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  #1  
Old 06-11-2009, 12:18 PM
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Default Bugs and Bass Great Bay 2009

06-03-09
The USS Coalman came out of storage tonight and was put into dry dock.


She needs some TLC but will be seaworthy in a flash. Need to do some cosmetics. Loosen a few moving parts and launching will be imminent.

Welcome to Bugs and Bass Great Bay 2009.
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  #2  
Old 06-11-2009, 12:24 PM
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Default Re: Bugs and Bass Great Bay 2009

June 06-07, 2009
The cobwebs are out. All systems are go. The USS Coalman was launched from her home port on the Squamscott River. This is one of my favorite places to walk. Be it by land or sea if you get my drift?

Swazey Parkway Squamscott River Exeter, NH.


I first saw the USS Coalman on a mooring in this cove below the farm in 1994. She was up in dry dock by the blue building on the left when I bought her in 1997.


A few miles up the river and we arrive at her summer berth.


It didn't take long to get the saddle on her back.


After setting traps we put her out to anchor.


It took a couple hours of bent back work.


To pick enough oysters off the bottom to fill the buckets.


And during our dig the boat went high and dry. While we waited for the tide to return we talked about the Native Americans who footprints we were stepping in.

Two buckets of oysters equals Great Bay bounties.


Twenty lobster traps are sitting on the bottom of Great Bay. I think I can dig up about ten more.
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Old 06-11-2009, 12:47 PM
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Default Re: Bugs and Bass Great Bay 2009

It's good to see your photo journals again David.
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  #4  
Old 06-13-2009, 03:31 PM
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Default Re: Bugs and Bass Great Bay 2009

06-12-09
Got four more traps ready tonight. Took a trip down............


.......to get to the boat and save a step for tomorrow morning. I know I am in like company when I turn left on Great Bay Drive.


The osprey are nesting. Haven't seen any young. Will keep an eye on it.


06-13-09
It was time to check traps this morning. First keepa of the year. Hard bottom in forty feet.


Picture of Great Bay from Adam's Point.


I call this Keepa Beach. I watched the pogies beach themselves here last year to avoid the cows.


All good trips end with a bait check. Two checks of the eel traps have produced enough free bait for a month.


The Bay was like glass today. I wish everyday was like today. Twenty traps today six keepa lobster.

Armand and I are scooping some eels and will be hitting the first of outgoing tonight at Fox Point.

Striper fishing here we come.
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Old 06-15-2009, 09:09 AM
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Default Re: Bugs and Bass Great Bay 2009

06-13-09 PM
Armand and I drowned eels in two holes at Fox Point till dark. Nothing. No worries, no bites. We did mark fish on the points and drop offs.

A strong southeast wind kept blowing the boat towards shore and the flats on a falling tide. The trolling motor served us well by keeping us in the drift.

What was comical were the two boats who were fishing with live bait. I know these guys from hand greetings through the years. Armand and I saw them both load up the bait wells in each boat with small live bait. Then they both zoom off.

I told Armand I had seen this before. These two boats can't keep still. So we watched them fish Fox Point. Zoom here, zoom there, zoom back get more bait. Zoom out to fish. One drift here , zoom over there. Never saw them land a fish.

At least they didn't let me down. :)

We did get chased out by a nasty looking weather system coming from the Rochester way. We joked when we got to the trestle because the system followed right behind us the whole boat ride across the Bay.

I heard a pogie report from the Bay last week. I will be keeping my eye out for that familiar wake.

It is good to be back on the water.
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Old 06-23-2009, 05:50 PM
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Default Re: Bugs and Bass Great Bay 2009

06-20-09
Armand came with me today. We used the alewives he caught this spring for bait. ( Darn Coalman was out turkey hunting. Where are his priorities? )


We started hot, cooled down in deep water and ended hot in 18'. 24 traps = 8 keepa's.

Checking traps at the Point we could see birds crashing the water. After all the traps were checked we took a cunner we caught in a trap, hooked him through the nostril and let him swim in the Coalman and Dad honey hole. No bites, no worries. I gotta talk to the guys who said cunners were good bait. The bass were crashing feet from the boat. And not one tug on Armand's pole. Give us a tom cod any day.

The water was glass the the bass were popping the surface as far as we could see. This is a crowd in Great Bay.


There were a few boats around throwing plastic and metal. The only one to land a fish we saw was the fly fisherman in this boat.


Thanks for the help Armand. :!: Next time on the bass.
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Old 06-28-2009, 11:40 AM
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Default The all nighter and the car salesman

06-26-09 and the car salesman.

Tonight was my long anticipated July 4th all nighter with Captain Danny. It had to be pushed up a week this year due to the tides. But you couldn't ask for better. High tide was at 0400 in the honey hole.

We got underway with our trip about 11PM. Captain Danny was at the helm.


The first spot we hit that was so good to us last year only produced a boat load of drunken fisherman. Even though I say fisherman they were a disgrace to all boaters but truefully very comical. Every other word started with F. And I think the captain had the most to drink. In a wide open bay upon their exit they went 30 feet off our stern. They were rewarded with Danny's 25 pound mono and an eel around their prop. Wonder when they will find it?

Our second spot came up short as in one shorty in the boat. The southwest wind was our enemy and kept the drift inconsistent. A bluefish also put a hurt on my eel.

So off the the honey hole for high tide.

I met a car salesman a few years ago. We hit it off pretty well. Turns out we both loved to striper fish and we both have a fur trapping past. I have shared his boat a few times.

We made arrangements to radio fish together. About 3AM we made contact. Fishing had been slow for Captain Dan and I. We only managed a 28" bass so far as the tide crept to its highest point. Our counterpart though had caught and released many fine fish. A shutter flash caught our attention and we were informed a 32 pounder had been caught an released.

As with any good salesman he invited Dan and I over to see his new line of cars. As we approached we were bewildered at the sight. All around his boat huge striped bass were boiling.

It didn't take long and yours truly had a 30 pounder on the floor of the boat. As Dan was weighing the fish, I was digging for the camera. I never got there. Dan had put his rod in the holder as he netted my fish. Just as I was about to retrieve my camera Dan's rod came to full attention and the fight was on.

As I released my fish, Dan fought his. A beautiful 25 pound specimen, released to fight again another day.


I was quite a sight to be in a parking lot with so many find choices. One car wanted to be sold so bad it breached. I have never seen a striped bass that size fully breach. I put a down payment on one immediately. Our friend the car salesman also showed us his plugging finesse and took 2 monster bass on his own turned plugs when the dawn turned off the eel bite.

Thank you Mr. Isuzu.

06-27-09

With a couple hours sleep and a falling tide I ran the Great Bay lobster line. Again I started hot, cooled down in the channel and ended hot where I had no competition with other lobster traps.

Twenty five traps produced 15 keepers with the biggest, approx three pounds coming from nine feet of water. The car was heavy today.


Quoting Lee and Tiffany, Life is good. Life is fine.
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  #8  
Old 06-28-2009, 07:39 PM
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Default Re: Bugs and Bass Great Bay 2009

great thread coalman...as usual
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  #9  
Old 06-29-2009, 12:50 PM
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Default Re: Bugs and Bass Great Bay 2009

Nothing like a lot full of shiny new cars to put a smile on ones face..
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  #10  
Old 07-03-2009, 02:13 PM
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Default Dutch Harbor, NH

07-03-09
In order to catch lobsters you need a trap. But that trap wouldn't be any good without a bag full of bait. The freezer is bare so I took a trip down at daybreak to the bait shop.

In Deadliest Catch tradition I arrived at Dutch Harbor, NH. Here it is all about lobsters.


Up the ramp I went looking for the Bait Lady. There was a chill to the air.


These two fellows were sorting lobsters. The flashback is all the moisture in the air. Do you see Edgar?


There were some big bugs in that room.


From a recreational guy like me, I like my herring in five gallon buckets.


In comparison it takes this much bait................


To feed these traps.............


That fish from this vessel. I can smell it now.


The Great Bay lobster line started cold today. The first 8 traps.........no bugs. The first 18 traps and I had 7 keepa's aboard.

The seven traps I set on the Point last week produced seven keeper bugs today, I ended HOT!

14 keepa's today and some very happy faces who will be dining on Great Bay bugs this weekend.

P.S. The birds were active. Schoolie stripers were at the Ledge at the top of the tide. One fisherman had caught six, one was a keeper he released. :)
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  #11  
Old 07-03-2009, 02:57 PM
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Default Re: Bugs and Bass Great Bay 2009

Very nice thread indeed Coalman, glad ur having some success down ur way. This weather pattern has put me on a temporary leave of absence lately, fishing sporadically in between storms/rain/wind without much success. Keep the great pics and posts coming man, they make for great reading material


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  #12  
Old 07-03-2009, 06:01 PM
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Default Re: Bugs and Bass Great Bay 2009

Great post. I'm a newbie to the sport but am very familiar with that area of great bay and the river, it's a beautiful area. Nice pics, can't wait til I get all the details aligned and start landing some keepers.
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  #13  
Old 07-11-2009, 06:17 PM
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Default From crew to Captain.

07-11-09
Captain Danny said it best.

"When the moon and the stars align with the wind and the tides it is time to , Fish On".

Those four ingredients were all we needed.

I was privileged to share Captain Roccus's boat last night. Knowing we had the right blend we departed at sunset.

We never saw another fisherman. Many times during the evening I would pause to reflect how beautiful it was to be on the water. The sights, the lack of sounds. The stars were brilliant.

I was the greenhorn on this trip. Navigating through the bays, the coves and the rivers could only be left to a seasoned captain. Fishing was no gimme. We worked the rail all night long. I'm going to invent a new gimmick called "Casting Counter". :)

But we hung in there. Memories of past drifts kept the spirit up as we repeated each as the tide rose to its peak.

After some minor irritation with the yellow eyed choppers, Joe boated the first fish.


The action didn't really pick up until dawn on a falling tide. It wasn't till then that I boated my first fish.


Never look a gift drift in the eye. Just start the engine and do it again.


And then.....just like that............it was over. All the fish were released to fight another day.
Thanks Joe !

I ran the Great Bay lobster traps after a few hours sleep. Should have stayed home. 25 MPH winds coming from the south on an incoming tide. Shake, rattle and roll. 25 traps, six keepah bugs.

I need a day to adjust the line. Time to find those small honey holes of the past to sink my traps.

I have had a fish holding pen in my yard for many years. Weather had taken its toll. Armand took it home and refurbished it. Thanks Armand!

Come on Pogies.
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Old 07-17-2009, 04:17 PM
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Default They can't all be cows.......

The weather man said Wednesday was the "Pick of the Week". Had to make a hard decision.

Mow the lawn............or............go fishing. Not a hard choice.

Went to Adam's Point. Boated my first Great Bay striper of the year on a worm of an eel.

The fight,


The net,


The prize.


Thanks Nick for the photo's.
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  #15  
Old 07-19-2009, 10:53 AM
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Default First GB Keepah 2009

07-18-09
It was a GPS morning from the slip on the Squamscott River to Adam's Point. The fog was thick. Thank you Magellan for the yellow brick road.

Roccus the "king of eels" was my mate today. It was my turn to captain for him. We checked 25 traps and ended with 7 nice bugs.

We then spent the next 3 hours throwing bucktails from GS bridge to Fox Point. The sun was bright and the humidity high. Sadly only a few strikes were recorded. The only action we saw were from boats who had live bait.

I know dawn and daybreak are a working man's best chances at bigger bass in GB. I came home, took a power nap then went to Suds and Soda for a dozen eels. The USS Coalman was back at the Point at 1830.

After a trial drift to get wind and tide correct I was ready. The electric motor did nicely holding my angle of attack. This rip has been very, very, good to me be it bugs or bass.

07-18-09 First GB Keepah. 34" Live eel, released.


There were words of encouragement spoken from a home on the shore as I fought the fish. And a round of applause when the fish was in the net. I considered keeping the fish. But I get as much thrill releasing them as catching them.

We saw the red Norton out there today. I introduced Joe to John McCooey. John is 88 years old and still lobstering. We could have stayed moored up for an hour. When John and Joe got talking about stripers and the "old" days I knew my job was to listen. You should have see both their faces light up when they each discovered they both had pictures of 50's at Surfland. John has been a big influence in my Great Bay adventures.

Thanks for the help Joe.

See you on the water.
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