Stripers 2021 – What can We Expect?

Stripers 2021 – What can We Expect?

Stripers 2021- What can We Expect

Yes, the striper season has begun. The question is – what can we expect? If last season is any measure, mainly schoolies. Sure, I know some guy, somewhere had  great fishing.  But overall, in most locations, the bass blast last year in New England was disappointing. And when you look at the stock assessment, there is no good news. None. The spawning stock biomass is down, and recruitment is poor. In fact 2016 is the only good year class coming up. You can find that data here.

Stripers 2021-What can We Expect?

Those 2016 bass should be about 25-27″ this year. So they’re sublegal until at least 2022. In fact if it was up to me, I’d raise the minimum size to 30″ next year. That would give the 2016 bass another shot on the spawning rounds. And a chance to reach 30″.  Both would be great things. So for the time being, lets enjoy what we have. A striper of 25-27″ is a fun fish on a fly rod. I’ll be leaning on my Scott Meridian  much of the time. It is a terrific performer, top shelf rod.

Please take care to release these fish unharmed. Pinch down your barbs and use heavier tippets so you can land the fish quickly. And remember that hook & release mortality is much, much higher in warm brackish water, such as you find up rivers. Limit your time there. These 2016 critters  are pretty much all we got. I mean it.

Stripers 2021 – What can We Expect?

This entry was posted in Fly Fishing in Salt Water. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Stripers 2021 – What can We Expect?

  1. Ted Rzepski says:

    I agree with the points you made about striped bass population. After the moratorium was lifted the length of fish to keep was I believe 38 inches then reduced in length every several years. Now we have a slot regulation. The expected big fish just don’t seem to materialize. I suspect many are caught and kept by recreational anglers. Certainly the charter boats have figured out ways to get their customers “keepers” which systematically reduces the numbers of breeding fish. There must be by catch losses of striped bass by trawlers. Climate change is probably a factor.
    I had a puzzling experience. In 2019 I was at local lunch spot north of Boston sitting at the counter. There was dinner sitting next to me sending text messages that included large Bluefin tuna. I asked him about the tuna. He crewed with a commercial boat. I told him I was trying for stripers with a fly rod. He shared over the last few years the tuna boats encountered “lots of large stripers”. He believed the stripers have learned to stay in deeper waters.
    I pattern fish locations and tides. I’ve been catching fewer and smaller stripers. Certainly one factor is at age 73 I can’t cast at far and late night fishing is too taxing for me so that effects my results. Still friends feel there’s fewer fStripers.
    And what happened to our beloved Bluefish?
    Ted

    • Ed Mitchell says:

      Morning Ted. Hope all is well in your world. Several times in the last five years we have heard
      the notion that large bass have moved offshore. This idea likely has some merit. But it is a bit
      puzzling given that stripers by nature’s design are best suited to nearshore waters and poorly
      equipped to compete offshore? Imagine bonito giving up on chasing bait in the open and
      instance hiding motionless behind rocks ready to pounce? If bass are offshore it can only mean
      that nearshore forage is dismal. If menhaden return to our shores, we will find out the answer.

      Agree, bluefish are suffering. Remember those fantastic years back in the 1980’s? Wow, gator blues were
      everywhere in Long Island Sound. Chop, chop. Unfortunately the last big year class as in 2005. Those fish are no
      longer alive. And in 2016 spawning success dipped very low. Why is this all happening? Once again I’m going
      to point a finger at the decline in menhaden. We need them back, and it may well be happening. Stay tuned.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Time limit is exhausted. Please reload CAPTCHA.