Big news this week as some seriously big bass showed up in north New Jersey this week. The striper migration is on!
Striped bass managers are currently collecting public comment as they design a new plan to manage striped bass. Here’s how to submit your comments.
Remember that striper fishermen are now required to use circle hooks when using natural bait.
Also, let’s all do our best this season to make sure that any stripers we release swim away healthy.
Striped bass are moving toward spawning grounds in Chesapeake Bay tributaries and in the Delaware River, and smaller stripers are getting active in warming inshore areas inside New Jersey rivers, backwaters, and bays, and at the west end of Long Island. Big prespawn stripers are filtering into northern New Jersey. Follow along as we track the Striper Migration. You can help by contributing to our weekly map updates—simply share your striper fishing reports here, and on social media with tag #stripermigration.
Chesapeake Bay Striper Report
The Maryland Department of Natural Resources has issued the 2021 regulations for recreational striped bass fishing in the Chesapeake Bay, available on the DNR website. Striped bass regulation maps — showing the bay’s regions and their open and close dates — can also be found on the department website.
Anglers fishing the lower Susquehanna River and Flats found some catch-and-release action with pre-spawn striped bass before it closed on April 1. Spawning striped bass have reached the upper Choptank River and anglers are reminded that catch-and-release fishing for striped bass in the Choptank River is not allowed. The striped bass will be actively spawning in the next couple of weeks. Large female striped bass are moving through the mid-Bay region on their way to the upper bay spawning sites. Anglers are reminded that there is no catch-and-release fishing allowed from April 1 until May 1. In the lower Bay, most of the striped bass have already entered the spawning rivers. Most of the tidal rivers in the lower bay are closed to catch-and-release fishing until May 16, with spawning reaches closed to all targeting through May 31.
Delaware Bay Striper Report
The first push of big stripers is moving through upper Delaware Bay and into the Delaware River to spawn. Even with bellies full of eggs, they are continuing to feed heavily on schools of menhaden. Chunked menhaden (bunker) on circle hook rigs has been the top bait for bigger fish.
New Jersey Striper Report
Big news this week as big bass appeared in Raritan Bay, including a 58-pounder caught by kayak fisherman Bobby Read. South of Sandy Hook, the backwaters and rivers are fishing well for schoolie striped bass. Bloodworms are the top bait, but plugs and shads (fished slowly) are also producing fish.
• Read the Southern New Jersey Fishing Report
• Read the Northern New Jersey Fishing Report
New York Striper Report
Schoolie stripers are becoming abundant at the west end of Long Island, and resident or “holdover” schoolie stripers are stirring in backwater areas.
• Read the Long Island Fishing Report
Connecticut/Rhode Island Striper Report
Holdover striper fishing in the Housatonic River and in Connecticut River tributaries should improve as the fish will only get more active with warming water and the arrival of river herring. Holdover stripers are also stirring in some of the Rhode Island salt ponds and rivers.
• Read the Connecticut Fishing Report
• Read the Rhode Island Fishing Report
Cape Cod/ Massachusetts Striper Report
Holdover striped bass have been reported in some fresh and brackish waters on Cape Cod and the greater Boston area as waters warm.
• Read the Cape Cod Fishing Report
• Read the Massachusetts Fishing Report