Running together, Clarks Hill stripers, hybrids make for great spring action

Guide Brad Sasser runs into a lot of mixed schools of striped bass (left) and hybrid bass on April trips to Clarks Hill Lake.

Guide Brad Sasser said late March and April are excellent for catching both stripers and hybrids at Clarks Hill Lake, and that’s not necessarily a year-round pattern.

“Both species are actively feeding and on the move looking for forage, particularly with herring spawning at this time of the year,” he said. “We never know what to expect in terms of the next fish, and I like the change of pace knowing we may catch a chunky hybrid on one rod and the next one may be a huge striper from the same spot.”

Sasser said this is not unusual, but at some times of the year, the catch may predominately be one species or the other. Hybrids tend to constitute much of the catch in early summer and stripers during late summer.

During April, he said, both stripers and hybrids are energetic and feeding, and they tend to home in on the same forage in the same place. The intermingling of the two species is primarily herring-driven.

“I like the April pattern because we do catch a lot of really big stripers, but the action is fast enough with all sizes of stripers and hybrids to keep us busy,” he said.”

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Award-winning writer and photographer Terry Madewell of Ridgeway, S.C., has been an outdoors writer for more than 30 years. He has a degree in wildlife and fisheries management and has a long career as a professional wildlife biologist/natural resources manager.