By Joe Gugino, Why Knot Fishing
The Stripers are coming! The Stripers are coming! The long winter wait is over, and it is time to hit the salt again and greet our striped friends as they return to our coast for the summer. We have been anxiously anticipating their arrival while prepping our gear and buying new lures or flies. When targeting early season stripers there are a few key flies and a few key lures I suggest having with you in your box: Lures: The number one lure I suggest to target the first returning schoolies is a small soft plastic. My favorite colors are white, white/ silver and silver/black. Many soft plastics will work, but I prefer a paddle tail for the action, and my all time favorite is the Al Gag’s Whip-It Fish. I pair my soft plastic lure with either a ½oz or ¾oz jig head and fish it on a slow to medium retrieve. The fish won’t always hit it as hard as they do as the summer warms, so make sure to be extra aware of the subtle bites. Soft plastics are definitely the most effective, but I love topwater, so I try to get them on top as soon as I can. My three favorite lures are the Jumpin Minnow, Fishin Magician Skid Stick, and Daddy Mac Lures AB Bomb. The Jumpin Minnow and AB Bomb are spooks, and the Skid Stick is a cross between a popper and a spook. My favorite color again in all three is white. Flies: The most effective fly to have in your early season fly box is a small clouser. White, white/olive, white/olive/chartreuse, and white/ chartreuse/pink are my favorite color patterns. Work these on an intermediate line with small 4-6 inch strips and get ready for a fun early season fight! When/Where: At the beginning of the month the Stripers will head straight towards the estuaries from Boston all the way up to Gloucester. Find some tidal rivers on the map and look to target them at the last couple hours of an outgoing tide, and the first couple hours of the incoming tide. The Stripers will be chasing bait which congregates in the warmer shallower water.
FORECAST BY: Joe is a life-long fisherman, who fell in love with the sport when he moved to the North Shore and started fishing in saltwater for striped bass. After fishing from a kayak for the first time, he became even more excited about (and obsessed with) fishing. Joe is also the co-founder/co-owner of Why Knot Fishing (whyknotfishing.com), a community-based fishing organization.