How to Measure a Striped Bass Correctly With Fork Length or From Tips to Tips

How to Measure a Striped Bass Correctly With Fork Length or From Tips to Tips
You've caught it, now measure and record it. Striped bass, or stripers, are a popular sport fish species found throughout much of the Gulf Coast and coastal waters of the United States. Getting accurate measurements, whether for a personal best or to submit for a regional or state record, requires knowing the proper technique to measure the fish. Thankfully, the hard part is over. You have caught the fish. Measuring is a straightforward exercise.


Difficulty: Easy

Things You’ll Need:
  • Creel or gaff hook
  • Measuring tape or ruler
Step 1
Pick up the striper and pinch the tail tips together at the rear of the fish. Gently cup the tail with your palm and thumb and place slight pressure on the tail as you bring your hand over the tail, pinching the two tips together, vertically. Close the fish's mouth using your thumb and forefinger.
Step 2
Hang the stripe on the creel hook or gaff hook, attaching it through the fished lower lip. Push the lips and mouth back together and hold the hook in one had. Hang the hook up on any nearby structure or hook to hang the fish.
Step 3
Measure the distance between the very end of the closed mouth to the fork of the pinched tail (the tips should still show the fork, but should have the two tips as close together as possible on the vertical plane without folding them over each other). Write this measurement down, as this is the proper measurement for the striper, going from from the mouth to the fork length.

Tips & Warnings

Measure the fish as quickly as possible once out of the water. Fish left out too long begin to lose water weight and length from shrinkage.

Article Written By Eric Cedric

A former Alaskan of 20 years, Eric Cedric now resides in California. He's published in "Outside" and "Backpacker" and has written a book on life in small-town Alaska, "North by Southeast." Cedric was a professional mountain guide and backcountry expedition leader for 18 years. He worked in Russia, Iceland, Greece, Turkey and Belize. Cedric attended Syracuse University and is a private pilot.

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