June 7th was one of those days in Boston Harbor that was just incredible. Huge schools of all keeper sized stripers brutally tracking down the massive schools of herring and mackerel in Boston Harbor. We ended up with well over 30 keeper Striped Bass all on light tackle. Here is the video that we shot of double doubles.
38" and 17#'s. We thought we had the lead but lost to a 40". Still a nice fish entry in a fly fishing tournament. Congrats on the 2nd place finish in the Thompson Island / Outward Bound Fly Fishing Tournament
Not the best way to hold a fish but this one was destined for the weigh in and fillet table. Congrats on the 3rd place fish - 42" and 23# in the annual BOMA Boston Fishing tournament held in early June each year
The first half of the month has had some real peaks and valleys with the weather but the fishing has been excellent. We have run everything from fly fishing exclusive trips to watching live baits get ambushed by hungry stripers. 3 of our Boston Fishing Charters have boated over 30 stripers each on a 4 hour trip. The time is now to book your trip!
Originally Published in Coastal Angler Boston August 2012: Atlantic Menhaden – The most important fish in the Atlantic.
By: Capt. Tim Egenrieder
Most of us have been lucky enough to experience it – Whether
in search of it or stumbled upon the telltale “flip” on a nice calm summer’s
day. A noticeable school of pogies
has made their presence known.
They may just be actively feeding or they’re could be giant bluefish and
huge striped bass hounding them.
The Atlantic Menhaden (Brevoortia tyrannus) is a member of the Family Clupeidae that consists
of all the herrings, shads, sardines and other menhaden. Their range is from the southeastern
coast of Florida to Nova Scotia.
It is one of the few of its family members to breed in near coastal
waters. Adult females produce huge
numbers of eggs from 30,000 to over 1/3 of a million per spawn. The eggs hatch within a few days and
drift into fertile estuaries where they will spend the first year of their
life. Juvenile (peanut bunker) and
adult menhaden are omnivorous filter feeders that swim open-mouthed often in
tightly packed schools where they feed on phytoplankton, plankton and
Atlantic Menhaden are easily distinguished with a large
Humerel spot just back of the gill plate and several smaller spots behind. They have large scales over a bright
silverfish white belly with a yellow tinted back and fins.
The Atlantic Menhaden has developed many nicknames over
time, several of which allude to their historical and regional significance. The
word Menhaden’s most common believed derivation is from the Native American
word Munnawhatteaug that roughly translates into “that which enriches,” a
reference to their broad use as fertilizer. The common northern New England use of “Pogy” comes from
Native Americans in Maine that referred to them as Pauhagen or Pookagan. New Yorker’s and surrounding areas
common use of “Bunker” or “Mossbunker” dates back to the days of New
Amsterdam. The Dutch name of
marsbunker is used for horse mackerel, a similar looking fish native to their
home waters. “Bug Fish” or “Bug
Head” is a reference to the parasitic isopod (Cymothoa pregustator) that
resides in the mouth of many pogies.
There has been considerable political and environmental
pressure placed on the Omega Protein Corporation. This one company is believed to harvest several hundred
million individuals of the species each year. They are then baked and ground to make Omega 3 oils,
additives for things such as lipstick and fishmeal. The only state on the East Coast that they are permitted to
operate is Virginia. The problem
is that the vast majority of the breeding stock uses the Chesapeake as its
The ecological importance of this species cannot be
overstated. Their abundance, range, feeding methods and forage provided make
the Atlantic Menhaden arguably the most important fish of the Atlantic
coast. It is estimated that each
pogy can filter 4-6 gallons of water each minute. That math becomes daunting when you consider the size of
schools they swim in over the range they inhabit. Almost every fish in the Atlantic feeds on menhaden at some
point of their lifecycle. They can
clean entire water systems while serving as one of the principal forage for
nearly every fish of the Atlantic seaboard – (they’re pretty good to use as
bait too). It certainly seems like
a fish worth protecting?
|Originally Published June 2012: June Stripers – Primetime for Light Tackle
. – by, Capt. Tim Egenrieder
June is here!
The long processes of prepping the gear and boat, the anticipation
through the long winter all culminate in June with some of the best fishing of
the year. It doesn’t matter if you
fish from shore or boat, June is prime time for the light tackle angler.
The striped bass long migration has brought them to Boston,
and they’re hungry! June is also
the month that the main herring swims - alewife, bluebacks and menhaden (pogies)
have either completed their journeys and are falling back into the harbor or
are just arriving. These factors
combined with 60+ degree water temperatures and all of the increased activity
of other baitfish leads to some of the most spectacular visible feeds of the
season – perfect conditions!
What to look for:
The worst kept secret in coastal fishing is that diving
birds = actively feeding fish. If
they’re going to make it easy for me to find large schools of bass, I always
say, why fight it. These feeds,
when paired with appropriate sized light tackle, can be the most exciting
moments ever spent on the water, at least until someone trolls through it…
There are over 20 different species of gulls, 14 species of
terns, 6 species of shearwaters, 4 species of storm petrels, 2 species of
cormorants and then the gannets around our waters. All of these birds have better eyesight than you, a better
vantage point for viewing and have a more pressing need to catch fish than even
the most crazed angler. If they’re
not very good at it, they don’t last very long.
Observing and understanding the differences between the
above bird species can tell you everything from the size and species of bait
the bass are on, the direction the school of fish is moving and even where the
fish were half an hour ago.
Where to go:
There is no set answer to this question. There are structures that coincide with
strong currents at stages of particular tides that hold fish more frequently,
but it is far from every tide in every weather pattern. You need to trust your sounder and make
note of both schools of fish that you mark and active feeds. If you go to the same place at the same
tide a day or two later, you will often find them. One of the best things that can happen in a day of fishing
is finding a big school of active fish without any birds or other boats on
What to use:
I have long used DAIWA Coastal Series rods and reels for my
light spin tackle. They are the perfect balance of finesse and power for
fishing the harbor for striped bass.
The feel of these rods makes fighting barely year and a half old
schoolie bass enjoyable and I’ve landed 40#+ cows on the very same setup.
My standard rigging is comprised of 30# FINS braid tied via
a 12 wrap Yucatan knot to 30# fluorocarbon which is then tied directly to a 50#
Tactical Anglers fishing clip. 30#
test is more than necessary but loops can be easily picked out of a reel and
the line holds up to the punishment that charter after charter can bring. The Tactical Anglers clips give each
lure more action and make quick changes of lures a breeze.
I always start each charter with the 2 lures that worked
best yesterday and 2 rods rigged with a surface popper and a lure that can get
down deep. One of the 2 lures that
worked best yesterday almost always includes a RonZ or Hogy soft plastic,
It is not at all uncommon to have every cast from every
angler on the boat hook into a striper in the month of June. If you’ve been longing to get on the
water but work, life etc. have been stopping you – this is the time to blow
them off and get out there. I
absolutely love June in Boston Harbor!
This is our first post on the new blog. Check out our fishing highlight video from last year. There are plenty of big fish pics and great video segments from our year in Boston Harbor. Enjoy!