We have finally reached the beginning of the 2017 fishing season! I was able to splash the boat Thursday afternoon (May 4th) and despite the typical early season cold and wind, was able to wet a line for 10 minutes and picked up our first Merrimack River Striped Bass! Last year, we caught our first fish on May 10th and it had been the earliest I had ever caught a striper. We beat that by 6 days this year!
I wished we stayed longer, but after a shake down cruise and playing with the new Lowrance Multfunction Display, we decided to wet a line before it got dark. We fished 2 hours before the top of the tide and the water temp was reading 56 degrees inside the river. I had hoped there were fish around as my buddy Scott got his first couple in the morning and I heard reports that the Plum Island beachfront has given was to a few here and there the past few days.
We did one drift and I got a hit on my third cast, but missed it. A few casts later, my new CHIRP fish finder was lighting up with fish! Right as we drifted over I connected with the first striped bass of the year! We tried a few more casts while we were still marking but got no love. The wind was cranking and cold, so we decided that breaking the ice was good enough!
Super excited to get this Newburyport charter fishing season rolling. Reports from a little down south is that they are starting to get low 28" - 30" keeper stripers. Hopefully the weather started cooperating and pushing them north!