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Ask Frank Daignault Frank Daignault is recognized as an authority on surf fishing for striped bass. He is the author of six books and hundreds of magazine articles. Frank is a member of the Outdoor Writers of America and lectures throughout the Northeast.

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  #1  
Old 10-26-2003, 02:41 PM
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An excerpt from Fly Fishing the Striper Surf, Chapter Seven, "Natural History of Stripers"

Different from the others because this time it was not a dam which obstructed the river but pollution in Philadelphia, the Delaware River has cleaned up enough there for the passage of sea run stripers to their traditional spawning grounds. Previously, Philadelphia tidewater was so polluted that it lacked suitable oxygen to support bass as well as other fish and indigenous species could not make it through to traditional spawning beds. Today big bass are commonly taken during the spring spawn 300 miles from the Atlantic above Phillipsburg, New Jersey. The present New Jersey fresh-water record of 36-pounds, eight ounces, as was the former record of 35, were taken here. Moreover, now that the low oxygen barrier of Philadelphia is no longer an issue, the upstream migration limits are nearly boundless.

Expound, reflect, add to our knowledge of a new and fine striper river, boys and girls.

Frank
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Old 10-26-2003, 02:41 PM
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An excerpt from Fly Fishing the Striper Surf, Chapter Seven, "Natural History of Stripers"

Different from the others because this time it was not a dam which obstructed the river but pollution in Philadelphia, the Delaware River has cleaned up enough there for the passage of sea run stripers to their traditional spawning grounds. Previously, Philadelphia tidewater was so polluted that it lacked suitable oxygen to support bass as well as other fish and indigenous species could not make it through to traditional spawning beds. Today big bass are commonly taken during the spring spawn 300 miles from the Atlantic above Phillipsburg, New Jersey. The present New Jersey fresh-water record of 36-pounds, eight ounces, as was the former record of 35, were taken here. Moreover, now that the low oxygen barrier of Philadelphia is no longer an issue, the upstream migration limits are nearly boundless.

Expound, reflect, add to our knowledge of a new and fine striper river, boys and girls.

Frank
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Old 10-26-2003, 08:29 PM
notanewb notanewb is offline
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Frank,
I started catching stripers on the river
in 1988. When I first move back to the area, I heard rumors of bass being caught in Yardly Pa.
We went up to check it out one rainy May morning. We must have caught 30 fish, the biggest being 37". All on surface poppers, fishing the small islands under the scudders falls bridge.

The rumor was the Stipers had followed the herring and shad up the river . I know that the herring and shad were making a come back, as the river slowly cleaned up. But for this saltwater
fish to be in the river, what a bonus.
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Old 10-27-2003, 08:30 AM
RickHem RickHem is offline
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Not the Delaware, but the Passaic River, and it's interesting that you reference dissolved oxygen as an issue. I've been trying to find any information about catching stripers in local rivers since I am just not able to get "down the shore" that often. I've even posted some questions here, and have had very limited response to my posts, either due to there not being a lot of information out there about these fisheries, or because people seem to think that passing on that information will ruin everything. Anyway, here's a link to a study done on Newark Bay, and it has some pretty interesting information that may be applicable to other brackish systems.
http://sh.nefsc.noaa.gov/NEWRKbay.htm
It's interesting that they reference a DO limit, below which there were no white perch caught, and that they cite that the striped bass as the most dominant species found in their study. Granted, this was almost 10 years ago, but I'd think that if anything, things have gotten better since then.

Now if I only knew what those bass were eating!
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Old 10-27-2003, 10:53 AM
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Just as an FYI, there are confirmed catches of bigger than school sized bass all the way upriver from Port Jervis and there are some that stick around up there beyond spawning.
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Old 10-27-2003, 01:29 PM
Ardmore Billl Ardmore Billl is offline
 
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I can't go into to many specifics, since this is my backyard and I would most definately be lynched on sight for disclosing locations/methods - but if it were not for the closure in the river from the salt line up to NY in April to June (remember this is protection for the breeding population) those old records would have been easily blow away five years ago with fish in the forties, some in the fifties and we have experienced the signs of even bigger fish. Guys loaded for bear, as you would say Frank, seasoned stripermen getting spooled using big surf sticks and oversize conventional tackle while RIVER fishing. The same stuff we use on our biggest jetties. You can check out the October issue of the NJ Angler Magazine, were I have not the largest example (it was the best photo shot) of the potential coming from the big D.

From what we have been seeing in the last few years, southern New Jersey has the best shot it has ever had at coming close to a new worlds record striper as these fish exit the lower bay, and stage for brief periods of time at a few places before treking north. Maybe two weeks to a month around may/June and then again in November/December. The trick is, while these fish are in the river they are easy to catch, even the trophy sizes. Easy as it ever gets for the shore bound caster. But the rub is you can't keep them - as they drop down river, they get harder to pin in any one location and trophy fish seem to evaporate into thin air - but you can keep them if you can catch them.

I fish with a friend of my father's, a littoral society tagger, and he has tagged fish caught in the Delaware that were called in by anglers in Montauk two weeks later - some of these fish are high-tailing it north while others linger. As for the ones that linger, it's often reports from the boaters in the rips who see larger fish hanging around in the lower bay thru the summer - even when they can't catch them they can be seen on the scope. This period, when these trophys are heading to the lower bay, favors the boaters (typical huh!) but there are a few places where surfcasters dreams can come true. This years rash of 50+ pounders from our jersey surf and jetties might be an indication of better years to come for us "joisey" guys, at least I hope so, and the Delaware river is an Ace in our back pocket as the deck is being dealt.
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Old 10-27-2003, 07:13 PM
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Bill, I have been out all day and have changed clothes twice and I really don't want to address anything in depth as I am a little crashy, but what a great post. You a peach. If I had a daughter that I was certain wouldn't kill ya I would want her to come home with you. Good job, ma man. The beat goes on. So nice to hear from you.

Frank
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Old 10-29-2003, 04:42 PM
Terry Mac Terry Mac is offline
 
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I think the Pa. record of 53lb.13oz. still holds. Spring run near the Navy Yard.

Striped Bass-Donald J.Clark. 53lb.13 oz.
1989-Delaware River.

Terry
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Old 10-30-2003, 11:12 AM
teebs teebs is offline
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I have had days of playing around with UL spinning tackle, looking for a quick hour of fun with w. perch, herring etc, that wound up being mini-striper fests. Upto 60-70 tiny stripers, all 6-10 ", in May, just above tideline. This has been this way for years, demonstrating the fecundity of this river. Amazing that there is anything else in the river with the hordes of ravenous bass.
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Old 10-30-2003, 02:44 PM
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All good productive and informative posts. Ten years ago, when I was deer hunting in Hancock, my host friend told me there were stripers in the river there at times. And I, not wanting to start anything, thought, this guy is just trying to be cool because he knows I'm a striperer. Only now am I getting up to speed on this situation.

Facts from people who know what they are talking about and present what they know responsibly are what make this sight more attractive which brings people. Glad we don't have to buy them drinks

Frank
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Old 10-31-2003, 12:04 PM
Ardmore Billl Ardmore Billl is offline
 
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It is a very unique environ to catch them, especially when you catch white perch, catfish, largemouth bass, walleye and stripers in the same spot.

I'm working on a spring issue article on a very narrow section of the river where the fresh/salt line is, where a friend of mine often catches freshwater species on the outgoing and saltwater species on the incoming. Largemouths and catfish on the outgoing, replaced by croakers, weakfish and even a few flounder on the incoming - unfortunately he fishes the Delaware side and I need someone from the NJ side for the focus of the magazine.

Terry - yes, that is where one of the major tributaries empties - bet he got it on the south side - never tried there but heard of it - must be noisy with all the jets overhead.
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Old 11-01-2003, 09:08 PM
CHIEF500 CHIEF500 is offline
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Yes the Delaware has been a good place to hint stripers. Here in Bristol we've been on them for quite a few years. It's really good to see the river cleaning up so well.
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Old 11-03-2003, 04:30 PM
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Yeah, I fished off my buddy's dock one night, just above the turnpike bridge on the PA side, and caught one about 15". It was more of a drinking night. Luckily, I didn't fall off the dock. I did catch a sh*t load of white perch that night.
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Old 11-04-2003, 10:45 PM
PlugLord21 PlugLord21 is offline
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Speaking of Striped Bass in Pennsylvania rivers, with the completion of the fish lifts on a large portion of the Susquehanna River its now possible for stripers to travel into central PA via the Chesapeake/Susquehanna River. I am from central PA and spend my summers there. I can confirm at least 1 striper catch on the Juniata River, a Susquehanna trib 40 miles north of harrisburg, sometime this past june/july. I suppose it is a possiblility of this fish being a stray from the Raystown Dam, if one could get out? I Don't know if that's possible. Anyway, it would be awesome if this was a migratory striper that came up from the Chesapeake. Frank, if you have heard anything about this, or if anybody else knows anything about striper catches in central PA rivers, it would be awesome to hear about it.
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Old 11-05-2003, 03:16 PM
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Good post, Plug. With the current explosion of stripers, there are bound to be anomolie populations springing up. I know that with the other anadromous specie, salmon, they often make a mistake when returning to the river of their origin and end up populating adjacent rivers. So it has to be with stripers. Interesting.

Frank
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