The Striper Migration Map is back for 2023! Although it has been a relatively mild winter, ocean water temperatures are almost exactly where they were a year ago. Inshore areas of Chesapeake Bay are quickly warming past the 50-degree mark and big bass are moving into their spawning tributaries.
All signs are pointing to a great striper fishing season! Now is the time to sign up for the Striper Cup and get your sign-up package complete with a Rapala lure, Columbia PFG shirt, and great discounts on gear.
Maryland/Chesapeake Bay Striper Fishing Report
Anglers are out casting large crankbaits and soft plastics for pre-spawn striped bass in the Susquehanna Flats catch-and-release area. The Department of Natural Resources website includes maps of which areas can be legally fished until March 31. Remember that releases should be done quickly to help large striped bass recover.
Catch-and-release fishing for pre-spawn striped bass is open in the middle Bay until March 31. Light-tackle anglers are looking for marks along steep channel edges and fishing deep with heavy jigs and large soft plastics. Drifting in the warm water discharge plume at the Calvert Cliffs Power Plant is a popular option. Others are trolling with large parachutes and bucktails dressed with sassy shads trolled in tandem along the shipping channel edges. Anglers can use no more than six lines when trolling, no stinger hooks are allowed, and all hook barbs must be removed or flattened. All fishing for striped bass in the main part of the Bay will be closed from April 1 until May 1. The DNR website can offer information on various closed and open areas for striped bass fishing.
Anglers looking for some catch-and-release striped bass action are finding it in the lower Bay this week. Light-tackle anglers are jigging deep in the shipping channel, often at depths of 50 feet or more, with heavy jigs and large soft plastics. They are also fishing in the channel areas of the lower Potomac River. The large pre-spawn striped bass will feed on large menhaden or river herring if given the chance, so large baits are in order. Trolling is another option along the deep channel edges with large and heavy parachutes and bucktails dressed with equally large shads. The 2023 striped bass catch-and-release season ends March 31. No more than six lines can be deployed when trolling, no stinger hooks are allowed, and all lures used must have the barbs removed or flattened.
The tidal rivers are closed to all striped bass catch-and-release fishing, although the tidal Potomac River will remain open to catch-and-release fishing.
For a complete Maryland/Chesapeake Bay Fishing Report, visit Maryland DNR.
New Jersey Striper Fishing Report
Striped bass fishing in southern New Jersey has been hit or miss because of the weather, but anglers have been catching on clams and worm baits. Fisherman throwing soft plastics are finding limited success during the day and better fishing during the night tides. Almost every lighted bridge in south jersey is holding striped bass up to keeper size.
In northern areas of the state, striped bass are being caught in all the usual spring spots, the back of Raritan Bay, in tidal rivers and throughout Barnegat Bay. Bloodworms are catching most of the fish, especially during the day, while small plugs and paddle tails are working at night.
There was one big surprise this week when a nice school of slot-sized stripers erupted on bunker about two miles off Asbury Park.
New York Striper Report
Resident or “holdover” schoolie stripers are stirring in backwater areas on Long Island. Fresh migrating fish will begin trickling in soon. Stripers are active in the lower Hudson River.
Connecticut/Rhode Island Striper Report
Holdover striper fishing in the Housatonic River and in Connecticut River tributaries should improve as the fish will only get more active with warming water and the arrival of river herring. Holdover stripers are also stirring in some of the Rhode Island salt ponds and rivers.
Cape Cod/Massachusetts Striper Report
Holdover striped bass have been reported in some fresh and brackish waters on Cape Cod and around Boston, with river herring trickling into the runs and ospreys returning to their posts.
This article was originally published by Onthewater.com. Read the original article here.