Where do Stripers Feed? Striper Habits II

Click here for The Best Time to Fish, Striper Habits I

So, to review Part I, Stripers prefer the low light conditions like dusk/dawn and night time, although they also feed and can be caught during daylight hours, especially in the spring and fall.

Question: So, where do stripers feed? Answer: pretty much anywhere they want to.

Striped bass can be found and feed pretty much everywhere, ranging from calm inlets to sandy or muddy flats to surf so rough and nasty that a novice would never consider fishing it.

Consider ALL water to be fishable

You'll find stripers in deep holes and offshore as well as feeding in water so shallow that their backs are exposed.

It's common to hook stripers where there was no water a couple of seconds ago and where they'll be no water in another second; they roll in and out with the waves. I remember one otherwise unfruitful night when Lobster John hooked a 40+" striper in a wave washing up a sandy beach on a cold nasty night in mid-Maine. There was no water there a second before or after he hooked the cow, which apparently was riding waves onto and off the beach while feeding.

Another time my friend Chrony backed up off a rock as occasional waves were starting to wash over it as the tide rose, and I hooked a bass on top of that rock where he had just been standing seconds before.

Stripers love the "wash" -- the white water right at shore. They are incredibly strong swimmers and can tolerate pretty nasty white water including storm surf. Only if there is lots of sand suspended in the water will they be driven off.

Stripers love river and creek mouths, especially in the spring when the water is warmer there than in the ocean, and can also be caught 100+ miles upriver too.

Although stripers can and will be anywhere, I prefer fishing near deep water. That might be a shallow flat with a steep drop off nearby, a hole in the beach, or in the wash on a sandy beach.

I feel that big fish are more comfortable with deep water nearby. Hey, they didn't get to be big by being stupid. Although big bass will feed in very shallow water, they like having deep water to escape to nearby.

Although stripers can be feeding anywhere, they, like most predators, prefer moving water. They can swim and maneuver far better than their prey!

Many landlocked lakes, as well as freshwater rivers, hold stripers as well. And we haven't even touched on hybrid stripers.

Stripers may feed on top, noisily splashing away, or down on the bottom with no indication that they are there. Although I find noisy breaking fish commonly in Maine, I find stripers are more prone to noisy surface activity from the south side of Cape Cod southwards.

It's common the hear stripers breaking the surface, especially at night. That doesn't mean you can easily catch them though! I've had nights in the Saco River in Maine and Eel Pond on the Vineyard where I could hear breaking fish all night, including some close by, but couldn't catch a single one. And I've had other nights with a few breaking fish, where a cast near the break was likely to draw a strike. And of course plenty of nights with lots of fish with zero activity on top!

We all have our favorite types of spots to fish. I prefer river and stream mouths, especially near the end of the outgoing tide, and rocks with plenty of surf and white water. I do however try to be competent at fishing all types of environments!

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