Be sure to check out the report from First Light Anglers I posted here yesterday…
Big news this week is that the no-wake zone in the Merrimack has been extended to the river mouth. That ought to add up to a lot of tickets and boardings for harbormaster! Might even make the weekends almost fishable, but I’m not holding my breath.
In the Merrimack, Capt. Charlie Crue reports:
Merrimack River Report #7 July 7, 2005
The inshore Merrimack fishing continues to be very good. We are still catching and releasing many very small “twinkie” stripers but there are also some big fish around. For instance I took a leisurely journey out on Sunday. It was an absolutely beautiful summer morning. After my coffee and muffin I caught 17 twinkies. I always have the barbs bent down on my flies to minimize injury to the fish. I want them to grow to keeper size! Later as the tide came in I fished Joppa Flats. I found some very nice stripers plus a couple of nasty blue fish. I brought five stripers to the boat that measured between 24 and 29-inches. great fly rod action! I used a fly of my own style made using synthetic material called Fishhair. I was broken off by a couple of blues. A friend fishing nearby managed to land a 10 pound blue.
Bait chuckers have been doing pretty well at the river mouth. I haven’t seen any extraordinary catches when I was in the vicinity.
Monday, July 4th, I hosted a grandfather, Jeff who lives in Florida, and his grandson, Jason. Jeff and some of his other young family members had fished with me a few years ago and had a great time. We began fishing at 7AM so that I could get them out on Joppa Flats when the tide was approaching high because of my experience on Sunday. They caught numerous “twinkie” stripers on Fin-S soft baits using the light spinning gear. Jason, age 9, had been up late the night before enjoying some 4th fireworks so he was not his usual sharp fishing sport. However, with my help casting for him he soon lead his granddad at 14 to 12 fish brought to the boat. When the tide got up I took them onto Joppa flats. The big stripers were there but not interested in eating. Josh wanted to take a break so I got out my fly rod and did some casting. There were boils from big stripers all around the boat at times. I connected with a relatively big fish (compared to the twinkies) and gave the fly rod to Jeff to fight the fish. Although not experienced in fighting a big striper using a fly rod, he managed to get it to the boat. It measured 27 inches and weighed about 8 pounds. Later I repeated the hook up on the fly and helped Jason bring another 27 inch striper to the boat. It wasn’t a bad morning for grandpa and grandson plus it was beautiful weather.
Wednesday I guided for two fly fishing gentlemen. They fished all day. The weather had turned unpleasant with rain in the early morning and then strong wind from the north with heavy cloud cover and drizzle at times. We fished from the jetties back up to Joppa Flats in the morning as the tide rose. It was slow fishing with a striper here and there, mostly small. Joppa had some large stripers around but they were not in a feeding mode. There were follows but no takes. In the afternoon we tried up river where thy caught some small schoolies as we drifted down with the out going tide. It wasn’t the best day for getting bigger stripers but there was steady action on small schoolies.
Capt. Charles Crue
Channel Edge Charters
Essex is fishing well with both blues and bass, the pogies are still making things interesting around Cape Ann and the Joppa stripers appear to have gotten a bit of that mid-summer lockjaw, following flies, but refusing at boatside. If it’s happening to you, you might want to consider a very tiny fly, something that would imitate, say, a river shrimp.