The bass grows to a great size, the heaviest of which we have found definite record being several of about 125 pounds that were taken at Edenton, N. C., in April 1891. Stripers are powerful fish; so strong in fact, that they appear to have no difficulty in handling themselves in the surf, where one is sometimes seen actually in the translucent crest of a comber just before the latter breaks. The bass is very voracious, feeding on smaller fishes of whatever kind may be available, and on a wide variety of invertebrates. Lists of its stomach contents for one locality or another include alewife, anchovy, croakers, channel bass, eels, flounders, herring, menhaden, mummichogs, mullet, rock eels (Pholis gunnellus), launce, sculpins, shad, silver hake, silversides, smelt, tomcod, weakfish, white perch, lobsters, crabs of various kinds, shrimps, isopods, gammarid crustaceans, various worms, squid, soft clams (Myra) and small mussels. In our Gulf the larger bass prey chiefly on herring, smelt, sand launce, eels, and silver hake, on squid (on which they gorge when they have the opportunity), on crabs large and small, on lobsters, and on sea worms. When bass are gorging on any one particular prey it is common knowledge among fishermen that they are likely to ignore food of other sorts for the time being. It seems also that when prey is plentiful, bass are likely to gorge, then cease feeding to digest, then to gorge again; also that all the members of a given school are likely to do this in unison, with consequent annoyance to the angler.
From Fishes of the Gulf of Maine by Bigelow and Schroeder (1953) online courtesy of MBL/WHOI http://www.gma.org/fogm/Roccus_saxatilis.htm