Merrimack River Fishing Reports, Plum Island area,, Newburyport MA. > Looking back to peak forward


28 Feb 2016

 The fishing shows are winding down and I'm ready for the real thing!

 Last Friday Captains Pete, Chris & I went on the annual trip to the RISSA Fishing Show in Providence. Some unfortunate sole had a bad accident & the travel time doubled (over 3 hours) but we were so busy telling fishing stories that it did not really bother us! I'm not normally that patient but the company was great & we were all talking our favorite subject, FISHING!

 I've seen on the weather that we are currently in the number 2 spot for warmest winters ever! 1st was 2001-2002 & 3rd was 2001-2012. This got me looking back at my fishing logs and I think I found something to smile about after the past two, less than stellar seasons.

 First perspective.............

  • I caught my 1st fish in 2015 on May 15
  • After delaying the start to my charter season due to cold weather & cold water, the 1st keeper was caught on June 13th while chumming & chunking up river.
  • First day I recorded water temps of 60 or above was June 27th

 In 2002 things were very different!

  • 1st striper May 10th
  • May 17th we caught 25 schoolies to 27"s on Joppa Flats in 2 hours!
  • May 19th the water temp was up to 53 degrees, 1st keeper was caught on a plug and 27 schoolies were released.
  • First day I recorded water temps of 60 or above was June 5th

Summer 2012

  • 1st striper May 10
  • May 13, 1st keepers! 2 caught trolling on Joppa Flats and 2 caught on live bait by the jetties at the mouth! Plus several schoolies, all caught by a newly wed couple from Kansas who had never seen a striper before!
  • First day I recorded water temps of 60 or above was May 28

 As to the numbers of fish.  2002 was only the second year of 1 fish at 28"s per person. This was smaller than 2000 with a size of 1 fish at 30"s. That year on Summer Job I handled over 1400 fish & 232 "keepers" (not all were kept). In 2012 I handled 282 "keepers" by the end of June but the total numbers were down. Part of that is because I do not target small fish at all if there are better bass to be had.

 While acknowledging that there are not as many stripers as in 2012 (and certainly not as many as 2002) we had a tremendous number of small fish early in 2012 that dropped out of the Hudson River  following bait due to warmer than normal river water temps. We could have those warm water temps again this year!!!

 So what does this mean for us in 2016? No one knows! But I am banking on it being a much earlier start to a much better season of striper fishing! Without a positive attitude, we will never catch more fish. I must say, I do love catching fish!!!!!!!

Keep thinking those positive thoughts!

Good fishing

Capt. Scott

Capt. Scott Maguire

Fishing Newburyport

Contact Captain Scott Maguire via:

E-mail: captscottmaguire@comcast.net

 Telephone: 978-465-2307

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