Species Highlight: Striped Bass

Summer here in New England means a lot of different things; beach days, vacations, water activities, and of course, seafood! When I think of seafood in the summer, Striper, also known as Rockfish or ‘Rock’, is a big one that comes to mind. Almost anywhere on the Coast from Canada all the way to Carolinas, striper fishing is happening throughout the Summer! Recreational fun occurs all around the species of Striper. So, what’s so special about this species? Well, to start they’re a pretty tasty fish and it’s even better when you know your meal is coming from the coastline 20 minutes away right? Striper fishing is also a big job for some people. Being from New England, you have either been striper fishing yourself, or know someone who does during the summertime.

Striper fishing is strictly regulated for sustainability purposes. There are regulations using a tagging system which make it a responsibly harvested fish. Every striper caught is tagged for tracking purposes. Stripers have rather long lives, up to 30 years, and can grow up to 80 pounds and 5 feet in length but they typically average between 5-25 pounds, rarely ever seeing one over 50 pounds. As for fishing, there are hot spots found all over the New England coast. A few in our local area include Boston Harbor, Buzzards Bay, and plenty of spots on the North Shore like Gloucester. Commercial Striper fishing is primarily done using hook and line methods and the same goes for recreational. This maintains minimal to no habitat damage when fishing. The commercial seasons begins end of June but the migration up the coast in New England starts as early as Spring. You will find most of the striper coming up from the South are landing in the South Shore area such as Cape Cod and Martha’s Vineyard before they make their way up to the North shore during the summer months. As for the North Shore, Gloucester and other coastal towns are prime spots for striper fishing, as well as other game species.