The striped bass (Morone saxatilis) is an anadromous species, meaning that it dwells in salt water but ascends freshwater tributaries to spawn. Its original range is along the eastern seaboard and the southeast Gulf Coast, but the striped bass has been introduced to coastal waters on the West Coast and, most notably, in large freshwater lakes and reservoirs in the East and South. These landlocked stripers have thrived well beyond the expectation of fisheries managers and have created a large and popular fishery.
Striped bass in fresh water don't get as large as those in salt water, but they do grow to tremendous sizes. Stripers range in weight from a couple of pounds to the 20-, 30-, and 40-pound class and beyond.
This fish can be difficult to find as they can be found anywhere in the water column depending on temperature, time of year, and forage present. This last can include any manner of fish, but is usually a specific species of baitfish such as gizzard shad that has been stocked along with the stripers to provide a large enough source of forage. Sometimes deep trolling with crankbaits and jigs is necessary to catch stripers; other times still-fishing with live or cut baitlarge shiners, gizzard shad, even small trout where legalcan take them. At times a school of stripers will herd a school of baitfish to the surface, at which time anglers can catch them by casting surface or shallow-running lures at the commotion.
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