Wiper fry were first stocked into Iowa waters in 1981 at Saylorville reservoir and pool fourteen of the Mississippi River in 1984 to control gizzard shad populations and offer anglers another sport fish. Thanks to improvements in hatchery techniques, additional areas are now stocked. Find striped bass at Red Rock and Saylorville Reservoirs, Des Moines River, Ada Hayden Heritage Park Lake, Blue Heron Lake, Grays Lake, Copper Creek, pool fourteen through sixteen of the Mississippi River, Lake Macbride, Pleasant Creek Lake, Prairie Park, Sand Lake, Iowa River below Coralville Reservoir, Three Mile Lake and Lake Manawa.
Baitfish can be found in shallow water in the back portions of bays or
flats where warmer water flows into a lake during spring. Hybrid
striped bass will be in the closest deep water while resting and then push up
into the shallower water pinning schools of baitfish to the bank.
Later in the spring, look for areas where baitfish and white bass
spawn. Hybrid striped bass usually are close to white bass. Baitfish
spawn in shallow water, giving wipers an advantage to capture prey. If you
find large group of baitfish without hybrid striped bass, cast
crankbaits or swim baits into the nearest deep water area.
Below dams and riffles that block or slow upstream movement of baitfish trying to spawn can be great places to catch hybrid striped bass.
Cast hair jigs tipped with a minnow or twister tails into the current and
retrieve them back through the calm water.
As water temperatures reach the 70’s and 80’s, baitfish can be found
anywhere in a lake. Schools of hybrid striped bass actively watch for baitfish
in bays and deep water in the lake basin. White bass and hybrid striped bass
run baitfish along drop-offs on reservoirs. Many of these areas are easy to cross and give shore anglers a chance to catch hybrid striped bass. Troll or cast
into the sharp drop offs on shoreline points. If you find aggressively feeding
schools of white bass, hybrid striped bass are often just below them; adjust to
use a larger and heavier jig or lure.
River hybrid striped bass can be found in deep holes or brush piles during
the summer. They will be along the edge of the brush pile or current seam to
pick off bait fish that drift by. Cast crankbaits, rattle traps or jigs along
the edge of the brush pile or current seam.
Look for where the gulls eat to quickly find schools of hybrid
striped bass on large reservoirs (like Saylorville and Red Rock). Schools of feeding
wipers push gizzard shad to the surface making an easy meal for the gulls.
As water temperatures begin to cool and lake turnover follows, baitfish
will come back to the warmest water, usually either deep in the basin, on flats
or in bays on sunny days. Hybrid striped bass will feed heavily to
prepare for winter. Look to windblown shorelines with scattered rocks or other
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