Wholly mackerel, what a start!
We are off to the best start in over 10 years. Nothing unusual water temperature wise or bait wise but the stripers are here in numbers and they are feeding. It started on May 27th with a quick trip out with Arlin, Mike and Andrew. We worked a bit to get the mackerel but eventually filled both live wells and headed to the beach. We threw out a live mackerel and almost immediately get a take. We miss the first take but set the hook on the 2nd and Arlin lands a healthy 28″striper. I think we would have caught more but we had to go due to commitments on land.
Headed out with Jean, Louis, and two junior anglers in hopes of the boys seeing some action. They had a blast catching and playing with mackerel and Jean decides he wants to take a shot at some stripers. We head to our spot and get takes right off the bat, the guys go 7 for 14 with the largest being 33″. Again we did not fish the usual amount of time and had to head in early so the boys could make supper, and striper it was as they scored 3 slot fish.
June 6 & 7 Now things really blow up
My good friend and regular client Sammy was up and brought along his charter Captain Bob, of Off The Hook Charters on the Hudson river in New York, to experience some Maine style striped bass fishing. They couldn’t of timed it better. Starts off with us finding stripers busting on bait even before we get to our spot. Captain Bob had a great view from up on the bow as waves of stripers pass around and under the boat. Immediately they both hook up and it is non stop for the rest of the trip. They combine for over 30 stripers landed and many many more dropped or missed.
We started off the second day wondering if we could match the day before, as a storm was moving in but we had a window in the morning before the fog and heavy stuff. As we head to our spot we run in to them again feeding on the surface and hook right up. The feeds didn’t last as long as yesterday but we get regular hook ups regardless. This day I fished along with Sam and Bob and we had several triple hook ups and ensuing fire drills. We had a blast and we land over 25 stripers before the weather chased us off the water. The size of the stripers ranged from 22-34″ and were nice and chunky. The guys had a great time in Maine and along with fishing the beach at night they landed over 75 stripers for their 2 day visit!
The storm that came in on Friday kept me off the water Saturday with strong winds and high seas. I was a little nervous that the front coming through plus the dirty water and big swells would shut the stripers down. I had first time clients onboard and they really wanted to get in to ’em. I picked up Thomas, George, Lisa, and Claudia “KRAUSE!” at Prouts Neck at 8AM. My spirits began to lift as while jigging up some mackerel, Thomas’s rod doubles over and I see a 24″ striper on one of the Sabiki flies! He had it on for about 10 seconds before it broke off, not his fault as the drag was not set for a striper nor was the Sabiki fly hook no where near the size for a striper. After we fill the wells with perfectly sized mackerel, we head to our first location. I see some birds working but there are no stripers under them,…..uh oh. I head to a previously productive spot and set anchor. I am explaining to the crew the method of hooking and fighting a striper on my light tackle as I cast out the first mackerel. The mackerel hits the water and I could not get through the first sentence as a striper inhales the mackerel seconds after it hits the water. I am now at peace as the crew begins to hammer the stripers from the get go. We take a half time break to drop Lisa off for some land medicine, (I give her credit for toughing it out as long as she did). We return for the second half and start hooking up again missing the first few, but have a steady pick of fish. Claudia develops in to the high hook for the day and did really well picking up the fighting technique especially for her first time fishing, (she certainly got plenty of practice this day). I think we may have created a fishing monster, but I think George is a lucky man if his ego can handle it. Everybody did a great job and were fun to have onboard, they ended the day with around 25 stripers landed and a few slot fish to bring home to feed their people.