It’s Cinder-Worm Season on the Muddy Striper Flats!

Written by: Peter Kutzer


If you’re a fly angler in the Northeast, you know that we are sitting smack dab in the middle of prime time for some of the best hatches of the year. But one unique “hatch” that is sometimes overlooked doesn’t happen in fresh water. I’m talking about the hatch or swarm of Cinder Worms (Alitta succinea), which occurs in the salt ponds and estuaries along the New England coast.


Cinder worms swarm in late spring/early summer, creating great striper-fishing opportunities.
Photo © Hans Hillewaert, via Wikipedia.

In late spring, typically when an afternoon low tide lines up with a new or a full moon, these worms emerge from muddy bottoms after they have been warmed by the afternoon sun. Cinder worm numbers can seem like they are in the millions and have frustrated many striper anglers . Without a doubt the best tool to use while the worm hatch is going on is a fly rod. Many dedicated striper enthusiast believe that when the bait is small and the fish are close, a fly rod will outperform any other form of fishing with a rod and line.


An anglers shows off a worm-eating schoolie bass, while a nicer fish feeds in the background.
Photo courtesy Orvis-endorsed guide Capt. Aron Cascone.

This June, Orvis is very excited to offer a specialty school targeting the worm-hatch stripers in the Salt ponds of Rhode Island. Click here for more information.

2 thoughts on “It’s Cinder-Worm Season on the Muddy Striper Flats!”

  1. Great article and awesome opportunity for anglers to learn how to fish the cinder worm hatch. Trout Unlimited will be in Providence May 30-31 for a regional meeting (and some fishing!) We’d love to see anyone interested in hearing from our CEO, talking with Dr. Jack Williams our senior scientist about climate change and more to join us. Local TU members will even take you out fishing for stripers on their favorite spots in the marsh!

    Register here – http://www.tu.org/northeast-regional-meeting

  2. The NE may have great striper fishing, but let’s not forget out West! Great battles to be won in Central and Northern California. The Sacramento River has crazy seasons of wicked striper battles 😉

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