dan_d

water temp data and when stripers stop feeding!

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SOL gang....this is targeted to long time striped bass surf/pier/jetty fishermen that keep records I'm wondering if you notice a water temp pattern where you fish for striped bass. Where I fish (northern mass coast) the fishing really drops off once the water surface temp reads 55 degrees or lower....I can still catch a few but the bites are few and far between.  the last 2 times I went out I took skunks and the water temp was 53 and 51 at those times....Im curious if other fisherman have noticed same drop offs in action and what temp the water surface is and the location just from a research perspective.  I hoping that feedback in this forum can help me get out early in spring once the temps rebound back above 50 degrees....

If your still surf fishing and catching can you report your surface water temp and general location (not looking for a spot burn).  

 

thanks everyone.

 

 

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Except for holdovers they head south in late fall. Long Island sound is presently low-mid fifties, and there are still a few fish around. Diehards in the tidal Hudson River claim to c&r them year round, but the bulk of the population start returning in early spring to spawn. Late March to early April with water temps in the low fifties the Hudson is swarming with stripers. They all head upriver to spawn when water temps get to the mid sixties, and then they return to the marine districts.

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1 hour ago, cheech said:

Except for holdovers they head south in late fall. Long Island sound is presently low-mid fifties, and there are still a few fish around. Diehards in the tidal Hudson River claim to c&r them year round, but the bulk of the population start returning in early spring to spawn. Late March to early April with water temps in the low fifties the Hudson is swarming with stripers. They all head upriver to spawn when water temps get to the mid sixties, and then they return to the marine districts.

You know, I hear so much about how great the Hudson striper fishery is and I hear it from a lot of people. Unfortunately, for me, I never had good success there. Plenty of eels and catfish but not many stripers. Your comments are making me think I’ll be trying the Hudson again in 2020. 

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I do not think water temperature universally affects striper movement. Yes temperature is important but my opinion is the temperature is more important as an indirect, more than direct influence on bass. Since bass must eat I feel the water temperature more directly influences the bait on which the bass feed on more than the bass themselves. My opinion is influenced by personal past experiences. During the 80's bass stuck around Block Island well into December and I know of surf caught bass caught the week before Christmas. During this same time nearby Montauk, located south of BI had been dead for weeks prior. I now live in Nova Scotia, Canada. Surely the water temperature is colder up here yet bass are regularly caught from the shore later than in many New England states well south. 

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There is also a crazy fall bite starting in late September. Both the spring and fall action is 2-3 weeks at best, then it’s gone. In spring they are on herring, fall it’s on bunker, especially peanuts. Where fresh water enters the river, and around any flats, whirlpools or drop offs is the best bite. The large bait schools are always moving, so having a boat or kayak can really make a difference.

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There are two questions here: Do stripers remain in an area when water temperatures drop below a threshold level and do they stop feeding below a temperature threshold. 

 

Adult stripers definitely prefer water temperatures between 55-70 degrees and will move to maintain that range. Above 70 degrees and they stress rapidly, but they actually do fine in water below 50, they just don't like it much. 

 

Freshwater stripers (exactly the same fish) continue to feed actively in water temperatures below 40 and as the pressure to spawn increases, saltwater stripers will use waters below 50 to stage for spring time, feeding heavily at that time. 

 

Juvenile stripers are more tolerant of temperature variances than adults, so smaller fish can be found in colder water than adults.  

 

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There used to be a cow bass bite into January on the bridges here on L.I. especially the Big M.

They would be on herring you could either live line or bucktail big fish.  That's been gone for a long time as far as I know. That population has probably been wiped out.

Typically theres a schoolie bite into about the first to second week of Dec now.

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2 hours ago, Sweetwater said:

There are two questions here: Do stripers remain in an area when water temperatures drop below a threshold level and do they stop feeding below a temperature threshold. 

 

Adult stripers definitely prefer water temperatures between 55-70 degrees and will move to maintain that range. Above 70 degrees and they stress rapidly, but they actually do fine in water below 50, they just don't like it much. 

 

Freshwater stripers (exactly the same fish) continue to feed actively in water temperatures below 40 and as the pressure to spawn increases, saltwater stripers will use waters below 50 to stage for spring time, feeding heavily at that time. 

 

Juvenile stripers are more tolerant of temperature variances than adults, so smaller fish can be found in colder water than adults.  

 

that is my thinking as well Im pretty sure Im catching fish from hold over juvenile school that just hangs out the entire cold weather season...and the guy above on the nova scotia comments also sort of points to this as well....im gonna head out tonight and see how i do....and keep recording my catches and h2o temps as the winter approaches....I hope the same for others posting on this as well if your catching please report the water temp and basic location of the catch...im curious to see the results from other fishing areas across the country....thanks again .

 

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in my experiences they seem to stop hitting small lures when the temp drops below 42f.

I also feel that it's the stability of the temps that dictate if they hit a lot or little.

if the temp remains stable @ say 45f they will feed more and be more predictable,if it fluctuates a bunch upand down over a week period then they seem to not bite much or with regularity.typically they will bite near the end of a tide like the last hour which is when the currents are weak and they don't have to fight them.

HH

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Posted (edited) · Report post

IMHO it's more of bait scenario than a specific temperature. Looking back to the incredible Southampton herring bite on December 4 , we were in the final stages of the death rats and it had been COLD, ice in the guides at night cold. That morning there were a few gannets in close , then all hell broke loose for a 2 or 3 mile stretch with herring literally being chased onto the sand with 20 to 30 lb bass with them. Bluefish kept the herring pinned and the slaughter was until dark. 49" PB caught and released, a mile from the truck and scale. Point being that even though the water temps were probably in the high 40's the bait was there and o were the bass.

Edited by pakalolo

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Water temp definitely matters and bait definitely matters.  Also important to clarify northeast resident/holdover patterns from migratory fish patterns.  In my mind, i think of course a bass that travels all the way to the Chesapeake for winter is going to prefer certain water temps and will chase whatever bait is around in those water temps.  Similarly a bass that has followed a bait offshore will push it right up on the beach when the conditions are right for that bait to get close to shore.  From my experience in two areas with strong holdover populations, temperature doesn't matter as much as CHANGES in temperature.  Especially the difference in water temperature between ocean temp and river or bay water temp.

 

You can always catch stripers if they are around and there are definitely good MA holdovers.  There will be a ton of bassholes jigging in CT this winter with sheets of ice on the water and water temps under 40.  I just think a reaction strike and fight from a dormant winter bass is less than fun and think they should be left alone.  Tried it caught some good fish and gave up after I snagged a 30" under the pectoral.  Would much rather be there when the water starts to warm up and they start crushing herring in the current and fighting like real stripers.

 

Tonight the water was 47 in the western sound and obviously dropping faster in the rivers and bays.  Lots of good bass putting on the feedbag with no obvious big bait around.  

 

Short answer.  I don't think there's a magic number.

 

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Talking just temperature, and my area (Little Egg Inlet) the Fall Stripers are in our waters from about 55 degrees down to 45.  At 43, they're largely gone, and those still here aren't biting much.

 

At the very bottom of the tide, when it gets up to 44, we can still get a couple, but it's a short window, and for all intents and purposes, it's over.

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On 11/16/2019 at 2:18 PM, pakalolo said:

IMHO it's more of bait scenario than a specific temperature. Looking back to the incredible Southampton herring bite on December 4 , we were in the final stages of the death rats and it had been COLD, ice in the guides at night cold. That morning there were a few gannets in close , then all hell broke loose for a 2 or 3 mile stretch with herring literally being chased onto the sand with 20 to 30 lb bass with them. Bluefish kept the herring pinned and the slaughter was until dark. 49" PB caught and released, a mile from the truck and scale. Point being that even though the water temps were probably in the high 40's the bait was there and o were the bass.


I have yet to encounter a herring bite, sounds like a great time.

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Posted (edited) · Report post

On 11/16/2019 at 2:18 PM, pakalolo said:

IMHO it's more of bait scenario than a specific temperature. Looking back to the incredible Southampton herring bite on December 4 , we were in the final stages of the death rats and it had been COLD, ice in the guides at night cold. That morning there were a few gannets in close , then all hell broke loose for a 2 or 3 mile stretch with herring literally being chased onto the sand with 20 to 30 lb bass with them. Bluefish kept the herring pinned and the slaughter was until dark. 49" PB caught and released, a mile from the truck and scale. Point being that even though the water temps were probably in the high 40's the bait was there and o were the bass.

Was that 2006? If so I remember it well and was the same bite further west

Edited by Justinj

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