How To Have Success at Hybrid Striped Bass Fishing?

Elvis Elvis

The hybrid striped bass are a cross between striped bass, which are saltwater fish that travel up rivers to spawn in fresh water, and freshwater white bass.

Starting in late March to early April hybrid stripe will start their spawning ritual, even though they are not capable of performing this act.But nature takes over, and instincts force these fish into the tailrace waters below dams and into the faster moving water of creeks.

Let’s talk first about fishing below the dams. I always start fishing for stripers around Easter. You will always know if the fish are biting by the number of boats in the water, and by all the fishermen on the bank. I have seen so many people lined up they have to take turns casting. The fishermen in boats even line up to make a drift in some of the more productive waters, like right in front of a certain turbine on the dam. The best time to fish below the dams is when the power company is running at least two turbines. This makes the water really move and raises the water level by a couple of feet. This will help bring the fish out of the deeper holes that the turbines create with all the force they produce. This in turn gives everyone a better chance to catch fish.

I have fished from the bank with good success, but the best way is drifting in a boat. There is an art to this type of fishing; and fishing with someone that is a seasoned veteran will improve your chances of being productive and safe. Fishing below any dam is dangerous if you don’t have prior experience. Now let’s get to the basics of fishing for hybrids.

How To Have Success at Hybrid Striped Bass Fishing?

You will need some three way swivels, weights, and hooks. Rigging for this is a pain in the butt, but well worth the trouble. You start by tying the swivel on the line. The next hole will have a one to two foot leader and hook. The next hole will consist of a two to three foot leader with a one-ounce weight. Then all you do is put on a gizzard shad, run to the spot where you want to fish, let it to the bottom, and start your drift. After drifting fifty to seventy yards either you catch one or you don’t. Then you start over with the same routine.

My personal best has been 53 in one day, ranging in size from five pounds to twenty pounds. I will say you cannot make only a hybrid stripe bite. You will catch salts and fresh water stripe with this method also. One of my best friends, Mickey Smith, taught me how to fish for stripers below the dam without getting killed. This guy is not only a good friend but also the best I have ever fished for stripe with. I just like to give credit where credit is due.

Now lets move on to fishing the creeks. Remember, stripe are stripe. They all run in schools, whether it be salts, freshwater, or hybrids. The best way to catch these fish in the creeks is a grub. The only two colors that exist to me are white or chartreuse. Depending on how fast the water is running, I will use an eighth-ounce to a quarter-ounce jig head.

Knowing the creeks you fish helps a lot in finding them. When hybrid stripe move up to spawn, they can travel long distances in one day. So whether you decide to fish the mouth of the creek or the shoals will play a big factor in your success. You have to remember cold fronts will make these fish leave their spawning areas and move to deeper water. The water has to be the right temperature for them to spawn. So if a cold front comes through, you want to move further down the creek. If the weather stays the same, move to the shoals. When spawning, they seem to prefer rocks or a gravel bottom, which is what shoals consist of. Play close attention to bends in the creek where you have a break in the current. They use this as a resting and feeding point. If you can find this area it will be amazing how many fish will pile in there.

Just keep in mind that all stripe, not just hybrids, are very light sensitive. So early in the morning and late in the afternoon will be your best time to fish. Early in the morning these fish will go after anything thrown at them, like topwater baits, flukes, grubs, and live baits, like shad or minnows. This is also a dangerous way to fish because creeks have many hidden shoals. Again, take a partner along.

Just use good common sense, be safe and good luck. Hybrid striper fishing can be the most exciting trip of your life!