Originally native to the eastern seaboard of the US and Canada, from the St. Lawrence River to Louisiana. Introduced to Arizona in 1959. Unlike smallmouth and largemouth which belong to the sunfish family, stripers are a true bass. Body has six to nine black horizontal stripes on silvery-white sides. Dorsal fins are distinctly separate, unlike yellow bass, which are joined at the base. Pelvic fins in large adults, white with anal fin edged in white. Lower jaw protrudes beyond upper jaw. Generally two patches of teeth on tongue. 2nd anal spine distinctly shorter than the 3rd. Tail is slightly forked. Length: 10 to 56 inches. Weight: 1 to over 65 pounds. May live up to 20 years.
Found throughout the Colorado River between Lake Powell and the Mexican border and more recently in Lake Pleasant. Prefer open, clear water.
Spawn in the spring preferably in moving water. Typically over shallow, rocky areas in a lake or in the fast moving waters below dams. Eggs float for a period of 2-3 days before hatching. Females mature between the ages of 4 to 7 years. They produce a remarkable number of eggs (4.5 million in one 14-year-old female).
Young feed on crustaceans and insect larvae. Adults are opportunistic feeders on dead or live fish, but prefer threadfin shad. Like white bass and yellow bass, striped bass move and feed in schools.
Stripers can be caught on shad, anchovies, "cut" bait, spoons,
plugs, jigs, crankbaits, and streamer flies.
The meat is white, firm, flaky and good eating. Red meat along lateral line may taste a bit “fishy” so its removal will enhance table quality.
Updated October 2009