Target hybrid stripers this month whenever the sun is playing hard to get.
The fish causing all the excitement are really not striped bass; they’re hybrid stripers, incapable of reproduction save for the intervention of man.
“Hybrid stripers are a cross between female striped bass and male white bass,” said Mike Wood. “In the past, we artificially spawned them in our Toledo Bend hatchery.
“We’ve been stocking them in several lakes, including Lake Claiborne, since 1993. Most years, we have been able to stock some 70,000 fingerlings each in Claiborne, Lake Bruin and False River. We no longer operate the Toledo Bend facility because of excessive time and expense involved. However, we are committed to continue stocking these lakes, and we are able to do it by contracting with other hatcheries that raise hybrids.
“We are able to get hybrid fry from other states at a very low cost. We place the fry in our rearing ponds at hatcheries we operate around Woodworth, the Booker Fowler and Beechwood hatcheries, and rear them to fingerling size before putting them in the lakes. I’m not ruling out the outright purchase of hybrid-striper fingerlings because they’re not that expensive and provide a fun fishery for those folks who pay the way with their hunting and fishing licenses.”
Incidentally, the state-record hybrid striper was caught by William Hungerford in February 2000 weighing 16.25 pounds. The record for pure striped bass, the “mother” of the hybrid striper fishery, is a 47.5-pound behemoth caught on Toledo Bend by James Taylor in August 1991, while the state record white bass was caught more recently. Corey Crochet landed a 6.81-pound white in the Amite River in August 2010, a fish that won Crochet “Fish of the Year” honors, bestowed by the Louisiana Outdoor Writers Association, keepers of state fish records.
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