Need A Fun Game Fish And Also A Delicous Meal? Attempt A Tidal River Striper
As springtime arrives inside the northeast, the landscape begins to come alive. Trees blossom, flowers bloom as well as the striped bass return to tidal river systems by the hordes. Warming water temps draw them in for a number of causes based on the river program. In some rivers they return to spawn. In other people, they’re simply there to gorge themselves on the buffet of herring, shad and other river species which are so abundant at this time of year.
On the Connecticut River exactly where I fish, alewife and blue back herring start a spawning migration into the river in late April. Hot on their tails are striped bass ranging from 18 inches to more than 50 inches in size. For the duration of low light hours the stripers chase the herring into shallow waters where it is harder for the smaller herring to elude the stripers. It really is not uncommon to witness feeding frenzies on the surface with herring flipping each and every which way out of the water attempting to flee from the stripers.
Years ago, the herring populations were abundant which allowed anglers to catch them and use them for live bait but moratoriums across the region forced anglers to resort to artificial lures. Most any lure matching the size and movement of a herring will catch fish. Preferred alternatives are Bomber Lengthy A’s, Lunker City Slug-O’s, Sebile Magic Swimmer’s and Yum Houdini Shads. Top water lures like the Gibbs Pencil Popper, Heddon Magnum Spook plus the Rapala X-Walk are also regulars this time of the year.
Although herring aren’t allowed for live bait there are quite a few other species that will also be utilized that the stripers will readily eat. Suckers, dace, and eels all make exceptional bait and they’re all native to the river. Yellow perch and sunfish will also catch massive stripers. They will essentially eat any fish species that can fit into their mouths!
The stripers will follow the herring up the river and its tributaries as far as they can go, often locating themselves in water only a foot or two deep. Once the herring finish their spawning routine they begin to drop back out of the river program back into the ocean. As the presence of herring in the river system begins to diminish plus the water temperature continues to climb, the stripers also begin to migrate back to the cooler ocean waters.
River systems all across the northeast from Maine to New Jersey encounter this very same phenomenon every spring. It begins in the southern reaches initially after which slowly moves its way north as the waters warm. When you haven’t gotten in on this game however, make your move and warm up your springtime season with some incredibly significant fish in some pretty shallow water. Fantastic fishing!
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