Scott Charlton

Mink Whales supported at surf

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Two nights ago, I went fishing at my usual, and I saw what I first thought were dolphins popping on the horizon.  In 20 years of fishing the surf, I've never once seen a whale.  In a boat, sure, plenty of times.  Never from the surf.

 

Last night went again.  What I thought was  dolphin, did a full breech.  Similar to the Emergency Blow scene in Hunt For Red October (Great flick).  Not a dolphin.  A full fledged Mink Whale.  Thing was huge.  Couldn't have been more than 200 yards from me.  

 

Anyone else seeing marine mammals from the surf?  I have not seen a single seal this year, also odd.

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Minkes close to shore up here all the time, haven't seen one yet this year.  As for seals, they're all over the place on the pogies.  Right now I'm watching one hassle some in my backyard, while the ospreys' are recreating the US Dive Bombers taking out the Japanese carriers at Midway.

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It was a remarkable site to behold.  I've never ever seen one breech before.  That was just remarkable.  Don't start with me on seals...I almost flipped a kayak a few years back because a striper I had on my line was snatched from me within the last few yards.  Damn, those things may look cute from a distance, but that thing snorted so close to me I swear I felt snot on my fishing reel!  And the fangs...Worse than a rabbit I tell ya!

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Thats pretty cool. I’ve never seen minke’s close to shore, but I’m sure it happens.  At night it would be probably hard to tell. Possibly could it be a sturgeon? 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I saw a  minke whale the other morning from shore mixed in with Tons  of pogies and seals. This definitely wasn’t sturgeon but didn’t see sturgeon the other day in the kennebec. 

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There was a hump back in past years that would get this close chowing on those pogie schools. He even came within inches of my boat and will never forget his eye staining up at me as he turned in an ever so agile way. Never touched my boat nor did he move a lot of water. Have not seen him this year.

 

However, last year I was fishing in the Marblehead / Nahant area in the fall and we saw humpback continue to breach out of the water but did not look like it was feeding and kept doing it over and over as though something was wrong. About a week later is when one washed up on the Revere beaches. I am guessing it was the same one. A juvie humpback. 

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On 7/11/2019 at 9:13 PM, NHAngler said:

There was a hump back in past years that would get this close chowing on those pogie schools. He even came within inches of my boat and will never forget his eye staining up at me as he turned in an ever so agile way. Never touched my boat nor did he move a lot of water. Have not seen him this year.

 

However, last year I was fishing in the Marblehead / Nahant area in the fall and we saw humpback continue to breach out of the water but did not look like it was feeding and kept doing it over and over as though something was wrong. About a week later is when one washed up on the Revere beaches. I am guessing it was the same one. A juvie humpback. 

Sad but great post.  

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Warning, Good Old Days Post Coming -

 

Back in the heyday of pogies in the GOM, when we had massive schools of pogies every summer from late June til September, Minke whales were fairly commons sights.  Blue fin in close happened too, but having the Minkes just casually spouting around the boat in 10ft of water at the dead still crack of a rosy warm sunrise was pretty cool.  So was watching big fat bass lazily, because they were stuffed full, cruising around a pogie ball at high noon over sandy bottoms in bright clear water.  Don't ever let anyone tell you the fishing is as good as ever - it ain't even close.  And I'm only referring to the early 90's...

Edited by mumichog

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It's been ten years or so since I've watched Minke whales feeding on pogies in close. It is one of the more spectacular wildlife sights to watch them breech onto a school of pogies. very, very cool !

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I saw them out front in Rye a couple of times last year, within a few hundred yards of shore. It was really cool but also a little disconcerting since I was in my kayak and they were getting pretty close!

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20 hours ago, mumichog said:

Warning, Good Old Days Post Coming -

 

Back in the heyday of pogies in the GOM, when we had massive schools of pogies every summer from late June til September, Minke whales were fairly commons sights.  Blue fin in close happened too, but having the Minkes just casually spouting around the boat in 10ft of water at the dead still crack of a rosy warm sunrise was pretty cool.  So was watching big fat bass lazily, because they were stuffed full, cruising around a pogie ball at high noon over sandy bottoms in bright clear water.  Don't ever let anyone tell you the fishing is as good as ever - it ain't even close.  And I'm only referring to the early 90's...

 

there have been pogies, minkes and humpbacks the past 3 years off NH so these are good days too. And bluefin are in close.  Striper populations are way better than early 90's - not early 2000's. 

Edited by blacklabnh

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3 hours ago, blacklabnh said:

 

there have been pogies, minkes and humpbacks the past 3 years off NH so these are good days too. And bluefin are in close.  Striper populations are way better than early 90's - not early 2000's. 

Um, I have to disagree completely about striper numbers anyway.  The density of large bass has never again come anywhere near the early 90's in ME/NH area.  The pogies were wiped out in 95 or 96, and that was it, poof.  I recall folks saying things were good again in the early 2000's, and while the fishing was not too bad it was nothing like 10 years earlier, nothing. 

 

And yes, there have been pogies on and off the last few years but again, the quantity of the pogies hasn't been even a sliver of the late 80's/early 90's.  There were massive schools all over the place and epic fish kills when the also now gone tanker blues used to drive pogies into the estuaries and strand them by the thousands.  It was so crazy it made the national news.  Gov. Angus King intervened to try and save the tourist season because the stench of all the dead pogies drove everyone out of Kennebunkport. 

For several years folks were bitten by bluefish along our beaches and lifeguards started watching for bluefish blitzes like they do now for sharks on the Cape, warning folks to leave the water when they got too close. 

 

In the early 90's Lou Tabory, striper fly god of NE, even wrote in his most famous book on striper fly fishing that southern ME was THE place to be in the summer if you wanted to nail a tanker on the fly.  No one has been saying that since, for good reason.

Edited by mumichog

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