This cold, February weekend hosted BIG Striper excitement on Ouachita (see Randy's 32-pound giant caught on Saturday above and below!)! Called by some sources the "Striper Capital," Ouachita was first introduced to Striper in 1956 when the lake received 27 from North Carolina. It took a few years, but from the 1970s to the present, the lake has been regularly stocked with these giants. Ouachita's abundance of deep water creates a perfect-condition habitat for the fish - that are known for stripping lines, fighting nets, and weighing in excess of 40 lbs!
Jerry Bean, one of Harbor's professional fishing guides - and a fisherman with a specialty for Striper fishing - says that they actually saw the fish on the boat's radar. Seemingly huge compared to its surroundings, the pair had huge luck to actually see the fish and then bait it. If you've caught Striper,or Striped Bass, before, you know that simply baiting these animals is not even half the challenge. Striper are never still for long and will almost always take off as soon as they're caught. If they don't strip the line, pull your pole into the water, or knock you down - most have a 15-20 minute fight before netting and transferring fish to the live well. Randy's catch on Saturday was actually so big, it took a team effort to unfold him out of the well. Most commonly, Striper are located by the unmistakable sprays of water that they send skyward when feeding on the surface. They can actually survive and thrive in both freshwater and saltwater.
The current world-record-Striper was caught by North Branford and weighed 81.88 pounds - off the coast of Westbrook, Connecticut. Several individuals in the area have caught 40-lb fish from Ouachita ... whether we will ever see an 80-pound monster, time will tell!