Will Striped Bass "hold over" in fresh water?

by Gregg I.

I fish a 200 acre lake in the Greater Boston area for both largemouth and smallmouth bass.

In mid-July of this year, I had a fantastic 4 hours of surprising fishing. This lake is the head-waters of a river which flows about 6 miles into Boston Harbor through locks at the entrance to the harbor, transitioning from fresh-to brackish-to salt water. The river supports a strong alewife (herring run).

While casting from shore, I caught two twelve pound stripers and a 6 lb. largemouth, casting zara spooks directly into a small spill-way. Now, I'm aware the stripers follow the alewife right up into the lake (as I've caught many stripers while fishing the salt water side of the locks). This got me thinking if the stripers are strictly a seasonal bonus, moving back into the sea for a fall migration, or if the biology of the striper will allow it to winter over in fresh water?

I ask this only after talking to a local angler who "swears" he has proof that stripers have been caught through the ice at this lake!! I'm VERY dubious about his claim, but local rumors and lore sometimes have merit! If anyone has any insight or thoughts on this, I'd be interested to hear more.

"Tight lines, all!"

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