It took a week of prep work. The USS Coalman
is now outfitted for nocturnal use. Two spotlights, a marine radio and a trolling motor give her another dimension.
Friday night was an electrical storm washout. I was ready. At the dock with the boat loaded when I could hear the thunder boomers coming from the west. I heeded Mother natures warning, unloaded the boat and watched the light show. I could feel the energy of the bolts.
Saturday night looked like a repeat. I checked the radar at home and followed behind the last storm leaving the Great Bay for the evening.
Arrived in the fishing hole just at dark. Due to the fog that rolled in thick and the limited the shoreline lighting I fished in the more industrial part of the river. The fish were cooperative all night long.
I fished flats, humps and steep drop offs. All produced bass. Eight fish came to the net. Nothing of any size.
I have been dreaming of this trip since last October while slinging eels from shore on a moonlit night I could hear the bass crashing the flats.
A personal commitment was made to explore these unfished nighttime waters. The trip was a success.
All my Merrimack River nocturnal fishing skills were on keen alert. Now that the methods are proven in my home waters I look forward to hunting for bigger fish. My home fishing grounds are not 20 miles from the Merrimack River. I can never remember fishing the Mack at night and not seeing at least one other fisherman. Saturday night I was totally alone.
I look forward to doing it again.
On the way back through the Bay I took this photo of the sunrise over the Great Bay National Wildlife Reserve. Thank you Lord for your blessings.
Was on the water tonight for a couple hours. An original Bayman had bestowed on me a couple of his favorite fishing holes and I wanted to explore them.
I found the spot but missed the tide he recommended. The first two drifts produced bites on each.
Note to self........get out early enough Saturday to catch the right tide.
XP600 came with me this morning to work the line. It was good to have the company. XP doubled as my photographer. I told him how it has been difficult to take pictures as you work the line. The photos started fast and furious. But then XP knew what I meant when we fell into our rhythm.
XP asked me if I had ever had any surprises in my traps. I told him a striped bass. It wasn't three traps later we helped rescue about a 20" striper from the parlor of my 4' trap.
10 keepers made it to the cooler this morning. Thanks for the help XP.
Heading out into the Bay.
"Working the rail"
Coming on board.
Full bait bags and future eel bait.
On the way back in we were treated to 5 fishing ospreys and this great blue herring.
With today's lobsters I had a promise to fulfill. I get to hunt, fish and trap a very special piece of property. Every year I try and give something back.
When they saw the cooler coming out of the truck they was all eyes and ears.
This family member doesn't care for seafood.
I fell in love with this one. Too bad they grow up.
Made it out in time tonight to catch the right tide at my mentors location. Was not disappointed except for the size of the fish. My buddy and I boated 5 fish in two hours. Three came from the recommended spot, "The Inside". Best fish 27". Keepa hunting continues.....................
After the thunderstorms proved to be much more than a cruise. It was like going to the gym. And I really worked the Ugly Stik. We caught fish from 20 inches to 40 pounds.
I lost my biggest fish at the boat. The hook came out. It had to be in the 40 pound range. I had no control of the fish. Never even saw it. It stayed down the whole time. That is when you know they are big.
A big thank you to my host Roccus.
I got a couple teenagers on board.
Highlight of the evening was double 20's.
It was a lazy day today. The fog and humidity were heavy. Saw these 5 gobblers on the way to the boat.
The river was calm.
The days of summer are upon the Great Bay but there is a noticeable drop in boat traffic. The fisherman are out but there are very few recreational boaters. Even the yak traffic is down. I noticed Adam's Point Marina is 90% sailboats. Lots of empty mooring balls. I suspect fuel is playing a big roll.
The highlight of the morning was 4 legal bugs in one trap. A dozen keepa's came home today. :)