Hybrid striped bass is a stunning fish that is created by crossing male white bass with a female striped bass. They are mostly found in midwestern rivers, lakes and have been stocked into reservoirs too, in the Southern and Midwest United States. Also, they do well in ponds, slow-moving streams, and shallow areas. Hybrids have lateral stripes along the sides which are broken, with some even extending to the tail.
- Locate Hybrid Striped Bass with a fish finder or watch for diving birds. Also try places where they can find cover.
- Study where Hybrid Striped Bass are stocked. This is essential as Hybrids cannot procreate, so if your lake hasn’t been stocked lately it might diminish your chances of catching any.
- Fish Near Current because this species loves strong currents that kick up food particles that the bait fish are after and the stripers are after the baitfish,
- Fish near structure – Hybrid Stripers love to hang around rock cliffs, Bridges and pylons and deep dams.
- Fish from points that stick out into the lake.
Interestingly enough, stripers tend to grow considerably well in freshwater. One characteristic about these fish is that they can reach massive size. These fish have two dorsal fins that are unconnected by tissue. In fact, one dorsal fin is spined. It’s rare to catch them unless they’re targeted. Let’s look at tips on how to catch hybrid striped bass.
Locate Hybrid Stripers
Before planning on how to catch stripers, make sure you locate them. You can either locate them in lakes, reservoirs or even rivers. During the summer, look for unique and raised humps found in shallow water and which are surrounded by deep water. This only applies when you’re fishing in lakes and large reservoirs. Also, listen to the special sound of explosive feeding action because the probability is that these fish are around there. However, these will occur on defined points, usually fairly deep water.
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During spring, you can easily find stripers up in tributaries and inlets. You’d be surprised to find large fish in very small water areas. Another great location to find hybrids is in rivers. You’ll find these hybrids patrolling from medium to deep water. Be sure to get them along the edge of bends and channels. They also follow bait schools and hide in shallow water. Locate schools of bait and get yourself some stripers.
Ensure You’re Fishing in an Established Hybrid Stocking Program Reservoir
First, ensure you’re fishing in a water reservoir that has a well-established hybrid stocking program. Most of the time, you’ll find these fish in a lake. At present, hybrids are stocked in Greers Ferry, Lake DeGray, Lake Hamilton, Little River, and DeQueen. Remember that it’s tougher to locate this shoal of fish in bigger water bodies. One thing I know is those big lakes are a favorite food source. The advantage with these hybrids is that they’re aggressive and usually bigger.
During summer, you’ll see these hybrids along the shallow ends as they break the surface of the water. You only need to apply long casts into schools of feeding hybrid stripers. Note, don’t talk or shout at them. They are sensitive just like other fish such as catfish and salmon.
Look for Current
It is fascinating that anglers catch hybrids while fishing largemouth bass, catfish and white bass. Nonetheless, if you want to increase your probabilities of hooking a hybrid striper, try by specifically targeting them. Noticeably, hybrids are highly attracted to flowing water. That’s why tail-water areas below dams are suitable fishing locations. It’s recommendable to fish them when water is flowing through the turbines of the dam or the spillway gates. Additionally, areas like natural springs can attract hybrids after heavy rains.
Note that the fish will rarely be found in the fast-moving water. Instead, you’ll find off to the side as they wait to ambush their prey. Areas with currents are known to be productive and amazing throughout the year. Moreover, hybrid striped bass are found in reservoir tributary and streams where we have high currents especially during the month of April and May.
Use Angler Techniques Using Artificial Baits
Anglers can catch hybrids easily than anybody else. As we know, striper hybrids like to feed close to shore, hence they can attack their bait. These fish are active predators and that’s why you can catch them on artificial or cut baits. For instance, in Arkansas, striper’s main food is shad, therefore, they any artificial bait that resembles a shad will work perfectly.
The most popular artificial baits include crank baits, soft plastic jerk baits, spinner baits and casting spoons. Large shad or shiners are also common baits. On the contrary, if there are no fish, the chicken liver can act as an effective bait. Just suspend the so-called cut baits over the side of your boat or under a bobber. In tailwaters of large dams, you’re required to use strong cut baits so as to withstand the currents. Chicken Livers are a good choice.
Fish From Lake Points
Stay alert during the summer months! This is the best time to visit those reservoirs. Indeed, you can yield quite a number of hybrid stripers. It’s simple as that. Troll your deep-diving crank baits near the edge of the channel or over main lake points. The most productive hours are low light periods especially during the dawn and dusk and overcast days. Here you can catch fish amazingly. Furthermore, you can drop your Gizzard Shad and let it bounce and sag inside the water. To make it sink well, add weight to your bait. Also, you can use a small diameter/low stretch line.
These fish occupy distinct spots in the water, so if your passes and trolling need to be exact. As smart anglers, you should keenly line up shoreline objects, then troll between them. Since hybrids like to hold the sides that experience strong currents, most strikes will be heard on these sides.
Catch Hybrids on Various Artificial Baits
You can also catch hybrids in fast water situations. Such situations are encountered below dams and the popular baits to use are jigs and heavy spoons. For areas that experience less current, crank baits and other imitation minnow baits are effective. When fishing hybrid striped bass, remember to leave the bluegill and crappie rods at home. As said, hybrids are not only strong but also hard-hitting fish.
You could try your skill with a Rapala x-rap Jerkbait. They are a very good choice and the Hybrid Striped Bass love them.
You might give a Super Spook Jr a try. They tend to work for some anglers as well.
My favorite by far though and the one that nails them all the time is the Megabass Ito Vision 110+1 Suspending Jerkbait
To wrap it up, catching hybrid striped bass is not a joke. You need to prepare yourself fully. With the above tips, you’re now set to fish hybrids using your bait of choice. To me, there is nothing more exciting than fishing hybrid stripers.
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