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What Water Temp Do Striped Bass Like?

striped bass in haitat

Fishing for striped bass, or stripers, makes excellent sport for anglers because the fish fight back a bit. The species is native to the Atlantic Coast and the Gulf of Mexico, but wildlife conservationists introduced them to other areas, including California. Water temperature was one factor in choosing new habitats, so what water temp do striped bass like?


First, it helps to understand why striped bass needed to find new habitats. During the 1970s, overharvesting occurred and left the species crippled. By introducing them to inland lakes, reservoirs, and along the West Coast, striped bass made a comeback. However, fishing for striped bass remains regulated to ensure responsible harvesting.


Striped bass, also known as rockfish, prefer water temperatures between 55°F and 68°F. While they can function outside that range, striped bass don’t fare well once the temperature passes 75°F. In fact, when striped bass live in warmer climates, like the Gulf of Mexico, they seek cooler waters migrating in spring and fall.


Bass fishing remains one of the more popular outdoor pastimes, and pursuing stripers makes for an exciting adventure. Given their preference for temperate waters, it also means a more comfortable experience for the angler. 


Before heading out to catch a striped bass yourself, it’s a good idea to check the state regulations. Each state establishes well-defined limits on the number of rockfish you can catch and keep as well as minimum and maximum sizes. Some states, like California and Massachusetts, generally cite additional guidelines.

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