2018 Striper Migration Map
After last week’s cool down, the weather, and the striper migration, seems to be back on track, albeit a little behind. Big bass are entering the rivers in the Chesapeake, though water temperatures are not yet conducive to spawning. Pre-spawn bass from the Hudson River stock finally descended on the Raritan Bay, and larger bass are beginning to join the schoolies in the Delaware.
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 tag us on social media with #stripermigration.
Chesapeake Bay Striper Report
Cold nights and chilly days have prevailed, and striper spawning is running behind compared to last year. Spawning typically takes place when water temperature hit the high 50s, and 64.5 degrees is optimal. At present water temperatures in the spawning reaches of the Choptank River are around 52 degrees. According to the Maryland Department of Natural Resources, biologists discovered a small amount of striped bass eggs this week in the Choptank but they were unfortunately dead, most likely due to cold water conditions.
Maryland’s Department of Natural Resources reminds everyone to take precautions to protect fish they catch-and-release, and follow the rules. The Maryland Natural Resources Police have issued a statement to help guide those fishing during the striped bass catch-and-release season, which ends April 20. One should also be forewarned that practicing catch-and-release fishing in the closed spawning areas can result in fines and license suspensions.
Delaware Bay Striper Report
Fair numbers of shorts have been caught from shore access points along the lower Delaware River and Upper Delaware Bay.
As an angler advisory, note that striped bass spawning season began April 1 so retaining them is prohibited north of a line from the south jetty at the C&D Canal to the Pennsylvania state line. In addition, you must use non-offset circle hooks when fishing with any bait in that area. The same restrictions apply in the Nanticoke River and Broad Creek.
New Jersey Striper Report
It was just a matter of time before the flood gates opened on the Raritan Bay. This week, schools of keeper-sized stripers hit the bay, hot on the tails of bunker. Both boat and shore fishermen got in on the bite throwing swim shads and plugs, and by fishing bunker, clams and worms. The bite seemed to really break open on Thursday. In the rest of the state, more schoolies have shown up, along side more keeper-sized fish, not just in the bays, but along the beaches as well.
Capt. Phil Sciortino at The Tackle Box in Hazlet said folks are catching stripers all around the bay, mostly on worms and clams. He added that the bass blew up on bunker at Union Beach earlier in the week and the fish hit plugs and shads. The majority of the bass were short, but Sciortino said there were several from 30 to 32 inches.
Bob Matthews at Fisherman’s Den in Belmar reported an uptick in the striper fishing. He’s been hearing of some small bass in the surf along with bluefish in the rivers. Some of his customers have been having luck up in Raritan Bay on worms and clams.
Fisherman’s Supply in Point Pleasant reported striper fishing has been very good in the back from Point Pleasant southward to Barnegat.
Grumpy’s Bait & Tackle in Seaside Park reported good back-bay action with stripersbeing more active in the morning and evening on smaller plugs and plastics.
Southern New Jersey waters are loaded with baitfish, and fishermen have been treated to big shows by flocks of gannets raining down on schools of bunker and herring. There haven’t been many stripers out front yet, but the bays are loaded with smaller fish.
New York Striper Report
Striper season opens on Sunday, just in time for the big schools of bass that are moving into the Raritan. Smaller stripers have been reported all the way up to Poughkeepsie on the Hudson, but there haven’t been reports of large, egg-laden female bass moving up the river just yet.
Along most of Long Island, fishermen are still hunting resident fish in the backwaters. Though migratory schoolies are adding to their numbers at the western end of the island.
Connecticut/Rhode Island Striper Report
The holdover fishing has been very good in most of Connecticut’s larger tidal rivers, with good catches of stripers from 25 inches to 25 pounds being taken on soft plastics. As more herring make their way upstream, the bite will continue to improve as more larger fish should start to show.
@ol_dirty_jack earned his stripes this afternoon, landing a whole handful of pretty fresh looking fish on sandworms from us at Zah’s. It’s only going to get better from here! #zahsbaitandtackle #ctriver #ctfishing #springrun #striper #stripermigration #fishingct #connecticut #connecticutriver #stripedbass #stripers #schoolies #ctriverfishing #connecticutfishing #connecticutriverfishing #portland #portlandct #860 #06480 #fishing #sandworms #nightcrawlers #troutworms #dillyworms #mealworms #superworms #shiners #minnows #suckers #livebait
While holdover stripers are active in Rhode Island, there’s been no word of sea-lice covered schoolies showing up along the ocean-side yet. Most fishermen believe that within a week to 10 days, fishermen will be locking into the first migratory schoolies in Rhode Island.
Cape Cod/ Massachusetts Striper Report
Holdover striper fishing improved considerably this week from Cape Cod up to Boston, but there’s been no news of “fresh” stripers moving in yet. Look for the first reports to come from Martha’s Vineyard in the next week to 10 days.