Striped Bass Fish (Morone Saxatilis)

striped bass fish

Last updated on August 14th, 2022 at 04:47 pm

A striped bass fish (Morone saxatilis) is a saltwater game fish in the family Moronidae, part of the larger group of oceanic ray-finned fishes, or perciforms. Striped bass is native to the northeast Atlantic Ocean from the Arctic Ocean south to the North Sea, including the Baltic Sea, and through the Strait of Gibraltar into the Mediterranean to about 20°N, where it has become established; there are also introduced populations in Lake Michigan and Lake Huron in the United States and several European lakes.

Also known as the rockfish or striper, the striped bass fish has been prized by anglers and chefs since the colonial era. Native to both the Atlantic and Pacific coasts of North America, this saltwater fish can weigh in at up to 100 pounds and over 6 feet long, but most harvested fish are under 30 pounds.

In fact, the common name sturgeon comes from the French word esturgeon which means large fish because they were commonly mistaken for sturgeons at first glance.

Morone saxatilis is a marine fish prized for its fighting abilities and delicious meat. They live in temperate waters around the world, thriving in depths of 2-400 feet on continental shelves and along rocky coastlines. Their family includes mahi-mahi, and are closely related to black basses like largemouth and smallmouth basses.

Origin and descriptions

striped bass fish

Morone saxatilis is a species of fish that is native to large lakes and large rivers in Canada and the northern United States. Also known as striped bass or rock bass, it is a popular game fish in North America, caught for sport with light spinning or fly tackle.

They are considered excellent food fish, having a reputation among anglers as tough fighters but excellent eating.  By length, striped bass fish is one of the largest freshwater fishes in North America; only its cousin, Morone chrysops (white bass), sometimes reaches larger sizes.

The two were previously thought to be a single species. The maximum reported weight is 26 pounds (11.8 kg), although 15 pounds (6.8 kg) is more typical for adults.

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Species profile

A striped bass fish (morone saxatilis) is a saltwater game fish in the Moronidae family, part of the larger group of oceanic ray-finned fishes, or perciforms.

They are native to the northeast Atlantic Ocean from the Arctic Ocean south to the North Sea, including the Baltic Sea, and through the Strait of Gibraltar into the Mediterranean to about 20°N, where it has become established; there are also introduced populations in Lake Michigan and Lake Huron in the United States and several European lakes.


Striped bass fish prefer large, open bodies of water with sandy or soft bottoms. Their habitats include estuaries, bays, lagoons, and coastal areas in depths greater than 20 feet. They can also be found in brackish waters and around freshwater springs and tributaries in smaller numbers. Stripers are saltwater fish but can tolerate lower salinity levels when they’re juvenile fish.

Large adults usually avoid brackish waters. When living in rivers as juveniles, striped bass fish feed on small insects, worms, and crustaceans. As adult fish move to larger bodies of water, their diet consists mostly of other fish species such as black drum, spotted sea trout, and spot.

Striped bass size and weight

These fish can reach an average size of 24-36 inches (61-91 cm) in length and weigh 30 pounds (14 kg). The maximum recorded size is 72 inches (183 cm) and weighs in at over 100 pounds

Striped bass fish tank size

Due to their large size, a minimum recommended tank size of 100-150 gallons (379-568 liters) is ideal for them.

Tank requirements

If you’re keeping a striped bass fish, here are its minimum tank requirements: A 100-gallon tank is suitable for a single fish. Although they can live in freshwater, a saltwater tank is best for them. In terms of compatibility, morone saxatilis cannot be kept with other species.

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They must be given their own space so that they can move about freely and not injure themselves by hitting other fish or getting caught on decorations. It’s also essential to avoid putting your fish in an aquarium that’s too small.

An undersized tank will make it hard for them to swim around without bumping into things all the time; swimming mishaps can cause injury, which leads to stress, illness, and ultimately death. Lastly, try keeping your fish away from invasive plant life since it could affect water quality negatively, more problems mean more stress and potential injury for your fish.

Striped bass fish tank mates

Striped bass fish are usually kept with other large species of fish. They can be housed with other basses, trout, and salmon species, as well as tuna, mackerel, and mahi-mahi. In fact, due to their aggressive nature, striped bass should not be kept with smaller species like tetras or goldfish.

The aquarium should also have lots of hiding places for smaller fish to retreat to if they are attacked by a larger one.


striped bass fish

The striped bass fish is a popular game fish, often caught by recreational anglers in tidal rivers and estuaries. It makes its way into some commercial fisheries as well. They are spring spawners, so they only breed once a year when water temperatures are at or above 55 degrees Fahrenheit.

Striper spawn in early to mid-May, when water temperatures reach 60 degrees Fahrenheit. They use gravel river bottoms for laying their eggs and shallow weedy areas for hiding their young from predators during incubation. The striped bass will begin spawning immediately after turning one year old; however, most do not reproduce until they’re two years old or older. Although they can become sexually mature within their first year, striped bass has a slow growth rate.

Mature stripers spawn for about four hours, releasing between 150 and 500 eggs per female. The male releases milt before spawning with several females to increase his odds of fertilizing all of their eggs.

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They usually live 8 to 12 years and grow up to 100 pounds (roughly 45 kilograms). Like many other fish species, however, there are larger populations that tend to live longer lives than smaller populations.

Are they aggressive or peaceful?

While striped bass fish are generally peaceful fish, they do fight over their territory. If two of them can’t come to terms peacefully, they will engage in a vicious fight with each other until one of them wins.

Striped bass fish care

striped bass fish

Like all fish, striped bass fish need plenty of fresh water and air circulation. Because they are very active swimmers, they prefer large tanks with lots of open swimming space. An adult will require a minimum of a 100-gallon tank or pond. They can survive in slightly brackish conditions; however, to thrive, their water must be pure freshwater.

If you choose to keep them in saltwater conditions, make sure it is not too salty as that can lead to fin rot and eye damage. Keep your water at room temperature if possible, striped bass is happiest when kept around 75 degrees Fahrenheit. They do best when fed every day or every other day.

Feeding once a week may result in stunted growth due to malnutrition. It’s also important not to overfeed them, as overfeeding leads to bloating and disease.

Remember: Always follow instructions for recommended food amounts on food packaging, or seek advice from an experienced aquatic specialist if you have any doubts about proper feeding techniques. Most importantly, remember that pellets should never replace live foods such as small fishes and worms for optimal health.

Striped bass diet

They are predatory fish and eat a variety of foods including benthic organisms, zooplankton, crustaceans, clams, snails, and insects. Like most fish in their family, they don’t have teeth but instead chew food with gill rakers that strip out pieces from prey. This allows them to feed on animals larger than themselves.

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Striped bass fish lifespan

striped bass fish

Averagely, they can live for 15-20 years. In some cases, however, striped bass has been known to live as long as 26-30 years!

Parasites and diseases

Parasites and disease should be prevented if possible by keeping stripers in clean, well-maintained tanks, and by minimizing contact with other fish species. The most common parasites are ich, leeches, anchor worms, marine velvet, and flukes. Ich is easy to diagnose as it appears as tiny white spots on a fish’s body or fins.

Leeches attach themselves to a fish using their heads which have suckers and can only be removed by cutting them off. An effective preventative measure against these parasites involves dosing with an Ich Cure medication at a rate of 25 mg per liter of tank water every four days for two treatments.

An alternative is to mix Ich Attack into food instead of adding it directly into the tank. Treating any sick fish immediately will also help improve overall health for future treatment options. Another parasite that afflicts some striped bass is marine velvet; symptoms include weight loss, increased mucus production, and eventually death.

Do they make good pets?

No, as far as I know, striped bass fish do not make good pets. They eat all kinds of smaller fish, so they would not get along well with any pet fish you might have. Also, in many areas, they are a popular game fish, so it could be hard to find one if you really wanted one.