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  #16  
Old 07-05-2011, 12:46 PM
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Default Re: Bugs and Bass 2011

That injured fish looks rough but she was eating so who knows. Looks as though something tried to take a bite out of her or she got propped?
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  #17  
Old 07-08-2011, 07:29 PM
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Default NH Surf Bass

A good friend of mine from Portsmouth is hosting his grandchildren from Florida for few weeks. So what does any good Grampy do when he has the grand children?

Take them fishing of course. In Grampy's words.

"My grandson, Jason, 14, took his first keeper. 39" 21 pounds ... nice fish from the surf."



Not to out done by her brother Megan landed her first "keepah" today.

Again Grampy tells the story.

"Back to the beach again with the kids this morning. We're driving them back to Florida on Saturday and thought I'd catch a couple tides before we left.

6:00 AM this morning ... We were using cut mackerel but I also had cut out the eyes from Jason's striper a couple weeks ago, I've caught everything from perch to walleyes, brookies, lakers etc. over the years using eyes ... you guessed it, her striper took the "striper eye" on a 6/0 circle hook. This 34" 15 pounder had five nice short lobsters inside.

Megan, 11 years old .... her first keeper."



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  #18  
Old 07-10-2011, 12:34 PM
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Default Great Bay Buggin'

After the fogged lifted and the sun came out Saturday morning I loaded up the truck and headed to the dock. I noticed while loading the boat with fuel and bait I could hear the leaves blowing in the trees. From experience this is not a good sign.

Last week I set three prospecting traps in a deep hole in an otherwise shallow mud flat. Being the first traps I checked I was pleasantly surprised to have four keepah lobster between the three. A good start.

By the time I went through Adam's Point the wind had picked up from the NW. Couple that with an outgoing tide created white caps on the water making my buoys more difficult to find. The new moon tides we had last week had flooded the marsh and the Bay was full of floating eel grass. Some of my buoys were completely camouflaged by the floating vegetation.

By the time I got to Fox Point I was missing three traps. Three traps I knew should have been in Great Bay three miles behind me. Knowing the amount of grass I had taken off other buoys and the strength of the outgoing tide there was a strong possibility the buoys were under water. So the hunt for the three missing traps was on.

I have heard it from amateur lobster trappers many times, "I set my traps, came back a week later to check them and they were gone." They think their lines were cut or their traps were stolen. I admit the thought crossed my mind. But in my 15 years as a lobster trapper on Great Bay I have nothing but praise for the commercial trappers who ply their living from these waters. It is a tight knit group that looks out for its own, be it other commercial guys or a hobby trapper like myself.

Looking for my missing traps was less than fun in a NW gale in open bay. But one by one as the tide slackened the buoys began to appear. Not one set was where I had originally dropped my traps. The islands of eels grass attached to the buoys had caused my single traps to move. One was dragged at least a quarter mile into deeper water. The remaining two were found in the shallows. I am glad I didn't give up. Those three missing traps produced six keepah lobsters.

Taking last year off to get the boat fixed broke a long, physical, summer time tradition. I am not fishing as many pots as I have because my body is feeling it's age. By starting with less traps I can feel my strength returning.

With the help of my new partner "Advil" it is good to be back OTW.
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  #19  
Old 07-18-2011, 09:14 AM
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Default Florida Fish Camp

CSXs Fish Camp on the St Johns River in Welaka, Florida was a test of stamina. Hot was the word of the day. Five largemouth bass and a pickerel were caught on our boat. All two and three pounders. The pool winner was an 8 pound largemouth. It was the biggest bass I have ever seen alive. The most fish landed on one boat was thirty two using shad for bait.

There was a six foot alligator in our first fishing spot. Followed by an otter. We didnt catch anything there. Alligator gar were everywhere. Mullet jumping out of the water. Ospreys were as thick as seagulls on a sandy beach. Schools of baitfish being chased by schools of bass. Lots of manatees come there in the winter. We didn't see any. Biggest alligator was an eight footer on the shore 100 yards from camp. Just the river is as big as Great Bay. We were going 50 plus miles per hour in a 20 Ranger Bass boat. They have one foot tides. Twenty feet was deep. Eight feet the norm.

Our guide was a local who lived a mile from camp. I went all the way to Florida to fish with live minnows under a bobber. The guide would even cast for us. That man could skip a minnow up under a dock into the shade. The guys throwing artificial s lures were not very successful.

I drove over to Gainesville to meet my brother and niece at the college where they work. Then we drove north to their horse farm in Wellborn. Got to stay there a couple hours then drove seventy miles back to Jacksonville to catch my plane home. I got to see quite a bit of countryside. Lots of farms in my travels. They told me we were too far north of the tourist spots.



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  #20  
Old 07-18-2011, 12:32 PM
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Default The Bugs are Biting

Lobsters I mean.

07-16-11
The lobster line has been good to me this year. Thanks go out to Cory and Marcus for helping me with bait. Saturday's run again produced better than a pound a trap. I can not complain.

I went to camp in Maine in the afternoon. Treated the landowner to a boil. Clams and lobsters. It was my payback for their security blanket around the property. Two radio collared bear hounds showed up in their driveway this week. The owners showed up and told them they started the bear in Effingham, NH . That is about 5 miles as the crow flies.

07-17-11
This morning I woke up to a harmony of hounds to the east of camp. The chased turned before they crossed the hard road. Exciting stuff.

Joe and I took a trip to Little Bay this afternoon for the last couple hours of daylight. Lots of bait fish around the islands. The bass were pushing the bait to the flats above the rapids and pounding it. Birds diving gave it way. Lots of keeper size fish boiling at the side of the boat. Joe took home a 29”. We left the feast and ended our evening at a spot boblob told me about. We were looking for the “one”. She wasn't home.

What a great week it was to be alive.

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  #21  
Old 07-21-2011, 08:17 PM
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Default Touch and Go.

07-20-11
Took a ride to Little Bay after work tonight. The SW gale must have shut the bite off. It was pretty flat out there thanks to the outgoing tide.

I was lined up on the north runway approach to Pease hiding from the wind. The Army National Guard KC 135's kept me pretty entertained. They were practicing touch and go.



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  #22  
Old 07-23-2011, 06:15 PM
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Default Roccus and worms

I got to share my boat with Roccus today. We saw the biggest hatch of cinder worms I have ever seen in the Bay's. It started at the dock at daybreak and continued through the first few hours of fishing. There were hatching worms by the millions. They were so thick Joe scooped one up bare handed.



I give Joe credit. While I was slinging an eel he was trying to match the hatch with multiple offerings from his tackle box. The bass wanted only one thing and it wasn't my eel either.

So we decided to let the bass fatten up and went checking lobster traps. Everywhere we went the bass taunted us as they slurped those fresh worms.

At least the lobsters were biting.



This is the second time Joe has been on my boat. The first couple times I fished with Joe on his home water we never caught a fish. I rib him for taking me for boat rides. Joe's first trip on the USS Coalman a couple years ago we never boated a fish. I was reminded in our last fishing hole of the day that he has never caught a Great Bay striped bass.

That monkey is now off our backs.



Thanks for the memories.
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  #23  
Old 07-24-2011, 12:31 PM
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Default Daybreak at the dock.

07-24-11
Joe and I saw the sunrise on the Squamscott River while checking my eel trap.



Thank goodness there was no worm hatch today. I hate the competition.

Joe had the top striper of the day at 36 inches.



We went on the Pogie Patrol at high tide. We found the pogies but the water wasn't moving swift enough to net them. And they weren't thick enough to snag. I'll be keeping my eye out for them.
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  #24  
Old 07-25-2011, 09:13 AM
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Default Re: Bugs and Bass 2011

Very cool Dave! Always look forward to your posts here
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  #25  
Old 07-27-2011, 12:14 AM
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Default Re: Bugs and Bass 2011

tell that guy with the bugs in his hands his belts too tight.... should always have a fly rod on the ss coalman for such a frenzy. i'd have sharted if i saw that spawn... i couldn't get up as the misses fell ill.



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  #26  
Old 07-30-2011, 12:40 PM
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Default Bottom of the tide.

07-30-11
An outgoing tide greeted me as I got to the boat this morning. It was the lowest yet this year coinciding with my departures.
I saw the three foot shallow alarm a few times on the Eagle 240.

Trust your buoys. Red to the left going out.





Herons are good depth indicators in Great Bay. If they are standing in the water..........it isn't deep enough.



That is Moody Point back left. These are the mud flats between the Squamscott and Lamprey River mouths. You can see Mount Agamenticus in York, ME on the tree line on the left.



Got a double crusher claw lobster today. It doesn't happen often. I call it lunch.

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  #27  
Old 08-01-2011, 02:52 PM
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Default Fin Fish are best

The USS Coalman was all prepared to net pogies Sunday morning to use as bait for stripers. I rigged my gill net to fish either stationary or mobile out the back of the boat. The bait tank was also on-board. Too bad nobody told the pogies we were coming. I have been there three times pulling lobster gear and each time the pogies taunted me.

Sunday the pogies were not home.

So, Joe and I fished eels and we fished hard. We had bass breaking around the boat but they showed no interest in our slime offering.

I even went out of my element and took a ride to the General Sullivan Bridge for bottom of the tide. While we also struck out there fishing we met two fisherman who saw our bait tank and offered us some live tinker mackerel. Seems they had four keepers in the boat and were calling it a day.

It wasn't long before we had the live bait in the tank and headed back to the Bay. The first drift and I had a 26" on the boat. Next drift we had doubles on. Another 26" and a 29" keepah. Probably the fattest striper I have ever seen at that size. This was a genuine football.

The next drift and Joe hooks a good one. When drag screams off my striper reels you know you have a good fish. There was just one lobster buoy we had to avoid and Joe tried to horse the fish around it. You just can't horse big stripers. In our haste to fish the mackerel we used the eel hooks we already had on the poles. I prefer treble hooks when fishing live bait. They were in the tackle box. Bad Dave.
Lucky striper!

At least we got a picture of the big one. A big bridge under construction that is.
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  #28  
Old 08-04-2011, 09:40 AM
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Default A night on the Piscatiqua River

08-03-11
We took off out of the river about 6PM and headed north offshore to get bait. We had no chum but filled the bait tank in an hour with some really nice medium mackerel and a few two pound pollack.

After two stops on the way back to the river to revive the bait (no high speed water intake) we arrived at our military location at dusk. You should have seen the silversides. WOW! The birds were busting on them but there was not much surface bass activity.

The first drift and Cory was on. I noticed when I was reeling in my mackerel there were two of them. All of a sudden the place exploded with jumbo mackerel and the bass were throwing them out of the water. Cory threw in a jigging rod and a couple more mackerel made the live well.

The big pollack didn't live on the ride in. When I saw the jumbo mackerel in the baitwell I instantly slid a hook into its navel cavity. I was looking for the One. Cory boated three fish while the bass just harassed my large mackerel. The One was not feeding here tonight. I never got a hit on the big mackerel.

With a few baits left we headed to location number two. A couple more bass came over the gunnel's. Our last mackerel was a hearty one. It took a couple drifts but I hooked up for one last fish and we called it a night. I lost count of how many bass we boated. I know it was well over a dozen. The biggest fish measured on the boat was 33.

The bass were the healthiest stripers I have ever seen. Fat and all shoulder. My right shoulder reminds me tonight of how hard those fish can fight. Since we launched in Maine all the bass were out of slot and live to fight another day.

I laid my head to rest with Mama at 1230. I love fin fishing for
stripers! Thank you Captain.

Captain Cory and our ride.









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  #29  
Old 08-06-2011, 02:42 PM
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Default My Summer Play Land

08-06-11
I left the dock just after the tide turned out this morning. The bugs seem to be gone. Greenheads, deer files, mosquitoes and no seem'ums I mean. I can't remember when or where insects tried to spoil my day.

Traditionally August is the worst month to trap lobsters in the Great Bay's. You have to stay mobile. The traps set on flat hard bottom today were full of debris. The eel grass rots on the surface and sinks. The swift tides on the flat hard bottom roll the decaying grass right into your trap. The few traps I had set in the rocks last week produced well today. So I went looking for rocks and uneven bottom.

Lots of short lobsters today. That is always a good sign. I treat them as prodigy. Half the keepah's were culls too. Seems like we are scraping the barrel at the bottom of the Bay.

After I transferred today's bounty into the lobster car I went looking for striped bass. My expectations were low. I saw Acnes on his way in this morning. He was on bass but said the bite ended when the sun appeared. We traded stories and went our ways.

It took a couple drifts but I found the bass. In a beating down late morning sun with live eels for bait I put five striped ones in the boat. Two were keepers. I let them swim for another day.

These bass can fight. I can only hope the pogies are on their way with mama and daddy stripers not far behind. You know you had a good day on the water when your arms are reminding you of your age.

The only pictures I stored today were electrical impulses in my brain. The Great Bay is my summer play land.
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  #30  
Old 08-11-2011, 01:00 PM
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Default A Working Man's Tide

08-10-11
A Working Man's Tide

I love to fish the top of the tide. Last nights high tide was 10PM. Perfect for the working man. You can fish, go home and sleep for a few hours and then with a double shot of coffee start your next work day off with a smile.

Last night I took ownership of the bow of the USS Roccus. The easterly blow kept us on drift for the incoming tide. The outgoing tide was more of a challenge.

It was no slam dunk. We worked for our fish. Joe told me we were fishing for the "One". I knew that meant a lot of casting. I had to kick the devil off my left shoulder when my right shoulder started to complain. There was fire in the water last night. I saw the devil slip beneath the surface with a smile.

It wasn't long and Joe hooked into the one. At one point we thought the line was wrapped up on debris because the fish held the boat against the tide and wind. After a couple 360's around the boat and some careful net handling we had "Her" aboard.

I know Joe could feel the burn as we stole her picture.



All I could say was "let's do that again".

And again Joe was on.



I could tell the captain was happy as he whistled a tune while relocating the boat for another drift.

A sign of any good captain is wanting to get his sport onto fish. Joe maneuvered the boat like a master trying to get me into the best casting position. He was even routing for me from the stern.

Joe said I hit this torpedo on the head. It took my bait as soon as it hit the water.



While fishing with Joe is always a treat I told the Captain my favorite part of the night was watching all the bass we caught slip back into the fire looking for the devil.

Thank you Captain Roccus.
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