Striped bass, also called stripers, are an ocean-dwelling fish and a a popular choice for sport anglers. Morone saxatilis is the largest member of the sea bass family and is referred to as a "temperate" bass, distinguishing it from its freshwater cousins, the largemouth and smallmouth bass. Stripers frequent the waters off of New Jersey's Atlantic coast, and there are several spots that are considered prime for the species on the Jersey shore.
Reports at the NJ Fishing website suggest Sandy Point as one of the best striper locations in the state. The Sandy Hook Rip, Flynn's Knoll, Romer Shoal and Schrewsbury Rocks in this region are reported as good locations for stripers. According to NJ Fishing, the best place to surf fish for stripers in Sandy Hook is the "Rip." This is where the ocean current and bay meet at the northern tip of the point. An annual pass to the area is available for $50 (as of August 2010) and allows you unlimited access. The first stripers of the season are found in April and May. You're allowed to night-fish for stripers if you have a permit (available at the ranger station).
Point Pleasant is near Manasquan Inlet, and is rated as a top striper zone, according to the reports at NJ Fishing. June through September is the best time to go for the species. Surf fishing for stripers is good along the Manasquan Inlet and all the beaches. Be sure to have a valid New Jersey fishing license, as fishing without one may result in fines or tickets. This region is said to have a large concentration of fishing boats and charter operations should you wish to fish with the assistance of local guides.
Near Sandy Hook, Atlantic Highlands is seeing a striped bass comeback. The anglers at NJ Fishing indicate that April and May have the highest quantity of stripers---it's not uncommon to land up to 20 fish a day. The downside is that the "shorts" (fish under the legal limit) usually are at a 20-to-1 ratio with the legal fish. If you want a trophy-sized striper, NJ Fishing reports November as the time to try for them at Atlantic Highlands. It's also reported that during the hot summer months and early fall, nighttime is the best time to go for the species in this region.
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.