Striper Fish Facts and FAQ

Learn basic facts and frequently asked questions about the Atlantic striped bass.

What do striped bass look like?

The most obvious feature of striped bass are their seven horizontal stripes, spanning along their body from their gill plate to the beginning of their tail. Their bodies exhibit a variety of colors including dark olive green, blue, purple, and silver on their bellies. Unlike bluefish, tuna, and pelagic fish, striped bass do not have a forked tail.

Striped Bass Surf Fishing
Stripers have seven distinct horizontal lines running along their body.

Is striped bass good to eat?

Stripers are widely considered one of the best-eating fish in the northeast Atlantic region, but it depends who you’re speaking with. Many people prefer black sea bass, fluke, or tautog over stripers.

Article: How to Clean a Whole Striped Bass Without Waste

What does striped bass taste like?

The flavor of a striper fillet is mild and sweet without the strong fishy flavor of a salmon or anchovy. When striper is cooked correctly, it’s white, firm, and flaky, making it a popular choice for the grill.

Are striped bass high in mercury?

As stripers grow in size, their bodies accumulate mercury, PCBs, and other toxic chemicals. The Food and Drug Administration recommends only 1 serving per week of striped bass (rockfish).

FDA Fish Chart
Photo Credit: U.S. Food and Drug Administration

What is the heaviest striped bass on record?

The heaviest striped bass on record (non-IGFA) weighed 125-pounds, and it was taken at Edenton, N.C., in April of 1891.

What is the striped bass world record?

Greg Myerson’s world record striped bass weighed 81-pounds and 14-ounces, toppling Al McReynold’s 78-pound fish. Myerson’s IGFA world record striper was landed off the coast of Westbrook, Conn. in 2012.

Is striped bass the same as sea bass?

Although striped bass and black sea bass are both saltwater fish, they’re two different species, and easy to tell apart. Stripers have seven horizontal lines along their body and black sea bass have dark gray and black scales, hence their name.

Can striped bass live in freshwater?

Striped bass are anadromous fish, meaning they’re born in freshwater, but spend most of their life in saltwater. After reaching sexual maturity, stripers return to rivers and bays in the spring to spawn.

There are many lakes and reservoirs in the U.S. with large populations of landlocked freshwater striped bass. For the most part, landlocked stripers are stocked by state fish and wildlife departments.

What do striped bass eat?

Stripers are known for having a voracious appetite, feeding on small fish and a variety of wildlife including shad, herring, menhaden, shrimp, shellfish, sea lamprey, and other small fish. Adult stripers feed more in the summer and fall, and less in the spring and winter.

Where do striped bass live?

Atlantic striped bass inhabit the waters between the St. John’s River in Florida all the way north to the St. Lawrence River in Canada. Larger fish school up, with the largest stripers, 30 to 40-pound fish and larger, preferring solidarity or the company of a couple other fish.

How old is my striper?

Striped Bass Age Chart
Photo Credit: Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection

Where do stripers spawn?

Scientific research shows there are six different Atlantic striped bass spawning groups, spanning from Canada down to North Carolina. In the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, stripers spawned in nearly every New England river.

  • Gulf of St. Lawrence, Canada
  • St. John River, New Brunswick
  • Shubenacadie River, Nova Scotia
  • Kennebec and Hudson rivers
  • Delaware and Chesapeake bays
  • Roanoke and Cape Fear rivers, North Carolina
East Coast striped bass groups
There are six genetically distinct striper groups along the Atlantic coast of the U.S.

Do stripers carry diseases?

Some stripers from the Chesapeake Bay are impacted by mycobacteriosis, a disease resulting in emaciation, skin lesions, sores, and ulcers.

Read more about striper mycobacteriosis here.

Striper Sore Mycobacteriosis
The arrow points to a striper with a red sore. Scientifically, the disease is referred to as mycobacteriosis, but not all red sores and lesions are mycobacteriosis.

5 on “Striper Fish Facts and FAQ

    1. Will

      I have been fishing Stripers for years. I find the best time to fish is May to mid June and the fall run, which can start mid Sept thru October and some tines early Nov. Best time I brlueve. I always catch fish during these times.

  1. Scott Melick

    I think there’s a typo here:

    “Adult stripers feed more in the spring and fall, and less in the spring and winter.”

    I believe this should be “summer and winter”


    Scott Melcik, this is a professional angler guide and website, I think that you might have mistaken the article as it said, “Adult stripers feed more in the summer and fall, and less in the spring and winter.” Thanks

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