Did you know Striped Bass spend most of their lives living in saltwater but migrate into freshwater rivers to spawn? It’s true. The Raonoke River in North Carolina is a fairly well known Striped Bass spawning location.
In the spring, the adult Striped Bass come from the Atlantic Ocean into the Roanoke to spawn. Water temperatures are about 62 degrees when the spawning begins. A couple dozen male Stripers surround a female Striped Bass, and so the process begins. When it comes to the spawning Striped Bass, it’s typically the larger Bass (28/29″ and above) that do all the work.
Once the breeding process has completed the Stripers begin their migration to their seasonal locations. Stripers are typically 3 years old when they begin the migrations. Stripers are also their most active when water temperatures are between 55 and 65. Therefore it’s best to be in waters that are within this range in order to capitalize on the most active Striper fishing.
So what does that mean for RI Striper fishing?
Stripers will first be seen in tributaries, bays and estuaries in the spring. As the days become longer and warmer, it’s the shallower water areas that will warm first. This is where the Stripers will be. As the season progresses in later spring the ocean and inlets will become more active. Be prepared for the bigger Stripers with the increase in air and water temperatures.
This Season, 2021
Regarding this season the migration has, of course, begun. Some big news out of New Jersey is the landing of some really big Striped Bass. There is news of a 58 pound Striper being caught. Anglers are seeing schoolie Bass among the rivers and backwaters.
Currently the Striped Bass are migrating toward their spawning grounds in the Chesapeak Bay and Delaware River. In the New Jersey rivers and bays, as well as the west end of Long Island the smaller stripers are becoming active.
Some pre-spawn stripers were catch-and-release action in the Chesapeake before closing April 1st. Expect the Stripers to be active in their spawning for the next 14 days or so.
As far as Rhode Island is concerned, some holdover stripers are being seen in the RI salt ponds and rivers. Though It’s in the June timeframe when the Striped Bass fishing really begins to take off. And in July watch out, because they when the Striper fishing is at it’s best. Open Water temps are ideal mid-summer with temperatures between 55 and 65. This is when the Striper fishing will be it’s best.
Charter boat fishing in RI does have it’s unique advantages. One of which is that the striper migration typically spends the best fishing months in RI waterways. Ideal temperatures fishing for Striped Bass is between 55 and 65, and it’s during July in which RI Ocean ways are within this range. We typically see anglers from New Jersey on our charters during the summer months, because the Stripers have moved out of the warmer water on their migration North.
Depending on how warm the weather gets for Rhode Island charter fishing, we may actually have a slow-down of Striper fishing due to rising water temps. This is when the Stripers continue heading to the deep water.
The Ace Wild will be launching a bit earlier than usually in order to take advantage of fishing for blackfish (Tautog). These trips will begin in the May timeframe.
Anyone familiar with tautog know they are not only one heckuva fighting fish, they are also one of the best tasting fish as well. Using small crabs as bait, they often will swallow it whole, along with your hook. At this point be prepared to hold on to your rod. Depending on the size of the fish, you may be in store for one dynamic landing!