July 7 Schoolie Palooza!

July 7 Schoolie Palooza!

sorry about the time between reports. There was just too much going on during the weekend, and yesterday we just got caught up.


Schoolies have returned to the river in great numbers. It’s been great fun catching them, and nice to see the small fish that will come back a few years from now as big fish. The action has been wonderful early in the morning. You’d be better off in a boat, as the schools are moving pretty fast here and there. You can find them by looking for diving birds, and then pay attention for the fish popping up underneath.


The hot spots for this action has been right beside the Captains Ladies at the Northern end of Plum Island. The schools a busting the surface chasing small sand eels, maybe 2-3 inches long. The Stripers get into a frenzy and are ready to eat most anything thrown in the mix. We’ve had very good luck with Super Spooks that are worked on the surface. Also the stand bearer Sluggo, this time the smaller 6 inch ones.


Across the river, above Badger Rocks, a few of the regular guys have been drifting the incoming tide and tossing weighted sluggos for larger schoolies and the occasional keeper.


Over the weekend the schoolie stripers were there too, but the reported size of the schoolies was 28-30 inches, but in the same places between Plum Island point and Woodbridge island.


On sunday morning, right at daybreak through about 5:30 am, your author landed 4 fish in 90 minutes. Three 42″, 25 pounders and one 36″. The smaller one came home with me for dinner, but the bigger girls went right back in the river. They were caught using live eels, but it was daylight where usually the eels are less productive. It was a great couple of hours.


In the flats, tube and worm fishermen were cleaning up, with a number of fellows reporting keepers with regularity. Some basin-based and Rings Island Marina guys got fish up to 42″ in broad daylight.


Off the beachfront, Parking Lot 1 on the reserve, the casters were having good luck with the flounder all weekend. It’s slowed down since then, but they’re still picking up a few.


Now for the confusing information from the weekend. Two guys came in a weighed a couple of small stripers. When they too them home and cleaned them they swear they were full of eggs. And when they were fishing a few of the fish started squirting out milk. Kay says that in her 50 years on the island she’s never heard of stripers mating in the river, What do you think? Most of the mating is done in the Hudson and Chesapeake rivers before the stripers migrate, so this report, if true, is very interesting.


Stickman is the resident web design guy at Surfland. We pay him in eels.

  • Aubrey
    Posted at 08:24h, 07 July

    We have caught stripers in the Merrimack that, by all accounts I’ve read, are too small to have migrated (ie. 8 inches).

    I always figured that they must have been the oddball fish that didn’t read many books but the thought had crossed my mind that the fish were spawned there.

    The challenge, I think, is that they can only get up the river to Lawrence which I think creates less than ideal spawning conditions.

  • Anguillaman
    Posted at 09:01h, 07 July

    The GREENHEADS are absolutely unbearable in the REGUGE…too bad! I’ve always been of the opinion that there are fish that are “local” fish here that mate and spawn in the area, no way to prove it, but now it seems as if it is proven by this event.

  • TedP
    Posted at 09:26h, 07 July

    I too have caught 8 and even 6 inch stripers and have been told they must be river breeders. We caught a large fish last week and my son said “it looks like it has eggs”. Fish went back into the water, but he’s 13 and a genius.

  • jay
    Posted at 10:06h, 07 July

    I dont know if its out of the ordinary, but what appeared to be menhaden 12″+ were washing up on the reservation on the outgoing sunday night. Didnt appear to be bait, blood was still bright red , tails were half chopped or nipped off?

  • hook 'em
    Posted at 11:20h, 07 July

    I haven’t gotten into any blues but beat up menhaden washing in might mean they are here too.

  • klaney
    Posted at 21:09h, 07 July

    I brought home a 36″ caught on Joppa in June of 06 that was full of eggs when we cleaned her. I wouldn’t be surprised if they spawn in the Mac, Piscataqua, CT River and many others in addition to the Chesapeake and Hudson.

  • Bob
    Posted at 00:32h, 08 July

    3 years ago, we took a keeper home from around deer island that was full of eggs, I wondered if they weren’t mating but in a pre-spawn mode due to the water temp, and amount of bait around. On another note, I saw a striper about 4 inches long caught on a worm on the cape last year, after this post, I ‘m looking for a picture that was taken, but haven’t found it yet.

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