Striper Migration Map – March 17, 2016

Striper Migration Map

2016 Striper Migration Map

The striper migration has begun! A mild winter has water temperatures much warmer than the same time last year, and striped bass are on the move, heading from overwintering areas several miles off North Carolina and moving toward their spawning grounds in Chesapeake Bay.

Chesapeake Bay Striped Bass
Alan Battista of “Light Tackle Trolling the Chesapeake” was surprised earlier this month by the biggest striper of his lifetime.

Chesapeake Bay

In the main stem of the Chesapeake, water temperatures are slowly creeping up and presently holding around 47° on the surface and about 40° on the bottom. Smaller male striped bass are moving into the spawning tidal rivers and the larger females are entering the bay and working their way toward the major spawning tidal rivers. Water temperatures in the Susquehanna Flats area are bouncing around 50° or so, and there are some male striped bass in the area.

According to the Maryland Department of Natural Resources, the Calvert Cliffs Nuclear Power Plant warm water discharge has been a popular spot to jig for these fish. Anyone wishing to give trolling a try is reminded that each boat is restricted to 6 lines, barbless hooks and no stinger hooks while trolling during this catch and release period. The spring trophy striped bass season opens on April 16.

Gravelling Point NJ Striper
Dylan O’Connell landed one of the first keeper stripers of the year in NJ, reported Scott’s Bait and Tackle. -photo by Greg O’Connell

New Jersey

Absecon Bay Sportsman Center has reported stripers in the backwaters from Great Egg to Great Harbor, in the Tuckahoe and the Mullica. Keeper-sized fish have been caught at Gravelling Point. Soaking clams should being to turn up some stripers in Raritan Bay any day now.

Striper Cup Catch Release

New York

Backwater areas on the West End of the island have started to give up some schoolie stripers. Anglers have also reported impressive amounts of bait for the early season, including herring and bunker.

Connecticut holdover stripers
Lauren Salvioli and Max Finch have been having good action on holdover stripers in Connecticut waters.

Connecticut/Rhode Island

The holdover striper fishing has been particularly good in the tidal rivers. The Housatonic remains a hot bed for schoolies, and also continues to put up the best quality fish of all the rivers. Better numbers are starting to come from the Connecticut and the Thames. The Providence River and Narrow River typically holds some holdover stripers, but reports from these areas have been dismal. Anglers are predicting that the first sea-lice covered schoolies will likely show up along the Rhode Island coast by the first week of April.


Cape Cod/ Massachusetts

Holdover striped bass have been reported in tidal waters on and off the Cape, along with the first few scout herring. Boston Harbor, and particularly the Mystic River, have also given up a few holdover schoolie stripers.

52 on “Striper Migration Map – March 17, 2016

      1. Andrew

        The season for the “Marine waters North of the GW Bridge does not open until April 1!

      2. Bill G.

        All that means is you cannot KEEP a striper until April 1. You can still catch them, they just need to be released.

      3. Ben DeVita

        Take your camera and release them. I am a Cape local who have seen more people taking under sized stripers regularly it’s a sad state of affairs.

      4. Ed zecc

        There should be more summons given out for targeting a Striper pre season. Don’t know why else you would be fishing in TZ bridge area if not for the stripers

      5. hey don

        jim from cross county drop me a line maybe when your in new berg we can hook up

  1. Hardy Wiedemann

    I’m curious as to how you could actually know this? Is your migration map based on a few anecdotal reports of people catching fish? There are a lot more factors involved with fish migration than just water temp. Also, why no attention for the Delaware river and Delaware bay? I can assure you that stripers don’t just pass it by.


      GREAT POINT–> HARDY WHY NO info on the delaware bay n river !!!!

      1. They havent run up in the bay for 5 years – gotta go out front of the bay

        commercial guys drag the mouth of the bay 24 -7 never get a chance to come up the bay -along with flounder n weakies

    2. mike

      After the shad run up the Delaware get ready water temperature is above (50) stripers run.

    3. H. Eng

      Id say they use fishing reports, commercial and sportsman’s. Unless they have underwater cameras and crystal balls. I would say the fishing reports are not in for those areas that are not listed. Most likely because there is nothing to catch yet.

  2. Jay

    Yeah this is highly inaccurate and obviously based upon a very small network of fishermen talking with one another. It’s entertaining, though!

    1. Bob T

      At least it gets everyone excited about the upcoming season. Why do we need to be so negative?

      1. Mark Dacey

        I agree…it gets the blood pumping after a long winter just to know there on their way up the coast…

    2. Christopher Felser

      No, I work in seafood and they are catching huge numbers outside the chesapeak ocean trolling. Just put in an order for 200lb at a really good price. Low price means lots of fish are being caught, especially right before good Friday. The fish are moving and we should be happy.

  3. Luke Lukas

    …. 28 inch fish winter over here, as die-offs have proven in the past…consistent catching is another heady pleasure that is best kept close to the vest!!! tight lines!

  4. phil

    I take it for what it is, the first signs of hope that my boat will be in the water and I will be fishing sooner than later.

  5. John B. Monica

    I think this is a great site. Will be very useful for surf and boat fishing.

  6. John B. Monica

    I think this site will be very useful for both surf and boat fishing.

  7. coho

    On Sunday March 20th i will make an attempt to catch my first striper

  8. mark

    caught 18 stripers and 3 blues in the cape cod canal today and biggest striper was 45 pounds .
    then i woke up….lol

  9. Clubber Lang

    Hopefully on my birthday April 1st I’ll catch my first striper of 2016.

  10. Fred

    Hopefully on 17 April 2016, the second day of Trophy Rockfish season in the Chesapeake.

    1. zorro

      I caught my biggest striper on june 9.1989 46lbs.there werent as many around at that time compared to now

    1. Kevin Blinkoff

      Hi Gunnar, those are General areas where there are holdover stripers being caught

  11. Danny

    My first striker of 2016 will be on……one of my many trips to Cape Cod Canal….. ?

  12. Mark Dacey

    My first mule of the year will hopefully be caught sooner then later don’t care about the date as long as I get to pull a few outta the canal an another spot I fish in Quincy I’ll have big smile !!!!!

  13. Chad Tighe

    I’ll be checking the Passaic next week. I’ll let you know how it went.

  14. Joe Martell

    I got my 1st striper on March 10th in the Delaware River in Salem Co. Just a 20″ but it was a linesider! Caught 4 that day but that was the biggest. Hoping to get a biggin soon.

  15. Tom

    My friend just caught 2 shorts by New Castle, De week of 3-14. No fish in De Bay. Ba humbug. Flounder soon

    1. Ben DeVita

      I’m with you huge lures with 3 huge trebled hooks destroy the mouth of your quarry replace them with single hooks without the barbs. I would rather lose a fish than hurt it.

  16. kyle

    Ill be catching my first stripers mid april somewhere on the cape,as i do every year.
    Keepers too

  17. Jess man

    I Need to beat my record of 42in 30lbs this season my first bigin longisland north Shore can’t wait good luck to all! !

  18. Don

    I’m up in the Nshore of MA so I try to get a decent fish by Mother’s Day. This year I’d love to get any striper by the end of April(I say this every year and has never happened)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *