Southern Maine and New Hampshire Striped Bass Fishing Report
It's fun to imagine the journey of a striped bass and the different encounters that occur over the trip from their natal waters to the summer grounds. Some fish show indications of predation through bite marks, and all fish show signs of their ocean-going lifestyle through the evidence of sea lice that are present upon arrival to our waters. Really though... just imagine the different species encountered and challenges that a migrating striper faces all in the name of survival, and promises of warm summer waters ahead, rich with biodiversity.
Our chilly spring is slowly giving way to a few sunny, warm days in the forecast. The stripers haven't minded the stormy, chilly, windy conditions but it's probably kept some angling pressure off of the fish. These fish adapt and are masters of the opportunistic lifestyle.
Over the past week the menu has diversified for stripers. We've added Mackerel, silversides ranging in different sizes, sand eels, herring, etc. The flats are full of sand shrimp and lots of juvenile sand shrimp. Crabs are enjoying the warmer temps as well. Also there have been additional reports of bunker(adult menhaden) in the area and we suspect it might be the same school that we saw several weeks back.
Depending on the day the water temps are hovering between 52° and 57°. On the ocean side temps may be a little chillier and about 6 days ago we temp'ed the Isle of Shoals at 47°. By now those Isle of Shoals temperatures surely have risen noticeably.
Fish are spread throughout the piscataqua, portsmouth harbor, the mouth of the piscataqua, throughout great bay, little bay and the rivers. We are seeing fish begin to slip into their summer time habits, holding in some of the usual spots and busting on the surface on the incoming and outgoing tides. If you have the luxury of hitting the water at first light expect to see fish on top. Look for birds but also keep your eyes open for fish on top with no birds present at all.
We've watched small packs of stripers take to the flats and over the coming weeks as the water warms we will see more and more action on the flats.
It's been a great week on the water, and as always feelings of gratitude prevail as we report on this beautiful ecosystem. Have a killer week and give a holler with your own observations anytime - email@example.com.