If you’re waiting until May to start hunting for stripers, you’re missing out. Many anglers are already on the water fishing for early season bass.
Striper fishing this early in the season is much harder than it is in May or June. But it can be a rewarding and fun way to start the season.
Early season striper fishing can be very inconsistent. This time year, most of the bass are holdover stripers who spent the winter months in the area’s bays and rivers. While you might run into the occasional monster, most of the stripers you’ll find will be smaller than what you’re used to later in the season. Use light to medium fly or spinning tackle to land them.
With ocean temperatures still cold, stripers will seek out water that is warmed by the sun, so look for areas that get a lot of sunlight. The first bodies of water that warm up will be bays, coves, tidal creeks and mud flats. Dark colors absorb heat, so look for places with dark bottoms, which will warm the water.
At this time of year, stripers still have a slow metabolism, so they won’t be feeding as much. They’ll forage more than hunt, and they’ll look for food that is easy to digest. Clams are a great bait to use at this time. You may also have luck drifting seaworms.