Blues at the Merrimack have the striper fishermen complaining about losing gear. Yeah, it’s a problem, but when life gives you lemons, make lemonade. Wire, man, wire…
SeaRay reported taking an 18 lb blue off the mouth on a Rapala. Nice fish anyway you catch it…
FlyfishermanNH put his buddy Pete onto a nice one at the mack, then got a little taste of what passes for manners up there…
We were on the Merrimac at 5 AM today and headed for the lower green can on Joppa, The tide was really on the out-go. We drifted with the tide half way to the Capt. George, catching a few fair 20-24" schoolies, mostly on white flies. Pete had a good one hit and was into his backing, headed for the Cpt. G. I reeled in and got on the motor and guided him to deeper water. I realize we were in the channel, but with the tide doing it’s best to push us to shore, it was all I could do.
A few boats came by and perhaps they diod not realize that a 78 yr old flyfisherman was having a ball with the fish, while trying to stand up against the constant wave action.
Pete landed it, after about 25 minutes of see -saw tussle. I snapped his photo with the fish, and then he (a retired NH game warden) gently slipped it back into the river…..to live another day, hopefully.
Est. size 35-36"…….a beautiful, chunky striper
Congrats on the nice catch!
At Channel Edge Charters, Capt. Charlie Crue reports:
Merrimack River Report
Wednesday my clients, Russ from Vermont and his friend Rich from Canada, Had a good day. It was a slow start with a weather front moving through that caused a delayed beginning as heavy rain and wind pushed through the area. After the weather settled we were able to get out and fish Joppa Flats near high tide. They enjoyed some spectacular
hits on soft baits. We boated and released a couple of stripers. One measured 36 inches and weighed 16 pounds. There were lots of smashing hits at the lures. The fish were big.
I witnessed an angler in a nearby boat get a thrilling hit on a surface popper. He fought a very large striper to the boat. I think it was a fish in the mid-thirty inch size range.
The bottom line is that the big stripers continue to move onto Joppa Flats around the high tide. It is trophy time!
Capt. Charlie Crue
Channel Edge Charters
At First Light Anglers, Derek had this:
June 23rd- Well the big fish are definitely here. The only problem is trying to get them to eat a fly. There have been lots of fish in the rocks from Marblehead to Gloucester when the tide is high and the light is low. Since the dawn and dusk tides have been low the last couple of days, we have spent most mornings and evenings chunking and fishing live bait. The mackerel have pretty much vanished but the Pollack are in the rocks off of Gloucester and they have been working fine. I have found most of them in the Brace’s Cove area and off of Milk and Thacher’s Island. We started out the last couple of days working the rocks with plastics and flies but with no real swell and super full moon low tides the picking was slow and the fish were small.
There was one really good feed down around the entrance of Boston Harbor on Monday morning but it seemed to die off and never return. The low tides at dawn typically create some fantastic surface feeds but I checked Monday afternoon and Nat looked Tuesday morning and we saw NADA!! Really kind of disappointing as we have come to almost expect a handful of days out off of Boston light and Nahant where the big bass are eating large mackerel and herring. It typically yields some of the biggest fish of the year on the fly and is so exciting because it is a surface feed. Maybe next year!!
One of the most positive signs of the year is the presence of large pogies in Beverly and Salem Harbors. I also got a report today from Pat Brown that the large pogies were over in Ipswich Bay in large dense schools. I have not seen numbers of pogies like this around since I was a teenager and we used to routinely snag adult pogies in the Essex and Parker rivers. This is the type of bait that truly brings the 50lber inshore!
Most of the big fish we have taken over the last week have been taken on bait in some deeper holes inshore 30-50’ at low tide or offshore in about 100’ to 150’. The blues have moved in and they have been a bit of a pain at times. They are all small 6-10lbs, a perfect tuna bait size, but not large enough to keep it interesting. These next couple of weeks should prove excellent for catching some larger fish especially if the bait sticks around.
With all of this large bait around I would say the best bet with the fly is to start fishing some large patterns and maybe to start fishing at night. I would also look for shallow grass beds and beaches on the high tide. I find these areas can be great for finding large bass on the high tides at low light. As always, please call the shop or send me an email for more information. Thanks, Capt. Derek (978-948-7004 firstname.lastname@example.org