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New State Record Hybrid Striped Bass Caught

January 3, 2005

The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection’s Division of Fish and Wildlife has certified a new state record striped bass hybrid caught in saltwater.

James R. Fowler of Brigantine caught the 13 pound, 2 ounce striped bass hybrid off Brigantine on October 26, 2004. It weighed 11 ounces more than the previous record taken from the Cape May Rips in 1993. The fish measured 28½ inches in length with a 21¼-inch girth. Because the regulations are the same for saltwater hybrid stripers as they are for true strain striped bass, Fowler checked in the fish using a bonus card acquired earlier in the year.

Fowler, a charter boat captain in Cape May and only a novice fly fisherman, was casting from the pier in his backyard when he hooked the fish on 15-pound fly line. Jim reported that he actually saw the fish feeding near the pilings before it eventually took the fly after about five passes. He landed the fish in 15 minutes. Amazingly, this is only the third bass he has ever caught on a fly rod!

Fowler plans to get the fish mounted and in addition, will have a rendition carved in wood by local artist John Fish. The carving will then be donated as a raffle prize to the Ladies Invitational Bluefish Tournament of which Fowler’s wife Shirley is vice president. Proceeds will help fund a local mammography truck that offers free breast cancer screenings.

The striped bass hybrid was developed in South Carolina during the mid 1960s, and is a cross between a striped bass and a white bass. Stocking of hybrid stripers in New Jersey began in 1984.

Hybrid stripers are meant to fill a niche in the deeper, open water areas of a lake not frequented by other gamefish, and where there is an abundance of alewife herring or gizzard shad for food. The Division currently stocks three public impoundments with striped bass hybrids, and they are also stocked in several private waters by fishing clubs and water supply authorities. There are also several commercial aquaculture operations in South Jersey and Delaware that raise these hybrids.

Striped bass hybrids are not intended to be found in marine waters, however, they have been known to migrate out of stocked fresh water systems. Under the Division’s fish stocking permit program, containment of the hybrids to reduce the possibility of migrating to marine waters is considered before approving a stocking permit. Total containment is not possible though, and it is to be expected that a very small number of fish may escape and migrate to marine waters. Therefore, the record fish categories for fresh and saltwater hybrid stripers remains.

The hybrid can be identified by its deep-bodied shape, relatively small head and broken longitudinal stripes that may appear along its sides. Known for its hard fighting ability, this species is excellent table fare.

Traditional fishing techniques and tackle used for striped bass are also effective on hybrids.

The Record Fish Program recognizes the largest species of fish caught in the state. It revolves around a specific list of eligible freshwater and saltwater species, and is based on weight alone; there are no line classes. Scale certification documentation, including the Certificate of Inspection / Test Report and Registration Certificate issued by the New Jersey Office of Weights and Measures, as well as a weighmaster’s signature is necessary. Other rules apply.

For more information or to request an application, call 609-633-7768. The application is also online. Visit for a complete list of state record fish.


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Department of Environmental Protection
P. O. Box 402
Trenton, NJ 08625-0402

Last Updated: January 3, 2005