Sunday, June 30, 2019

Tournament Closure

Well, Hugh and I didn't make the cut for the tournament. We had high hopes to get on board the last couple days of the tournament but we got skunked! No fish were brought to hand the past two days. It's as if a switch went off, they bailed.

The dudes who won averaged 37 inch fish which is crazy. Props to them (local Mainers). They even beat out the boat guys which is awesome. Close to home SLC resident Jake Nichols took second. He is a dental student at UNE. Props to him for figuring out where the big boys are.

Though we didn't catch fish, here's some cool photos taken the past couple days. Foggy mornings made for unique conditions. Fog is common here and one of many aspects why I enjoy living next to the ocean. 

Caught a jellyfish

Hugh's new sticker for his ride. 
Casting, waiting, hoping...

Thursday, June 20, 2019

The Marshland

Hugh casting in the early morning fog while gulls call out and boatmen ready their vessels for another day

BLITZ! (Hugh was rushing to get his line untangled)

The "Game Changer" Mackerel flavor

Incoming tide

Small...but feisty

Gulls got this poor fella 

Tournament fish

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Tournament Update

The tournament is in full swing and has been off to a good start. Though, upon looking at the leaderboard last night we have TOUGH competition. The current leaders in the "wade" category are at an astonishing 140.5 inches (that's roughly 35 inch average fish! Seriously!? The biggest fish I have caught so far was about 23. Let's just say Hugh and I hope to get into the big boys soon before we're left too far in the dust.

New sinking line doing work...caught 8 of these dudes all in the same area

Schoolie... aint gonna cut it in this tournament

Mr. Hermit

Horseshoe crab on the beach
The families came out to join us. Here, the girls are catching bugs with Savannah rockin' a striper hat. 

Sunday, June 9, 2019

Striper Food

Gearing up for day one of the striper tournament coming tomorrow. The plan is to head out for a few hours early in the AM before baby appointment. Stay tuned.

Craft Fur Clouser Minnow- Responsible for piercing 6 striper mouths 2wks prior 
Lefty's Deceiver

Game Changer Mackerel

Friday, May 31, 2019

Striper Tournament & Family Outing

Upon researching for local fly shops in the area, I stumbled upon All Points Fly Shop & Outfitters. After checking out their site, I found out they are holding their second annual striped bass tournament. The rules and regulations seemed legit, so I contacted Hugh and we are deciding to give it a go. It was, after all, another excuse to catch stripers and there are cash and gear prizes. Stay tuned for tournament progress!

Family Trip

With another addition soon coming to the family, we decided we better get in one more family fishing trip for the three of us. The destination would be the same one I fished last week, and I was hopeful for good results.

Tides can be a tricky battle to try and figure out. When we pulled up that morning it was peak high tide (I had actually planned for this but still thought we could make it out to the island I was on last week). Turns out, I was wrong. This high tide was much higher than last weeks so we had to stick to the shoreline. I made a few casts for a half hour but saw no action. We then decided to head up and try the marshland, which did yield results. I caught my smallest striper yet- a solid 12 incher and Natalie caught her first ever striper which was a good schoolie size. We found a spot where the stripers were chasing bait but it was hard to reach them. They were in the middle of a big pool with crossing tides and the wind made casting difficult. Regardless, we did catch a couple and it was a good day considering the circumstances.

High Tide...
Emma found this little gem 
The Marshlands 
Stripers were goin' crazy 

Teach em while their young

9 months pregnant and still rockin'

Sunday, May 26, 2019

Striper Hunt

Striper season has officially begun in Maine.

Alarm clock goes off at 4 AM.  Grab necessary supplies- 9wt rod, newly tied clouser minnows, caffeinated beverage. Head to destination, look out over the ocean; Atlantic is glass, no wind, 50 degrees.  It's going to be a good day. Gear up, head out into the bay over the glassy, pink water. The sun is not yet visible but, slowly making it's presence. Throw out the trusty blue water candy striper lure and troll. Need to find where they are stacked up. Twenty, thirty, forty minutes go by. Nothing. Hugh calls, offers plan B based on other intel he recieved and we hurry and pack our gear and head south.

No stripers here, yet....

Plan B location

Marshland. High tide creating meandering river channels of saltwater through brush. Hugh and Connor launch kayaks and head out to the main channel, I wade and head to smaller water. I pass by restaurant employees readying for another day of seafood frenzy on the pier. Seagulls call to one another and the smell of salt hangs in the air. I wade out, shells and sea snells crunch under my feet as I walk and vibrate up my leg. I find a good stretch of water and toss my fly, warming up the double haul. No surface action, no crushing bait, but hopeful. Three casts in-strip, strip, strip, slam. 9 wt. bent over, familiar kink in the wrist. These fish are powerful and aggressive. Fish in net, scales glistening in the low rising sun. Dorsal fin prominent and spearing an opening of the net. Clouser pierced to side of mouth, fibers softly waving in the water. A couple photos, quick release, and a heightened state of alertness. Repeat X2 in the same run. All schoolie category, but all a solid average 20 inches.

Slab of striper

Battle wound

Tide receding, head out to the main channel. Climb over tide pools, endless clam shells, and deep mud. Find a beach with promising water. Work clouser against swift current. Eye two other fly fisherman across the channel, one of them's raking them in. What pattern was he using? Didn't matter. My rod was soon bent over with a bruiser. As I'm fighting the fish, the man across the channel says to the other "that guy has a nice one". Fish finally getting closer, reach for net, but the fish runs. This happens twice. Reestablish and slowly bring fish back. Net in hand, rod high in the other, fish frantically shaking on the surface. Scoop. This was a nice one, though I never measured. Record was 23 from last year and this fish was pushing that number. Two handed lift from the net, set in water. Fish somehow stays calm, shoot a series of photos. Gone. Day one of season- success.

9wt bent over

Hugh's ultimate fishing rig

Savannah anxiously waiting for me to catch something

Distant train