Now’s time for hybrid stripers

July 6, 2013

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If there is one striper species you can catch in the summer, it is the hybrid striper. This is a cross between a white bass and a striped bass.

This species is more tolerant of the heat than its full-blooded cousin and can be caught in the dead of summer.

There are two species of hybrids in Texas waters, namely the palmetto bass and the sunshine bass. The palmetto bass is created using a female striped bass and a male sand bass. The sunshine bass is the opposite (female sand bass and a male striped bass).

I believe essentially all hybrids in Texas are palmetto bass, though there may be some exceptions (the palmetto bass is usually bigger).

This man-made “Frankenfish” has the benefits of being wider and heavier per unit length than a striped bass and they essentially look like an extremely large sand bass. The fight of the hybrid striped bass is stronger pound per pound when compared to its cousin the full-blooded striped bass. However, the full-blooded striped bass can get a lot larger if given the chance.

I understand that these fish have a life span in Texas of seven to nine years. However, some fish have been documented to live 16-plus years if the conditions are right.

These fish have to be stocked regularly to maintain a healthy population on all bodies of water.

Hybrid striped bass are not only stocked as a gamefish, but are also stocked to control bait populations. These large fish will consume large shad, helping to control bait populations in our man-made lakes.

The state record is just over 19 pounds, but hybrid stripers have been caught in Arkansas up to 26 pounds. In Texas, a 10-pound hybrid is a trophy, though even a small 3-pound hybrid will put a bend in your rod.

Patterning hybrid striped bass in the summer involves locating structure close to feeding areas. Summertime fishing for this species generally involves some patience. Once you locate the fish, you may have to wait them out until they get hungry.

If there is one major difference between striped bass and hybrid striped bass, it is their feeding habits and times. My experience with this species is generally the hybrid will “sleep in” when the striped bass typically feeds.

Some days this species will feed during the hottest part of the day when you would think the cooler morning would have been better.

For live bait fishing, I like setting up on a hump or ridge and put out your bait lines. Live or cut bait can be used. It may also be good to chum the area with some diced up shad to entice the bite. Thrash the water in an attempt to call them in and wait.

If they are active, this species can be caught on large deep diving crankbaits and slabs fished on the same structure. If, however, the bite is slow, live bait is hard to beat. It is best to have all options on the boat.

When working crankbaits, it is a good idea (if possible) to have the bait bounce off the bottom of the lake. This bouncing on the bottom will stir interest and the fish will be sure to chase.

Live bait is typically the best choice. However, if they are active they will hit artificials. Some days, large bait is preferred and other days the smaller threadfin shad will outproduce the bigger baits. Best plan is to have both options.

HOOD COUNTY FISHING REPORT

Granbury water temperatures are in the middle to upper 80s and warming more with the heat. Best fishing reports continue to be the sand bass all over the lake.

Sand bass are good to 18 inches on slabs and any shad imitation. Black bass on Granbury continue to be good as well from mid lake to the dam. Stripers continue to be slow.

Squaw Creek water temperatures are approaching the mid 90s on this power plant lake, and this hot water is keeping anglers away.

On other reservoirs, trophy hybrids are being caught on Benbrook and Proctor. Live shad is the ticket. Possum Kingdom sand bass and stripers are being caught.

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Category: Sports Archived