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On what you thought of last striper season,and what you think this season will bring?

 

Personally(no real evidence) I believe it was the massive amount of freshwater dumped into Maine waters that changed the coastal current,thus diverting the majority of the stripers away.My reasoning being that the Saco river never receeded from spring levels(probably the Androscoggin and Kennebec too). Thats my theory anyway.

 

This season? Hopefully better than last, but we have a major snowpack again.Hope it melts fast and runs off before May.

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Hopefully last year was just a fluke and the stripers will somehow find their way back to the coast of Maine. Granted my catch rate was probably 60% less than the previous year but the quality was better. I caught more fish in the 28" to 36' range than the years before. But I probably was SKUNKED more last year than the last 5 years combined. Just seems that the schoolies never made it here. Even the fall run was very spotty. Reading about other places to the north and south of Maine, some areas had banner years. Lets keep our fingers crossed!

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The Maryland striped bass index traveling 4 year avg has a steep downward slope covering the last 6 years. 2006 and 2008 were abyssmal, mid-1980's type numbers. So two out of the last three years have a significant gap of small fish.

I sure hope I'm wrong but I don't see the next few years being any better than last year.cwm31.gif

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After 12 years of improving fishing I've seen a steady decline over the last four seasons. Last season the small fish were missing but there was also a shortage of fish in the 24-34" range. There were more fish in the 38-46" range then I've seen before. This may have been due to the large amount of big bait, mostly mackerel, that were in close to shore until mid August. I had two weeks of great fishing and 14 weeks of where two or three fish a night became the norm.

 

While I hope I'm wrong I expect to see another season of decline. I think we're killing to many fish and the far ends of the stripers range will be hit first.

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Boat fishing close to shore with "live bait" was outstanding. I had a number of honey holes and rips that I would hit with regularity, lots of big fish being caught during the morning and dusk- however if the tide was right the ate during the day. Huge fish.

 

I personally & along with a few special friends fishing the same spots with the same baitand technique did very very well last year, from late june thru 3rd week of OCT.

 

However what was strange last year is 2 events. 1) total lack of boiling surface action. 2) very limited interest in anything artificial that have consistantly worked in the past.

 

actually 3 events, we witnised a giant tuna the size of a living room couch breach, total airborn 4 times by the coast guard station in the piscatqua river....really cool

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2008 was a very strange year. Very good in some respects, very bad in others.

 

I missed fishing for schoolies after work...I really couldn't find any.

 

Let's hope they stay inshore this year.

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View PostOn what you thought of last striper season,and what you think this season will bring?

 

Personally(no real evidence) I believe it was the massive amount of freshwater dumped into Maine waters that changed the coastal current,thus diverting the majority of the stripers away.My reasoning being that the Saco river never receeded from spring levels(probably the Androscoggin and Kennebec too). Thats my theory anyway.

 

This season? Hopefully better than last, but we have a major snowpack again.Hope it melts fast and runs off before May.

 

I fish the Saco River and the bay almost exclusivly and I'd say you hit it right on the head with this post. So much run off and rain in the spring, the river was a mess. In 2007 we had a dry spring and not as much snow that winter and fishing the river was really good through August. I was even catching bluefish far up river in August maybe a 1/2 mile from the dam! Once again though, if we keep getting snow, this May/June could be a bust. I never catch much off the beaches until well into the summer. On a bright note, the shad fishing up by the dam in Saco was outstanding last year! biggrin.gif

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At a presentation at LLB by CCA last April 24 a pretty hopeful forcast was presented for the 2008 season. Promising loads of schoolies but not many large fish. It was totally off from what actually took place. My hopes for this season are not that high.

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View PostI fish the Saco River and the bay almost exclusivly and I'd say you hit it right on the head with this post. So much run off and rain in the spring, the river was a mess. In 2007 we had a dry spring and not as much snow that winter and fishing the river was really good through August. I was even catching bluefish far up river in August maybe a 1/2 mile from the dam! Once again though, if we keep getting snow, this May/June could be a bust. I never catch much off the beaches until well into the summer. On a bright note, the shad fishing up by the dam in Saco was outstanding last year! biggrin.gif

 

 

 

But then how would that explain the wierd fishing season down off cape cod- I don't believe it was the amount of brackish water or run off but rather gulf stream related, somehwere along the line the gulf stream was out further east than normal pushing the food chain including stripers well off shore. Keep in mind Prince Edward island Canada by some reports had an epic year.

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No shad where usually 2-3 per are caught (accidently) per week, very few small schoolies; I noticed less striper surface noise and the mackerel seemed to stay a bit longer than in the past few years.

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View PostBut then how would that explain the wierd fishing season down off cape cod- I don't believe it was the amount of brackish water or run off but rather gulf stream related, somehwere along the line the gulf stream was out further east than normal pushing the food chain including stripers well off shore. Keep in mind Prince Edward island Canada by some reports had an epic year.

 

Not sure. I don't fish Cape Cod. Just reporting the only big difference I saw from 2007 to 2008 on the Saco River in Maine. I have no issues with your argument at all. Seemed we had bait last year though, I'll have to check my logs.

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Got to think positive. I'm looking forward to this year. Last year not a lot of schoolies any place but the fish I did get were 20" - 25 " avg. I did find a few schools but not big fish and they didn't stay around. Just the above fish and could usually find 3 - 6 everytime out. Bait was very abundant like everybody said. I don't travel very far so I'm mostly talking right around Hilton park. I won't try and predict what Mother Nature is going to send us this year, she has her own plan. I'll be out there looking as much as possible. See ya all in April. Scott

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I tend to doubt the lack of schoolies can be related to a precipitation cycle. There really wasn't much difference to Maine watersheds and Great Bay or the Merrimack, yet both of the southern watersheds had better years.

 

I also really don't buy the offshore migration argument either. The ocean is a big place, but that's a lot of fish to go missing.

 

What's a banner year for Canada 3-4 fish a day? I'd be skeptical of loose terms when talking to fishermen. How often do you here the 100 fish days and when you do the math it just doesn't add up.headscratch.gif

 

So was there really a Whole Coastlines worth of fish in the southern places that stayed light up last year? Dunno I didn't make it down there, but I know on an average year from Casco Bay south to CT and Long Island I know guys that have no problem having 50 fish days any day they want. That's a lot of fish when you look at it in a Coast Wide manner. Personally I doubt that the numbers down south were that high. It is pretty much impossible to have a coastlines population stay south while other migratory populations like Tunnies, Blues, Bonnito, etc, migrate north into these fish. You'd be able to walk across the water. That's why stripers evolved to migrate into less populated waters in the first place.

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One common complaint last year, if you can call it that, was "too much bait". Obviously if the fish are well fed and selective they might to be harder to catch. But my own opinion (and I enjoy light tackle fishing} the fish just wern't there. The big boat bait guys took a lot of fish last year, especially in the "killing fields" south, and my fear is that we're on a downward trend in the striper population that could take 10 years to regain.

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We caught some really nice fish(on flyrods), but the overall numbers were way off.I've kept a striper fishing log for the past twenty-five seasons.The thing that struck me most was the similarity between last year and the mid eighties.Not a lot of fish but big ones.I caught more 30" to 36" stripers last year than I have in the last ten years,but damn few schoolies.

I'm a wading flyfisherman.I consentrate on sand flats and beaches 90% of the time.Normally by mid June I can count on at least thirty fish a tide.Last year it was 0-5 fish a tide.However they were good fish averaging 28-32 inches.Lots of fun on a flyrod.

Maybe its time to go back to the 36" minimum,one fish per day regs. we had.That reg. helped restore the striper stocks before.No reason it wouldn't work again.What do you think?smile.gif

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