Other Common Names: striper, rockfish
Scientific name: Morone Saxatilis
Family: temporate basses- Percichthyidae
Related Species: White Bass, Yellow Bass, White Perch, Hybrid Wiper
|Range: Both anadromous and freshwater varieties. In Saltwater from New Foundland to Florida in the Atlantic, from Lousiana to Applachacola, Florida in the Gulf of Mexico, from Washinton to San Diego, California in the Pacfic. In Freshwater in coastal rivers and large resevoirs and lakes in the entire lower 48 US states.|
Sizes: Anadromous-up to 125lbs, but more common 5lbs-40lbs. Freshwater-up to 60's, common 2lbs-20lbs.
Habitat: Schools in open water, 30-100 feet. Prefers 42-58 degree F water but will feed in cooler or warmer water if deeper, cooler water, or warmer flowing water (powerplant dischage) is available nearby. Requires lots of water volume or moving water (high oxygen content). Common in freshwater in tailraces behind dams, and near rocky banks with sandy bottoms.
Spawning Habits: Anadromous variey- leaves ocean waters and ascends coastal rivers in early spring. Will seek out smaller tributaries with good current and gravel bottoms. Very prolific female stimulated by multiple males, eggs released over bottom, no bedding. Freshwater stripers also ascend rivers seeking smaller creeks with current and gravel bottoms, however, many lakes do not have adequate spawning waters, limiting spawning effectiveness. Bass feed heavily before and after spawning.
Feeding Habits: Look for rivermouths on tide changes, and near lighted deepwater briges and piers. Rocky banks with current and nearby deep water are also good. Primary forage species include herrings, anchovies, shad (all varieties), and menhaden, can include rainbow trout, clams, and crabs. Larger baits work best for most stripers (5"-14"), as will lures that immitate menhaden and shad in this size range. Smaller stripers (schoolies) will also take a variety of plugs, spoons, jigs, and twitchbaits including those used for smaller smallmouth and largemouth bass.
Notes: Originally two separate sub-species: Atlantic, and Gulf. Due to spawning habitat degredation and overfishing, however stocks of Gulf and Pacifc stripers were severely decimated, and stocking of the Atlantic variety was used to supplement populations. In freswater, the creation of the Santee-Cooper impoundment created a source of solely freshwater fish. These freswater fish where the source of nationwide stocking efforts in the 1950's-1980's. Due to largescale production of the white/striped bass hybrid (wipers), and due to predation of trouts and black basses by stripers,the sterile wipers are now the choice of most fisheries managers, reducing striper populations in many resevoirs. The atlantic striper population is very cyclical and hinges largely on spawning habit availability, commercial/recreational fishing pressure, and menhaden/shad availability. Also a victim of pfisteria in some mid-atlantic areas.
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