Top 6 The Useful Information About This Striped Killifish For Bait

Striped killifish for bait has very interesting features that are loved by many people.

Silvery and minnow-like, the striped killifish residing in the tidal creeks and sand flats within the Chesapeake Bay area is an endemic type.

There are a number of fishes in the tidal waters of New York Harbor that are abundant and, in my opinion, often left unsuspected. This group is the small and slender Killifish, otherwise known as a killi.

As far as their looks are concerned, they look like shy, little fish that are shaped like minnows and have only a single dorsal fin and a short tail, with a square-shaped or rounded shape. 

It is not as sharp as the teeth of snappers or as fast as the movement of stripers, as it differs from the teeth of snappers. 

Besides, they aren’t slimy like eels or they’re not as old as sturgeons or dinosaurs.

Nonetheless, a reader of a Peterson Field Guide on Atlantic Coast Fishes may find that there are many species of killifish under the family Cyprinodontidae, from Diamond killifish all the way to Rainwater killifish. 

It is possible to find a wide variety of killies too in New York Harbor and the surrounding local waters, including the Banded killifish and Spotfin killifish, however, stripe killifish and mummichogs are the two species that are most commonly found. 

Striped killifish for bait has very interesting features
Striped killifish for bait has very interesting features

This is a type of fish I tend to find constantly when I am fishing. 

​In the northeast part of the United States, the name Killifish comes from Dutch settlers who arrived there early. 

There is nothing mysterious about the name “killi” as it derives from the Dutch word “Kil”, which means “creek.” Killies are obviously “fish from a creek.” 

The names Arthur Kill, Fishkill, or Kill Van Kull have nothing to do with murder, but with fish, and are well-established terms in the Dutch language.

Whenever possible, anglers use these fish as bait, as almost any fish that is bigger or heavier in size will eat a killie, including sea bass, striped bass, bluefish, eels, and a variety of wading birds like great blue herons and great egrets. 

 Despite the fact that this fish is primarily used for bait, there is more to it than that. 

Kallies are some of the hardest animals on the planet and are often used for bait.

The fishes are capable of enduring temperatures, salinities, and even oxygen levels that are near zero in many of these extreme conditions. 

I have seen fishermen holding dead killies – flipping, flopping and fluttering around for hours in their pants or shirt pockets, flipping and flopping them around for hours on end, for live bait – for what I believe to be the longest time ever. 

It has been said that striped killifish can survive for several hours out of the water, albeit a bit uncomfortably, as long as their gills are moist and they are not completely dried out. 


What Does Striped Killifish Look Like?
What Does Striped Killifish Look Like?

Despite being smaller than the average killifish, the female striped killifish grows to about eight inches in length. 

Among the killifish found in the Chesapeake Bay, they are by far the largest in the world. 

The male and female are both slender, compacted animals that have long, pointed snouts with a highly developed facial structure. 

Females have more than two black stripes near the tail fins of their tails, whereas males have up to fifteen glossy black stripes on each side, whereas females have an irregular pattern of two to three dark black stripes across each side. 

There are two types of silvery olives, one with a lighter belly color, and the other with a darker one.


Polychaetes (bristle worms), as well as small crustaceans and mollusks, are the main sources of nutrition for this species.

Predators Of Striped Killifish For Bait

In addition to wading birds like herons and egrets, there are also birds that fly over the water like terns and gulls, along with a variety of fishes like striped bass and bluefish. 

Anglers also use striped killifish as bait in their efforts to catch fish.

Striped killifish are frequently used as bait by anglers
Striped killifish are frequently used as bait by anglers

An Overview Of Reproduction And Life Cycle

A striped killifish, which was previously known as a pipefish, breeds in calm, shallow water close to shore from April to September in the Chesapeake Bay region. 

There has been evidence that females actively burrow their eggs during the laying process. 

Hatching can occur in as little as 12 to 41 days depending on the temperature of the water, whereas eggs in warm water will hatch faster. 

The stripe killifish can spawn a number of times during a given season. They reach adulthood within two years after they spawned.


Prefer coastal bays, estuaries, salt marshes and coastal marshes that have higher salinities and are protected. 

Large schools of fish can be found in waves-swept areas with sandy bottoms. Freshwater is generally inhospitable to them. Dip nets or seines may be used in order to capture them.

Have You Heard?

As striped killifish and mummichog share a degree of resemblance, they are often called the “striped mummichog.” 

However, mummichogs rarely live in fully-saltwater environments and almost none of these fish meet their living needs in freshwater.

Interestingly, striped killifish are known to burrow into the mud during the winter months, and are known to tolerate sandy habitats more than other killifish.

This killer fish is usually found in close proximity to shore and rarely ventures more than 100 yards from the shoreline. 

In times of receding tide, they are able to become stranded in tide pools or puddles, but their ability to go back to the water can be achieved by flopping head over tail on land for several yards.

Video About Striped Killifish 


How long does a striped killifish usually last?

The lifespan of these fish usually lasts from 3 to 5 years.

How long does the incubation of this fish last?

It has been reported that eggs can hatch within a short period of time as little as 12 days if the water is very warm, whereas eggs in water that is cool will hatch quicker.

What is the main source of nutrition for this fish?

Polychaetes (bristle worms) serve as the main source of nutrition for this species as well as small crustaceans and mollusks and small animals.

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