You don’t need to tell a striper fisherman that absence makes the heart grow fonder. From the time an angler catches the last striped bass of the year in the fall, it’s a countdown of days until the migratory striped bass reappear in spring.
When will the bass return? It’s a question that striper fishermen ask every winter, and the answer depends on the angler’s location. Every year is a little different, and exact timing seems to be strongly influenced by water temperatures along the Atlantic coast.
In 2015, we suffered through a historically snowy and cold winter. Water temperatures along the coast hit record lows and remained cool well into the spring. As a result, a delay in the striped bass migration along the coast led to later arrivals than most fishermen could recall in recent history. Still, the waters eventually warmed and by the new moon in mid-June, big striped bass had been reported all along our coast, from the Jersey Shore to southern Maine.
By tracking fishing reports from charter captains and readers at OnTheWater.com, we mapped the striped bass spring migration from the Mid-Atlantic to Maine last spring. By the end of June, we were able to look back on a fairly complete picture of how striped bass move along the coast and when bass of various size classes arrive in different locations.
In 2016, the East Coast was blessed with a much milder winter, and reports have indicated that the migration is off to an early start. Follow along as we track the 2016 striper migration, and contribute to our migration map by sharing your striper fishing reports and photos.
Follow The Migration
Big stripers are settling into summer locations, but they’re lingering longer than usual to feed on bunker off northern New Jersey. Read more →
Big stripers are moving north and settling into summer locations. Several hotspots this week have been producing striped bass over the 40-pound mark. Read more →
Big stripers continue their march north, with 40-pounders reported on Cape Cod and 30-pounders as far north as Boston Harbor. Read more →
Big stripers continue their march north, with 30-pounders reported in the Cape Cod Canal and on the ledges of Boston Harbor. Read more →
Big stripers continue their march north, with 30-pounders crashing Boston Harbor just in time for the Memorial Day Weekend. Read more →
Fish to 50-plus pounds were landed this week around bunker schools in New Jersey. Numbers of striped bass in the 20-pound class have arrived in Rhode Island and in Buzzards Bay and the Cape Cod Canal. Read more →
Big, post-spawn stripers are moving out of Chesapeake and Delaware bays and heading up the coast. Will they reappear to feast on the bunker (menhaden) that are amassing in thick schools from New Jersey to Boston Harbor?. Read more →
Big post-spawn stripers are moving out and heading up the coast. Fresh schoolie stripers have been reported as far north as New Hampshire, and bass over 30 inches are being caught from Connecticut to the Cape Cod Canal. Read more →
Big post-spawn stripers are beginning to move out of Chesapeake Bay and could show up in the next week along the coast from New Jersey to Long Island. Read more →
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. Read more →
Big news this week as 30-pound stripers moved in on bunker in Raritan Bay, New Jersey and a big wave of fresh schoolies arrived in Rhode Island and Martha’s Vineyard. Read more →
The Striper Migration has begun. A cold start to April has slowed the action and limited the number of anglers getting out to make reports, but we’re still seeing some progress. Read more →
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, moving toward their spawning grounds in Chesapeake Bay and making their way up the coast. Read more →
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. Read more →