The rediscovered pleasure of Striped Bass fishing in Gaspésie:
Striped bass fishermen are smiling again in Gaspésie. This species, which was banned from fishing for a long time, was then authorized with systematic release. But recently, catches are finally allowed and sometimes the barbecues on the beach let out the sweet aroma of this fish again...
Gaspésie is a magnificent peninsula located in eastern Quebec, at the mouth of the St. Lawrence River. With its 3,000 km of coastline, this renowned region, with traditions oriented towards the sea and the ocean, is a delight for recreational sports fishermen, with a good population of striped bass, also called striped bass.
The striped bass almost disappeared from Quebec waters. This is why all fisheries were closed on the St. Lawrence from 1996 to 2012. The conservation program put in place is bearing fruit and fishermen once again have the pleasure of seeing striped bass fight at the end of their line. This very popular fishery, both for locals and visitors, has regained flavor since 2017, we explain why.
Striped bass in Gaspésie: fishing is open... but regulated
The striped bass has been the subject of a conservation program in the St. Lawrence since 2002, with Operation Renaissance. If the species is doing quite well now, it is because it is subject to strict regulation. Use the official search engine, choosing “zone 1”, the one corresponding to Gaspésie, to find out about the regulations in force.
In summary: origin (https://mffp.gouv.qc.ca/peche-bar-raye-permise-certaines-rivieres-quebec-saison-2019-2020-2019-07-10/)
“Quebec City, June 10, 2019 – Striped bass fishing will be permitted, for the 2019 season, in most rivers flowing into zone 21, east of a line linking Forestville to Rimouski.
This decision follows a consultation carried out in 2018 with the wildlife partners of the Ministère des Forêts, de la Faune et des Parcs and the Aboriginal communities concerned due to the increase in the abundance and distribution of the striped bass population. from the southern Gulf of St. Lawrence.
The following fishing methods are renewed for the 2019 season in the portion of fishing area 21 located east of a line connecting Forestville (at Île Patte de lièvre) to Rimouski (at Santerre Point):
• fishing season from June 15 to October 31, 2019;
• a maximum of three single hooks on the same line can be used;
• only artificial lures may be used (natural baits are prohibited);
• daily catch and possession limit of three striped bass, whose total length is between 50 and 65 cm”.
These regulations are subject to change each year, so consult the FORET, FAUNE ET FLORE QUEBEC website to update you: https://mffp.gouv.qc.ca/.
New regulations for the striped bass fishing season in 2018
The striped bass on board, with a soft lure: sporty and contemplative fishing.
Recreational fishing is an essential activity in Gaspésie. It has always been part of the culture of this region. Salmon and striped bass, two species typical of the Gaspé Peninsula, have things in common: both as combative as the other, they are often found in the same places, as they migrate from clear water to salt and vice versa.
Enthusiasts like to wait for the right tide at the end of the day, with better chances of catches. The atmosphere is fantastic: the sound of the waves at sunset and then in the moonlight, the crackling fire, impatient to grill the fruit of the peach. Tasting the tender flesh of striped bass cooked over a wood fire, a few meters from where it was caught, is a sweet pleasure for a Gaspésie fisherman!
The most ambitious prefer to get as close as possible to the waves, towards a projection of rocks. Don't forget your fishing life jacket, especially at night. Some places can become dangerous, especially if the swell is strong.
Some tips for striped bass fishing.
The striped bass is a constantly moving and quite unpredictable fish. This gives suspense to his fishing and increases the euphoria of the fisherman when he takes him out of the water.
Striped bass will bite more on dark days or at sunrise and sunset, as well as at night.
It is found in waters between 7 and 18°C and it does not hesitate to migrate if the temperature does not suit it. In hot weather, they reach the depths, up to 30 m. But on cloudy days, they remain close to the surface, between 30 and 60 cm deep. So adapt your fishing according to the weather!
The striped bass hunts all live bait including small fish. When the sea is agitated by the wind or the change of tide, the sediments are stirred and the bar comes to market. This is where you need to be. When you have located a striped bass tank, cast your line upstream or beyond the fish and retrieve the lure to you.
Which lure to choose for striped bass fishing?
The striped bass appreciates eels, sand eels, herring, mackerel, anchovies, sea worms or squid. You will therefore have a choice of soft lure to offer them. The leaded soft lures will be useful to you. The effectiveness of the soft lure depends a lot on the place and the fishing period. If you succeed, extract information from the locals!
Clear, pink, white lures work well in the daytime as well as imitations of their known prey; at night dark or black lures have proven themselves. But as always, it is better to have a choice in your bag, both in terms of color, size and stroke. This will save you the frustration of watching your neighbor make good catches while you only bring in some seaweed.
Choose a 12 to 20 lb monofilament line. If you have to put your catch back in the water, crush the barbs of your hooks with flat pliers. This will avoid unnecessary injury to the fish.
If you think you will find yourself near beautiful specimens, do not hesitate to choose large lures. But remember that the grip is allowed for parts between 50 and 65 cm only.
According to some specialists, the striped bass is beginning to be in excess in the St. Lawrence. Keep a close eye on the regulations, because the fishing zone may soon open up to the banks of this legendary Gaspésie river. In any case, the fishermen of this endemic species of the American Atlantic coasts have a bright future ahead of them!