Here's some food for thought for those so inclined. I've been trying proven early spring areas for almost a month and have yet to see any signs of significant numbres of schoolies even though the bait is there. These schoolies would be from a different year class, so is it possible that we have lost an entire generation(year-class) and if so any reasons. Granted there are larger fish chasing herring but they were the larger schoolies from years past. I've heard some 3rd hand info regarding this loss of a year class- due to the cleanness of the water in the Chesapeake and the low survival rate because the fish had gotten used to the dirty water. Any other thoughts gladly entertained. ronl
05-05-2001, 03:51 PM
That is a scary thought but not out of the question. I think it is more likely that they are just running slow. Breeding could have started later or the weather could have effected them. There really can be a lot of variance to their migration. However if we don't start seeing fish in the next two weeks with all this hot weather I will be worried. A lot of 28"-34" fish have been taken over the last few years.
05-05-2001, 09:33 PM
If anything in the Chesapeake would be to blame I would think that it would be related to the water being too warm, which would affect the amount of oxygen in the water. This could force a year-class into areas that make them more vulnerable to predation, increase competition for food resources, and/or result in so much stress that their survival to this year is threatened. Perhaps Eric L. might be able to shed some light on this as he is from the area and is a biologist.
I am not that up to date with what is going on - but I would say that the lack of fish is just part of the year-to-year variability that these populations exhibit with regard to migration timing. More spring rain, colder temps, etc. could push things out a week or two from the average. The last couple of years could have been accelerated from the very same seasonal average - which potentially could make their arrival 2-3 weeks off from any one year to the next. Again - just my opinion.
05-06-2001, 09:39 AM
Actually I think it was a cold winter this year. That could have delayed the spawn because Stripers need fairly warm water to breed. What this could mean is that we will have a huge push of stripers in about two or three weeks.
05-06-2001, 04:01 PM
Nathan Smith (05-06-2001 09:39 a.m.):
Actually I think it was a cold winter this year. That could have delayed the spawn because Stripers need fairly warm water to breed.
I agree, I also thought we had a cooler winter than we have experienced in the last few years. I wasn't that clear in my previous post - I meant warmer conditions in the Chesapeake during the summer months. Stripers don't start to migrate until they are approximately 2+ years old, which would leave them susceptible to high water temps during the summer months and decreases in dissolved oxygen in the water.
Hopefully the fish will arrive shortly.
05-06-2001, 10:43 PM
Got home from the Cape a couple of hours ago. Sorry I missed the rest of this week-ends warriors - the digs in Bourne advertised data ports in the rooms but ......
Saturday we fished Waquoit (sp) back to Falmouth without a bump but we did see a big fish explode at the entrance. Is it possible that the stripers were on a squid feeding binge the night before and just not feeding? There were 13 draggers out just off Waquoit on Saturday.
Today we fished out of Marion on the outgoing and I scored my first two stripers of the year on chart/white clouser - both schoolies but the larger went about 25". We headed down to Mattapoiset (sp?) and got our buts frozen off by the bracing North Easterly which decided to put in an appearance just for this weekend. The ride back up to Marion was pretty entertaining!
We went back to the original drift and Kris hooked up straight away with what turned out to be a good sized bluefish. I managed another and we moved quite a few more - these guys are big, bad and hungry!
I stopped by the herring run at Bournedale first thing just to check things out. This was my first visit to the run during the height and it was pretty spectacular. The water's boiling and the bait so thick you could walk across it. I saw one guy land a 28incher during the ten minutes I was there.
I am also subscribing to the cold winter / late arrival theory. As of last week, the Hudson spawning hadn't started since the water temp was still at 51F and, apparently 56F is needed to trigger things. There was still so much snow melt coming down that the salt water didn't start until well below the Tappan Zee bridge. I would say we could be in for an interesting summer