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Articles » Fish Guides » Freshwater Fish » Hybrid Striped Bass Fishing Guide

Hybrid Striped Bass Fishing Guide

Fishing for hybrid striped bass doesn’t have to be complicated.

We like to keep it simple by using a good old Carolina rig with some live bait. However, there are many ways to catch this crossed striped bass. One thing is for sure, they taste great!

hybrid striped bass caught at carter's lake
A whopping 13-pound hybrid caught at Carter’s Lake. Source: Fishes of Georgia Photo Gallery

Recommended Fishing Gear:

Overview

Many anglers wonder how to make a hybrid fish. Well, the hybrid striped bass was engineered to replace the endangered wild striped bass species. A cross between a white bass and the wild striper, this hybrid bass species lives in both fresh and estuarine waters.

They have a compressed body and lateral stripes that are similar to the ones the striped variety has. It is black or gray in color depending on the quality of the water it lives in.

This hard fighting game fish are raised in freshwater ponds as younglings and are stocked in several large impoundments to provide sport for anglers. They usually feed on smaller fish and zooplankton and can grow up to 50 mm.

The hybrid striped bass growth rate is quick in the first two years, then slows as it ages.

Hybrid Striped Bass Facts

Scientific NameMorone chrysops x Morone saxatilis
Common Name(s)Hybrid Striped Bass, White bass, wiper fish
FamilyMoronidae
Identifying CharacteristicsThey have a compressed body and lateral stripes that are similar to the ones the striped variety has. It is black or gray in color depending on the water quality.
Depth Range0 to 18 feet
HabitatIs raised in freshwater ponds as younglings and stocked in several large impoundments to provide sport for anglers
LimitsCheck your local regulations
Largest Recorded27 pounds and 5 ounces
StatusNo

Where to Find

Hybrid striped bass is stocked in freshwater ponds, rivers, and reservoirs for fishing purposes and does well in slow-moving streams and ponds as well. Hybrid striped habitats rarely involve shallow lakes and rivers and the fish is usually found swimming in large open water.

The wiper fish is most active during low light i.e. during dawn and dusk and in winter they congregate in deeper areas near in-flowing streams.

How to Catch Hybrid Striped Bass

 

Bass hybrid striped fish are usually caught with artificial lures and deep jigging with spoons but you can also catch a few by drifting live bait. However, the most popular fishing method is using casting lures when the fish is feeding near the surface. Use the same tackle that you use to lure bass but just make sure the bait is smaller since this bass species has smaller mouths.

If you are fishing for hybrid stripers in swift currents cast far and use 2 hooks to increase your chances of a catch. Use a heavy swimbait which you can find in a variety of patterns and mimic live fish bait patterns.

Best Hybrid Striped Bass Rig

When you want to catch this striped fish, it’s best to keep it simple. Rig up a Carolina rig, which is mainline with a 2-ounce slip sinker and an orange bead that’s tied to a swivel.

Use 2-3 feet of fluorocarbon leader and fix the end with a 4/0 circle hook.

Fishing Tactics

  • Turbulent water disorients baitfish which stripers hunt for food so make sure you fish in areas that have strong currents.
  • If you are fishing in a lake or river that has both hybrid stripers and largemouth bass, use a Sonic Sizzletail to work open water around baitfish schools. Work it behind the fish where both types of bass can usually be found.
how to catch record size hybrid striped bass
The Alabama state record back in 1996 (25lb 15oz). Source: Outdoor Alabama

Fishing Tips

  1. Use an 8-foot spinning or cast iron rod complete with a fishing reel with a line that can withstand a 12-pound test.
  2. Cast upstream and keep bumping the jigs at the bottom to lure hybrid stripers especially if you are fishing early or late in the day.

Seasons

Hybrid striped bass season peaks in spring when the temperature of the water is between 60° and 70° F. During this time the bass is more willing to strike at lures or remain near the surface. Once the temperature reaches 75°F the fish moves in deeper water. Landlocked varieties migrate to water that has higher oxygen levels.

FAQs

Q: Can you eat hybrid striped bass?

A: Yes. They are a great fish for the table.

Q: How can you tell the difference between a striped bass and a hybrid striped bass?

A: Hybrids have a stockier body and their lateral stripes are less distinct than the pure version.

Q: How are hybrid striped bass produced?

A: Some of them are produced by fertilizing white bass eggs with sperm from striped bass resulting in sunshine bass or Cherokee bass – two types of hybrid striped bass. Others are produced by fertilizing striped bass eggs with white bass sperm resulting in the palmetto bass.

Q: What do hybrid striped bass eat?

A: This bass usually feeds on shad, a baitfish that is found near the surface of the water. But they are also known to feed on crustaceans and insects.

Q: How big can hybrid stripers get?

A: This bass can grow up to 18 or 20 pounds if it is allowed to grow for 9 years.


The Anglers Behind This Article:

Jon Stenstrom
Founder

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