As the fluke season whines down it’s time to change your leaders and brush up on your fall tackle because just like you we have been waiting for the next 3 months to finally arrive !!!! Stripe Bass, Blues, and Albies are here any minute now,
The striped bass season for Northeast anglers is an eight-month pursuit that starts in mid-April and runs through mid-December. During that time, striper fans rely on a wide range of techniques to score their favorite gamefish, but few methods in their arsenal can be more productive than jigging them along the beach the last six weeks of the season during their annual late fall migration. If chasing stripers is your thing, this is your time of the season to make it happen, with one more shot at rod-bending action before the winter doldrums finally set in before the holidays.
The action during the migration can be off the charts at times. Last year, two intense (and extremely cold) four-hour trips the Friday and Saturday after Thanksgiving produced a total of over 450 bass for a two-man crew (125+ on Friday) and a three-man crew (325+ on Saturday). To say that we left them biting would be a total understatement. I was dressed up in my Huk Gear in an effort to thwart the cold weather (15 to 25 degrees) and was totally warm after only four hours of fishing each day. We were sticking our hands into the 49-degree water just to get some feeling back into our digits. I probably hadn’t caught as many as 450 stripers in the past 10 years compared to those two wild days. For 2021, I am going to be totally ready for it this time around – the good old days of striper fishing are back!
The striper migration will start to generate some activity somewhere in the mid-to-end of October, depending on local water temps and coastal storms. The fish will move out of New England coastal waters and begin to migrate south and east, with 50-degree water temps kick-starting the process. Areas like Cape Cod, the Islands (Martha’s Vineyard, Nantucket, Noman’s Land and Block) Fischer’s Island, Plum Island, Big Gull and Little Gull, Plum Gut, the Race, the Sluiceway and Montauk Point are some of the prime focal areas of attention for the initial weeks of the migration process. Sometimes the larger fish will lead the migration charge into early November, to be followed by swarms of juvenile fish in the following weeks through the end of the month – and sometimes they don’t. Each year is different and you have to read the signs to determine where and when this is going to happen. Local charter boat captain reports and scuttlebutt from the tackle shops are good places to start, but it’s nothing like having a reliable network of fellow striper aficionados to call you on the cell phone with an up-to-the-minute