STRIPED BASS (Morone saxatilis ) OTHER NAMES: Striper, Rock Bass
RANGE: The St. Mary’s and St. Johns Rivers of the North3ast Florida coast, and also the Panhandle from Pensacola Bay to the Ochlockanee River.
HABITAT: In the Pahandle, Stripes are caught from lakes Woodruff and Talquin and from bays, especially Pensacola, Choctawhatchee and West Bays. The most famous West Florida spot is the swift water below the Woodruff Dam on the Apalachicola at Chattahoochee. A similar but smaller fishery exists at the Tolquin Dam on SR 20 west of Tallahassee. In the rivers below the dams, as in the Northeast Florida rivers, anglers generally search for their stripers where deep, running water abuts shallow points, eddies, bars and runoffs.
DESCRIPTION: Heavy-bodied with long head and underslung jaw. Color is usually dark green to dark gray above, silvery on the sides and belly. There are 7 or 8 longitudinal stripes that are generally regular and unbroken
SIZE: Can reach 50 pounds or more, but most run 5-20. World record 78 pounds, 8 ounces; Florida record 42.25 pounds.
FOOD VALUE: Very good; light, rich flesh.
GAME QUALITIES: Stubborn and strong; a tough challenge for the angler, particularly in strong current.
TACKLE AND BAITS: Below the dams, heavy spinning tackle and light to medium ocean outfits or surf outfits are preferred. Baitfish, mostly small Shad, are usually scooped up on the spot with long-handled nets. Artificial lures are productive below the dams at times, and are the first choices in bays and lakes where many Stripers are sight-fished when they school on top. Some of the best lures are weighted spoons, shad-type underwater swimmers and floating-diving plugs of various makes; also jigs with trailers of pork rind or plastic worm. The same baits are prominent in the St. Mary’s and St. Johns, where both casting and trolling are practiced by Striper fans, most of whom fish with medium spinning rigs or baitcasting tackle. Striped Bass Combo Guide
FISHING SYSTEMS: Casting; Still Fishing; Trolling.