Florida Striped Bass Fishing


The following Lakes and rivers were selected by Florida's freshwater fisheries biologists as being the most likely to be highly productive for Striped Bass.

  • Apalachicola River / Lake Seminole System

    • Apalachicola River / Lake Seminole System is where the largest Stripers in Florida are found. The Flordia state record striped bass (42.25 pounds), Hybrid bass (16.31 pounds), and white bass (4.69 pounds) were all caught in the Apalachicola River / Lake Seminole system.

      Striped bass fingerlings (200,000 or six per acre) are stocked into Lake Seminole annually. Hybrid bass stocking has been suspended to eliminate any competition with stocked striped bass, but hybrids are still stocked into reservoirs upstream on the Chattahoochee and Flint Rivers. During high-water events, Hybrid bass are also discharged from upstream reservoirs into Lake Seminole. Lake Seminole, a 35,000-acre reservoir located on the Florida-Georgia border in Gadsden and Jackson Counties, is the headwater of the Apalachicola River. Here, striped bass and Hybrid bass congregate along the old river channels and the lower lake near the dam during fall and winter, and migrate up the Chattahoochee and Flint Rivers during the spring. Larger fish move to cool water springs, which are closed to fishing during the summer.

      Fish are discharged downstream from Lake Seminole through the Jim Woodruff Dam into the Apalachicola River during high-water periods. Striped bass greater than 20 pounds and Hybrid bass weighing from seven to ten pounds are common. Striped bass in the 40 - to 60 - pound range have also been caught or collected from the Apalachicola / Chattahoochee / Flint river system.

      Stripers and Hybrid move throughout the Apalachicola river system during the fall and winter, and can be caught from the dam to the coast. Larger fish migrate up the river and congregate below the dam during spring. Bucktail jigs and crankbaits that resemble shad are popular lures around bridge pilings and along deep channels and drop-offs. Live shrimp are very productive in the lower river. Live Shad are most productive below the dam.

  • Lake Talquin/ Ochlockonee River System

    • Striped bass are stocked (10-20 per acre) annually into Lake Talquin and many are discharged downstream through the dam during high water. Striped bass in the 10 to 20-pound range are common, and fish up to 30 pounds are possible. Live shad, spoons and jigs are favorite baits of local anglers. White bass were introduced here during the 1980s, but this species has been negatively impacted by drought conditions during recent years. Historically, three to five-pound white bass have been common, and this fishery may rebound when more typical periods of rainfall and high water during the winter and spring return.

      Striped bass can be found throughout the reservoir during the fall and winter, particularly along the old river and creek channels. They migrate up the Ochlockonee River during spring and congregate in creeks with coldwater discharge during summer. Fish discharged into the lower Ochlockonee River through Jackson Bluff Dam travel throughout the system during fall and winter, and then migrate upstream to congregate below the dam during spring.

  • St. Johns River

    • Striped bass are stocked each year and fish in the 8 to 12-pound range are common, although stripers over 20 pounds are rare. Striped bass move throughout the system during fall and winter. Important areas include the jetties and the bombing ranges in Lake George, the lower Oklawaha River, Buffalo Bluff, Memorial Bridge (Hwy. 17) in Palatka, Shands Bridge (I-95) in Green Cove Springs, and Buckman (I-295) and other bridges in Jacksonville. Larger fish congregate in creeks with coldwater discharge and in large springs, such as the Croaker Hole, during summer. Live shad and shiners, jigs and shad-imitating crankbaits are productive.

  • Blackwater/Yellow Rivers

    • Striped bass fingerlings are stocked into the Blackwater and Yellow rivers annually. The major fishery is in the upper Blackwater Bay (in Santa Rosa County) near the mouths of the rivers during fall and winter. Similar to other Striper fisheries in Flordia, fishing success is sometimes best at night. Striped bass migrate upstream during spring. Fish in the 10 to 20-pound range are common and stripers in the 20 to 30-pound range are occurring more frequently. The lower stretches of this river provide some of the best fishing. Live mullet, menhaden and shrimp are favorite baits, along with shad-imitating lures.

  • Choctawhatchee River

    • Striped bass or Hybrid bass are stocked annually. The main fishery is in the lower portion of the river, between State Road 20 and Choctawhatchee Bay in Walton and Washington counties, and occurs during fall and winter. Live finger mullet, shad and menhaden are locally favorite baits. During cold weather, anglers cast shad-imitating lures to surface-feeding schools. When summer arrives, striped bass congregate in and around tributaries contributing coldwater discharge.

  • Escambia River

    • Escambia River and Bay, in Escambia and Santa Rosa counties, are stocked annually with Hybrid bass and striped bass in alternating years. Fish in the 10 to 12-pound range are caught here.  Striped bass and sunshine bass are found in the lower 10 miles of the river and upper bay during the fall and winter. Hybrid will make a small run up river during the spring. Striped bass also make a spring run upriver as the result of stocking efforts. Dawn and dusk are prime times for striper fishing, and anglers should try to catch a falling tide for best results. In the lower, tidal section of the river, points of land extending into the river are very productive. Live mullet and menhaden are popular baits, along with shad- or mullet-imitating lures. Live shrimp or twister-tail type jigs are also popular.

  • St. Mary's / Nassau Rivers

    • Striped bass are the principle sport fish in the St. Mary's and Nassau Rivers, which are interconnected via the Amelia and South Amelia Rivers (Intra-Coastal Waterway). The St. Mary's / Nassau system also connects to the St. Johns River through Sister Creek (Intra-Coastal Waterway). Stripers are stocked into both rivers, although migration from the St. Johns River or natural reproduction is the main source of fish.

      Striped bass tend to overwinter in the lower portions of the system, and move upstream above U. S. Hwy. 17 during spring. On the St. Mary's River, look for stripers between I-95 and the town of St. Mary's near the mouths of larger tributaries, along the deeper banks, and the I-95 bridge pilings. On the Nassau River, stripers are most commonly found from the confluence with Thomas Creek to below U.S. Hwy. 17 in the vicinity of Pearson Island. In both rivers, striped bass congregate in or near tributaries with coldwater discharge during summer.

      Trolling along or casting to steep banks with Bucktail jigs or shad-imitating lures is productive, and fishing with live shrimp is also popular.

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