THE YACK REPORT… “LESSONS” and OPENING DAY OF STRIPER SEASON 2017

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Here’s a good story for you… Ange Harclerode and I were minding the store today. Around mid-afternoon I drove out to ROFO picked up coffee and sliders and back to the shop 16 minutes round trip, almost record time. When I returned Ange was having a discussion with two young kids. Did you see the movie “Stand By Me”? Well, these two kids about 9 or 10 years old could have been those two boys walking down the railroad tracks, complete with the “buzz cut” hair do, bare feet and khaki shorts.  The older and heavier one looks straight up at Ange and says “Listen to me old man”… “I’ve been fishing for years!” With that the young viking of a kid paid for his worms and ran full speed across the gravel parking lot… Barefoot! I was laughing too hard to even ask what the rest of the story was…

Susky River Rock 12

On June first the catch and keep season for Striped Bass season opens. At this time two fish per day over 20 inches may be kept. Only one of those may be over 28″. In my opinion, there is no reason kill a fish over 30″… While the Striped Bass population seems to be stable the one thing missing in the mix is the largest, oldest fish. Those 40″ and larger fish are nearly 20 years old. We do not replace those fish in a couple of years.  The large brood stock spawning fish get harvested up and down the coast and each year fewer big fish return to the upper bay to spawn. These old fish are usually full of contaminates like Mercury and PCB’s. Maryland has issued advisories against eating these larger fish. Also, these are the prime breeders. A 40 pound fish will lay almost twice the eggs of a 20 pound fish. So, if you encounter one of these large fish, please release it and keep a couple smaller ones or the table. The eat better anyways!

For the Upper Bay fishermen, the conditions for the opening of the season look very promising! There are still some schools of Herring, White Perch and Shiners in the Susquehanna River and as they leave the river the Rockfish are staged to ambush them as they move down river to the Flats. Be looking for small “Wolf Packs” of fish very near where you find the bait. There are at least 2 larger schools of fish to 25″ roaming the open water of the flats.The best fishing for these fish will be early and late in the day. Keeper Stripers are up river in the Susky, Too! In the River look for dam releases of 50,000 cfs or more for a consistent bite. For the first time this year the Elk, Bohemia and Sassafras Rivers are open to Striper Fishing and the cool wet spring has kept some bait and Stripers in the area. We have been finding them in 10 to 14 ft. depths and usually around some type of baitfish. “Snap Jigging” has accounted for most of the fish but X-raps and “Thumper Jigs” have caught as well. A few fish have also been taken on topwater lures. Cut Bunker and White Perch have produced Stripers for those people fishing for Catfish. I’ll be out fishing Thursday and Friday and hope to see you on the water or in the shop. Good Luck to all!

April Bay Rock 1

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One Comment Add yours

  1. Craig Shimer says:

    Another great Post from one of the “Old Salts”.

    Liked by 1 person

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