30 days of stripers: Counting down to the first migratory bass of 2019

Want to contribute to the 30 days of stripers countdown? Shoot us your favorite striper picture and a quick story about the catch and we’ll feature it here and on our social accounts. Submissions can be sent to sevenstripesfishing@gmail.com or messaged on Instagram or Facebook. Prefer to tell us your story in person? Visit the Seven Stripes booth at the MSBA Expo, this Saturday and Sunday (3/30 and 3/31) at the Wolves Den in Pembroke.

Striped bass get all the love in these parts. But if there’s one thing I’ve learned as my fishing universe expanded over the past five or so years, it’s that you can’t limit yourself to one type of fishing, especially in New England. We are unique in our location. We have year-round opportunities in varieties that most anglers couldn’t dream of.

Over the course of the 12-month fishing season, we can catch late summer blues, autumn bluefin, searun brook trout in the streams, largies in the slop, springtime seabass, rainbows in the kettles, tog in the reefs and pickerel in the dead of winter. If there’s another locale that offers the number and variety of fishing option that we have, I’ve never heard of it.

But stripers for us? Stripers are special. The love we have for them is well-deserved. They’re welcomed in the Spring like long lost friends; a reunion where the conversation picks up almost exactly where it left off so many months ago. The spring arrival is comforting. It means that life’s patterns continue to churn on with the ebb and the flood. This is important to us humans who are, so often defined, as creatures of habit.

So when the first marone saxatilis trickle into grass-lined estuaries and empty harbors, all covered in sea lice, famished and wild-eyed from their young journey, it doesn’t simply signify the start of fishing season. It means the stripers are home. And we are too.

At this very moment, we are standing on the precipice. The striper season is about to blow wide open. Just 30 days from now, we’ll have migratory stipers in consistent numbers around the Cape. 30 days. So, to celebrate the arrival of our old friends, we’re counting down our 30 favorite striper moments. Here’s the countdown:

30 Days of Stripers Countdown

29: Bluebird-sky striper

Any striper sharpie worth his salt will tell you that you’re just not going to catch big bass in the afternoon during bright, windless days. Stripers like the slop. The like the darkness. But when the pogies are around? Oh boy, that sure can change up the old dog’s tricks. Just ask the Nero boys. They hooked this big girl on a dead pogie in the middle of the Bay. Some days, you just need to forget what you think you know and get a line in the water.

30: Midsummer topwater slobs and the first-cast curse

If you have access to this type of information from this particular type of person, you should use it. No questions asked. So when a little birdie of this variety whispered about a big school of bass hanging in deep water well past the pogie schools, I listened.

From the harbor, we headed straight to the UDL and found what was promised. 25-pounders rolled on top and Andrew dropped a Guppy on this one’s head. Around ten minutes later, this photo was taken. There were no more fish caught that day.

Billy Mitchell

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