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Lunker
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262 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I haven't posted this here in a while. It has been a good season so I thought I'd share the life of a Bayman.

05-13-14
Bugs and Bass 2014 has started.

Lobsta' Bait

Good run last evening. When I saw the flocks of seagulls and cormorants arrive I knew something was going to happen. Got a tote limit in about an hour. Six foot cast net. That will do half the summer.

Boat is in the driveway. Now I have incentive to launch and trap. Tentative
splash date Memorial Day Weekend.





05-19-14
You can net on Mondays. Was at the falls at 0430. Home and in the shower by 0530.

Pulled the basket about a dozen times. I can taste the lobsters now.



05-30-14
You can't have a successful Bugs and Bass season without bait. Splashed the USS Coalman at high tide. Joe came down to the dock to go out and look for spawning horseshoe crabs for our eel bait. He said it has been pretty slow so far this year. I accompanied him and it seems to be heating up.

We are allowed ten per day with our netters permit. Now we have some eel bait. Bring on Bugs and Bass 2014.

 

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Lunker
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262 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2 ·
05-31-14
Drowned 14 traps today. It still reminds me of putting up firewood. You touch the traps a few times before you get to...

Stack the deck.



Saw this lovely lady fishing all by herself at the trestle. Where has she been all my life?



Alewives for bait.



The crab harvest yesterday meant striper bait today.



Looking forward to boiling the first bug of the year and catching a linesider with our home grown bait.
 

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Lunker
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262 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
06-06-14
Went looking for alewives Friday. Found these two had beat me to the best vantage point. They also had a pair of mallards keeping company. Never saw one fish.



06-07-14
First run of the lobster traps brought in four keepah lobsters, five shorty's and four horseshoe crabs. Got my limit of eels this weekend too.

Saw these mute swans on the way out. I don't see them in the river much. Bay yes, river no.



Slung eels till dark looking for a striper or two. Skunked, no takers.

06-08-14
A change of bait didn't help my luck. Filled the live well with alewives and proceeded to fish quite a few drifts. Took Roccus's advice and never "married a spot". The last place I tried on the way in was where I caught the bait. Got a bite but had a circle hook on. Forgot you aren't suppose to set the hook.



Back at it this week. It was good to replenish the salt in my veins.
 

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Lunker
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262 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
06-09-14
The labor is worth the reward.



I do don't think he can get therah from herah.



06-14-14
Good morning on the boat. Six keepah lobster. All very soft. Shells like paper. The bugs are just coming out of the shed.

Put them all in my lobster car to harden up a bit.

Sea worm hatch in the headwaters of the Squamscott River. Lots of small bait at Fox Point. No busting bass noted.

Bugs in the AM and striped bass fishing this afternoon. Hope the thunderstorms hold off.

Life is good.
 

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Lunker
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262 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
06-20-14
Found myself here last evening. Big tide. The island out front was almost covered.

As the tide started to move out I remembered this guy named Dick told me that just as the tide gained momentum that the fish held right over a lower end eating rock. He was right!

The skunk is off. Three nice stripers saw the inside of the USS Coalman before getting the release of life. 28", 29" and 29.5". Live home grown Squamscott River eels for bait. Healthy strong fish. Drag peelers. I left biting fish.

I owe that Pinney guy a beer.

 

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Lunker
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262 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
06-21-14
The big tides moved a lot of bottom debris into the traps. They were twice as heavy coming over the rail. Caught eleven keepers and let go that many hard shell shorts. Three legals were grapes. One shed in my trap. Caught a very nice soft female. Even after the shed you could see where she was notched last fall. Notched her again, gave her a little talk about the birds and bees and let her go to make babies.

Sportsmen are the best conservationist.

Tipped Joe off to last Thursday's bite and was greeted by this half way through the line.

Nice fish Joe!



The NHRA is at New England Dragway this weekend. We are eight miles east and you can still feel the vibrations when the funny cars and dragsters leave the line. IMHO six seconds and three hundred miles per hour is much exciting than left hand turns.

Bring on the Nitro's!
 

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Lunker
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262 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
06-22-14
47 degrees at the slip at 0530. Headed out to sling some slime. The ospreys greeted my day.



The Squamscott River felt nuclear.



Could barely see the trestle.



The trestle through the fog. The gateway to adventure.



Saw some bass working a rip. Got ahead of it and drifted in. They were boiling all around the boat. Wouldn't touch an eel. My guess worm hatch. Sounded like they were sucking something in right under the surface.

After fishing for a couple hours in a dozen spots I was getting pretty close to admitting the skunk when I landed the first striper. One more followed an hour later. Both shorties.

Been trying circle hooks. Both bass were lipped hooked. It reminds we of Wicked Tuna...Reel, reel, reel!

Great Bay and the trestle on the way in.



Good day to be alive!
 

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Lunker
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262 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
06-28-14
Little warmer this AM than last week. 47 to 51. I'm starting to like this summer.
It was hit or miss on the bugs this morning. Ended up with better than a pound per trap. Very few shorts. One hard shell keeper and the rest shedders. The lobsters seem to be in broken bottom rather than on the flats and in the mud.
Caught a real nice recently shed female. You could see from the shape of one rear flipper she had been notched before. She got another notch and the release of life. I'll be eating her prodigy some day.

Set my "hero or zero" traps last week. A lonely out of the way spot that is over a mile round trip back to my main trapping area. Those two traps produced three big keepers. It was good to have a a couple heroes on the line today.
The traps were reset. Stay tuned.

It was a negative tide this morning. Finished putting today's catch in the car just as the tide turned in. Met up with Ray and being such a beautiful morning to be OTW I opted to stay out a little while and watch Ray pulls traps.

It was a good day to be on the Bay.

 

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Lunker
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262 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
OTW at 0530. Little warmer today. 54 degrees.

Six bites, two eels that turned into the circle hook and one fish that just "fell" off resulted in three linesiders gracing the deck of the Coalman. 2 34" big shouldered linebackers and a 23". All still swimming for others to enjoy.

There are no selfies with an Iphone.



Not a big circle hook fan but for the sake of the resource I'm trying. Every bass this year caught on circles has been lipped hooked. Man do lip stuck stripers fight like bulls.

Heard a roar in the northern sky as I passed through Fox Point. I believe this is one of those Russian cargo planes.



It was behemoth.



The only crowd today was the no see 'ems.
 

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Lunker
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262 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
06-30-14
Fished the Bay last night till dusk. The wind made it hard to drift. Bass 1, Coalman 0.

There wasn't a boat in sight.



07-04-14
Glad the weatherman was wrong. Thought I'd have to dress like the Gloucester Fisherman checking traps with the predicted rain. OTW at 0630. Sunny and blue sky. Just an inch to spare getting under the trestle. High tide means we aren't restricted to following navigation buoys. Pointed the bow NE and skimmed the flats three miles to the first trap.

The first string of eight traps produced seven keepers. The next string of five traps, nine keepers. The last two traps, Hero and Zero, four keepers. Pulled the furthest one back. It caught three keepers on two checks. Time to let the trench repopulate. Took that trap from 18' of water to 44'. Caught what has to be a three pounder in 12' today. Lots of female keeper lobsters got measured. If you had a female in a trap she always had one to three suitors.

The bounty included only one hard shell. The lobster had barnacles growing on it. Gonna need a mallet to crack those claws. Everything else today was new shell. They are sure shiny and colorful in their new armor.

Today catch in the coolers. Future lobster salad in the car.



Saw a Cinder Worm spawn on the way to check the Hero and Zero traps. There were a few fish boiling on them.

What a phenomenon of nature. It is like opening up a candy store to an elementary school and all the goodies are free.

http://www.saltwatersportsman.com/travel/north-america/striper-fishing-during-cinder-worm-hatch

For the fly fishermen out there.

http://www.orvis.com/news/fly-fishing/cascone-cinder-worms/

Have a safe and happy 4th.
 

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Lunker
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262 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
07-10-14
It didn't take much convincing in this great weather that fishing was more important than mowing what the wife calls a field that doubles as our lawn.
If there is anything that can relieve the stress of the work day it is a trip to the striper grounds.

Met Cory OTW in his boat.



I caught and released another linebacker. Our fish have been strong and healthy this year.



With the moon high in the eastern sky and a west setting sun we called it a night.





Thank you Lord for your blessings. Life is good.
 

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Lunker
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262 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
07-13-14
The bugs are crawling. But ya gutta be where they are. Did the best in deep water. All new shell and some two + pounders. Again today the catch was way better than a pound per trap.

Met Marcus and his brother Paul at Fox Point. Great to finally meet cha Marcus. Hope you had an appetite for the bugs and those livies put a striper or two over the rail.

07-17-14
Spur of the moment decision this evening to drown some slime.

These three dead trees caught my eye on the way out of the river. Hmmmm?



Is this picture telling us the water levels really are rising? These trees have to be old to be that size. With higher tides my guess is the salt water killed them.



Barely made it under the trestle. Motoring up to WOT I came upon this barge.



They are restoring the oyster beds on Great Bay



Stick spat, stick.



Fishing brook trout style for striped bass. Even the slightest rip flushes bait by hungry gill plates.



An IPhone selfie. 37" bull who got the release of life. Note the circle hook. Reel, reel, reel.



And another chapter of Bugs and Bass 2014 comes to a close.



Next chapter begins 07-19-14.
 

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Lunker
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262 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
07-19-14
Special day on the water with friends. Hannah Merrill my turkey hunting bud and her grandfather John Merrill, owner of the Stuart Farm in Stratham.

What goes around, comes around. I bought the USS Coalman from John in 1997. Right about the time Hannah was born.

What a privilege and honor it was to have both on the boat helping bait traps and band lobsters. When John took the helm between strings the memories of his adventures in the same boat so many years ago were a pleasure to my ear drums.

Like passing the torch Hannah also got to be the captain of her once granddad's boat. Today had to be the most fun I've had lobster trapping this season.

To top it off it was another pound or better lobster per trap day. My only request in return was special consideration to hunt an off limits goose field this fall with Belle. John's nod said it all.

What a great day to be OTW.

 

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Lunker
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262 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 ·
07-26-14
Had the pleasure of sharing the water this morning lobster trapping with DWS and Caden. The catch today included green and red crabs, small cunners, a pancake flounder that I saw DWS filleting with his eyes and another pound + day per trap of lobster.

Boat traffic was non existent. We saw two fisherman and schools of busting bass. An osprey fulfilled our gaze as it dove down with a huge splash then struggled skyward with it talons full of striper.

DWS was the cameraman.

Good to see you Andy and son! Eat well my friend.

Great morning to be OTW.
 

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Lunker
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262 Posts
Discussion Starter · #18 ·
08-02-14
Great Bay tagged striped bass.

My Great Bay fishing buddy Joe caught a tagged striped bass this morning at Fox Point. 30". He kept the fish to show me. He thought the tag information was in its belly because of the amount of algae built up on the outside of the tag. It took a lot of scraping to see the info on the long slender tag outside its belly.

A little internet research said it was tagged by the Hudson River Foundation and the tag said "reward".

http://www.hudsonriver.org/?x=sb/index

No phone number to call you have to download a form and mail it to them with the tag.

Each February they draw names for prizes from $1000 to $100.

Sending Joe our NEHN mojo and hope he is a lucky winner.

That is the first tagged Great Bay striped bass I've ever seen.

Got to enjoy the morning with Sea Hunt. Surprising it is such a small world. We called off a dozen local names and each of us had a story to tell.

I've never caught a lake trout or a salmon. Dick said he could cure that slump.
The August lobster blues are settling into my inland trapping grounds. Ten keepers this check out of fifteen traps.. The water temperature is starting to rise which triggers a mass exodus back to the ocean. It happens every year.

Come Labor Day and after, the bugs will once again crawl back to Great Bay in anticipation of their second shed of the year. I used to trap until November with October being the best month of the year.

But today I'd rather have the traps on dry land by October 1 so I can spend time with my two blondes chasing Ruff and Doodle.
 

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Lunker
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262 Posts
Discussion Starter · #20 ·
08-09-14
My head touched the pillow at 2AM Sunday morning.

The ride down the river was highlighted by the sound of crushing shells as we enjoyed freshly caught Great Bay lobsters. The Super Moon guided us to pods of monster stripers. The Okuma reel is hoarse from all the singing. The Ugly Stick could not be beaten. My first cast to the curl put a linebacker on the deck.

Double hookups were the theme.

Joe is a good Captain. He put us into Striperpalooza. An event we didn't have to share with any flotilla.

My back and my arms may not feel the same but THANK YOU my friend for once again allowing me the bow of the Warrior Princess.

And yes my prediction came true. This time my bass was bigger than yours.

 
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