Spawning Striped Bass - Hudson River
Posted April 05 2006 - 06:49 PM
In the Hudson, Delaware and Conneticut Rivers of the North East it goes like this.
This is the Hudson River spawning pattern and I've been told that it holds true for most tidal river systems.
The Hudson hosts upwards of 5 to 7 million striped bass annually. They begin entering the system in late February and early March and continue to enter it right through early May.
Stripers spawn in the main river and occiasionally in major tribs. It is a water temperature, water column deally do!
As a kid I hauled shad nets in the Tappan Zee/Croton Bay and Haverstraw Bay area of the Hudson below Bear Mountian Bridge and above Yonkers, NY.
My next door neighbor was a Dutchman who could trace his family back past the American Revolution and his family always fished the Hudson for shad, Striped Bass, Herring, etc.
He taught me that in the spring Shad and herring coming into the River swim in the top 12 feet of the water column! That is the depth were we set our shad nets! The size of the holes in the netting allows smaller herring to pass thru for the most part.
If herring was to be caught we used a net with smaller holes in the mesh!
Shad fishermen, don't want stripers tearing up their gear.
Below 12 feet is the is where the male stripers roam as they make their way up stream to the fresh water, tidal river above West Point.
The bottom of the river is where the cows travel up river. Bottom 5 feet as a rule! Huggin that bottom is where you will find the big fish!
Spawing occurs when the water temperature of the top 20 to 25 feet reaches 68 degrees.
The cows begin spawning by moving up thru the water column at that time and pick up 4 to 6 or more "escorts" (males) as they move up!
As they near the surface, (3' or 4' )they beging to emit eggs, this drives the males crazy and they begin poking the cow hard with their snouts and emmiting milt at the same time.
The ladies, do not like the butting and begin to roll over and over to get away from it and this disburses the eggs and mixes the milt in a washing machine action. The males add to the mixing by trying to butt the cow even harder as she trys to "get away!"
When the first cow begins it stimulates all of the females in that area and they beging to rise to the surface and pretty soon your have acres of fish involved in this spawning dance.
I have seen it happen three times in daylight and all three days were overcast with occasional rain showers.
Stripers are light sensative and do not like to be at the top of the eater column on bright and sunny days. Most of the big spawning activity occurs at night or in the early morning first light.
The eggs get mixed with the milt of hundreds or thousands of male stripers in the spawning activity and are netural boyant and will float suspended about 6 feet below the surface of the water.
If the water temperature remains at or above 68 degree for a couple of days a successful spawn will have occurred.
The small striper fry absorb the protein of the egg sac into their bodies and then start feeding on tiny organisms until they develop to a stage where they beging to hunt other fish and crabs.
The fry are about 3 to 4 inches long by September and will remail in the Hudson River for another season or two building up body mass and when they are 10 inches or larger they will beging to enter the Atlantic.
Some stripers stage in Haverstraw Bay (salt water) over winter and don't enter the ocean until they are 10 or more pounds and more than 18 inches.
A percentage of the younger mature males will remain in the fresh water tidal river as far north as the Federal Dam at Troy, NY and follow herring and shad schools back to the ocean in September and October.
Now that the Delaware River is cleaner, there are male striped bass up to 20 pounds feeding on rainbow and brown trout all summer in the upper reaches of the Delaware River between PA and NJ and NY.
NJ and PA will sell hatchery raised rainbow trout to striper fishermen who like to catch big stripers in the Delaware. This happens in the Hudson River too!
You can't use trout for bait unless you can produce a receipt from a NJ or PA fish hatchery! WHO WODDA THUNK IT!
I live 120 miles north of NY City on the Hudson River. We have a 6 foot tide here and the herring have begun to arrive in good numbers. The first reported Striped Bass was caught near here on Monday. A piece of chunk herring was used.
They are early this year! Usually we see the first males after April 10th! This is the earliest catch in my experience and I'm 66 years old!
If we don't get a lot of cold rain, this could be a great year for striped bass spawning and catching!
I catch and release all be one or two fish during the spawning run!
Posted April 05 2006 - 07:31 PM
Posted April 05 2006 - 07:37 PM
Posted April 05 2006 - 07:59 PM
Posted April 06 2006 - 03:57 PM
A huge biomass of fish winter over in the salt water, lower Hudson. The deep channel on both sides of the Hudson Narrows at the Bear Mtn. Bridge harbors tons of striped bass in a semi suspended state.
The reason the South side of Croton Point lit up this winter was because of two to three weeks of warm temperatures and bright sun heated up the muddy shallows there and triggered all kinds of bait fish activity. This inturn sucked in striped bass up to 20 pounds who were spending the winter in Haverstraw Bay's deep channel.
Many years (25 - 30 ??) ago one of the local NY Colleges hired a stern trawler to trawl that Haverstraw Channel and it collected so many striped bass in a single trawl the Captian popped the release on the net bottom and opened it to let the fish out. This is hear say, from friends who fished the river in those days. But the trawler made a second trawl for half the duration of the first pass and was amazed at the number fo fish to be had in that short stretch of the River.
The Spawning population doesn'tt have a significant amount of fish in this "winter over" bunch. They are at sea and heading up the east coast to spawn in February.
When they enter the river, there is evidence that they move up the eastern shore line and the "winter over fish" leave by the western shore route.
Whent he spawners leave the Hudson, they move down the western shore to the ocean.
Most of the winter over fish are either to immature to spawn and need one more year in the ocean to hit maturity, or that some of the fish pick up incoming schools and follow them up river to participate in the current Spring spawning dance.
The biologist I talk to are concerned about some of the traditional herring spawning rivers and creeks have been fished out by netters and the hundreds of thousands of herring that those creeks produced annually are part of the herring loss problem.
I wouldn't be surprized if NY were looking at closing the River to herring netters and possibility pin hooker Sabkie rig anglers.
It will not be this year! They are evaluating the closing off of netting in tributaries success now.
What do you use for a grouse gun! My favorite was a Browning 20 ga. lightling grade OU. The straight English style stock made mounting it just a tad faster than any of my skeet guns.
Posted April 06 2006 - 04:27 PM
Thanks for the info. There is alot to learn from other fishermen that you can't find in any book. This is good stuff. My grouse gun is a Winchester Model 96 over/under choked skeet & skeet. I've taken many birds with it but since the population has been down in the Catskills the hunting has been brutal. Unfortunately my Lab, Daisy hasn't experienced the dozens of flushes like we used to experience and it has been very hard to train her properly. My other gun, really my son's, is a Citori 20 guage and it is really nice. Good luck chasing stripers this year and thanks for the info.
Posted April 06 2006 - 08:57 PM
Posted April 07 2006 - 07:15 PM
Spawning stripers are not blitzing bait. They will feed, but its not "Katy bar the door" fishing, but it can be fun!
Where are your favorite fishin grounds? You might find fishing for schoolies more productive in your neck of the
Posted April 01 2009 - 08:18 PM
Posted April 01 2009 - 09:02 PM
I use to work the ridges in Albany and Greene Counties and occasionally along the Mass border near Canaan, NY.
If I could bag 4 birds for 20 shells I'd consider it a super day on the Pats.
I bought that gun for my wife, and fell in love with it as I had fallen in love with her. After she died, I left it in the rack and eventually sold it to a fella in Connecticut.
I exp[ect he is still gunning grouse with it in North Western CT.
The first striper was caught at Sandy Hook, NJ yesterday.
They are a comming!
Good luck in the coming season.
Posted April 01 2009 - 10:03 PM
Posted April 01 2009 - 10:15 PM
It's a wonderful book. I second that recomendation.
Posted April 03 2009 - 01:52 PM
Bob Boyle is a friend of mine. I have the first copy of his new book. "Dapping" and a big nymph his gave me for being the first to buy the book. That was at Somerset in 2008.
His first Hudson River book got me started seriously studying striped bass in the Hudson River. I've bought three of them over time and given them all away to friends who were interested in learning about hte Hudson River.
I recommend everyone who fishes the inshore beaches, rivers and bays get a copy of Ed Mitchell's "Flyrodding the Coast."
It is the best primer and read again, and again, every winter, to tune up and focus a man's mind on the coming season.
Posted April 07 2009 - 12:05 PM
Was good informationwill be fishing by catskill soon thanks
Posted April 07 2009 - 02:54 PM