With the first shad due any day and less than a month before the stripers show up in the Merrimack I decided to take a run down this morning and have a look at the sandbar to see what all the storms have done. This morning was a -0.8 tide so I was able to walk out close to the end of the bar. The sandbar has maintained it's basic shape from last year. It still points toward the end of the north jetty and runs more than 1/2 way across. It may be a little longer and moved down river a little but nothing drastic. The most notable differences seemed to be that the several small sand spits on the north side of the main bar seem to be smoothed or gone and the small basin on the south side of the main bar that cut its way back into the bar close to the beach is less than half the size it was last year.
I fished tiny chartreuse shad darts for an hour on both sides of the bar and up around the bend towards the party boats. I even convinced myself I felt a pickup. Didn't have a thermometer but the red skin on my legs told me the water was mid 40°s. Fish log for the past three years says first multi striper day for me on the Merrimack was 5/11/98, 5/18/99 & 5/16/00. Interestingly all 3 years that day had low tide around 6:30AM