Running North of Portland, Maine Striper Report

Diesel Jerry

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knotalot

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keith
I guess the pogie’s were thick in the north end of the bay last week.
Jerry, grew up in the A frame that overlooks Barrett’s. Spent the better part of my youth there myself & am still within walking distance.
 

Diesel Jerry

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Roccus7

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Sep 10, 2021
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Midcoast Maine
Boat Make
2013 22' Eastern Lobsterman
In the 80’s and 90’s I used to nail the strippers just outside of Lobster (Lewis) Cove over towards Barret’s park. The used to push the pogies up into Barret’s park. All a teenager could ask for fish in the water and girls at the park!
Ah, so there were "strippers" involved...
 

Roccus7

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2013 22' Eastern Lobsterman
Damn, the Professor of American Literature from Tufts schooled me this AM on the fishing grounds. I fished with a fellow PhD, and he got 7 stripers, 20 - 27.5", to my single fish!!

At least I maintained some dignity in the fact that my single fish was 31", and upheld the "Science Rules! banner by telling him I was only interested in large fish. If he had believed that I was ready to sell him a bridge to Brooklyn spanning the East River in NY.

It was a great morning to be on the water!!
 

Roccus7

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Midcoast Maine
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2013 22' Eastern Lobsterman
Shades of First Cast Curse!!

Been beached for 10 days now, as engine's tilt/trim motor is shot, along with some houseguests that would have also disrupted my fishing. DTs got the best of me today, and even though it was high noon, I grabbed a rod and my kayak gear to paddle over to my favorite mid-ebb island.

Way too clumsy to fish out of the kayak so I beached her and tossed a cast into "the" rip, which immediately had interest by a fish swirling around the popper 4 times, but no hit. I started to panic, in fear of that dreaded "First Cast Curse" where I swear one striper says to his schoolmates, "Let's yank this guy's crank!! I'll swirl at his plug and then we can laugh for the next hour watching him keep trying to catch one of us."

After a good 20 minutes of fruitless casting I was becoming resigned to a visit from Pepe LePew, but I was bound and determined NOT to take the skunk. 15 min later I unhooked and released a feisty 22" fish.

Didn't stay much longer, another fruitless couple of dozen casts convinced me it was Miller time. Hopefully the boat will be ready tomorrow so I can get back to some serious striper fishing...
 

Roccus7

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2013 22' Eastern Lobsterman
Back in the saddle...

Finally got the boat back yesterday after my replacement tilt/trim motor arrived, probably via slow boat from China, but I digress...

Went out bright and early this AM at first light with a "Keepah Virgin", someone I taught how to catch bass 3 years ago, but had yet to catch a nice striper dinner. Today's Mission - get him onto a keeper.

Hit a few places and there were keepers around, but difficult to hook. I dropped one definite and one probably, but both got away, he kept catching smaller fish. As the sun got high in the east, but more importantly, the tide had risen enough for me to comfortably get up on some mud flats, we headed to the flats in a last gasp effort.

Upon arrival we were greeted with sporadic tailing fish. My hypothesis is that the larger fish, tired of dining on pogies (bunker), come to the mud to change things up with worms, clams and crabs, and things looked up for us. The "Virgin" hooked up with a feisty and non too happy bass, and proceeded to do everything in his power to lose the fish: stopping to reel when the fish charged the boat saying "I lost it", cranking while the fish was running, and not preventing the fish to swim under the boat and get the line under the motor. If there was a list of "Rookie Mistakes", he would have checked them all off. I actually started laughing over things.

In spite of these faux pas, luck prevailed and we boated the fish, making for a very excited and proud fisherman, along with a relieved captain. Relief came on 2 fronts, accomplishing the mission objective and the Admiral's dinner request for Striped Bass Ceviche; I dropped an additional keeper on the flats so getting a filet off of this fish was my last hope...
 

Roccus7

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Midcoast Maine
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2013 22' Eastern Lobsterman
Caught, but nothing to write home about...

Got out this AM and found some large bass cruising the flats. Caught and released a 28" fish, and hooked into a very pissed off, larger fish in 3' of water. She was able to toss the hook after about a minute of fun. After that, the cruising fish pretty much ignored my offerings...
 

Roccus7

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Midcoast Maine
Boat Make
2013 22' Eastern Lobsterman
I've been cursing the last couple of days...

Been having a tough time with slot fish the last 2 days. I hook 'em, but they spit out the hook and then I throw a huge temper tantrum.

Yesterday I caught 5 to 27" and dropped 3 large fish, much to my dismay, and this morning started off much the same, with me catching a few smaller fish, but the larger fish would constantly taunt me while fishing in 3' of water over the mudflats. I really lost it when one crashed my plug, tail walked, greyhounded and then took off on an extended run, only to turn around and spit out the hook. I was just about ready to toss my rod over the side and take up golf.

Not too long after, I noticed a few fish breaking a good distance away and headed off at 1200 RPM, only to see a fish, disturbed by me wake, take off parallel to the boat's path. I killed the engine and threw a Hail Mary cast in the direction I thought the fish took off in and after two pops, it was FISH ON!! I had all the water and room in the world for this battle so I backed way off the drag and took my time and pretty soon there was 29" fish in the net, Thank You Baby Poseidon!!

As I was unhooking the fish I heard that "Chalk on the Blackboard" screech of bald eagles, only to look up to see that my fishing was being reviewed by two Federal Officials. I guess they were hoping that when released, they could grab the fish, but she was safely stowed in the cooler...

Ended the day with 5 fish, 20 - 29", bringing the season total to 290 stripers

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Roccus7

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Midcoast Maine
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2013 22' Eastern Lobsterman
Today was International Stripers Screw With Roccus Day

Tides finally aligned so I didn't have to leave my dock in the dark, providing the pleasure of extra sleep. Got to the spot around 05:10 and by virtue of seeing fish swimming around, but ignoring or being scared by my offerings, I knew it was not going to be a great morning. The fish were having a great time F-ing with me; I swear I could hear underwater laughing.

Moved to spot #2 and caught 2 fish, a rare small one at 17" and then a 23", but that was it. I knew things were probably over for me, but I couldn't get to my dock so I met up with a buddy who had netted a bunch of bunker and bummed some, along with a circle hook. I figured I'd kill time succumbing to the Dark Side and use bait for a change.

Then proceeded to take multiple drifts, once again affording the fish with ample opportunities to screw with my mind. At least 6 times my bait would frantically swim around on the surface with a bass on it, but even with multiple slurp attempts, none of them actually swallowed the bait.

Finally I was able to leave and get home, but certainly not with my integrity nor self-esteem intact.
 

slow troller

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Cape Cod
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Fortier 26

Roccus7

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Midcoast Maine
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2013 22' Eastern Lobsterman
It's August, Stripah Maineiacs fear Pepe LePew and consider taking up, Poseidon forbid, golf...

Like clockwork, the fishing has really dropped off as the calendar went from July to August. I'm lucky to catch 2 fish per outing, and often live in dread fear of getting skunked. Today I had to dig deep to rid myself of an impending skunk, and was seriously considering buying golf clubs!!

Decided to travel a bit, to a spot that has been very good in summer's past. I got there early and hit every spot in that cove, including a "Never Miss" spot in a desperate attempt to keep me from getting skunked. For an hour's fishing I had one tepid follow to show. Almost grabbed the cell phone to order some golf clubs to take the sting out of the looming skunk.

Then, like Mana from Heaven, a buddy texted me about a decent morning at a different, but nearby cove. He said the good bite had stopped and he was heading home, but gave me some intel on that cove's Never Miss spot. It was on my way home so I stopped by.

I was greeted by seals, which is never a good sign, and started hitting the described areas with no results. I was drifting over the last spot and then fully resigned to a skunking, announcing "Last Cast" to the seals. Well that cast did result in a small, but a definitely striped 19" fish; I swear I saw a skunk sulking away into the woods.

Well I had to take some additional casts and ended up with a second fish that went 23", which was very welcomed in that it was #300 for the season. It surprised me in that when I checked last year's records, I found that I was at 330 at this point, so the deficit is only 10%. I would have sworn I was way below last year for a YTD total.

One other interesting note from one of this past week's outings: I would have sworn I had hooked a bluefish, something I never seen in Maine. I was fishing 8' of water and when my plug got crashed, the fish came flying completely out of the water 3 times in quick succession, making me wonder if it was a blue. Bass will occasionally go skyward, usually in shallow water, but the best you get is a single jump clearing the water. That fish the other night has set a new record for bass jumps...
 

Rockfish9

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Apr 13, 2022
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Newburyport/Reading mass.
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Joe
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Jon dory
BLASPHAME..golf is for people that dont fish...a bad day striper fishing is better than a good day of golf...
A good wiff of uncle skunk never hurt anyone .. it makes a humble man out of ya!
Still plenty of fish here, just less yahoos now that you have to earn them.sadly it wont be long and they will be heading south.
 

Roccus7

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Midcoast Maine
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2013 22' Eastern Lobsterman
Stripah Sashimi - It's what's for suppah...

Had a decent morning, 3 fish to 28", but fishing has definitely slumped off to the August Abyss. Brought home the slot fish for a nice tray of Sunday Sashimi.
 

Roccus7

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2013 22' Eastern Lobsterman
Tube and Worm?? We don't need no stinking Tube and Worm to catch Slot Fish!!

The local word on the street is you need to be trolling Tube and Worm rigs for consistent catches of slot fish. In spite of this, I had a delightful morning of striper fishing this morning, accompanied by a 19th Century American Lit PhD; a total of 10 fish were caught on poppers including 3 slot fish from 28 - 32" with "Dr. Melville's" pool winning 32" fish. Best fishing in a while, first double digit outing in over a month. AAMOF, we were doubled up 3 times, including a boat first, a double on slots!! There was a bit of "musical chairs" going on during that melee, as positions were changed multiple times...

Guess my plans to resurrect a Tube and Worm rig given to me by a local sharpie will have to wait...
 

Roccus7

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Midcoast Maine
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2013 22' Eastern Lobsterman
So, a dead mouse is a good luck charm???

Not sure if I'm ready to claim that, BUT on this AM's sortie with a friend, fishing was a bit slow until I snagged a dead mouse on my popper. As soon as I snagged it, U said to myself, "Not seaweed, but WTF can it be?" and there it was, something definitely not on my list of 1,000 Things You Might Snag Fishing A Popper. Suddenly fishing picked up, just not sure if it was because of the small move we made or the mojo of the dead rodent, but who am I to argue with Poseidon and the Fates???

Ended the day with 10 fish, 5 slots from 28 - 30" and 5 schoolies from 20 - 27". The 5 slots is a new boat record for most slot fish in a single trip...
 

Roccus7

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Midcoast Maine
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2013 22' Eastern Lobsterman
Remember thou art mortal...

Well the striped nemeses had their way with me today, and that Roman saying to conquering heroes, along with my Grandmothers old saying in Neopolitan, Don't spit up into the air because it comes back and hits you in the face, have both rocked me today. Feeling good about slot fish in every trip the past week, I went back to my most recent "Go To" spot only to come up short on slots, with 6 fish, 20 - 22".

No worries, I had no intention of keeping any fish today, and since there was no wind stirring I decided to run outside to check out some numbers that were reported to be good for decent sized pollock. Got out there and did catch pollock, but nothing bigger than 12". Marked the best spots for future reference and started back toward the harbor.

Then the Devil popped up on my shoulder, You know, conditions are PERFECT for your ledge spot???? Nothing the Angel on the other shoulder could dissuade me from the temptations of the Dark Side. Yes, when I nuzzled the boat close to the ledge I saw a decent amount of weed-free white water caused by swells, and the lite offshore breeze gently nudging the boat away from danger, PEFECT!!

I fired off a cast of my Striper Strike armed with a chartreuse siwash hook in place of the normal tail treble into a void that a swell had just gone into. As the wave receded into a rush of white water I started working the plug and a large striper flew out of the wash to crash it, FISH ON!! After a long run and a very concerned me wondering how I was going to keep the fish from getting fouled in the lobster pot next to me, the line went slack and I retrieved my plug minus the tail hook. Looks like somewhere in Maine there's 30+, maybe 40" fish swimming around with a chartreuse mustache.

OK, no matter, I grabbed another rod rigged with a normal Striper Strike and fired it into the wash. After a bunch of furious swirls, another massive strike and FISH ON!! Just when the long initial run was complete, I feel the plug pull out of the fish. Well at least that time there was no equipment failure.

Had to move the boat back into the "Hot Zone" and as soon as I was back there and launched another cast it was FISH ON for the 3rd time, and hopefully the charm. Well that wasn't the case as I dropped yet another fish immediately after the initial run. Now I was spitting bullets, stomping like a spoiled 2 year old and screaming obscenities!!

I made two more drifts, but there was no activity so I put my tail between my legs and headed in. Those damn fish can surely drive one crazy!!
 
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Roccus7

Admiral
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Midcoast Maine
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2013 22' Eastern Lobsterman
Back in the saddle with a vengeance

Tilt/Trim issues have continued with a hydraulic leak on main ram. O-rink kit for all 3 rams on order, but will take a week or two more to get here so I had the yard fill 'er up with fluid so I could fish while waiting. Was torn about destination for this morning's sortie and at last minute, decided to go with Plan B, which worked out well.

Fishing with a friend, we managed 3, 23" fish and I coaxed this nice 30" fish to come home with me for dinner. Fish a bit bigger than 30", but what's an inch amongst friends? As one can see it just fits across my vintage 96 qt blue Igloo, NFW I'd spend hundreds on a Yeti when I can buy replacement parts for this baby! Also had another large fish crash the plug with no hookup.

It's the boat's 40th "Keepah" of the season, of which 35 have succumbed to me. 2022 has been a banner year for sure!!

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