We have been lucky in the Great Bay to be visited by pogies for at least the last five years. They come.......they go.
In 2006 they came in August and stayed till October. September that year they stayed in the Squamscott River. Acres of pogies right in front of the boat slip. You should have seen the seals. They eat them like corn on the cob.
Try as I could in 2006 drifting the gill net in daytime, I could not catch any. Pogies are net wary during light in a slow moving current. A neighbor on the dock had Florida experience with a 10' cast net. Weights and all that net had to weigh 25 pounds. Throwing that was an art! With his wife at the helm and the aid of electronics he threw that net about ten times. At least six of those throws required both our strength to haul the net aboard. Hence free lobster bait the rest of the season.
Last August 2008 while finishing the lobster line we encountered pogies in the Bay. The gill net is always in the cuddy. We got 5 pogies on the first drift. With no live well on board we made quick use of all empty 5 gallon buckets. A couple nice stripers were caught between noon and 1 PM in high eighty degree heat. Try doing that with an eel.
The next day the Bay was as smooth as glass with pogies schools in every direction. I remember my son saying while tending the line, "Dad they are swimming right towards net." Man I wish it was that easy every time. Again another hot bite during the middle of a hot day.
Shawn had the big fish that day.
Dad snuck in a close second.
After work that Thursday night on an outgoing tide I took a co-worker and the first run of the gill net we got 4 pogies.
That was all we needed. This was his first keepah stripah.
It was a good two weeks but I could see the pogies were leaving. Multiple runs of the net only produced a few pogies. But the hard work paid off with the biggest fish on the boat last season.
Netting live bait for use in any fishing requires being always ready with the right gear. The pay offs are sweet.
I am on the "Pogie Patrol".