Striped Bass Fishing Basics

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Stripers migrate up rivers and streams to spawn in the spring.  In fresh water, they thrive in deep water lakes and reservoirs.  They can be found along the shorelines in the spring and fall, but you’re going to do much better if you fish for them in deeper water offshore. They primarily feed in large schools in open water.

In salt water, they can be found along the surf, in bays and estuaries, on reefs and other inshore areas that offer some tidal and current flows.

Fishing Rigs

There are so many rigs you can use for targeting striped bass in freshwater or in saltwater.  Take a look at our fishing rigs for striped bass section to learn more.

Live & Natural Baits

With striped bass available in freshwater and saltwater, there are so many different baits that you can use depending on where you are fishing.  Take a look at our live & natural baits for striped bass section to learn more about what to use and how to use it to catch more fish.

Fishing Lures

You have a lot of options for targeting striped bass with artificial lures.  Because they are located in freshwater and saltwater, you have an array or lures that you can use to simulate a variety of different baits that these fish will eat.  We have a section with the best fishing lures for striped bass to help you learn more about what lures will help you catch more fish.

Rod & Reel Recommendations

Deciding on a rod and reel for striped bass fishing will vary based on the situation.  There are a lot of places that are known more for numbers and they are home to a lot of smaller striped bass.  Some destinations are home to giants, so you could be going as light as a medium action rod and reel or be using heavy gear that would be similar to what you would use when going fishing for muskie.  Learn more on our rod & reel recommendations for striped bass page.

Fishing Line Recommendations

Anglers use a wide range of fishing line when targeting striped bass.  Because these fish can grow so large and you can catch them in saltwater, there really is a huge range of situations you may be fishing for them.  You may be using 10 pound test on a body of water that is known for having a lot of smaller striped bass in it.  On another trip, you could be fishing saltwater with 60 to 80 pound line while fishing for giants.  Learn more on our fishing line recommendations for striped bass page.

Eating Striped Bass

Striped bass have a mild taste.  Some people love to eat them and others think they are just ok.  We have seen some health warnings in the media along parts of the east coast advising certain people not to eat them because of the PCB’s.  The warnings were for pregnant women and children under 6 years old, but you may want to do a quick search online to see what the most recent suggestions are for eating striped bass.


Striped bass can be found in freshwater lakes, reservoirs and rivers.  Some bodies of water will provide more of an action experience with lots of smaller striped bass and some places will give you the chance to land a fish of a lifetime.


In saltwater, it is all based on the migration along the East Coast.  There is a spring migration, then the fish will hang around through the summer and fall, but as water temperatures cool down in the fall, these fish will migrate south again.  During the peak of the run in the spring and fall, the fishing can be outstanding.


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