Welcome back to How to Catch Striped Bass in the Delaware River. Now that we have gone over some basic information on why the striped bass come up the river and what kind of tackle to use for them when fishing bait. Lets get into where to find the elusive striped bass. Stripers are a like most fish, they key on structure. To a largemouth bass fishermen structure means trees, stumps, pads, or any place a bass can ambush their prey. This partially can be applied to the habits of a striped bass. For this particular article I will be focusing on the slower lower Delaware River. I will cover the upper Delaware River in other articles.
The Delaware River varies in depth greatly. In the center of the river it is maintain by the U.S.C.G. and keep from 30-45 foot depth and just off the channel it can be 5 foot deep. The average depth of the river not including the channel is about 15 feet deep. I am going to break down the river into 5 different structures to key in on.
Structure and water break
The River Edges
Fishing for striped bass along the flats are areas of the Delaware River that are long shallow areas that are rocky, sandy or muddy . These areas offer an area where in the early season stripers seek to warm up. When the Delaware River is cold below 55 degrees these areas can be 1-4 degrees warm and allow the radiation of the sun to penatrate the water. Stripers will hand out on the flats for this purpose but so wil other fish so it gives stripers another reason to be on the flats. An area where the food source can be found. Another advatage to the flats for stripers is in 5 foot of water it is much easier for them to catch herring and perch over the deep water stretches.
The channel edge and other edges are areas where the Delaware River will drop off sharply, this could be a channel edge, a drop off from a flat, scour section, etc. Striped bass will rest on the leeward side of the current and maintain their position facing up river. As their food source either swims up passed them or is washed of the higher ground and passed the resting spot of the striped bass it provides a perfect opportunity for stripers to target their prey.
Structure and Current Break
Structures that make current breaks or breaks in the current provide essientially the same sitiuation as the channel edges but they are more notice by the human eye with out the use of electronics or local knowledge. Striped bass will hide behind any type of structure that provides softer water such as bridge pillings, radar towers, rocks, channel edge drop offs, bends in the river etc. Stripers by nature are lazy ambush predators and will use every advantage they can get to eat their food source.
Deep water holes have their time and place. Typically this is early season when the bottom of the river is warmer then the upper sectionof the water and in the late season when the bottom section of the water is cooler then the top section. The other factor to think about is that stripers are typically nocturnal fish, hiding in the deep water provides protection from a strong sun. On those perfect sunny days that seems to be the best day to go fishing, well their actual one of the worst days to catch Striped Bass. Deep holes also provide current breaks as discussed in previus sections.
River Edges are pretty self explanatory. The edges are the slowest part of the river and for that reason the stripers love it. Also for that reason the herring love it and they feel protected becasue they are only exposed from one side from attacks. But as anyone who has ever fished a beach the shoreline is where fish get pinned up by schooling striped bass.
Points of land provide structure, current breaks, sometimes flats, sometimes deep water drop offs. The one thing that is common is points hold fish not matter what the structure looks like around it.