Some striped bass schools have been holding at 60-75 feet, but there is now a division between adults and young. Young stripers are eating plankton that is found most readily in the upper 25 feet. Young fish have moved shallow leaving the older fish at 30-60 feet.
Anglers can take advantage of this behavior by searching the backs of canyons where water is murky. I know this is mentioned in every spring fishing report. It is emphasized every time because it makes all the difference between catching and not catching fish. Pay close attention to water color. Main channel water is clear and blue. That water color is not conducive to catching fish in early spring.
Near the back of the canyon water color may change to green, murky or muddy. Start fishing at the color change. Juvenile stripers will be randomly scattered in the upper layers as they pursue plankton schools. The best technique is to troll or cast medium depth crankbaits that run at 12 feet. When we tried this technique this week we found willing 2-pound stripers in the back of all three canyons fished in Padre Bay. Success was not quick but it was consistent.
Back at the fish cleaning station we found all stripers were mature males. It is common to catch only male or females stripers depending on the circumstances. On this day the small warming event was enough to put a chip on the shoulder of the males, while females could care less as spawning thoughts do not occur for them until water temperature reaches 70. Males were striking at lures that invaded their personal space while females were either absent or without aggression. Springtime fishing is subtle.
Adult stripers are deeper and can be found in the backs of the canyons where depth changes abruptly from deep water to a 30 feet plateau or bench. Best techniques are down rigger trolling, spooning or bait fishing.