When you learn how to catch hybrid striped bass, you’ll immediately know you’ve caught one at the end of the line. The wiper (also known as a hybrid striper and hybrid striped bass) is a hybrid between white bass and striped bass.
The species relies on both power and speed, making a mad dash towards your bait. In fact, a hybrid striped bass can easily break the line with the fish’s surges.
Interesting Facts About the Hybrid Striper
Before we give you tips from expert anglers on how to catch hybrid striped bass, here are some interesting facts you should know about hybrid striper fishing:
Hybrid Striped Bass Reproduction
One of the questions we get frequently related to the species is, ‘can they spawn naturally?’ The males can do so successfully with either striped or white bass.
But, it’s unlikely for female stripe bass to generate offspring. This is due to the eggs of the females having buoyancy that doesn’t allow for enough oxygenation.
A hybrid striped bass is typically stocked as it’s able to handle a body of water with less oxygenation unlike white and striped bass species. When hybrid striped bass gets stocked, they’re 1-inch fry and in large numbers.
Water Temperature Preference
Hybrid striped bass will feed heavily in spring to late summer, specifically 65 to 80 degrees. During winter, the fish will be found at depths beyond 20 ft.
The key to locating wipers is finding where baits are located as the fish are most likely in the area.
Hybrid Striped Bass Size
The current world record weighed 69 lbs. and 9 oz, which was caught in Alabama.
A skilled bass angler in New Jersey will get an award should he/she catches a 30-lb hybrid striped bass as it’s considered to be large. A 30-lb hybrid striper is approximately 40 inches long.
How to Catch Hybrid Striped Bass
There’s so much that’s unknown with this species, which is all the more reason to try and catch them.
So, without further ado, here are some hybrid striped bass fishing tips from seasoned hybrid striper anglers:
Jig for Wipers
Vertical jigging with swimbaits and fluke-style soft plastics will produce best, most especially during early spring. Rig your bait with a 3/0 oz jig head majority of the time. During a windy day, upgrade to a 1/2 oz jig head.
As for the tackle, the most suitable for vertical jigging comprises a 7 ft medium action spinner with a 3000 spinning reel. Spool with a 10 or 15 lb. braid as the mainline and a 3 ft 12 lb. fluorocarbon leader.
Keep an Eye Out for Birds
Seagulls, loons, and terns all dive into the water. The shorebirds will migrate inland during the winter from the coast as soon as the coastal bait becomes scarce.
As soon as they’re inland, they’ll feed on reservoirs as they’re where forage fish that are weakened by the cold are most vulnerable. These birds will feed and you can spot them from afar.
When the birds start diving into the water, it is very likely that hybrid striped bass pushed bait towards the water surface. The fish are also feeding on forage fish from the water.
Look Out for Shore Anglers
This is especially if you’re not a local in the area. Striper hybrids will feed very close to the shore. They will attack baits and are more active when they’re about to spawn.
They can usually be caught using various live, cut, and artificial baits. The main food of Arkansas hybrids is shad, which means any artificial lure which appears similar to shad will work well.
If you don’t want to use artificial or live baits, an effective alternative is chicken liver. In the tailwaters of dams, we suggest you use a bigger weight in keeping cut or live bait in the current under dam outflows.
Search for the Current
But, to ensure that you’re most likely to catch a hybrid, it’s necessary that you target the species specifically. A hybrid is most attracted to water that’s flowing. Tailwater areas that are under dams are great fishing locations. Water is flowing through the turbines or spillway gates.
Natural springs and feeder creek mouths, especially after heavy rain, also attract hybrid stripers. The fish won’t usually be in water where there’s a faster current, but off the side, hiding to ambush prey or your lures.
The areas with current will be most productive all throughout the year. A hybrid that travels up a reservoir tributary will stream right along with white bass from April to May.
Find the Main Lake Points
Our last tip is to troll a deep-diving crankbait over the main lake points close to the edge where the flat drops into the channel.
Dusk and dawn, as well as overcast days where there’s less light, are the most productive for catching wipers. The key is getting a lure to bounce from the bottom, specifically 14-17 ft of water. Add weight to the lure and use a small diameter or low stretch line.
A hybrid occupies a distinct spot on a structure. This means passes have to be exact if you’re trolling. Line up some shoreline objects, then troll in between them.
As always, the best way for you to learn how to catch hybrid striped bass is by practicing, being in the water more, and enjoying the process.
You can use live bait or artificial lures. If you’ll be fishing at nighttime, finding a good location will be easy to determine as the fish will be creating loud popping noises when they’re feeding on baitfish.