Striper Blitz

Striper Blitz at Montauk's Turtle Cove

Striper Blitz at Montauk

A feeding frenzy called a "Blitz" is happening right in close to the shore and within casting range of this surf fisherman. He is catching stripers.

The Blitz

In the fall as the water cools baitfish which have been growing up in the estuaries and bays migrate out into the open ocean. There they meet up with striped bass which are involved with their own migration south along the coast.

The feeding frenzies that result are called blitzes. Sea birds join the blitzes. The birds provide a beacon for fishermen. Boat fishermen scan the horizon with binoculars looking for the tell-tale birds. Surf fishermen drive the roads and beaches along the coast looking for birds. When they find the blitzes they get to enjoy some of the best striped bass fishing of the year.

Often the stripers are accompanied with bluefish. Bluefish are sometimes called choppers, because they chop chunks out of the baitfish, rather than eating them whole. The resulting pieces, including the heads, sink deeper into the water column where larger stripers lay in wait for an easy meal.

Sometimes the blitzes occur close to the beach within casting range of surf fishermen. Often they occur too far out and the surf fishermen can only watch. These blitzes are sometimes short in duration, but they will occur again someplace else. The birds and the fishermen are always searching.