Huge Striped Bass & The 3 Keys To Catching Them

In the past few years some enormous striped bass have been brought to the scales. In some instances these fish have weighed more than 70 pounds.

Greg Myerson of Connecticut is one angler who’s caught multiple 70 pound bass in recent seasons, and even a few over 80 pounds.

Yet Connecticut is not the only area producing huge stripers. Plenty of spots here on Cape Cod and throughout New England are coughing up behemoth bass.

Most of us striper addicts would be pleased with a fish of 40 pounds let alone something approaching 100. I have read about early fishermen catching 100 pound stripers in nets and I find it fun to imagine there still being one of these monsters swimming today.

3 Keys To Catching Huge Striped Bass

Catching a huge striper is a challenge I have been faced with since I was a little kid.

Yep that’s me at age 6 and since that time, I have been trying to catch a real big fish. I am still a long ways away from the 80 pound mark, but I have caught a few real nice ones.

I know that in my experience, most of the big fish that I catch are caught in virtually the same manner. This seems to be true for other anglers as well.

In other words, catches of really big striped bass seem to have certain things in common.

1) The Fish Is Caught On Live Bait

Most of the real heavyweight bass I hear about are caught on live bait. Fresh dead bait would probably be second best.

Live eels in particular seem to be taking an awful lot of big fish recently.

I just hope that the American eel population can withstand the fishing pressure. Eel populations are at a historical low according to recent research.

A less popular, but potentially just as effective live bait would be the crab.

Here on the Cape, I have used crabs for bait and found crabs in the bellies of many 40 pounders.

In addition to crabs I have also found:

  • Lobsters
  • Sand dollars
  • Mackerel
  • Pogies
  • Squid

I could go on…

2) The Bass Is Caught In Southern New England

The biggest bass I hear of are consistently coming from southern New England. The stretch from Connecticut to Cape Cod seems to be producing the most heavyweights.

I think someone fishing the stretch from Long Island Sound to Cuttyhunk Island would be in the best position to catch a 100 pound striper.

Cuttyhunk Island (pictured below) is one spot that is pretty notorious for big fish.

Many nice stripers are caught from the Cape Cod Canal and points north. Yet it’s been a while since I heard of a bass over 60 pounds.

3) The Fish Is Taken During Late Summer/Early Fall

I think real big bass take a little longer to migrate north. Here on Cape Cod we start to see big bass in the spring, but overall I think late summer/early fall is the best time.

For most of the season the biggest of bass will hang far offshore in areas only accessible via a boat.

This is no problem if you are fishing from a boat. If you fish from the beach, then late summer/early fall is better, because big bass come closer to shore.

I worked Cape Cod’s beaches pretty hard this past season. My best success with big fish happened on this trip towards the end of the summer.

In Conclusion

Most fishermen will have to spend years of trial and error before they catch a real nice striped bass. I know that is how it worked for me.

However, I do you think you will increase your odds of success if you incorporate the above 3 observations into your fishing game plan.

If you primarily fish Cape Cod & the Islands, then check out this page for a quick way to diminish the learning curve.

What do you think about targeting big striped bass? Do you agree with the above 3 observations?

P.S. – If you are having a hard time catching your first bass over 40 pounds then leave a comment below. I will do my best to come up with an idea or two for you. welcomes thoughtful comments and the varied opinions of our readers. We are in no way obligated to post or allow comments that our moderators deem inappropriate. We reserve the right to delete comments we perceive as profane, vulgar, threatening, offensive, racially-biased, homophobic, slanderous, hateful or just plain rude. Commenters may not attack or insult other commenters, readers or writers. Commenters who persist in posting inappropriate comments will be banned from commenting on