Pictured above: Mike Azevedo lands a big summer striper on the North Shore of Massachusetts.
It’s the hottest month of the summer. Water temperatures are approaching their peak in most parts of the Northeast, and in many places, striper-minded surfcasters are biding their time, waiting for the cool northwesterlies of September to usher schools of stripers south. But, perhaps August is worth a second look from anglers willing to expend some extra effort to catch the bass that quietly slip by ahead of the main migration.
While it is not a stretch to imagine bass at the northernmost part of their range hanging a U-turn this month, the truth is that stripers throughout the Northeast are getting fall-run ready during the dog days of summer.
Even in the tepid late-summer backwaters of South Jersey, I can count on an uptick in striper activity this month. This increase in action is brought on not by falling temperatures or shorter days, but by an increase in the abundance of larger baitfish. Schools of small mullet and peanut bunker begin gathering in the bays this month, and schoolie stripers feed on them noisily through the night.
On Long Island, August is regarded as a month when hard-working surfcasters have a shot at a cow cruising the Montauk surf.