Running North of Portland, Maine Striper Report

Roccus7

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Figured I'd post a running report on happenings on striper fishing north of Casco Bay. Feel free to chime in with your own reports!! Being retired and living on the water I fish for striped nemeses virtually every day from late May through early October, and catch over 500 per season.

Well 62861f17ed5ef_theyrehere.jpg.59235302b171569d272f62ca84f4dd40.jpg but they were only in the mood to casually swirl or gently mouth any offering presented this AM.

This arrival is "on time" with previous years, but my personal earliest for catching was May 20 and I was hoping to set a new standard. I've been "practicing my casting" for the past week, but now I guess I'm officially fishing and got skunked today.
 

Roccus7

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Finally got on the board today with a 21" striper. Fish are very picky, not aggressive at all in hitting so it's very troublesome. I had many follows and light taps on the popper. Had to leave them biting, it was a "Go home now or tie up to the HOA dock and walk home" decision point and I decided to head to the barn, lest infuriate the "Admiralty".

Fish are not very aggressive in hitting poppers so it's a game of subterfuge with a fish...
 

Rockfish9

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Finally got on the board today with a 21" striper. Fish are very picky, not aggressive at all in hitting so it's very troublesome. I had many follows and light taps on the popper. Had to leave them biting, it was a "Go home now or tie up to the HOA dock and walk home" decision point and I decided to head to the barn, lest infuriate the "Admiralty".

Fish are not very aggressive in hitting poppers so it's a game of subterfuge with a fish...
You'll be in 'em any day, I've had fish( Merrimack river) to about 20lbs here for a week most have moved up towards the dam ( in Lawrence) in pursuit of herring or gone north... pogies showed up.monday.lead heads with 6" slugos for the deep fish, shallow stuff clobbers white paddle tails..
Tins work well in the turbulent stuff.
Good luck
Roc
 

Spc06

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Figured I'd post a running report on happenings on striper fishing north of Casco Bay. Feel free to chime in with your own reports!! Being retired and living on the water I fish for striped nemeses virtually every day from late May through early October, and catch over 500 per season.

Well 62861f17ed5ef_theyrehere.jpg.59235302b171569d272f62ca84f4dd40.jpg but they were only in the mood to casually swirl or gently mouth any offering presented this AM.

This arrival is "on time" with previous years, but my personal earliest for catching was May 20 and I was hoping to set a new standard. I've been "practicing my casting" for the past week, but now I guess I'm officially fishing and got skunked today.
Hey roccus you pretty much using top water at this point, are you trying soft plastic?
 

Roccus7

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Hey roccus you pretty much using top water at this point, are you trying soft plastic?
Old school poppers that don't float are my go to because I consistently fish in less than 10' of water, and less than 5' most of the time. In the shallow, protected waters I fish, the noise of the poppers attract fish. Yesterday I saw a wake from 20' away barrel in and smash my plug!!

That being said I will on occasion slap on some Texas rigged plastics like 7" Fin-S and Big Occhis either when I know there are fish around and the poppers aren't doing anything, or when I'm casting up onto ledges on the ocean side. I find areas where the waves ride up a sloped ledge and toss the plastic up on the ledge, keep slight tension on it as it gets washed back into the water when BAM, the fish crush them.

And the scientist in my did do an experiment early one season where I had a plastics expert on board, while I fished a popper. He got more hits, but we caught the same number of fish. The deal sealer was that all of his fish were much smaller than mine.

My success has been noted by all and just about every boat you see fishing in this area will have Creek Chub Striper Strike 2500s on them...
 

Spc06

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Nice…you have any red tide closures up there? Since I moved I wait until the first weekend in June and focus on the surf. I’ve lost access to most of the rivers I’ve fished, so I’ve focused on the surf, and it works out. Keep the posts coming!
 

Roccus7

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Nice…you have any red tide closures up there? Since I moved I wait until the first weekend in June and focus on the surf. I’ve lost access to most of the rivers I’ve fished, so I’ve focused on the surf, and it works out. Keep the posts coming!
Red tide is infrequent, but of no concern since the river is closed to shellfishing May 1 - September 30, so never the twain shall meet...
 

Roccus7

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If I’m reading through autocorrect correctly, Stripers up around Mt Desert Island not a lock. You need to find a local willing to talk.
 

Spc06

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If I’m reading through autocorrect correctly, Stripers up around Mt Desert Island not a lock. You need to find a local willing to talk.
Last trip to MDI a local told me in July and August, only at night and only with worms…
 

Roccus7

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Nice sunset soiree this evening, 3 22" fish and 3 26" ones. I like the larger fish, BUT extremely concerned of the lack of smaller fish, I've yet to catch anything less than 21". That does not bode well for our future. We need a couple of good spawns and quick! I do hope this spring turns out very successful for both the Chesapeake & Hudson...
 

Roccus7

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This AM was an example in extremes. Caught my first sub-21" fish, a 19" one, and my first slot fish, 28", along with 7 others from 21 - 26".

Now for today's "Popping for Bass in Skinny Water Lecture". Early in the season, when water temps are hovering at around 50°F, it is CRITICAL to fish in glassine water conditions. The calm water is key to your success for the following because it enables you to be one with The Force:

  • Where I fish it is rare to find blitzing bass this time of year. Sometimes the only hint of a fish my estuarine river is the slightest disturbance in the surface of the water, just like what happened this AM with the 28" fish.

  • More often than not, the bass don't outright hit the popper. They will follow for long distances and unless you entice them properly, they will lose interest. Their follows are often total stealth, with no changes in current or swirls, just a pronounced bow wave of your popper! This is when YOU have to act to entice them. More often than not a quick pop followed by a DEAD STOP will get them, but this tactic is only useful with a popper that SINKS. If you try this with a floating popper, they usually just turn away. If they're still screwing with you, time for another POP and STOP, and again, and again... 6 of the fish I caught this AM, including the slot fish, were reluctant followers that had to be goaded into striking the popper.

  • It's tough to properly work a popper in choppy water, and they're useless when they're hopping from wave top to wave top. Those are days I stay home.
Catch 'em up folks!!
R7

Blackened Stripah - It's what's for dinner at Chez Roccus tonight!!

1653390921070.png
 
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Spc06

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This AM was an example in extremes. Caught my first sub-21" fish, a 19" one, and my first slot fish, 28", along with 7 others from 21 - 26".

Now for today's "Popping for Bass in Skinny Water Lecture". Early in the season, when water temps are hovering at around 50°F, it is CRITICAL to fish in glassine water conditions. The calm water is key to your success for the following because it enables you to be one with The Force:

  • Where I fish it is rare to find blitzing bass this time of year. Sometimes the only hint of a fish my estuarine river is the slightest disturbance in the surface of the water, just like what happened this AM with the 28" fish.

  • More often than not, the bass don't outright hit the popper. They will follow for long distances and unless you entice them properly, they will lose interest. Their follows are often total stealth, with no changes in current or swirls, just a pronounced bow wave of your popper! This is when YOU have to act to entice them. More often than not a quick pop followed by a DEAD STOP will get them, but this tactic is only useful with a popper that SINKS. If you try this with a floating popper, they usually just turn away. If they're still screwing with you, time for another POP and STOP, and again, and again... 6 of the fish I caught this AM, including the slot fish, were reluctant followers that had to be goaded into striking the popper.

  • It's tough to properly work a popper in choppy water, and their useless when they're popping from wave top to wave top. Those are days I stay home.
Catch 'em up folks!!
R7

Blackened Stripah - It's what's for dinner at Chez Roccus tonight!!

View attachment 135049
Roccus, great flipping advice, especially on the sinking popper. The pop-stop-float never works for me. With floating top waters, I need a variance but never fully stop on my retrieve. I lost my last sinking topwater a year ago, but with that lure, if I remembered to stop and let it sink, that was when I got the hit.

As always thanks for the advice and pic.
 

Roccus7

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Wind was problematic this AM, but I still prevailed by increasing my "Skunkless" streak to 8 in a row. Today was good, but would have been better had the wind been a bit less. I did manage 3 slot fish, along with 4 others.

Here's a photo of the 29" Slot Fish #2, all of which were carefully released to spawn another time; no preaching here, just won't freeze striper and since I have dinner in the fridge, today's Hat Trick were recipients of good timing...

1653564242288.jpeg
 
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