We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Our editor mentioned not being able to quite grasp the idea of freshwater stripers. Well, here is one I caught yesterday morning on Lake Murray, 26" - 15 lbs. Caught a total of four over a half hour or so - all in this range - 25 to 26", 15/17 lbs.
I was definitely on the wrong side of the bite, so I switched from bait casting to fly rod. Used a Ugly Stick 7' fast action rod (home build), Galvan T-12 large arbor reel, #12 weight forward sinking line, 5 yards of 48 lb lead core line, 6' 20 lb florocarbon tippet and one of my jig "specials" - 1/2 oz, lead core, foam covered jig head/hook with chartreuse/white bucktail with some transparent yellow colored foil for flash. All topped off with a 6" curly tailed grub.
Now I can here you thinking all the way down here - that's not fly fishing - that's bait casting. No it isn't. Its the same technique used to get the lure down to the fish as you would use on a stream, pond or small lake - it's just heavier with more "umph" if you will. The whole idea is to get the lure to present properly to the fish you're targeting. It works the same if its a nymph, dry fly or foam bass bug.
With a Berkley Weight Scale. :>) Frankly, a 36" striper up North, at least in my experience, is heavier than 12 pounds or thereabouts. The video is deceptive - these little critters are a tad different from saltwater stripers in that they are very much like football sized tuna - compact and highly muscled.
The other interesting thing I've noticed is that freshwater stripers tend to school with large mouth which is different. And while structure is important, open water schooling is fairly normal behavior - in particular under bait balls of blue back herring. There is an area of the lake where it is relatively flat - along the old Saluda River bed - maybe half mile wide and mile or so long around 150 ft depth - give or take a foot or two. You'll find schooling stripers just hanging around the 40 foot level down to 60 feet - nothing below them, nothing above them or to either side. I can't wait to get an underwater camera down sometime soon to see exactly what these schools are doing.
Another thing I forgot to mention - they are feeding heavily on blue back herring getting ready for Winter hold over. We took a 32" striper last weekend that was on the light side for weight (around 16 or so lbs) and a smaller 28 that was heavier - the smaller fish was loaded with small herring and the larger fish was clear.
We used to have to clear stripers in tournaments up on LIS - weights could be varied by as much as three/four pounds depending on if they had lead weights in the belly and how much bunker or lobster they had ingested.
Lots and lots of info stories and much much more about land locked Stripers!
Lake powell has a massive population of Stripers, there is no limit on catching and keeping is by far almost a requirement! It is our only method of population control.
Not sure about other lakes in the nation, but LP has this unique challenge. In natural conditions about 10% of laid eggs will survive to become adult fish. In LP taht number is 100%, even if they fall to a depth of over 450'
When you figure that a single mature female can drop half a million eggs, such a big bunch of mouths to feed.
Out west we have found the LMB and Smallies don't school up with the stripers, but hang around them when they boil to pick up the frenzi's leavings. Many large LMB have been caught continuing to throw at the sight of a striper boil after the fish have sounded.
Our stripers tend to be long and due to food crashes every few years, one can catch some real snakes, all head and tail ad nothing in between.
Stripers also tend to school up by size, which normally indicates they are classmates? :) Year class that is.
I, too, call BS on a 25-26 inch striper weighing 15-17 lbs. Having caught literally thousands of stripers in Chesapeake Bay across a range of size and degrees of fatness, a fat, winter time striper of that size is probably closer to 10 lbs maximum. It may feel more like 15-17 lbs when you go to lift it out of the water.