2017 Striper Migration Map
Some serious April Showers have raised the rivers throughout the Northeast, but before they turned high and muddy, fishermen were catching quality bass in the Delaware, the Chesapeake, and even a couple in the Hudson. Water temperatures continue to creep up, and with some true spring weather forecast for next week, look for the striped bass migration to really pick up steam.
Water temperatures in the middle bay are around 50 degrees, and some large, egg-laden bass are being caught in the main stem of the Chesapeake, with the spawn is already underway in some of the rivers.
According to the Maryland Department of Natural Resources, spawning is happening in the Choptank River. Recent warm weather pushed the water temperature in the river into the 50s, and that was enough to get things going.
The Susquehanna is running cold and muddy, so there hasn’t been too much striper activity there yet.
Some larger striper were being caught in the lower Delaware River, but in small numbers. Most of the fish being caught in the river and bay are shorts falling to bloodworms. In inshore areas of upper Delaware Bay, short stripers are being caught and released, mostly by anglers fishing bloodworms and grass shrimp for white perch. Small stripers are also being caught in the lower Delaware River.
According to our Southern New Jersey fishing reports, there are keeper bass being caught in the Delaware Bay, but successful anglers have been putting in a lot of time for bites.
Note that as of April 1, the striped bass season is closed above a line running east from the South Jetty of the C&D Canal to the Pennsylvania line. Anglers using any type of bait in this area must use non-offset circle hooks even if they are not targeting striped bass.
The backwaters continue to be the best bet for stripers in Southern New Jersey according to our fishing reports. Clams, bloodworms and artificials are all catching fish. There are some fish in the surf, but the warmer water temperatures in the back bays have concentrated most of the stripers.
Fishing is improving in the Raritan Bay according to our Northern New Jersey fishing report. The bite isn’t great yet, but anglers are catching keepers – and plenty of shorts – on clams and worms along the beaches since the water temperature warmed to 50 degrees late last week.
Small bass continue to be caught in the Monmouth and Ocean County surf on worms and swim shads.
According to our Long Island- New York fishing report, backwater areas on the West End of the island were holding some schoolie stripers, and the fish have been a little more active thanks to warming water temperatures. Striper season in New York remains closed until April 15, although anglers fishing the Hudson River above the George Washington bridge may keep one striper between 18 and 28 inches or over 40 inches as of April 1.
Farther out Long Island, holdover stripers are becoming more active in the bays as water temperatures warm.
The holdover striper fishing remains good in the Housatonic River, and the fish will only get more active once the water begins to warm. The Providence River and Narrow River typically hold some holdover stripers, but there haven’t been any positive reports from these areas. Anglers are predicting that the first sea-lice covered schoolies will show up along the Rhode Island coast sometime in mid-April.
Cape Cod/ Massachusetts
Thanks to a little sunshine this week, holdover striped bass began to stir in some fresh and brackish waters connected to tidal rivers. Boston Harbor, and the Mystic River in particular, has given up a few holdover schoolie stripers to persistent anglers.