Last trip of the 2017 striped bass season today for BAYMEN Charters. Now we switch gears and start to fall hunting seasons. It is always a Bitters-weet time of year. When I sit back and go over the entire season in my mind, I am always amazed at how fast life passes. This was my twenty-fourth season guiding on the bay. I have the best clients and friends in the world.
On board today, I had season regulars, Greg Powers, Gary Condon, and Matt Daily. A.K.A, #1, #2, and #3 for light tackle striped bass. At first light on a rising tide, we had fish working right outside the harbor and that’s where we started. From there we bounced all over the bay moving from school to school of fish. Everything was small, all three-year-old schoolies heading back to the Chesapeake, Delaware and Hudson Rivers for the winter. In April, they leave those rivers and began their journey north all the way to Canada for the summer. At 7 years of age (28″ inches) they will spawn for their first time in those winter rivers. The young stripers will not migrate with the other stripers until their third year. Then, they will began to make the annual pilgrimage north to our waters. It is a fascinating miracle God set in motion long ago to this very day.
Well, Gary & Co. and I ran the bay from Browns to Kingston to Plymouth. All the fish were holed up in Duxbury waters where they were chasing peanut bunker around the bay. We fished some topwater spooks and poppers, but the majority of our fish came on 4″ inch rubber crank baits in bunker color. Most hits came on the drop or a slow retrieve. No seals seen today inside the bay and not a single blue today. We have only landed ONE bluefish inside the bay this year. The tuna and great whites chased them out before they could get here.
Total catch and release today was 120 striped bass, all short fish but tons of them and lots of fun on light tackle. As you know, Gary always packs a big lunch and today was no exception. Subs with all the fixings, hot coffee, iced tea, muffins, cookies, chips and hand poured chocolates! Not to worry – The Captain is ending the season on a full belly!
I just want to dedicate today to our good friend, the late Kevin Erickson, who fished with Gary & Co. and I for many years. We miss you Kevin and you were in our thoughts and conversations today and always.
Tight Lines, friends. I can not thank you enough for fishing with me this season and in season’s past. As I said, I have the best clients and friends in the world! Not to mention you are all some of the finest anglers I have had the pleasuring of fishing with. I am already thinking about next season and look forward to putting you on the fish!
I will write a year in review at some point. But now we throw the switch and it is time to start the hunting seasons.
Wishing you all a fantastic fall and great times in the woods and on the water.