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Hybrid Stripers (Wipers)

The most exciting fish in Oklahoma is the STRIPED BASS HYBRID (Wipers)! The first Oklahoma stocking of striped bass hybrids was in Sooner Lake in 1977. Striped bass hybrids are hatchery produced by crossing female striped bass with male white bass.  Although both male and female hybrids attain sexual maturity, natural reproduction has not been observed. It has been reported that they do go through the spawning activity as their parents do, without producing the offspring. For all you farm hands, it is like trying to breed two mules, no such luck. Hybrids  have been stocked in several Oklahoma lakes now, including Lake Skiatook,  Lake Sooner, Konawa, Optima, Ft. Supply, Tom Steed, Altus-Lugert, Overholser, Grand, Heyburn, Atoka, Ft. Cobb, Salt Plains, Waurika, and Ellsworth. Hybrids have been caught in Kaw Lake, from the 92 floods in Kansas, which flooded the hatcheries in Kansas and caused the hybrids to come down the Arkansas River to Lake Keystone. This was a mass exiting, kind of like Moses and his people exiting Egypt!

 

Habitat: Hybrids mirror the habits of and prefer areas within lakes and streams in common with striped bass and white bass, typically traveling in large schools in open water. In the spring, schools are smaller and the road trip is on, as they head for the spawning grounds. Hybrids begin to get a little more active as the water temperature rises; live bait seems to be the best from the banks, although trolling with a white or mirror crankbait in 12 to 15 ft water produces a good catch. As June and July roll around, it is slabbing time, look for them off deep creek channels on the slopes. Live bait is at its peak.  Then comes the fall! My favorite time, the schools have become very large, and the feed is on for the winter. Early morning and evenings you can find Hybrids on top, running through weary schools of shad, like a freight train through a small town. When winter comes the hybrid seem to turn into loners, hugging the bottom up to depths of 65 feet. They are catchable, but be careful if you plan to release since they get the bends as you bring them up from that depth! The best result is to let the fish play at several depths before bringing them to the boat. For best results very gently release the fish as soon as possible.

 

Natural Food Sources: Shad, minnows, crustaceans, and insects.

 

Facts: As a sport fish, hybrids are probably best known for their rapid growth and fighting ability. They can attain weights of six to seven pounds by three years of age and 18 to 20 pounds by eight to nine years of age. Hybrids are a valuable part of our Oklahoma fishing: they grow fast, fight hard, and take the sport of fishing to another level! In Oklahoma they fit perfectly into the ecological system, especially in lakes with large shad populations but with little suitable habitat for striped bass and white bass.

The "BIG BAD BOY" of Oklahoma! Stripers!

 

STRIPERS have been widely introduced in numerous lakes, rivers, and impoundments throughout Oklahoma. Stripers prefer relatively clear water with a good supply of open-water baitfish. Their preferred water temperature range is 65 to 70 degrees.

 

World Record: 78.5 pounds, caught in Atlantic City, New Jersey in 1982

 

Oklahoma's Record: 47 lbs. 8 ozs.

 

Description: The striper is the largest member of the temperate bass family. Body coloration is olive-green to blue-gray on the back with silvery to brassy sides and white on the belly. It is easily recognized by the seven or eight prominent black uninterrupted horizontal strips along the sides. The stripes are often interrupted or broken and are usually absent on young fish of less than six inches. The striper is longer and sleeker and has a larger head than its close and similar looking relative, the white bass, which rarely exceeds three pounds.

 

Other Names: striper, rockfish, rock, line sides

 

Spawning Habits: The Striper spawn in March, April, and May when water temperatures reach 60 to 68 degrees. Stripers are river spawners that broadcast millions of eggs in the water currents without affording any protection or parental care. During spawning, seven or eight smaller males surround a single, large female and bump her to swifter currents at the water surface. At ovulation, ripe eggs are discharged and scattered in the water as males release sperm. Fertilized eggs must be carried by river currents until hatching (about 48 hours) to avoid suffocation. Fry and fingerlings spend most of their time in lower rivers and estuaries. Because striped bass eggs must remain suspended in a current until hatching, most Oklahoma impoundments are unsuitable for natural production. Freshwater populations have been maintained by stocking fingerlings, and, despite initial difficulties in hatchery procedures for obtaining females with freely flowing eggs, a modern technique of inducing ovulation with the use of a hormone has been successful.

 

Feeding Habits: Striper are voracious feeders and consume any kind of small fish and a variety of invertebrates. Preferred food for adults mainly consists of gizzard and threadfin shad, golden shiners, and minnows. Younger fish prefer to feed on amphipods and mayflies. Very small stripers feed on zooplankton. Like other temperate bass, they move in schools, and all members of the school tend to fee at the same time. Heaviest feeding is in early morning and in the evening, but they feed sporadically.

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