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What Do Striped Bass Eat? 

Striped bass caught with bait

The diet of a striped bass changes during its lifetime. But what does a striped bass eat most of the time? 


Young striped bass eat insect larva, fish, and tiny crustaceans. As an adult, striped bass will eat a larger variety of fish like eels, flounder, sea herring, bunker, sand lance, silver hake, smelt, tomcod, and silversides. They also eat other creatures, such as crabs, lobsters, small muscles, soft clams, squid, and sea worms.


However, as opportunistic feeders, striped bass focus on one type of prey that is abundant and readily available at a time. It is difficult to predict what a striped bass will decide to eat that day. If they decide to eat small muscles one day, they will ignore other types of popular bait. Their unpredictable eating habits may make them more challenging to catch. 

Which Bait Should You Use for Striped Bass?

Since they eat such a large range of food, you can try different types of bait to see which one catches a striped bass’s attention that day. They often consume large meals at dawn and dusk when they can clearly see the baitfish before their prey sees them lurking below, so you will see them most receptive to food at those times. 


When choosing bait for striped bass fishing, it is important to know the fish’s conditions and the natural feeding habits in that area. Live eels, herring, soft crabs, and bloodworms are some examples of highly effective bait for striped bass, but try to observe what they are consuming on that day to give yourself the best chance at catching one. 

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