18 Apr 2016
I'm sure that I am not the only captain who could not wait any longer to take the cover off the boat! I'm in the process of checking batteries (yes, I need a new one) setting up service work that I cannot manage myself and putting all of those serviced reels back on rods!! I've purchased several new rods & reels to keep my gear current and tied way to many circle hooks on fluorocarbon leaders so I'm getting to be as ready as I can for 2016. Now we need a few stripers!!!
The reports out of Rhode Island are that the small schoolie (12" to 15"s) invasion started around April 12th. One accounting told of 50 fish in 2 days!! There have also been reports of fish on the South Cape!! The April 16 NOAA SST (sea surface temperature) shows 8 degrees Celsius (46.6 F) north of the Cape now too! Stripers, especially small ones can and will tolerate those water temps. We only need 10 C (50 F) for stripers to actively chase a lure!!
I'm predicting (think; hoping, praying, etc.) that there will be reports of the first fish in the Merrimack by the end of the first week in May! This is a real possibility as it happened in 2003 & 2012 when we had warm winters. I know my buddies Captains Pete & Chris will be all but living in their boats from May 5-9 to catch their first striper. Any size fish will do, they just have to catch one before I get back from Florida to beat me to it! After the 9th, it will be game over for those scoundrels!! :))
Another nice thing came with the warmer weather & sunshine, my phone & email came back to life with charter inquires. I try to always keep my calendar on the web site up to date so if anyone "out there" is thinking about a fishing adventure this summer, please get in touch. We can work together to plan a great day on the water for you & your friends or family!