The Striper Migration Map is back! Inshore water temperatures are warming fast and stripers are spawning in Chesapeake Bay tributaries. Big pre-spawn stripers are moving into northern New Jersey waters and beginning to make their way in to the Hudson as well.
Signs are pointing to a great striper fishing season! Now is the time to sign up for the Striper Cup and get your sign-up package complete with a Rapala lure, Columbia PFG shirt, and great discounts on gear.
Maryland/Chesapeake Bay Striper Fishing Report
Maryland’s spring striped bass catch-and-release season will be closed April 1 through May 1. Waters in Chesapeake Bay are rising into the 50s with river temperatures in the upper 50s! Striped bass spawning began in earnest last week in lower and mid Chesapeake Bay tributaries. Spawning should begin on the Susquehanna flats this week.
The MD Department of Natural Resources website includes maps of which areas can be legally fished. Remember, all fishing for striped bass in the main part of the Bay is closed from April 1 until May 1. The tidal rivers are closed to catch-and-release fishing for striped bass.
New Jersey Striper Fishing Report
In southern New Jersey, striped bass are still being landed around the usual early season spots: bridges, mud flats and the marshes. But, we are finally seeing some larger fish being landed oceanside. Several fish in the 40-inch range were caught from boats on the troll from Brigantine to Long Beach Island. Spawning stripers are moving through Delaware Bay and have reached upper portions of the Delaware River.
Excellent striped bass fishing in Raritan Bay and rivers to the north continues. Practically every type of lure seems to be working with bass to 42 inches and the occasional larger fish. There are also reports indicating a better bass bite on the beaches, especially to the south at Island Beach State Park.
New York Striper Fishing Report
Striper fishing is picking up at the west end of the island and moving east into western Suffolk County as backwaters warm and bait gets active. Fishing is also picking up in Western Long Island Sound. Bigger bass are also moving into the lower Hudson River.
Connecticut/Rhode Island Striper Report
Connecticut anglers continue to see improved holdover striped bass fishing as more herring enter the rivers, and the shallow flats are warming up and drawing the attention of some hungry bass. The bigger fish are still coming after dark, and we shouldn’t be too far away from everything blowing wide open. There have also been reports of schoolies on the beaches in far western CT as the line between resident fish and migratory fish begins to blur over the next week. Holdover stripers are stirring in some of the Rhode Island salt ponds and rivers and there have been rumors of some “fresh” schoolies arriving. We expect to hear reports of bigger numbers of schoolies arriving over the next week.
Cape Cod/Massachusetts Striper Report
Holdover striped bass have been reported in some fresh and brackish waters on Cape Cod and around Boston, with river herring trickling into the runs, huge schools of menhaden flooding into harbors, and ospreys returning to their posts. Fresh migrating fish are probably about 1 week away from hitting Martha’s Vineyard and then Buzzards Bay and the southside of Cape Cod.