How to Find, and Catch, Early Season Stripers

I got out fishing Saturday evening. My main focus was to fish shallow, moving water. I got in this one Bay location where I had a small outflow spilling water into the Bay. The place looked like a nothing spot but with water movement, it had really produced for me in the past. The tide was near low but the flow was still strong.

Immediately, I started hitting fish right at the edge of the flowing water. Every three or four casts, I would get a hit or a fish on my Zoom fluke mounted on a half inch homemade jighead. This went on for about forty minutes. During that time, the water flow lessened and the hits lessened with it until the flow stopped. At that point the fishing ended. Yes, water flow or movement made a major difference in my fishing success last night (twelve schoolies landed). It says a lot about early season striper fishing.

To find the best locations to target early season stripers, think shallow and moving waters. I’m talking places like rivers, estuaries, outflows, channels, and backwater ponds that have movement. Fish these places where there is current. That current can be generated by a big tide that is dropping or coming in, wind, or natural water movement like a river current. It can also be generated by places where the current is squeezed or constricted as you find where there is a bridge or in a breachway opening that separates a coastal pond from the Bay or ocean.

Stripers are naturally drawn to moving water because that’s where the food tends to flow. If you can find these spots in shallow water that heats up quickly, you probably have a good bet for early season fishing. Avoid places where the water is deep or where there is no movement. These places, in the absence of bait, are dead spots in the early going.