary. One tactic that's effective is to motor slowly
across deep, open portions of a stocked lake or river and look for
balls of bait on a depthfinder.
They also frequent mid-lake humps and drop- offs. And they're attracted
to flowing water, so areas below flowing dams are always a good bet.
And at times, they chase bait to the surface and attack, much like
Spanish mackerel in saltwater.
When they're deep, the best offerings are small jigs, jigging spoons
fished vertically and small diving crankbaits or vibrating lures like
the Rat-L- Trap. Topwaters work when the fish school on top.
Even better are small minnows - the Missouri minnows used for crappies
work fine - and surprisingly, fresh-cut saltwater shrimp. The latter
is fished in pieces about 2 inches long, right on bottom. The sunshines
scarf it up like bottom-feeding catfish. And at Medard Reservoir, you
may catch as many channel cats as sunshines with shrimp on the bottom;
the lake is loaded with them.
Though sunshines are usually pan-sized in our area, 1 to 2 pounds,
they put up a fight out of proportion to their size. The battle is
similar to that of a redfish, with fast, powerful runs and lots of
direction changes. They don't jump, but otherwise they put on a great
And some reach weights over 6 pounds at Medard. A 6-pound sunshine
fights like a 10-pound largemouth; it's a formidable opponent on the
light tackle that works best - most anglers use 8- pound-test spinning
The limit is 20 per day, to include no more
than six over 24 inches. Medard Reservoir is located off Turkey Creek
Road, south of State Road 60 in eastern Hillsborough County.
Locations for stripers in the state of Florida
River / Lake Seminole – Striped bass, sunshine bass, and white bass.
This is where the big boys are. The state record striped bass (42.25 pounds),
sunshine bass (16.31 pounds), and white bass (4.69 pounds) all were caught
in the Apalachicola River / Lake Seminole system. Striped bass (500,000) and
sunshine bass (200,000) are stocked into Lake Seminole annually. Lake Seminole,
a 35,000-acre reservoir located on the Florida-Georgia border in Gadsden and
Jackson Counties, is the headwater of the Apalachicola River. In Lake Seminole,
striped bass and sunshine bass congregate along the old river channels and
the lower lake near the dam during fall and winter, and migrate up the Chattahoochee
and Flint rivers during the spring. Larger fish move to cool water springs,
which are closed to fishing, during the summer.
Fish are discharged downstream into the Apalachicola River during high water.
Striped bass greater than 20 pounds and sunshine bass in the 7 to 10 pound
range are common. Striped bass in the 40 to 60 pound range have been caught
or collected from the Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint river system.
Striped bass and sunshine bass move throughout the Apalachicola river system
during the fall and winter, and can be caught from the dam to the coast. Larger
fish migrate up the river and congregate below the dam during the spring.
2. Lake Talquin /
Ochlockonee River – Striped bass and white bass.
Striped bass are stocked annually into Lake Talquin and discharged downstream
during high water. Striped bass in the 10 to 20 pound range are common. Fish
in the 20 and 30 pound range are becoming common, and fish over 40 pounds are
not unheard of. White bass were introduced during the 1980's. While the white
bass population has been impacted by drought conditions during recent years,
a rebound is expected following flood conditions during 2003. Three to five
pound white bass were common prior to the drought.
Striped bass can be found throughout the reservoir during the fall and winter,
particularly along the old river and creek channels. They migrate up the Ochlockonee
River during the spring and congregate in creeks with coolwater discharge during
the summer. Fish discharged to the lower Ochlockonee River move throughout
the system during the fall and winter, and migrate upstream, congregating below
the dam, during the spring.
Johns River – Striper bass and sunshine bass.
Stripers are stocked annually. Sunshine bass stocking was suspended during
the late 1990s, but a few fish, along with migrants from the Oklawaha River
are till being caught. Striped bass in the 8 to 12 pound range are common.
Fish over 20 pounds are rare. Sunshine bass in the 5 to 7 pound range are
common. Hybrids over 10 pounds are uncommon.
Striped bass and sunshine bass move throughout the system during the fall and
winter. Important areas include the mouth of Lake Monroe (particularly the
RR trestle and I-4 bridge pilings), the jetties and the bombing ranges in Lake
George, the lower Oklawaha River, Buffalo Bluff, Shands Bridge (I-95) in Green
Cove Springs, and Buckman (I-295) and other bridges in Jacksonville. Larger
fish congregate in creeks with coolwater discharge and in large springs, such
as the Croaker Hole, during the summer.
/ Yellow rivers – striped bass.
Striped bass are stocked annually. The major fishery is in the upper Blackwater
Bay, in Santa Rosa County, near the mouths of the rivers during the fall and
winter. Unlike other fisheries in the state, this fishery is best at night.
Fish migrate upstream during the spring. Fish in the 10 to 20 pound range are
common. Fish in the 20 to 30 pound range are occurring more frequently.
River – Striped bass and sunshine bass.
Either striped bass or sunshine bass are stocked annually. The main fishery
is in the lower portion of the river, between State Road 20 and Choctawhatchee
Bay, in Walton and Washington counties, and occurs during the fall and winter.
During the summer, striped bass congregate in and around tributaries exhibiting
River – Striped bass and sunshine bass
Escambia River and Bay, in Escambia and Santa Rosa counties, was stocked annually
with sunshine bass until 1999. Large fish in the 10-12 pound range are still
being caught. Striped bass (200,000 fingerlings) were stocked in 2002, and
sunshine bass (500,000 fingerlings) in 2003. Striped bass and sunshine bass
year classes will be alternately stocked in the future.
Striped bass and sunshine bass are found in the lower 10 miles of the river
and upper bay during the fall and winter. Sunshine bass exhibit a small run
up river during the spring. Striped bass will make a stronger spring run up
river, beginning in 2004.
7. St. Mary's
River – Striped bass.
Striped bass are the principle sport fish in the St. Mary's and Nassau
rivers, which are interconnected via the Amelia and South Amelia rivers
(Intracoastal Waterway). The St. Mary's – Nassau system also connects to
the St. Johns River through Sister Creek (Intracoastal Waterway). Fish
are stocked into both rivers, although migration from the St. Johns River
or natural reproduction is the main source of fish. Striped bass tend to
overwinter in the lower portions of the system, and move upstream above
U. S. Hwy. 17 during the spring. On the St. Mary's River, look for stripers
between I-95 and the town of St. Mary's near the mouths of the larger tributaries,
along the deeper banks, and the I-95 bridge pilings. On the Nassau River,
striped bass are most commonly found from the confluence with Thomas Creek
to below U.S. Hwy. 17 in the vicinity around Pearson Island. In both rivers,
striped bass congregate in or near tributaries with coolwater discharge
during the summer. Check with the local fish camp where U.S. Hwy 17 crosses
the Nassau River for updates on striper fishing in the river.
8. Eagle Lake – Sunshine bass
Eagle Lake Fish Management Area is a 200 acre reclaimed phosphate pit located
in Hamilton County. It is stocked with 50 to 100 sunshine bass per acre annually.
Sunshine bass grow rapidly because of abundant shad, reaching 6 to 7 pounds
in two years. The main fishery occurs during the fall and winter months. Important
habitats in Eagle Lake include deep cuts and narrow cuts between the fingers,
where sand bars drop off quickly into deep water.
Medard Lake – Sunshine bass
Edward Medard Lake is a 700 acre chain of reclaimed phosphate pits located
in Hillsborough County. It is stocked with 100 sunshine bass per acre annually.
The majority of fish are age-0 and age-1 (1 to 2 pounds), although some two-year
old fish up to 6 pounds can be found. The main fishery occurs during fall and
Osborne / Lake Ida – Sunshine bass
Lake Osborne is a 350 acre lake located in Palm Beach County. It is stocked
with 28 sunshine bass per acre annually. The majority of fish caught are age-0,
but some age-1 and a few age-2 are present. A good shad forage base promotes
rapid growth and provides a good live-bait source. The main fishery occurs
during winter and spring months.
Lake George : Stripers and Hybrids Left off
Lake Talquin : Large Hard fighting stripers.
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