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. The typical size of hybrid bass are 2 to 5 pounds but catching 10 plus pound hybrid 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!
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 live deep in the water 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.
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, casting stickbaits, and live lining baitfish near the surface. I will list the best lures and baits to use and detail the fishing conditions to use each lure.
Here Are the Best Hybrid Striped Bass Fishing Lures and Baits
1. Live Bait Setup (Alewife, Gizzard Shad, Herring)
Gamakatsu Octopus hooks come in these sizes from smallest to largest, size 8, size 6, size 4, size 2, size 1, size 1/0, size 2/0, size 3/0, size 4/0, size 5/0. I would recommend a size 1/0 for average-sized baits. When fishing for striped bass with live bait it is nice to have a freshwater spinning reel with a Baitcaster function.
It is common to fish for striped bass in deep water ranging from 10 to 40 feet with a hook and sliding ½ to ¾ ounce egg sinker weight that is stopped by a barrel swivel. 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 an oily sent a trial that fish can follow to the bait.
Night Time fishing for Hybrid Striped Bass
My preferred way to fish for hybrid 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 10:00 pm with a cast net to catch baitfish.
Spend 5 to 30 minutes catching alewife, shad, or herring with the cast net. Buy large minnows if you do not have a cast net or if a cast net permit is needed for the lake.
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 for hybrid bass at night.
Glow In The Dark Bobbers
This 15-gram bobber weighs .53 ounces and is 4.3 inches in length. Ten glow sticks that last about 10 hours are included. The glowstick is placed on the top side of the bobber and the line is tied to the other side.
50 Glow Sticks For Fishing Bobbers
Extra glow sticks can come in handy. This pack is for 50 glow sticks that work for the 15-gram float bobbers. Each glow stick lasts 10 to 12 hours. No worrying about light bulbs and batteries. Glow sticks are a great way to add light to bobbers for night fishing.
In the picture above my brother and his friend caught two-hybrid bass from the shore at night. There are many great locations to fish for hybrid bass from the shore. Just look and listen for bait activity and stay quiet as the fish can be easily spooked.
2. Black Bomber (Great for Night Fishing)
The Long Shot Bomber comes in several sizes but the 5-inch 3/4 ounce is perfect for hybrid striped bass fishing at night. This is a saltwater grade lure but works well in freshwater.
This stickbait works great for fishing along 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 near the top or on a downrigger for deeper fish. Storm thundersticks would be another similar lure frequently used but I like Bomber lures.
In the picture above we are about to head out in the boat to fish for hybrid striped bass in Pennsylvania. Notice, we have a bucket of live bait, flashlights, and life jackets. We were fishing during the summertime.
3. Suspending Long A Bomber
This suspending Long A Bomber comes in two sizes. The 3-1/2 inch weighs 3/8 ounce and the 4-5/8 inch lure weighs 9/16 ounce. This lure comes in over ten different color patterns including silver flash blue-back, silver flash-redhead, golden bengal, and watermelon pearl.
4. Rapala X-Rap Jerkbait Hybrid Lure
This Rapala X-Rap size 06 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. Perch, clown, or olive green are other great colors to match the color of typical baitfish hybrid bass feed on.
5. Alabama Umbrella Rig Hybrid Bass Lure
This Alabama umbrella rig has 5 arms and 8 blades. Umbrella rigs like this one are typically cast on large baitcasting reels with low gear ratios. These rigs can also be trolled. It has a total weight of around 3 ounces. The swimbaits are 3.5 inches long and are placed on 1/4 ounce jigs.
When fishing in the day an umbrella rig a great lure option. It can be cast to the shore and retrieved quickly or reeled in slowly in deeper water. This small umbrella rig has black and white shad bodies with silver blades. Most Alabama umbrella rigs will work for hybrid striped bass.
6. Heddon Super Spook Jr White
The Super Spook Jr is a 3 1/2 inch 1/2 ounce topwater plug with a loud rattle. Bone silver is a great color to use during the day. This lure is often used by freshwater fishermen for largemouth bass, hybrid bass, and striped bass. The 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.
The lure works best when fished slowly as with poppers. This lure is typically fished walk the dog style. Walk the dog is done by working the fishing rod from side to side to get 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. The Super spook is not a popper and if that is what you are looking for a Chug’n Spook is a good option. This lure can be fished with a spinning reel or a baitcasting reel.
7. Heddon Super Spook Jr Black
This Super Spook Jr is a 3 1/2 inch 1/2 ounce topwater plug with a loud rattle. Black shore shad is a great color for fishing for hybrid striped bass as night.
In the picture above are two hybrid striped basses that were kept to eat. Crappie, perch, walleye, catfish, and hybrid striped bass are all good freshwater fish to eat.
8. Heddon Chug’n-Spook Junior
The black shiner Chug’n Spook Jr is 3-1/2 inches in length and weighs 1/2 ounce. This is similar to the Super Spook Jr but has a concaved front to work as a popper. In the early mornings, evenings, and at night this is a great lure to use. Other color options include bone shade, bone shad dot, chartreuse silver, sea trout, silver mullet, pink silver, and foxy shad.
9. Rebel Pop-R Popper Topwater Bait
The Rebel Pop-R is a 2-1/2 inch popper that weighs 1/4 ounce. This is a classic lure that works to catch bass, crappie, pickerel, striped bass, and hybrid striped bass. Color options are bone, bubble gum, firetiger, foxy momma, foxy shad, silver black, silver blue, and Tennessee shad. Features include a skirted rear treble hook, spitting sound, and a lifelike appearance.
One hard thing about catching striped at night is taking pictures. This was a small hybrid striped bass that was caught in Lake Hopatcong New Jersey.
10. Tsunami Swim Shad Hybrid Bass Jig
The Tsunami swim shad comes in sizes from 3-inch 3/8 ounce to large 9-inch 6-1/4 ounce. This lure is commonly used in the ocean to catch striped bass. For freshwater striped bass and hybrid striped bass, the 3-inch and 4-inch 1 ounce versions are good sizes.
Good color options for hybrid bass are chartreuse, white, pearl spot, black back, and purple haze clear. These baits can be cast and retrieved but work the best running near ledges or structures that might be holding bass.
11. Powerbait Power Minnow Scented Hybrid Bass Jig
The PowerBait Power Minnow is a small jig that works great for catching hybrid striped bass. It is 3-inches long and weighs 1/8 ounce. Since it is so light it is important to fish on a light braided line with a fluorocarbon leader. The Amazon version comes with 8 bodies and 2 jig heads and the Bass Pro Shops version comes with 15 bodies in the 3 inch version.
It is a scented jig that looks like a small shad and alewife that striped bass commonly feeds on. The color options are black shad and fire tiger. This bait can be fished in the day or at night. It is a great bait to use around above-ground lights or an underwater light source.
12. Storm 360 GT Searchbait Minnow Shad Jig
The Searchbait Minnow is a great jig with a large paddle tail. These can be cast and retrieved, vertically jigged, or used while trolling. I like the 3.5-inch 1/8 ounce for casting and the 4.5-inch 1/4 ounce for jigging. The hooks are not super strong so be careful to not fight the fish to aggressively if line heavier than a 20-pound test is being used. Color options are smoking ghost, chartreuse, blue, gaga, hot olive, pearl, smelt, volunteer, and herring.
13. Spro Bucktail Hybrid Striped Bass Jig
The Spro Bucktail Jig is another bait that is commonly used to catch saltwater striped bass. It is common to add a curly tail gulp bait to the hook. The available colors are green shad, sand eel green, blue shad, bunker, chartreuse, dark shad, magic bus, pink, white, and red-white. Bass Pro Shops has a similar version of this bucktail jig but it is not a Spro.
These come in weights ranging from 1/4 ounce to 5.5 ounces. When fishing for hybrid bass in over 20 feet of water the 1-ounce, 2-ounce, 3-ounce, and 4-ounce are good options.
14. Rapala Rattlin Rap Hybrid Striped Bass Lure
The Rapala Rattlin Rap is a lipless sinking bait that is commonly used to catch bass, pickerel, and hybrid striped bass. Its key feature is the rattle which consists of BBs in a sound chamber. Color options are silver, shad, silver blue, silver gold, red crawdad, and fire tiger. This 05 lure is 2 inches in length. There is also a size 04 version which is 1-1/2 inches, size 07 which is 2-3/4 inches, and a size 08 which is 3-1/8 inches. This lure can be fished in the day or at night.
15. Bomber Badonk-A-Donk High Pitch Bait
The Bomber Badonk-A-Donk is a lure commonly used to fish inshore to catch redfish, mackerel, snook, jacks, and tarpon. It also can be used in freshwater to catch bass, pickerel, and hybrid striped bass. Color options include bone, mullet, redhead flash, silver flash blue-back, silver mullet, and speckled trout.
This lure comes in two sizes 3-1/2 inch 1/2 ounce and 4-inch 3/4 once. The smaller size is perfect for hybrid striped bass. Its high pitch rattle makes it similar to the Rattlin Rap but has a more life-like appearance. The hooks are heavy-duty and are made to catch large fish.
16. Rapala X-Rap Twitching Mullet
The Rapala Twitching Mullet is another saltwater lure than can be used to catch hybrid striped bass. It comes in two sizes 3-1/8 inches 7/16 ounce and 2-1/2 inch 5/16 ounce. This listing is for 3-1/8 inch lure. Color options include ghost red, pilchard, glass ghost, mullet, olive green, and black shiner.
This is a slow sinking bait that can be fished with a walk the dog twitching retrieve. It has two strong single hooks that are good for catching large fish. The lure has a strong appearance with a high flash finish and 3D eyes.
17. Rapala Fat Rap Diving Crankbait
This Fat Rap is an awesome crankbait for largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, striped bass, and hybrid striped bass. The size 05 crankbait is 2-inches long and weighs .282 ounces. It has a deep diving lip and can dive over 25 feet deep. Color options are silver, crawdad, firetiger, and perch.
The lure is versatile because it can be cast or trolled. In the early spring before heavy weeds fill the lake this can be trolled to find fish that are in 15-40 feet of water. It also makes a great crankbait to be cast and retrieved with spinning gear or baitcasting reels.
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, umbrella rigs, jigs are all good lures 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. When fishing for hybrid striped it is also common to catch pickerel, perch, bass, walleye, and crappie.
Read our best striped bass lures article to see the best lures and baits to catch striped bass in the ocean.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do hybrid striped bass spawn naturally?
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 and white bass. When hybrid bass are stocked they are done so in large numbers as 1-inch fry.
Can you eat hybrid striped bass?
Yes, hybrid striped bass is considered one of the best tasting freshwater fish. The meat is white and firm similar to saltwater striped bass. It can be cooked in a pan, on the grill, or in the oven. It is best to remove the skin and dark bloodlines before cooking the fillets. Since hybrid bass are quite large even one fish can feed several people.
What is the difference between a striped bass and a hybrid striped bass?
A hybrid bass is can be created in several different ways. First, the eggs from a white bass and sperm from a striped bass can create a striped bass called a Cherokee bass. When eggs from a striped bass are mixed with sperm of a white bass it is called a palmetto bass. Finally, a male hybrid bass can fertilize eggs from both white bass and striped bass in the wild. A hybrid striped bass is also called a wiper.
Can you troll for hybrid striped bass?
Yes, you can troll for hybrid striped bass with umbrella rigs, deep diving plugs, and jigs. In the summertime, it is more common to cast lures and use live bait as the fish are found in shallow water.
What water temperature do hybrid striped bass like?
Hybrid striped bass feed heavily in water from 65 degrees in the spring all the way up to 80 degrees in the late summer. In the wintertime striped bass are typically found at depths over 20 feet deep. However, is the summer there is low oxygen at deep depths and this is not a good place to fish for bass or hybrid striped bass. The key to locating hybrid striped bass is to find where lots of bait is located. Typically the hybrid bass will be in the same area.
How big do hybrid striped bass get?
The world record hybrid striped bass weighed 27 pounds 5 ounces and was caught in Arkansas. In New Jersey, you can get a skillful anger award if you catch an 8-pound hybrid bass as this is considered a large fish. An 8-pound hybrid striped bass is about 24 inches in length.
How big do freshwater striped bass get?
The world record freshwater striped bass weighed 69 pounds 9 ounces and was caught in Alabama. In New Jersey, you can get a skillful anger award if you catch a 30-pound hybrid bass as this is considered a large fish. A 30-pound hybrid striped bass is about 40 inches in length.
How big do white bass get?
The world record white bass was 4.32 pounds and was caught in North Dakota. A white bass over 2 pounds is considered a big fish with 1 pound being the typical size. These are much smaller than hybrid striped bass and striped bass.
What are the best baits for hybrid striped bass?
The best baits for hybrid striped bass are alewife, gizzard shad, herring, creek chubs, and shiners. Any baitfish will work to catch hybrid striped bass. These fish will also eat, worms, salamanders, newts, and crayfish.
Can hybrid striped bass be stocked in a pond?
Yes, hybrid bass can be stocked in a lake or in a pond. Hybrid striped bass survives well in lakes and ponds because they have a strong resilience to high temperatures and low dissolved oxygen. Regular striped bass and white bass are less tolerant of these conditions.
Captain Cody has worked on charter fishing boats in the Florida Keys, Virgin Islands, and Alaska. Growing up in Pennsylvania Cody 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!