After 23 Years, New Jersey Has A New Hybrid Striped Bass Record

The pot-belly striper-white bass, cross-bred fish was caught by a walleye angler trolling Monksville Reservoir.

John Vayda Striped Bass
At more than 16 pounds, this Jersey fish will likely be the state record. NJ Fish and Game

Trolling deep water for fish such as walleyes sometimes produces some surprising results. That’s just what New Jersey angler John Vayda learned on Oct. 9 while trolling 20-feet of water for walleyes on 35-year old Monksville Reservoir. That’s located less than 50 miles from New York City near West Milford, New Jersey.

Vayda’s hybrid striper weighed 16-pounds, 10-ounces and has been certified by the state as the new New Jersey record for the species. The new record hybrid striper had a 23-inch girth and was 31-inches long.

Vayda’s fish edges out the 23-year old hybrid striper record for New Jersey weighing 16-pounds, 4 ounces, caught in 1999 by angler Bill Schmidt.

The New Jersey Fish and Wildlife department reports Vayda and a pair of unnamed friends were practicing for an upcoming walleye tournament when they caught the fish. The department says 12-pound test monofilament was used by Vayda to make his record catch.

Hybrid stripers are known by many names and were developed by fisheries biologists for stocking freshwaters using white bass crossed with striped bass. Such hybrids don’t grow as large as pure-bred stripers, but are more aggressive and easier to catch like white bass.

IGFA classes hybrid stripers as “whiterock” bass, and they can be produced using either male or female species from stripers or white bass. The fish can be identified by broken lines in the lateral stripes along their sides, unlike stripers that have unbroken lines. Hybrid striped bass also are deeper in body shape than leaner and longer pure stripers.

Because hybrid striped bass do not naturally reproduce, their populations can be controlled in waters where they are stocked by fisheries agencies. They’re usually stocked to boost angler catches, and are popular throughout much of America.

New Jersey Fish and Wildlife reportedly stocked hybrids in 500-acre Monksville Reservoir in 2017 in a very small release of fish. The little reservoir is on the Wanaque River.

The IGFA All-Tackle hybrid striped bass or “whiterock” came from Greers Ferry Lake, Ark. in May 1997, caught by angler Jerald Shaum while trolling a deep-diving Norman DD22 crankbait.

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