5 May 2017
Well, actually this is a photo of the 2nd striper. The first got away while I was both fumbling for the camera and trying not to hurt the fish..................
There have been several reports of stripers being caught so I went out on the Merrimack with my friend Paul. It was classic early spring fishing, cold and windy. I aimed us to one of my early season spots and on the first cast I had a hit. On the second I caught my first striper of the 2017 season! This is the earliest I've caught a fish since I started my charter business in 1999! Frankly, it went a little down hill from there.
We went out at the warmest part of the day, hoping the fish would be more active. The water temp at Cashman Park Boat Ramp was 55 degrees (50 degrees is the low/ happy temp for stripers). It was also just about low tide. I would normally plan for a dropping high tide. We both had several half hearted hits and both caught fish but the screen showed that there were many fish just under the boat, not willing to play.
This is the third year in a row of early season "micro bass" which means we have had three good year classes of fish. Or at least 3 year classes of fish that came to our area. As the water temps rise and the fish fill into our waters, we will have a great spring light tackle fishery (single hooks & quick releases please)! I will chase these fish until mid May. By then the mackerel that are currently offshore will start moving in, as will the better bass.
It's shaping up to be a good year!