Striped Bass Questions and Answers

Most frequently asked Questions about Striped Bass.

How do I measure the length of a Striped Bass according to the rules?

Start with with the mouth closed and the tail fin pinched together.
A good way to obtain this length is to push the fish's snout up against a vertical surface with the mouth closed and the fish laying along a tape measure, then pinch the tail fin closed and determine the total length.
Do NOT pull a flexible tape measure along the curve of the fish.

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What is a "slot limit" and why are they used?

A protective slot limit prevents mid-sized fish from being caught, but allows catching smaller and larger fish.
Catching fish below the protective slot may take advantage of a great number of small fish, which allows mid-sized fish a better opportunity to survive and grow out of the protected size range.
As the protected mid-sized fish continue to grow, they eventually become harvestable-sized, large fish.
Lake Ouachita does not have a size or slot limit on striped bass.

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What topwater lures would you suggest for striped bass?

We use a modified Cotton Cordell redfin 7in a lot in chrome and trout colors. Of course any top water bait you would use for Black Bass will work, especially fun is "walking the dog" with the zara spook..

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When is the best time to fish topwater lures for striped bass?

Topwater lures can be productive any time of the year,  especially at dawn and dusk. The most consistence months are September thru April depending on water temperature.

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Does Striped Bass Catch and Release Work?

Yes, under the right conditions?

With the event of the FLW and NSBA Striper Tournament Trails we are seeing more research into Striped Bass Catch and Release.  If your goal is to catch a good number of striped bass, we would recommend the use of artificial lures. Striped bass caught on artificial lures are generally not deep-hooked as they are with natural baits, so overall catch-and-release mortality generally will be less with artificial bait. Other factors such as water temperature and poor handling contribute to catch-and-release mortality just as with Black Bass so we encourage anglers to be prepared to release striped bass quickly and carefully. More on Catch and release

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What kind of rod and reel would you use to catch striped bass?

We use and recommend 7 foot medium-to-heavy weight rods and bait casting reels in General.

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Are Natural Baits or Artificial Baits The Best to Catch Striped Bass?

To be such an aggressive fish, striped bass can get pretty picky about what they eat. Cut bait and live Shad are the baits of choice for consistent catches of trophy striped bass, some days, striped bass will bite only the liveliest live baits and ignore anything less active or anything that’s been frozen and artificial baits. On some occasions, artificial baits are just as effective as natural bait. We encourage anglers who use natural baits to use circle hooks.

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Where are Striped Bass Raised?

Fish Hatcheries which have been part of our nation's conservation and natural resource management efforts for more than 100 years. Hatcheries can be warm water, cool water, or cold water facilities. Hatchery's spawns, hatch, and raise young fish to a size and age which provides them with the best chance of surviving in the natural wild environment of rivers, lakes and ponds.

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How do I apply for a possible state record fish?

To apply for a state record, the angler must submit a completed State Record Fish Application.
More information on state record application.

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When do Striped Bass Spawn?

Striped Bass spawn in water of 58 to 69 degrees from April through mid-June in flowing water Broadcasting millions of eggs withoutaffording any protection or parental care. More on Striped Bass Spawning.

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What size line.

Always use a good quality Line and a reel with a very good smooth drag (bait casting or spinning).

During cooler temperatures we use 10 to 20 pound leaders below 30# main line moving to 30# or even 50# leaders in spring and when tree fishing. As always in fishing no matter what the species is, stay flexible and adaptive and ALWAYS keep an open mind.

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Have there been any studies done on compatibility of Stripers and Trout? 

Can't quote any specific Striper / Trout compatibility studies. Plenty on Stripers and other species. .

Facts are:

Do Striped Bass feed on Trout? Sure do, as do Black Bass, Gar, Walleye and other species - Striped Bass prefer softer scaled fish Trout / Shad over hard scale fish Bass / Crappie.

Big fish will eat little fish. Fish of different species have different appetites at different times based on lake info-structure and biological make up, water temps, and movement of forage fish etc. Striped Bass don't follow trout around all day eating them, just as black Bass don't follow bream all day.

The same fish also feed on bream and other species and in the case of the Black Bass are even Cannibalistic. But to say that any one of the above mentioned fish feed heavier on a single species is incorrect. I witnessed this years stocking of striped bass into Lake Ouachita and believe me the bream and little black bass were having a feast on the striper fingerlings. So in nature the little fish get eaten by the big fish with out discrimination.

Trout may be the best forage fish for growth that we can put in our big reservoirs. The world record Walleye and Hybird Bass came out of Greers Ferry during a period of heavy trout stocking by the AGFC.

The California Big Bass Lakes (Lake Casitas, Dixon and others) are heavily stocked with trout.

In my area, Catherine and Hamilton are stocked during the Winter, Ouachita trout stocking was stopped several years ago. Catherine and Hamilton produce bigger Stripers and black bass than Ouachita, this despite heavy angler pressure per acre as compared to Ouachita.

Trout are heavily fished for in Catherine and Hamilton headwaters and a LOT of trout are caught by anglers.

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  Do Striped Bass Eat Black Bass and Crappie.

In Scientific Sudies from all over the country the Overwhelming evidence is No.
Striped Bass, over 95% of the time, feed on members of the herring family - soft scaled forage fish - Gizzard and threadfin shad which make up the majority of the forage fish fall into this category.

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Do Striped Bass make (emit) any sound?

Yes - see this fishbase article to read about and hear the sound.

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