|The striper fishing in Merrimack River system continues to be superb. Last weekend our charter clients enjoyed the great action; more than 30 keeper sized stripers were landed and released. A good number of the fish were taken on flies and many others using various light tackle options. As mentioned last week, the early run large stripers (40”+ fish) that were well up river chasing herring, have begun dropping back. |
Overall, the total number of hook-ups is dropping off a bit about, 15% or so. This is expected. A number of stripers will begin to leave the river system and head offshore, as well as, north and south of the rivers mouth in pursuit of food. The ocean water temperature is warming up; large schools of mackerel can be found off Salisbury Beach and Cape Ann.
Captain Allan Smith and his dad had two outstanding afternoons live lining mackerel off Rockport Sunday and Monday. In Allan’s own words; “We got between Straitsmouth Island and Thatcher Island, and I saw a few birds working. I could see fish rolling, but with the cold water temperatures I assumed they were stripers. Well, two casts later a bluefish slammed my popper. We caught two blues, and lost a couple more. Not bad for 55 degree water. Next we went over to the rocks, and caught several stripers in rapid succession, a 33", a 35", a 34", a 36" and a 38" in about an hour. I just wished I had brought my flyrod with me”.
Looking to next week; expect the striper fishing to continue to be great, surf fishing along Plum Island will get better as will the coastal fishing along Rockport and Gloucester. The normally fished areas in Ipswich, Essex, Manchester and the Parker River exit to Plum Island sound will no doubt become increasingly better as well. Whether we see more bluefish remains to be seen.