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Hawkeye 05-09-2000 05:34 PM

North River Spit report
My brother and I took advantage of the nice weather yesterday afternoon and made the hike to the spit. The winter has really changed the flats but I liked what I saw. We fished the main channel with fast sinking lines and white/chartruese clousers for a couple hours with reasonable luck. The biggest was about 20" and I suspect they were holdovers but I'm not sure. I can't wait to fish that nice new bowl when the hordes get here. It promises to be amazing!

jeffg 05-10-2000 09:12 AM

RE:North River Spit report
what makes you think they were holdovers? Just curious because i have been hearing the fresh fish have made it up to Duxbury/Plymouth and am hearing scattered reports of fish in Boston Harbor at the herring run at Charles River locke etc., so i would say there is a pretty good chance you could have caught migrating fish...

Hawkeye 05-10-2000 12:49 PM

RE:North River Spit report

I am a long way from being an expert on this topic (this is only my second season fishing for stripers.) and really can only go by what I've gleaned from the boards. What I've heard is that the indicators of migratory fish are the brightness and the presence of lice. The fish I caught "seemed" not as bright as the ones I got in the Bass river last weekend and they did not have lice. I imagine the lice fall off or die when the fish get to in shore water since I did not see lice on the Bass river fish either. Are there other signs I should look for?

Bob Pink 05-10-2000 08:04 PM

RE:North River Spit report
If you're hitting fish at the North Riv mouth at this time, they're likely new fish. The issue of sea lice (as I understand it) is that they are an indication that the fish have recently moved in from offshore. What causes the lice to 'fall off' after the fish have reached inshore waters is unknown to me. The parasite(?) is also easy to miss, sometimes hidden around the gill plates and tail...
I once heard a report of stripers rubbing thier flanks along a sandy / gravel bottom with the assumed purpose of dislodging pests.?!?

juro 05-11-2000 06:14 AM

RE:North River Spit report
Hawkeye -

Thanks for the scouting report. I see you're keeping up with your fish magnet ways right there in the 'hood.

My personal experience (although no expert on holdover verses migratory) is that winter-over fish appear different in coloration, relative bulk for length ratio, and general health by the time late winter or early spring rolls around.

During the clave, I caught one holdover in the 25" class. It hit with a vigorous sideswipe and made a good first run but gave up easy and had a totally difference appearance than all the others caught that day.

The fresh fish in this somewhat dark estuary had striking dark backs with the purple hue evident in the transition from black to the pearly silver slivers between black stripes. As I mentioned before, the ventrals and even the highlights of the tails had faint robins-egg blues that showed clearly in cloud-dimmed light of the stormy south wind we had on Sunday. Each light scale appeared charged with the shimmer of silver and pearl, and the fish were plump.

This 25" holdover on the other hand had a mud-brown back, and the ridge between it's head and shoulder could be distinguished. The abdomen was slightly concave, indicating a lack of nutrients. The proportions of this fish reminded me of big perch in sterile lakes up north, it's fins looked exaggerated for it's body. The thing that stood out the most was the stripe coloration and pattern. The stripes looked as if they had been partially scrubbed off. Because these features are what I identify this fish with, it was a sad testimony to it's condition and I released it by touching only the barbless fly (inverting the fly) keeping the fish in the water.

Wonder why they miss the bus? Must be nature's way of ensuring survival through diversity. Perhaps they reproduced in the tribs? The southernmost population I've found in literature is St.Johns River in Florida, a naturally occuring race that lives entirely in the river and does not migrate coastwise. This is a similar behavior to the holdover bass here.

jeffg 05-11-2000 01:27 PM

RE:North River Spit report
I am no expert either. Although I have fished for bass for a long time, I have only fished for holdovers the last few years. As Juro described, usually they just don't look healthy and are sometimes very sluggish. Kind of like stocked v. wild trout. I just figured you should be getting fresh schoolies in the River by now, and I have personally never heard of anyone taking holdovers out of the north River...although I have always figured they were there and would love to believe they they are.

I find schoolies do not keep their sea lice long, and most River fish I catch are pretty clean...

Great news though!

Powers 05-11-2000 02:09 PM

RE:North River Spit report
There are holdovers in the North. I've caught them upriver in April before schoolies have arrived at the mouth. What I haven't managed to do is figure out how to catch them in February, although I have certain other winter-over spots on the Cape completely wired.

Powers 05-16-2000 10:10 AM

RE:North River Spit report
Hmmmm. I have it on good authority that those Estey brothers are catching fish at the Spit and not reporting it. <g>

Hawkeye 05-16-2000 10:33 AM

RE:North River Spit report

Sorry about that Mike and all. We have been to the spit three times and caught fish each outing though it has not been really hot or anything. So we are not trying to keep any secrets. Mike did hook something big yesterday evening though on the incomming. He hooked up on a chartruese and white jiggy (like a clouser but a different head) and lost it after a short run.

We promise to be more faithful in our reports after we get back from Oregon.

Powers 05-16-2000 10:50 AM

RE:North River Spit report
Heh heh. I was out for a quick boat trip last night and talked to Mike on the shore for a couple of minutes. Just got on the slip yesterday morning, so I've only been able to make three trips so far. [Ahhh, a new life. Boat guy with a slip!].

Of course, I'm so busy having fun with the new toy that I haven't fished the spit yet this year. Wife's on a business trip, maybe I'll hit it tomorrow night when she's back.

juro 05-16-2000 11:02 AM

RE:North River Spit report
I have a feeling the next few weeks are going to be incredible around the spit... but it doesn't take a brain surgeon to figure that out.

I'll be curious to see how the juvenile pogies beef up over the winter down south, can't wait for their return. My ratio of stripers over 24 inches has been much higher this year than last year although the spring rat count has been high as expected. I hope the ratio of pogie to striper size is proportionately larger this year, making it a very interesting year for drag burner sized stripers.

Keep those reports comin'

Powers 05-17-2000 10:55 AM

RE:North River Spit report
Do we know the blue kayak fisherman who was off First Herring Brook this morning? I've become increasingly convinced that there are very few degrees of separation among us.

juro 05-17-2000 11:27 AM

RE:North River Spit report
I heard that PI is lit up at low tide, which in early AM over the next couple of days. There were a couple of 30-35" caught last night along PI up from the bar (reportedly a little slender but gorgeous just the same), and the schoolies are fat and feisty with one over 24" for every batch of 14-18". Bait is tiny sand eels with some 3-4" around. The terns are focused on the larger eels but hordes of small non-diving sea birds hover and dip into the masses of tiny eels coming over the bar on the flood.

Best bet is to work around the charter boats at the bottom of the tide, but there are pods to be found just upstream from the sand bar and near the base of the south jetty. As one might suspect, sand eel patterns were reportedly producing. I was warned that the fish push upstream quickly at the turn of the tide.

Salisbury should be very good near the pick on the start of the outgoing too. Up river locations should be seeing lot of action through the top of the tide.

[OOPS - this was intended for the Joppa thread]

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