How to Catch Freshwater Rockfish

How to Catch Freshwater Rockfish
Also known as striped bass or stripers, freshwater rockfish are a predatory species popular with game fishermen. The behavior of the freshwater rockfish can be hard to predict, which sometimes makes it a difficult species to catch. They are known to have sharp senses, so it is very important that the bait is presented correctly.


Difficulty: Moderate

Things You’ll Need:
  • Fishing gear
  • Fishing bait
Step 1
Go fishing when freshwater rockfish are most likely to bite. In general, striped bass are more active at night and during the approach of the storm fronts. Try to choose a fishing spot with strong onshore winds.
Step 2
Choose your tackle. According to Let's Go Fishing, rockfish can be caught with a variety of tackle including "cable wire, spreader rig, mono, minnow plugs, bucktail jigs, twister tail [and] curly tail trailers" as well as live baitfish.
Step 3
Bait your hook with something the stripers like. Freshwater rockfish enjoy menhaden blood worms, sand worms, clam bellies, herring and lobster tails. Use a species common to the area you are fishing in if one is available.
Step 4
Cast your hook out into the lake. Jiggle your bait around to attract the attention of the freshwater rockfish.
Step 5
Wait for a definite bite. According to, freshwater rockfish will sometimes smack the bait with their tail to "stun" what they think is their prey. This can feel like a bite. At other times, they will drop the bait only to come back for it in a moment. Be patient and avoid the temptation to reel in until you are sure you have a bite.

Article Written By Isaiah David

Isaiah David is a freelance writer and musician living in Portland, Ore. He has over five years experience as a professional writer and has been published on various online outlets. He holds a degree in creative writing from the University of Michigan.

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