How to Catch Striped Bass on the Delaware River: Time-frame and the effects of weather

Spring Migration on the Delaware River

Striper or striped bass fishing in the Delaware River can be some the most explosive fishing you have ever done. Every spring the striped bass make their annual migration up the coast into the Delaware River to spawn. This spawning rituals brings thousands of striped bass right to the Philadelphia areas foot steps. The run typically starts with the big females following the American Shad into the river. In March (depending if the winter and spring is cold or warm) can bring fish upwards of 50-60 lbs into the river. This is followed by the second wave of striped bass which is the rest of the spawning females chasing the herring along the banks of the Delaware River. These fish can range anyway from 18-50 lbs. As the season matures into May the schoolies striped bass flood the river in the tens of thousands, these schoolies depending on the years class can range from 24-33 inches. At any given point in May you could collide with several schools of fish providing non stop striped bass action. As we enter June the water warms on the Delaware River, pushing the majority of the bigger fish back to the ocean leaving a solid class of fishing in the river until the water hits a critical temperature that either shuts the fish down or push them all back to the ocean.

Striped Bass and water temperatures on the Delaware River

Striped Bass fishing on the Delaware River is highly dependent on the weather and the water temperatures. In the early season when the water is still sub 60 degrees, a cold water temperature with a warm day that will warm the water up is much better for the striper bite than a cold water coupled with a cold day, for obvious reasons. Mid season when the water temperature has stabilized and the temperature is warm the fishing becomes a bite more predictable but cold fronts, rain storms, water clarity, pressure systems, and forage all play factors into a successful trip. The warm river temperatures with warm air temperatures can provide explosive action for prolong period of times. When Delaware River reaches 75 degrees and the air temperature sky rockets in to the upper 80's and 90's the fish tend to have a small window that they bite in so it is critical to be there when that time is. At these warmer levels the fish avoid the high sunlight and seek refuge in the shade.

Warm Winter and Spring on the Delaware River

March-Large female striped bass up to 60 lbs, slow lazy lethargic fish

April -Various sized striped bass20-50 lbs, starting to get aggressive

May- Mixed sized striped bass 10-40 lbs, really aggressive.

June- Schoolies, super aggressive

Cold Winters and Springs on the Delaware river

April -Various sized striped bass 20-60 lbs, Slow and lazy to starting to get aggressive

May- Mixed sized striped bass 10-40 lbs, really aggressive.

June- Schoolies, super aggressive