New England and striper fishing go hand in hand. New England anglers caught nearly 31 million basses in 2019.
That number accounts for only a small fraction of the fish that were caught. Thousands of aspiring fisherman go striped bass fishing every year. You can join them, as long as you follow a striped bass guide.
What exactly is the striped bass? Where can you go fishing, and how can you catch fish? How can you make a delicious meal with your catch?
Answer these questions and you can have a great time catching striped bass. Here is your quick guide.
The Basics of the Striped Bass
The striped bass is a saltwater fish found all along the cooler waters off the Atlantic coast. As the name suggests, it has dark stripes that run the length of the fish’s body.
Most people catch striped bass to eat the fish. It has white meat with a mild flavor, making it versatile for many different recipes. You can cook the meat in a number of ways, and you can serve it with different sides.
A bass can grow up to 5 feet, and it can weigh more than 75 pounds. This means that they are not good for people who want to hone their skills in capturing massive fish. Yet this means a fisherperson can catch many small fish in very little time.
There are a number of terms that people use to refer to striped bass. “Stripers” and “rockfish” are most common. You can the terms interchangeably with each other.
Striped Bass Fishing in New England
Stripers congregate in a number of popular bodies of water. The Hudson River where the water temperature is cooler, Chesapeake Bay, and Massachusetts Bay all contain massive amounts of bass.
You can go to any town in these areas and go fishing. But some towns offer additional resources for people who want to pursue striped bass.
Newport, Rhode Island offers numerous harbors that you can sail out of. You can head directly into Narragansett Bay and Block Island, where you will encounter less competition for fishing. You can find a number of tackle shops and restaurants nearby as well.
If you want to travel a little further, you can go to Cape Cod. Buzzards Bay is located directly on the Cape Cod Canal. This makes it easy to access from Rhode Island, and the town has many shops you can visit.
Chatham is on the Upper Cape. Many schools of fish pass through the water off Chatham, making it a good place to visit. You can find different boat launches and harbors to dock at while you prepare your live bait.
A striped bass eats any fish that is smaller than it, such as minnows. It can also eat invertebrates like crabs or squid.
Stripers tend to like live bait more than anything else. Throw some live small fish into the water, but make sure you have your fishing rod on hand.
If you have enough time, you can go fishing for live bait. You can catch mackerel with minimal effort, and you can find eels at night.
When live bait is not an option, you can use cut bait and artificial lures. Some anglers use plastic tubes with live seaworms attached to them. This is effective for catching one large fish at a time.
You can use soft plastics, jibs, and plugs as lures as well. Bread does not tend to be an effective bait.
Stripers like to swim up against structures. Look against the sides of your boat before you cast a line out. Try to bring your boat up against rock piles, abutments, and boulders.
Stripers like to swim in turbulent water. This helps them catch baitfish. But this gives you an opportunity to catch them, so go out on the water when there are waves.
Stripers follow the standard patterns of predatory fish. The striped bass feeds during dawn, dusk, and nighttime hours.
In particular, they congregate during the full moon and new moon tides. If you ever want to go fishing during the night, you should go during these occasions.
Study the patterns of striped bass migration from 2021. Migration patterns can change from year to year. But understanding previous patterns can help you make plans when you are fishing for striped bass.
Some people fish for stripers in shallow water, some use a fish finder. Kayak fishing for striped bass is also done by some, as it fly fishing and surf fishing. No matter how you do it, fishing season is always the time to fish.
Cooking Your Catch
Before you head home, look at nearby towns. A few restaurants allow you to bring in your striped bass, and they will cook your catch for you.
The most common striped bass recipes involve searing or sautéing the fish. You should sprinkle salt and pepper on the meat and allow them to settle in.
You can then add olive oil to a nonstick skillet. Cook your fish until it begins to char on the sides. You can then continue cooking the fish with vegetables, potatoes, or mushrooms.
Most recipes call for fillets instead of whole fish. But you can roast a whole fish in the oven with seasoning and oil. You can also bake your fish with a breadcrumb coating or inside a tomato sauce.
Hit the High Seas
You can catch striped bass in no time. It is a medium-sized fish that produces a good fish dinner. It has obvious migration patterns, making it easy to catch.
Most spots on the Atlantic have bass near them. You can go to hot spots like Newport and Chatham for additional resources.
You can use any small live bait you want. Try to go fishing at night or in choppy water. Saute some fillets for an easy recipe, though you can bake whole fish.
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