Striped bass are spawning in Chesapeake Bay and heading into the Delaware and Hudson rivers. Schoolies are spreading north to Long Island and into southern New England. 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.
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.
Chesapeake Bay Striper Report
Chesapeake Bay waters are rising into the 50s and tributaries are reaching low 60s. According the Maryland Department of Natural Resources, striped bass spawning is right on schedule in the Potomac, Patuxent, and Nanticoke rivers. The 2021 regulations for recreational striped bass fishing in the Chesapeake Bay are 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. Remember that all fishing for striped bass, including catch-and-release, is prohibited in the Chesapeake Bay or any of its tidal rivers — except the main stem of the Potomac River — for the month of April. The main stem of the bay will open to striped bass fishing on May 1 south of the Brewerton Channel.
Delaware Bay Striper Report
Small stripers (rockfish) are along the Delaware beaches and in the Indian River Inlet. Bigger bass are pushing through upper Delaware Bay, with fish to 50 pounds moving up the Delaware River to spawn. Chunked menhaden (bunker) on circle hook rigs has been the top bait for bigger fish. Check out Delaware Surf Fishing if you’re a shore-based fisherman in Delaware Bay.
New Jersey Striper Report
Raritan Bay remains the center of striped bass fishing in New Jersey as plenty of 30-inch-class fish, and good numbers of 20-pounders are hitting plugs and bait. The rivers and inlets from Barnegat south to Cape May are fishing well for schoolie striped bass. Plugs, shads, and jigs are all 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
Migrating schoolies are moving into western Long Island Sound and will be joining the holdover stripers in the Housatonic and Connecticut rivers. Reports of fresh migrating schoolies are trickling in from Rhode Island, where holdover stripers are biting in Rhode Island salt ponds and rivers.
• Read the Connecticut Fishing Report
• Read the Rhode Island Fishing Report
Cape Cod/ Massachusetts Striper Report
There have been a couple reports of fresh schoolie stripers on the southside of Martha’s Vineyard and some bass caught in upper Buzzards Bay that (so far) appear to be holdovers. With waters warming through the upper 40s, we expect to see reports of fresh schoolies around Cape Cod increase in the next 7-10 days.
• Read the Cape Cod Fishing Report
• Read the Massachusetts Fishing Report