Went out again Sunday afternoon for more of a recon mission than Saturday with my buddy Capt. Scott of Summer Job Charters on his boat. First order of business was to find some mackerel as we headed out of the Merrimack River. We tried two spots and did manage a few, but nothing to write home about just yet. The water seems to be just a tad too cold, but should improve by the end of the week.
We took our macks in front of Plum Island and saw birds working hard but no stripers under them. When the bigger fish do get here it is going to be an epic show! There's so much bait from the ocean front, to the mouth, to Joppa Flats, to up river.
We left Plum Island and drifted the mouth for two drifts on the incoming - nothing happening. Then went to flats to troll our mackerel and again, other then a ton of bait, there were no stripers to show. Finally, we went up river for the last hour of the tide to fish around the islands. We managed around another 15 plus schoolies on light tackle until the tide slacked out and the bite dropped.
The good news is that the fish are here and actually back on a typical pattern from a few years ago. With the warm winters the past few years we have enjoyed a nice early season run of keeper fish, seems everything is a week or so off this year.
If light tackle casting and schoolie action is your game, then I am going to run special 3 Hour After Work Charters out of Newburyport on Tuesdays and Thursdays the next two weeks @ $250 specifically targeting stripers casting lures with light tackle!