Hybrid striped bass is an awesome fish to catch and can be elusive at certain times of the year and bite in frenzies other times of the year.
Typical size of hybrids bass is 2 to 5 pounds but catching 10 plus pound hybrids bass is not uncommon.
This is a species that will rarely be caught unless they are being targeted. However, these are hard fighting fish that are worth targeting! For saltwater striped bass fishing also read our best striped bass lures page.
Hybrid striped bass spawn in mid-March through early May when shore water temperatures are around 65 degrees. Stripers start to feed heavily when water temperatures get to about 58 degrees in the springtime and this is a great time to start fishing for hybrid bass. Hybrids are commonly thought to be deeper fish and this is true October through March. In the summertime, this far from the truth and hybrid bass prefer water temperatures around 80 degrees. In many lakes calm hot weather greatly decrease the dissolved oxygen levels at deeper depths to the point where fish cannot survive. Toward the end of summer if a live minnow is dropped down 20 feet in many lakes the minnow will die from lack of oxygen within a minute. This means that striped bass should always be fished in water depths less than 12 feet toward the end of summer.
A common question about hybrid bass is can they reproduce? Male hybrid striped bass can and do successfully reproduce with white bass and striped bass. It is very unlikely that female striped bass eggs generate offspring due to the buoyancy of the eggs not allowing for sufficient oxygenation. Hybrid bass are typically stocked because they handle low oxygen levels better than striped bass. Hybrids that are stocked are done so in large numbers as 1-inch fry.
Striped bass can be caught using a variety of different methods. Typical methods include anchoring the boat and dropping live baits deep, trolling, casting soft baits and stickbaits and live lining baitfish near the surface. I will list the top five lures and baits to use and detail the best fishing conditions for each lure.
Here Are the Best Hybrid Striped Bass Fishing Lures and Baits
1. Live Bait Setup (Alewife, Gizzard Shad, Herring)
My preferred way to fish for striped bass is at night from mid-spring through mid-summer. After sunny days in late spring is perfect because this makes the baitfish active and spawning which makes the stripers active and feeding. Get to the lake around 10:00pm with a cast net to catch baitfish
Spend 5 to 30 minutes netting alewife, shad, or herring. Buy large minnows if you do not have a cast net or if a cast net permit is needed for the lake.
My preferred way to fish for striped bass is at night from mid-spring through mid-summer.
Then troll the banks slowly and listen for striped bass. Striped bass make a distinct and very loud popping sound when feeding on baitfish near the surface at night. Once the center of the activity is found anchor the boat about 30 feet from shore in about 5 feet of water. If you do not have a boat hybrid bass can defiantly be caught from the shore if there is access to a good spot. Cast a live baitfish on a small hook about two to five feet off a small bobber with a light on it and wait for a fish to bite. It is very exciting when they do! The action usually lasts until around 2:00 am when fishing hybrid bass at night.
When fishing for striped bass in deep water ranging from 10 to 40 feet a hook with a sliding ½ to ¾ ounce egg sinker weight that is stopped by a barrel swivel is a great option. A 2 to 4-foot leader after the swivel is a good length. Slip bobbers can be used to fish mid-depths. Fresh cut bait also works well when fishing deep. Cut bait leaves and oiling sent trial that fish can follow to the bait.
Use the hook recommended above with 15-gram foam float bobbers with glow sticks are perfect for fishing with bobbers at night. Ten glow sticks that last about 10 hours are included.
Glow In the Dark Bobbers
50 glow sticks for 15-gram float bobber. Each glow stick lasts 10 to 12 hours. No worrying about light bulbs and batteries, this is a great way to add light to bobbers for night fishing.
50 glow sticks for fishing bobbers
2. Black Bombers (Great for Night Fishing)
This stickbait works great on ledges. The plug can be jerked and twitched similar to how a Husky Jerk is fished. During the pauses, the lure floats up slowly and this frequently triggers strikes. The bombers also work well when trolling topwater or on a downrigger for deeper fish. Storm thundersticks would be another similar lure frequently used but I typically use the bombers.
Bombers come in 3 1/2 inch and 4 1/2 inch sizes. My favorite color patterns are silver blue or pearl black back orange belly during the day and the purple-black at night!
3. Rapala X-Rap Jerkbait Hybrid Lure
The plug is 2 1/2 inches long and weighs 1/8 ounce. Glass Ghost is a shiny white lure with red highlights which does a great job of matching the color and appearance of shad. Reflective tails on the trailing trouble hook work great for stripers!
This Jerkbait works great in 1 to 8 feet of water in early spring during the daytime. This is the lures of choice for many die-hard striper fishermen. Glass Ghost or black and silver are great colors to match the color of typical baitfish hybrids feed on.
4. Heddon Super Spook Jr
This lure is often used by freshwater fisherman for largemouth bass, hybrid bass and striped bass. This same lure is available for saltwater fishing but comes with stainless silver hooks which are better for saltwater. This cylinder or cigar style plug is very popular with striper fishermen. This lure works best when fished slowly as with poppers. This lure is typically fished walk the dog style. This is done by working the fishing pole side to gets slack in the line with each twitch while reeling in slowly and pausing occasionally. As with poppers, this works best early morning, in the evening and at night. This is not a popper and if that is what you are looking for a Chug’n Spook is a good option.
The Super Spook Jr is a 3 1/2 inch 1/2 ounce top water top water plug with a loud rattle.
5. Storm 360 GT Searchbait Minnow Shad
These are great jigs. They can be cast and retrieved, vertically jigged, or used while trolling. I like 1/8 once, 3.5 inch for casting and 1/4 ounce 4.5 inch for jigging. The hooks are not super strong so be careful to not fight the fish to aggressively if line heavier than 20-pound test is being used.
The search-bait minnow comes in 3.5 to 5.5-inch sizes and weights from 1/8 ounce to 3/8 ounce.
How to Catch Hybrid Striped Bass
In summary, hybrid striped bass fishing is best at night time using live bait such as alewife, shad, and herring. Plugs such as black bombers and super spook jr’s also work great. During the day Rapala x-rap jerkbaits and minnow jigs are the best to use. The key is finding a location where hybrid striped bass are feeding. At night time this is easy to figure out because they make loud popping noises on the surface as they feed on schools of baitfish.
Thanks for visiting Global Fishing Reports. If you have any questions about hybrid striped bass lures or how to catch hybrid striped bass feel free to ask them in the comments section!
If you have any suggestions for top hybrid lures and baits, also leave them in the comments so I can try them out!
Captain Cody has worked on charter fishing boats in the Florida Keys, Virgin Islands and Alaska. Cody grew up in Pennsylvania and has also done extensive freshwater fishing including bass fishing tournaments. Cody strives to provide detailed information about the best fishing gear and tactics to help both novice and experienced anglers have a more productive and enjoyable time on the water. Cody also has a background in aerospace engineering and neuroscience but really only takes pride in being good at one thing and that is fishing!