July 1st

Merrimack River Report

I had to go back just to see if the bass would shun our plastic baits and flies again on this beautiful foggy morning. The answer, yes they did. Chunk bait guys were catching plenty of fish, mostly small but boy did we suck out. The water temperature was 74 degrees, just too hot!! The answer to finding biting fish was to find colder water. So south we headed into Plum Island Sound and sure enough we found fish holding over mussel beds and biting small plastic fin-s baits and flies eagerly. The day had been salvaged as we switched to light tackle and enjoyed the outgoing tide, the biting stripers as well as a few small blues, and for the first time in a month and a half an uncrowded peice of water!!!!! One other noteable portion of the day happened after I dropped off Karl and Sandy See at the public dock in Newburyport. Along with the outgoing tide were several schools of herring that were coming up to the surface in waves. It looked like this behavior was an attempt to get more oxygen than what the 74 degree water was providing. I floated along with a few of these schools to watch them as well as see if I could get any of then to eat the 1/32 ounce chartreuse shad darts that I offered them. No hook ups resulted from my efforts but it made me think over the timing of the herring coming down the river and out to sea after spawning. Their exit coincided perfectly with the obvious lull in the stripers feeding. Now if only the bluefish, seals, and the giant fish eating sea bird (still not sure what it was) that we saw today weren't waiting down by the mouth they would be out to sea for sure!!!

(Click to enlarge)

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