While stripers are native to salt water, they naturally migrate into fresh water streams to spawn. Their eggs must remain in motion in order to hatch so the fresh water rivers and streams become the ideal spawning grounds for stripers. Landlocked stripers then populate the lakes. North Carolina state record striper was taken from Hiwassee Reservoir.
North Carolina Fishing Guide: Striped Bass Fishing
Published pm Saturday, March 9, Starting Monday, the season may be closing permanently on striped bass in some local waterways. The North Carolina Department of Marine Fisheries announced last week it had adopted a plan to end both commercial and recreational fishing of striped bass in the waters managed by NCDMF, and announced Friday that the moratorium will begin Monday. A map delineating coastal and joint waters for these areas can be found at portal. The moratorium is an attempt by NCDMF to protect the population of natural striped bass stock in local waterways —as opposed to hatchery-raised stock — with the goal of the natural stock spawning and surviving on their own. The fish made the leap to survive on their own in the Roanoke River, but in the Tar-Pamlico and Neuse, the program has been less successful. A bumper-crop of wild fish from led NCDMF biologists to propose a moratorium on catching and keeping striped bass, to protect for non-hatchery fish and larger females and increase natural spawning stock.
Striped bass arrive in early April. In the upper Roanoke the striper fishing peaks in mid-April and continues through late May, depending on water levels and temperatures. One striper may be over 27 inches. May is catch and release only.