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Mainiac

Time to adjust.

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This past season was very different from what most veteran wade fishermen are used to. The spring arrival of the Brit herring brought in stripers by the ton. early too. The fishing remained very good until mid July and then ,with the exception of lots of little fish, disappeared. 

We waited patiently until September but the fish didn't come. Mid September and they still didn't come. Late September and a trickle. Second week of October and they blast through in about ten days. ????? WTF !!!???????:o

This folks is the new reality. The run has changed to October from early September. We best adjust to this type of thinking or drive yourself nuts.

 Why is this happening ? Well, obviously something has changed. Either environmental causes,(warmer water ,less rain) or man made,(over fishing of bait and stripers) , is a moot point. the change has occurred .

Believe me when I tell you that this is very difficult to adjust to when you're used to things being the same for decades. I came close to losing my faith in the fishery until I put all the evidence together. The fish still migrate here like always, just differently than what we're used too. We don't get the big runs of bait like we used to. Big stripers need big bait. The lack thereof or the movement of the existing bait offshore puts the big fish out of our reach. I'd imagine the warm water,this summer, coupled with extreme algae blooms drove the bigger baits (macks, pogies, herring, pollock) out from the shore. Sucks, but there ain't anything we can do about it. so we must adjust to the new reality.

I hope I'm making some sense here . This is something I've been thinking about for the last few years.

Options. Fishing was much better at certain locales last year. To my north around Bath and to my south around York. Why? Who knows. The point being there were fish available I just had to travel for them. Which I didn't because I'm a stubborn a**. But.... I'm learnin'. In the future I intend to be much more mobile in my outlook. I will travel to find the better fishing, not just hit old familiar haunts. I'll even take the often offered but hardly ever accepted offers to fish with friends from their boats. I'm going to adjust my thinking and fishing techniques to get the most out of my remaining years. I suggest you all do likewise.

 

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I also am a creature of habit. I love my home waters and just don't feel like I traveling to a different state or a great distance.

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My section of shoreline this year was between Old Orchard Beach and Plum Island. It's really the first year I've spent significant time fishing the salt.

The first fish I caught was on May 19. The last was October 20.

Some days you could barely let a fly touch the water and something would grab it. Other days, nothing.

One big problem I had was finding places to park. It's worse this year than it was last year, especially along the NH coast. 

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One of my past 15 year favorite  places showed a sharp decline after mid July. I did notice the mount of fish in estuaries when not on the beach? I am fortunate to have lots of options close by. The amount of fish was amazing, I was not disappointed with size once August set in , I'm happy with the 20-25" fatties, Probably my approach. We can only hope this years numbers get a chance to get big. Bait was on and off, especially sand eels

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Since this is my first year with the ability to be in close proximity to striped bass fisheries on a daily basis, I don't have too much to compare things to, but one question that I have is, whenever you say " they blast through in about ten days," is that what would commonly happen in the past? Or did it generally take longer than ten days?

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Used to be the first three weeks of September.

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Hmm, that's pretty interesting. I wonder what caused it to be so short; I wonder if it was an overall decreased population or that the "run" began later so the fish rushed through faster...who knows. 

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Don't you love how unpredictable fish are?

This year I found bigger fish in places where I normally only saw small fish. No change in lure selection, also heard of fish migrating North of us where they haven't seen stripes in years. Due to water temps? Bait? Tried asking the fish but they were tight lipped. Oh the joys and let downs of fishing in the wide open Atlantic. Wouldn't try to over think it. Next year will be completely different, or will it?

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Great year for the tuna guys? what does that men?

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A lot of fish caught sold at very low prices .  They would kill them for 5 cents a pound . 

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