14 Oct 2009
I hate to write this one! In fact I've had little to say for a while, but here it goes....
Mid May came and once again we did not get the great schoolie action we have been used to in the past. In fact it has been 2-3 years since the hoards of 12-20" striper's came early and hit almost anything we threw at them. I miss it and I am still holding out hope that it is a cycle, not a down turn.
June arrived with a persistent northeast wind, cool temperatures, rain and a little fog to spice things up. But so did the mackerel and striper's so we were wishing for better weather but catching fish, quality fish in fact! It rained so often that I stopped calling clients to warn them, they knew but had also been reading my fishing reports so they arrived in full rain gear and we caught fish! We did have some sun, at least 2-3 days worth, but we also totaled 9.10"s of rain. The total number of fish caught in June was down but the number of better bass (28"s plus) was up so it was a good month.
July brought us more rain! It was hard to believe but at the end of the month we had more rain than in June, 9.23" by my rain gage. Again the persistent NE wind and it's swell kept the mouth of the river very "exciting". There was one notable accident with loss of life and I saw 2 boats with passengers bailing out the excess water before the next swell took them down! I stayed to the edges or inside, no one needs to be put in danger for a fish. Again the total numbers of striper's caught were down for the month but I also handled more "keepers" than I have in years so all was well on Summer Job! We also had a run of bluefish for a week or so that definitely added a little excitement to the days catch!!!
August the sun finally came out!!!!! The mackerel stayed around and the fishing was very good! We had a few ( I only logged 18 caught) bluefish around but the better bass seemed to have found a home in or near the Merrimack and the good catches continued. I actually logged two and a half times more "keepers" than my best August to date which was 2003! Probably because the water temps never heated up do to of all the cool temps & rain in previous months. Or because the the mid-water trawlers were booted out of out area and we had bait fish to hold the striper's, either way we had some very nice fishing in August!!
September started out with a bang for me! I boated a striper, in the river, that easily max'ed out my 30# boga grip on Labor Day!! I had friends casting to tuna on Jeffery's and it just looked like we were on a roll! Then the winds came back. From 9-9 to 9-13 I could not get off the dock. When I did get out the fishing was good but then it would blow 3-4 days, good day and blow again. It was just hard to get a rhythm or predictable weather to plan a charter. I did get out and did well, but September is normally a very good month for me and it just was not to be.
October, unfortunately was a repeat of September. We did not see peanut bunker again this year. On a positive note, there were small herring which did bring in some nice surface feeds but not what we all were hoping for. The bluefish did return from the river mouth to High Sandy. There were a few peanut bunker late and we are fishermen, optimist by nature, there is hope for better runs next year!!
All in all, this year was a challenge but with plenty of quality striped bass to please the clients, what more can a charter captain hope for. More fish next year comes to mind, so I will end on that. See you all next year!!