After 23 years, New Jersey holds new hybrid striped bass record

John Vayda striped bass
The jersey fish weighed more than 16 pounds and could set a state record.
New Jersey Fish and Game

Trolling deep sea fish such as walleye can sometimes yield some surprising results. That’s exactly what New Jersey angler John Vayda learned while trolling 20 feet of water at the 35-year-old Monksville Reservoir on Oct. 9. It is less than 50 miles from New York City near West Milford, NJ.

Weighing 16 pounds 10 ounces, Vayda’s Hybrid Stripper has been certified by the state as a New Jersey record for the species. The new record-breaking hybrid streak machine measures 23 inches in circumference and 31 inches long.

Vayda’s fish, caught by angler Bill Schmidt in 1999, surpassed the 23-year record for a New Jersey mixed striped fish weighing 16 pounds, 4 ounces.

The New Jersey Department of Fish and Wildlife reported that Vayda and an unnamed pair of friends caught the fish while practicing for an upcoming walleye championship. Vayda used a 12-pound test monofilament to set his record, the department said.

The hybrid striped fish goes by many names and was developed by fisheries biologists for stocking freshwater using white bass crossed with striped bass. This hybrid does not grow as large as a purebred striped but is more aggressive and easier to catch like a white bass.

The IGFA classifies hybrid bandfish as “whiterock” bass, which can be produced using either male or female species from bandfish or white bass. Fish can be identified by dashed lines in lateral stripes along their sides, as opposed to stripes that have uninterrupted lines. Mixed striped bass also have a deeper body size than the leaner and longer pure striped bass.

Because hybrid striped bass do not breed naturally, their populations can be controlled in the waters where fisheries stock them. They are often stocked to increase the angler’s catch and are popular in much of the United States.

New Jersey Fish and Wildlife reportedly stocked the 500-acre Monksville Reservoir in 2017 with a small number of hybrids. The small reservoir is located on the Wanack River.

IGFA All-Tackle Hybrid Striped Bass or “whiterock” from Greers Ferry Lake, Arkansas in May 1997, caught by angler Jerald Shaum while fishing a deep dive Norman DD22 crank bait.

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