4 Jan 2015
First, I hope that everyone reading this had a great Christmas or Holiday with their families and that you have a great New Year! I also hope you keep collecting all of those brownie points at home because we are all going to need that good will when fishing season returns!!
It may be 18 weeks and 5 days until my marina re-opens but it is only 6 days until the Rockingham Fishing & Hunting Show! I will be giving a seminar again Saturday morning. www.rockinghamexpo.com
We all have our theories of where the vast numbers of the Striped Bass from 2013 where in 2014. I am not naive enough to think that we do not have fewer fish available to catch. We also had more people fishing for them with the severe restrictions on ground fish and the cost of fuel to target them! But to go from "great" to "okay" in one year leads me to think other factors were in play. My personal theory is that the water temps were very cold in the winter to spring and also staid cool well into June. When the stripers migrated they hit the cold water, had plenty of food in place and simply stopped moving. I feel that many of the fish we saw in 2013 spent the summer in deeper, warmer water. Some came into the Merrimack and Ipswich Bay and there were small fish available but the lager number of big bass staid where they were warm & well fed. That's my story and I'm sticking to it!
Realistically I think I / we were getting a little spoiled with our success. Frankly it was getting to be "catching" not "fishing" and now we are all back to working more closely with early mornings and tides. Another key is to not miss opportunities!! With fewer fish comes less competition for food and fewer suicidal stripers all but catching themselves. Back to basics; fresh live bait, a light touch on the reel, the proper amount of "drop back" and engaging the reel to let the circle hook do it's job. It all sounds so easy form the comfort of my office.
One of the side benefits of a slower season is to stop and analyze how you are fishing, where you are fishing and maybe try a few of those places you "used to fish" or always planned to try but did not get to. I know I did and it saved my bacon on more that one charter. I do not have all of the answers but I do enjoy trying to find them. It is what helps get me up all of those early mornings and working to put smiles on the faces of my clients, many who have become friends over the years. So cheer up! Fishing show season is almost here and winter is 35% behind us!
See you at the shows!