Warm weather, warming water and full moon tides has big stripers in the spawning mood. The big news this week was fresh schoolie stripers from Connecticut to Cape Cod.
Chesapeake Bay Striper Report
The Maryland DNR reports that warm temperatures have stripers actively spawning in the tributaries of Chesapeake Bay. The catch-and-release fishery for striped bass in the Susquehanna Flats area is in full swing. Fishermen are reminded to be ready ahead of time for a quick and efficient release. Cameras should be at ready, fish supported horizontally and care should be taken not to rough up the slime layer on the fish. The opening weekend of the trophy striped bass season was a bit slow as most bass are spawning. The Choptank River began to experience strong spawning by striped bass this week, and many of these large female striped bass will be exiting the river soon.
Fishermen are reminded that however tempting it might be, to not attempt to practice catch and release for striped bass in the closed spawning reaches. Violations carry stiff fines and license suspensions for recreational fishermen. There are areas such as the Susquehanna Flats, areas in the main stem of the bay and the Potomac River where catch and release is allowed. The Maryland DNR has striped bass recreational fishing maps online showing the different striped bass areas and dates as described in regulations.
New Jersey Striper Report
Striped bass continue to move through the upper reaches of Delaware Bay and toward their spawning grounds on the Delaware River. It’s mostly schoolie striped bass and small keepers hitting in the backwaters and rivers in South Jersey. Bluefish have also arrived in New Jersey. In North Jersey, the Raritan Bay bass bite slowed a bit as the bass begin moving into the Hudson River to spawn. Bluefish have crashed the shore and moved into Raritan Bay as well.
New York – Long Island Striper Report
Hudson spawners are moving into the River and action is improving. It’s mostly small striped bass being caught in western Long Island Sound locations including Eastchester Bay, Turtle Cove, and Little Neck Bay. Schoolies are spreading out along the South Shore, and there have been reports of bluefish as well at the West End. Read more in the Long Island Fishing Report.
Connecticut Striper Report
Holdover striper fishing has been good in the tidal rivers as fish feed on the arriving herring. Migrating schoolie stripers have been reported along the Connecticut coast as the line between holdover and migrating fish begins to blur. View the Connecticut Fishing Report.
Rhode Island Striper Report
Fresh schoolies, mostly 10″ to 16″ fish, are now being caught along the South County beaches, at the West Wall in Galilee, around Newport, and in Narragansett Bay. View the Rhode Island Fishing Report.
Cape Cod Striper Report
Holdover striped bass have been reported in tidal waters on and off the Cape, along with waves of river herring. Anglers are predicting that the first sea-lice covered schoolies will likely show up in the third or fourth week of April. Cape Cod Fishing Report
Massachusetts Striper Report
Boston Harbor, and particularly the Mystic River, have also given up holdover schoolie stripers and some larger fish are stirring now that river herring are entering the rivers. Massachusetts Fishing Report