Striped bass, otherwise known as stripers or rockfish, are one of Maine’s most popular game fish, attracting thousands of anglers from around the world every year. Easily recognized by the seven or eight dark stripes that run continuously along their bodies, a striped bass is considered to be one of the ultimate prizes on offer in Maine’s many saltwater fishing locations.
There are many techniques used to catch striped bass, with each angler having their own preferred method. One such method is night fishing, which has become immensely popular in recent years, especially during the fall months, with anglers reporting intense striped bass action resulting in some seriously impressive catches. As stripers migrate south during and after the fall months, they stock up on food to ensure they have the energy to make the long trip. Fortunately for the anglers in Maine, this makes them very easy targets, particularly at night time when they are known to feed most. Not only are the numbers of striped bass up at this time of year, but so are the chances of landing a trophy fish, which is why anglers from across the state pack up their bags head for the coast during the fall.
Striped bass are known to be particularly sensitive to their environment, with unusually cold nights or storms are known to disrupt their feeding patterns. Subsequently, night fishing for stripers is best done on a calm, clear moonlit night. As for where to fish, look for air bubbles caused by obstructions such as boulders beneath the water. Undercurrents can become quite strong at this time of year and so the fish will congregate and use any obstructions present as shelter.
The best bait and equipment to use will vary depending on your preference and whether you are looking to land big stripers. Chunk bait, such as lumps of herring or mackerel, is known to attract striped bass, as are eels and bloodworms. In terms of equipment, medium to heavy-duty reels, and line is advised should you end up engaged in battle with a forty-inch striper they certainly do not give up easily!
Striped bass can be found up and down the coast of Maine, as well as inland in many saltwater and even freshwater locations. A handful of renowned striper hotspots include Penobscot River, Parsons Beach, Scarborough River, and stretches of the Piscataqua River, though you will find most advertised striped bass locations offer excellent action at night during the fall.