23 Jun 2013
This is the heart of my charter season so I've been lax in my reporting. The bait situation has been the biggest problem this year. We had loads of small mackerel, then schools of "giant" mackerel (really, you could put saddles on them & go for a ride) and now they are hit or miss at many of my bait "spots". Today I was fortunate to be called into a school of macks by a friend off Hampton Shoal Ledge and they were nice mid sized, perfect bait mackerel! I've also read Salem Harbor and now Gloucester have more macks so things should be picking up on the bait front.
The Merrimack has been giving up plenty of quality stripers all week. Granted last Saturday was as crazy out there as I've seen in years between standing waves, boats & boat wakes! For some reason the stripers put up with the chaos and will take a well presented live (or fresh dead) mackerel. My clients have been returning to the dock with the keepers they want for dinner and the memories & photos of the others released to fight again. The "average" seems to be 30-34"s and that makes for a great day of fishing anywhere! I truly think the Merrimack River is a world class fishery.
The bird activity seems to have fallen off to some extent. When you see birds working over bait and they disperse before you can get to them, be patient, sit on the spot for a while & they probably will re surface. It sure beats running around in circles missing "feeds" and you will probably catch more fish.
I'll end with a photo taken today of Nick & Mark Grover. They doubled up on these nice striped bass and the smiles tell it all!