In the glory days of striped bass fishing, as you’ll hear them referred to by any striper fisherman born before 1970, the fall was a season of unparalleled promise. Between September and December, from Maine to Ocean City, the fall run was something striper sharpies waited all summer for. Times have changed.
There is still great striped bass fishing to be had when the Boys of Summer are playing the Fall Classic, but there has been an increasing shift that has seen the best fishing coming in the spring. Experts will debate exactly why, but why bother when it’s June and there are bass to be caught? In the coastal states there aren’t 30 more precious days to striped bass anglers. Use these 15 secrets to make sure that you’re not wishing for the “good old days,” of June when warming water temperatures slow the bite in July and August.
And, first and foremost, regardless of whether it’s a month that produces your personal-best bass or just 30 days in which you make some time to spend on the water, soak in the beauty of one of the greatest months on the calendar for Northeast saltwater fishermen.
- Stripers feed throughout the day, but your best shot at a gigantic fish will come in the last hours of light and into the night. After dark, striped bass become reckless. They’re wary of eating a hook, or becoming a shark’s next meal during daylight hours. They’re not unlike us; and think about it, weren’t most of the biggest mistakes you made after the sun went down? At night, striped bass move closer to structure and shore, pushing bait up against the beach to feed. Whether you’re a surfcaster or a boat fisherman, sleeping means sacrificing fish in June. Head to the beach or the boat before sundown to become familiar with an area while light remains. This will help you navigate the surf or coastline when night falls. Get yourself a flashlight or headlamp, but use it sparingly so as not to spook fish. Fishing in the dark takes some getting used to, but it’s also a special experience. After a few hours under the stars your other senses become acutely attuned and the heavy thump of a bass bending your rod is a magic midnight feeling. This 22-pound bass came from the surf when most normal people were in stage 3 of R.E.M. sleep.