Ocean Fishing For Striped Bass
Ocean fishing for Striped Bass is much different then fishing for freshwater Striped Bass and once you understand their behaviors and migration it’s not hard to catch fish.
Striped Bass Behaviors
Striped Bass prefer temperatures from 55°F to 68°F and will migrate, staying within this temperature range. Those that migrate are typically the older, stronger, and larger bass while the younger bass hang around the bays and beaches until they are large enough to migrate themselves.
Fishing For The Striped Bass
You can fish from the shoreline or by boat for Striped Bass and by boat is the preferred method. However here we will fish by shoreline only. Our disadvantage is that we are fishing the local or younger fish so it’s much more difficult to catch one of legal size. By using a boat you can fish the migration where you will find it’s very difficult to catch one that is not of legal size.
The Striped Bass Migration
The Migration occurs twice a year, in the Spring and Fall, and this is the best time to fish for them. In the Spring the Bass head North as the water temperatures warm up, staying close to shorelines and shallow water, looking for areas to spawn (bays and rivers). In the Fall when the water temperatures begin to drop the Bass head back South staying out further and hanging around the ocean beaches. The Striped Bass migration will travel from VA & NC to Maine and back by Winter, holding up in the deeper water.
My recommendation is to check where the migration is and plan your fishing trip accordingly, using a boat to get to the large school of older Bass. I would focus on the Fall for both shoreline and boat fishing.
What Baits To Use
There are many different baits you can use, but here are the more common ones. Again it was not hard catching these fish and is a lot of fun, but in these shallow waters your going to catch a lot of small ones.
Needlefish or Darter- This long, narrow lure is deadly especially when big bait-fish are around.
Pencil Popper- An old favorite among surf casters, this teardrop-shaped lure should be fished so that it bobbles and skitters over the surface, with just the tail touching the water.
Swimming Plug- A black swimming plug is a must-have for night fishing in many areas. Pearl,bone, or white often works well during the day. Go with chartreuse or yellow in low-light conditions.