Guide To Striped Bass & Hybrid Striper Fishing In Virginia
Striped Bass Lakes
Virginia is renowned for its excellent striped bass fishing opportunities, attracting anglers from near and far. One popular target species among striped bass enthusiasts is the hybrid striper, also known as wiper or sunshine bass. These hybrids are a cross between striped bass and white bass, combining the size and strength of striped bass with the aggressive feeding behavior of white bass.
Several major lakes in Virginia are known for their exceptional hybrid striper fisheries. Smith Mountain Lake, located in southwest Virginia, is one of the top destinations for hybrid striper fishing. The lake's deep waters, abundant forage, and suitable habitat make it an ideal location for these hard-fighting fish. Leesville Reservoir and Lake Anna are also renowned for their hybrid striper populations, offering anglers ample opportunities to target these exciting fish species.
Virginia has a rich history of producing impressive state records for hybrid striper. Anglers have landed trophy-sized fish weighing over 20 pounds, showcasing the potential for memorable catches. These strong and aggressive fish provide thrilling battles, testing both the angler's skills and the gear they employ.
When targeting hybrid stripers, anglers commonly use a variety of techniques including trolling, casting with artificial lures, or fishing with live bait such as shad or minnows. The best times to pursue hybrid stripers in Virginia's lakes are typically early mornings and late afternoons when the fish are more active and feeding near the surface.
It's important for anglers to familiarize themselves with the state's fishing regulations and size limits for striped bass and hybrid stripers. Conservation efforts help maintain the health and sustainability of the fishery, ensuring future generations can enjoy the thrill of hybrid striper fishing in Virginia.
Virginia's lakes and reservoirs provide an excellent platform for anglers to pursue hybrid striper fishing. The combination of these hard-fighting fish, the picturesque settings of the major lakes, and the potential to break state records make Virginia an enticing destination for striped bass enthusiasts seeking the excitement of landing hybrid stripers.
While stripers are native to salt water, they naturally migrate into fresh water streams to spawn. Their eggs must remain in motion in order to hatch so the fresh water rivers and streams become the ideal spawning grounds for stripers. Landlocked stripers then populate the lakes. The major lakes in Virginia with significant populations of stripers or wipers include Carvins Cove Reservoir, Claytor Lake, Flannagan Reservoir, Kerr Reservoir, Lake Anna, Lake Chesdin, Lake Gaston, Leesville Reservoir, Occoquan Reservoir, Smith Mountain Lake and Western Branch Reservoir.
Inland world record: 64 lbs 8 oz
State Record: 53 lbs 7 oz
World record: 27 lbs 5 oz
State Record: 15 lbs 13 oz
Click the images and links above for species details.
Virginia State Record Striped Bass
The state record striped bass was caught from Leesville Reservoir.
The state record hybrid striped bass came from Claytor Lake.
Fishing for Stripers in Virginia
When fishing for stripers concentrate on the deeper waters in the lake. If you can locate schools of shad, stripers are often close by. When the baitfish are shallow over the deep water, you can catch stripers on crankbaits or by swimming spoons at appropriate depths. Check Virginia fishing reports for current striper information. And for the ultimate thrill try large topwater baits if you see any surface feeding action. When the stripers are deep, jigs and jigging spoons work well. Live and cut bait will also take striped bass when they are in medium to deeper water. Fish nearby or in the river channel if it is a defined depth change. Trolling is also an excellent way to fish for stripers. Use flashy lures in bigger sizes.
Striper Fishing Video
Learn the basics for catching striped bass.
Striped bass fishing information, by state.
Learn the migration of stripers
The more you know about the seasonal migration of striped bass, the more likely you are to be looking in the right area next time you visit Virginia striper fishing lakes. Visit the striped bass fishing page for more in-depth information about striper movements.