The Different Seasons of Striper
It's the time of the year where our focus begins to shift from Largemouth Bass to another species of bass that brings folks from far and wide to our rivers; the Striped Bass. These are one of the most exciting fish we have to chase in our rivers, their aggressive strikes and hard fighting nature makes them a worthy adversary on both fly and spinning tackle.
We start our season of chasing Striper in December as the fish move into the lower ends of the Tar & Roanoke Rivers. This is a unique area to target these fish. We are fishing very large moving water that is often quite off-color. Just like fishing a trout stream, we dissect the structure of the river to find schools of fish holding and feeding much like trout out west. Fish can be found in anywhere from 4' to 25' deep water depending on factors like river flow, water temperature, and air temperature. When the conditions are right it's even possible to catch these fish on topwater in the middle of winter. For the fly fisherman, this is a place to master casting & fishing sinking lines. We utilize 7 to 10 weight rods with a large variety of fly lines that vary in density and weight. Many of the lines we use are homemade specifically for the type of fishing we do. For the conventional angler, this is an excellent fishery to learn about fishing moving water. We primarily are using heavy jigs and swimbaits to present the bait in the correct water collum for these fish. The best part of our winter fishery for Striper is the lack of crowds that are commonplace during the spring migration. Many days you can look around and not have a single boat in sight while fishing. The lower river experience is best from December through early March. We run most of our trips from 9 am to 3 pm to ensure we are fishing at the warmest and most productive point in the day.