What is a hybrid striped bass? Well, a hybrid striped bass is a cross between a white bass and a striped bass. The cross originated in the mid-1970s and became part of aquaculture in the late 1980s. These fish are prevalent in the Southeast and are raised in freshwater ponds for either game or food.
There are two ways that hybrid striped bass are produced, depending on the male and female breed. When the eggs of a white bass are fertilized with the sperm from a striped bass, the fish that results is called “sunshine” or “Cherokee” bass. A “palmetto” bass results when the sperm of a white bass fertilizes a striped bass’s eggs.
The hybrid striped bass is distinguishable from the striped bass by the broken horizontal stripes on its body. This fish breed also has two tooth patches on the tongue unlike the white bass, which has only one.
Hybrid striped bass have a thicker body and usually weigh less than 10 pounds, though they can grow larger in the wild. They are also more resilient to extreme temperatures and low oxygen, making them suitable for ponds or large reservoirs.
Hybrid striped bass feed aggressively, often breaking the surface to feed on baitfish such as shad. This makes them easy targets for anglers to catch using a wide array of baits and lures. However, they are known to put up a fight when hooked. As they are not natural in the wild, hybrid striped bass are produced to stock inland waters where striped and white bass would not survive.