Striped bass are anadromous, which means they live their adult life in saltwater
and migrate into estuaries and eventually freshwater to spawn. Known for their
powerful fighting ability, mature striped bass are robust and large weighing upwards
of 40- 50 pounds.
During the 1970-1980 period, New Jersey striped bass stocks experienced a severe
decline due to overfishing. Management measures such as increased size limits,
seasonal closures and recreational daily bag limits allowed recovery and increased
numbers. In 1995, the Atlantic
States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC) officially declared striped bass
as a "restored" stock in NJ.
spring spawning migrations, striped bass can be caught from shoreline or by boat
along tidal freshwater rivers. The Delaware River, Delaware Bay tributaries (Maurice
and Cohansey), Lower Delaware River tributaries (Rancocas, Big Timber, Mantua,
and Raccoon Creeks), and coastal rivers (Raritan, Manasquan, Great Egg Harbor,
and Mullica Rivers) are great places to concentrate angling efforts.
tidal freshwaters, striped bass angling is limited to the springtime. When spring
spawning is completed, mature striped bass leave the inland tidal freshwaters
and return to marine waters. Both daytime and nighttime angling are equally productive
and, depending upon the location, tidal stage and current may dictate catch rates.
The presence of river herring may also determine angling productiveness. Both
river herring and striped bass spawning migration times coincide and striped bass
prey heavily upon river herring during this period.
Heavier fishing tackle is required for striped bass angling. A medium to medium-heavy
6-7 foot rod spooled with 10 to 20 pound test line is a good choice. The reel
selected, whether conventional or spinning, must possess a well-designed drag
system. Live baits such as bloodworms and river herring, and artificial lures
such as minnow plugs, jerk baits and rattletraps that imitate river herring, catch
striped bass consistently.
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