Okahoma's BIG BOY!

Marone Saxatilis

The STRIPER has been widely introduced in numerous lakes, rivers, and impoundments throughout Oklahoma. Stripers prefer relatively clear water with a good supply of open-water baitfish. Their preferreed water temperature range is 65 to 70 degrees.

World Record: 78.5 pounds, caught in Atlantic City, New Jersey in 1982

Oklahoma's Record: 47 lbs. 8 ozs.

Description: The striper is the largest member of the temperate bass family. Body coloration is olive-green to blue-gray on the back with silvery to brassy sides and white on the belly. It is easily recognized by the seven or eight prominent black uninterrupted horizontal strips along the sides. The stripes are often interrupted or broken and are usually absent on young fish of less than six inches. The striper is longer and sleeker and has a larger head than its close and similar looking relative, the white bass, which rarely exceeds three pounds.

Other Names: striper, rockfish, rock, line sides

Spawning Habits: The Striper spawn in March, April, and May when water temeratures reach 60 to 68 degrees. Stripers are river spawners that broadcast millions of eggs in the water currents without affording any protection or parental care. During spawning, seven or eight smaller males surround a single, large female and bump her to swifter currents at the water surface. At ovulation, ripe eggs are discharged and scattered in the water as males release sperm. Fertilized eggs must be carried by river currents until hatching (about 48 hours) to avoid suffocation. Fry and fingerlings spend most of their time in lower rivers and estuaries. Because striped bass eggs must remain suspended in a current until hatching, most Oklahoma impoundments are unsuitable for natural production. Freshwater populations have been maintained by stocking fingerlings, and, despite initial difficulties in hatchery procedures for obtaining females with freely flowing eggs, a modern technique of inducing ovulation with the use of a hormone has been successful.

Feeding Habits: Stripers are voracious feeders and consume any knd of small fish and a variety of invertebrates. Preferred foods for adults mainly consists of gizzard and threadfin shad, golden shiners, and minnows. Younger fish tend to feed on amphipods and mayflies. Very small stripers feed on zooplankton. Like other temperate bass, they move in schools, and all members of the school tend to fee at the same time. Heaviest feeding is in early morning and in the evening, but they feed sporadically throughout the day, especially when skies are overcast. Feeding slows when water temperatures drop below 50 degrees but does not stop completely.

Growth: Stripers are fast-growing and long-lived and have reached weights of over 30 pounds in Oklahoma. Sexual maturity occurs at about two years of age for male stripers and at four years of age for females. They can reach a size of 10 to 12 inches the first year.

Sporting Quality: For fishermen who have caught this species there is no disputing that the striper is a superstar among freshwater fishe. Live shad and baitfish are excellent baits for catching big stripers. Other popular baits include the slab, white or yellow buck tail jigs, spoons, deep running crankbaits, and a spinner with plastic worm rig. Topwater plugs are best when stripers are schooling at the surface. Stripers will also readily consume fly patterns that imitate the prevailing bait fishes.