Stripers By Any Other Name

A litany of the many names and sizes of striped bass.

RATS or DINKS: Fish that are 12 inches or smaller. More lovingly called micro-bass, juvies or, laughingly, stripers-in-diapers. These fish are only a year old.

SHORTS OR JUVIES: The entire class of juvenile fish smaller than 28 inches, but generally reserved for those 18 inches or better. Two to 4 year old fish.

SCHOOLIES: In halcyon days of yore, school bass meant fish of legal size, at or slightly below 10 pounds. Today, it is a term used for short bass that are in the 22- to 26-inch range, and 4 or 5 years old. “Respectable” schoolies are those in the 24- to 25-inch range

LEEBOBS: A term that only recently came into the local surfcasting lexicon. It refers to fish that are just a smidge shy of legal: a 27 incher or maybe one 26-and-a fraction. Coined because our good surfcasting buddy LeeBob has a special talent for finding and hooking these. Estimated age of these fish is 6 years.

KEEPER: A legal striped bass at minimum 28 inches, usually weighing 8 to 12 pounds and 7 to 9 years of age.

SLOT STRIPER: Not to be confused with the non-aquatic “slut stripper.” Starting in 2020, NY State law holds that keeper bass must be 28 inches or larger, but no larger than 35 inches.

TEEN BASS: Indisputable keeper stripers that are usually well over 30 inches, weigh in at around 15 pounds give or take and are believed to be around 10 years old.

QUALITY FISH: A striper of noteworthy size and weight. Usually in the 20 pound range. These fish will be 36 inches or longer, 11 or 12 years old.

COW BASS: A large and heavy fish of 25 pounds or more. Usually fish of this size are 40-inch long females that are 13 to 15 years old.

TROPHY BASS: From the surf these days, a rarely-in-a-lifetime fish 40 to 50 pounds or larger, which can be nearly five feet long, and be old enough to vote, drink and buy cigarettes.

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