Report: Big stripers in the fog

This was one of those mornings where everything just lined up. Mid outgoing tide at dawn? Check. Light west wind? Check. A couple buddies willing to drive down to meet me at the dock at 4:30am so we could load up on mackerel before we missed the tide? Check again.

The Bay was pea soup this morning–so much so that when we finally arrived out front, it looked like we had all taken a quick dip in the ocean. But this is why we have GPS and radar, folks. There’s no way I would have been out there without those two pieces of technology.

The mackerel were sporadic but catchable. I’m not sure why they haven’t schooled up like they did last year. It was lots of ones and twos–mackerel of all sizes and even a few sea herring–but we were able to get a half-full live-well in a relatively short amount of time.

Back inside the Bay, the fog began to lift, and the faint silhouette of Saquish and Clark’s Island came into view. The Bay was grease calm and a brilliant blue.


We set up our first drift along a current rip, where the depth runs from 30′ up to 12′ and immediately began marking streaking fish. As we drifted into the shallow water, one mackerel seemed to get very nervous and we got a big take. Fish on.


On the second drift, we doubled up with big fish.

Charlie showing off his new “high fashion” Parisian fishing boots. 

Capt. Bill (my Dad) began reeling in his fish, but it went on a massive run, threatening to bring the reel to the backing. The fish surfaced three or four times before we got it boatside, where it spit up a juvenile herring. This was the biggest fish we have gotten in Plymouth this year–a fat 34″ fish.



We never left this rip, and why would we have? It was loaded with bait–4″-5″ herring and possibly squid.

Jon “The Mackerel” hooked up with a linesider

As the morning wore on, more and more boats showed up. By the end, we had a pretty sizable fleet. I will commend everyone on their behavior, though. We never seem to have an issue with boats driving over lines or cruising opened up through the fleet like you generally see at other spots throughout CC Bay.


The fish were tough to get to eat on artificials, but we did manage a few. Mackerel and Bone SP Minnows and a big clouser minnow got takes. Surprisingly, topwater baits–Guppies and Lil Docs–got no love.


Occasionally, the bass would break the surface and chase the baitfish completely out of the water. It was very cool.

As the tide slackened, the bite died. At 9am, a north wind began to sweep over the Bay. We called it and headed for the mooring. By the time we got to harbor, the wind had picked up, and whitecaps dimpled the Goose Point channel.

This North wind is supposed to stay here for at least a few days. To be honest, I have no idea what this will do to the fish in the Bay. It could blow more big bait into the Bay, or it could push them out. We’ll have to wait and see. All I know is that June is off to a good start. Until next time.

Billy Mitchell

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