Urban Angling 101: Striped Bass

You’re not just a fly fisherman, you’re an angler, you’ve got “the bite.”  You know the truth, that fly fishing isn’t always the romantic “A River Runs Through It” experience that people idealize. Sometimes, and more often than not, you’ve got to get your fix in the backyard, and for many of us, our backyards consist of skyscrapers and concrete. Here’s the thing, there’s usually some water hiding between all of that concrete, steel, and glass, and you know what? It’s probably fishier than you realize.

We’re looking into urban fisheries around the country (and eventually the world) to explore the feather hucking opportunities that might be hiding right next to your office. To begin, we’ll start with a species and region that are near and dear to our hearts, Striped Bass on the eastern seaboard. Here are a few tips for looking for Stripers in cities from Richmond to Boston.

1. Does your water hold stripers?

It may, it may not. If you’re directly on the ocean or bay, then it definitely does. If you’re on a river, and the river connects to said ocean/bay with no dams in the way, well, then you’re also in luck. It’s also valuable to know when they’ll be around, which is always part of the game with striped bass. On The Water’s Striper Migration Chart should be a valuable resource for that piece of the puzzle.

2. Look for structure. 

Striped bass love structure. Whether or not the said structure is man made is totally irrelevant. This is what makes cities and working harbors the perfect place to chase the species. Deep, dredged channels, docks & pilings everywhere, what better place to school up and corner bait balls?

3. Go at night.

Remember, you’re not flats fishing, you’re not fishing blitzes, you’re searching for structure on foot. Not only are stripers more likely to hang out in this structure at night time, but you’re less likely to get weird looks while fishing it. Also, you have a job, right? Go at night.

4. Look for other anglers.

While you might be the only person chasing stripers on a fly rod in your city on a given night, you definitely won’t be the only person fishing for them. Where have you seen the bait guys hanging out? Maybe they’re all hanging out under that sketchy bridge? Probably for good reason, go make some friends…

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