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Cunner

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Anybody ever use a Cunner as bait for Striped bass successfully ?  Ever hear of such a thing ?

Just curious. Was considering tying up something to imitate a Cunner . I'd imagine bass eat 'em.  Thoughts ?

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Never thought about that before. I used to catch them off the ledges when I was a kid using periwinkles for bait. If I recall correctly they have spines that might deter the stripers from swallowing them ? That being said they eat crabs so who knows. I'm sure someone here would know.

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Never cunner, but I caught a ton on live pollock when I was a kid fishing in a location you can probably guess from my user name.  

The reddish brown coloration of a small cunner is close to the color of the juvenile pollock that live in the kelp and take on a reddish color to match the habitat.  I would think you could tie something with a red/brown theme that would be a good imitator for both and fish it right in the wash along oceanfront ledges and do very well. 

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When you asked this question, I originally would have thought that yes Stripers would eat cunner, or anything else for that matter.  

I vaguely remember that I had read that some guys on a Striper forum had said they caught stripers live-lining cunner down in Mass. 

I did a little snooping around for scientific articles about what stripers would eat.

I didn't find anything about stripers eating cunner specifically. 

I found tons of articles about what stripers eat and if anything cunner would fall into a category of "other fish" in those articles but most of "the fish" that were eaten were soft fin rayed fish.

I also found a ton of research articles about the food habits of introduced stripers in southeastern lakes, because anglers down there had claimed that the striped bass were eating the juvenile largemouth bass and crappies and similar.  Fisheries guys did research which showed that stripers "preferred" fish with soft fin rays there too and they found that striper predation had no influence on black bass or crappie populations in those lakes 

I guess that would mean, since cunner do have sharp spines that stripers would probably not "prefer' to eat them, too.  

That would mean that most stripers in the ocean would prefer to eat just about anything over a cunner, but they would in a pinch.

I suppose  since the language was "prefer" that in a worst case scenario stripers actually would eat a largemouth or a crappie and probably a cunner (as the anglers in Mass claimed, on Striper on line), but if there was something else around they'd go for that instead.

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Very informative info right there thank you cap

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Thanks Cap.

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There was an interesting point in an article I read about striper diet in Chesapeake Bay.

The most common food for stripers there, are crustaceans (shrimp, amphipods and crabs) and fish (mostly anchovies and menhaden), and to a lessor extent other fish, worms, and other stuff like mollusks and tunicates.

The interesting point was that smaller and younger fish seemed to prefer crustaceans while the older larger fish seemed to prefer fish.

 

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Kinda makes since easier for the bigger more powerful fish to catch and eat other fish where crustaceans are much slower generally and a easier meal. My biggest striper was on a guitar minnow. Although I do catch a ton on crabs and decent size 

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Bigger bait bigger fish :D

kinda like nymphs and dries catch more, but often smaller, trout while throwing a streamer will bring the bigger ones out to play. But then you’ll have a 5” brookie take a size 6 mouse. 

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