Sunday, September 21, 2014

Raritan River Stripers

Hit the Raritan this afternoon in search of some lifers and big fish. After an hour of delays and attempts to reach the spot, we arrive at around 4:30. Right away I see a quillback carpsucker lazily but actively feeding in the shallows. After a couple minutes of attempts with a worm and tiny hook, the fish spooked. Man, these fish are tough. I can now understand the frustration of other rough fish anglers when it comes to carpsuckers. Over the next 2 hours, the fish would return to the spot multiple times, each time ignoring my bait. I could place my bait perfectly and the carpsucker would ignore it, this happened hundreds of times.
I decided to pursue other fish, like walleyes and smallmouth bass. I tied on a small chartreuse tube and began fishing. Remembering a smallmouth bass fishing video I watched, I decided to cast onto the foam under the dam. Reeling in, I was just about to lift up my tube for a recast when a fished literally smashed it on the surface. The fish wasn't big, but it sure was aggressive! I was thinking smallmouth until the fish flashed. STRIPER! I lifted it out of the water and it was mine. My first Striped Bass! I thought they only came in the spring on the Raritan. I have to admit, it was minuscule, but hey it's a striper! I was happy, since 20 years ago the Raritan was a nasty, polluted cesspool devoid of stripers.


A half hour later my mom and sister joined me for a riverbank picnic. I declined in favor of continuing fishing. Under the same foam mat, I hooked another striper, this time a bit larger but still tiny.

Another guy came to fish and snagged a huge hybrid pushing 15 pounds, released to live another day.
 With this big guy and stories of muskie, walleye, and quillbacks, I can't wait to return!


  1. What a perfect day!

  2. I can almost guarantee that hybrid took a swipe at that bait and missed (foul hooked, snagging is intentional), you see this a lot with lures that have trebles. Little stripers like that are tons of fun, but you should try to get some big ones in the spring!