Here we go again!
Haddock here, only $71 a pound?.
That?s a story I?ll relate to you after my 2004 retrospective.
It seems every winter gets longer and tougher but, fellow fisherfolks, we
got through it again!
I?m going to be in the business of selling Christmas ornaments which are
hand-painted collectable ornaments and exact replicas of striped bass.
Check out www.sportsornaments.com
- the ornaments will be here in time for the season.
Here?s my 2004 assessment:
? Cod and haddock: Good haddock fishing most of the year. Some very
large cod later in the season. Schools of dogfish causing problems in the
summer. 2005 should be a good haddock year.
? Pollock: Not as good as 2003, but decent fishing in July and August.
? Shad: At the Rocks Village Bridge in early May. Decent fishing for a
? Striped bass: School bass in mid-May, the large ones showing up in
June. Great fishing off Joppa Flats in June and early July. ?Finicky? in
July and August. Fall fishing on the beaches not as good as in 2003.
? Mackerel: Very good in early-mid June.
? Bluefish: Showed up in June. Sporadic until late August, then good
fishing into October.
? Fluke: Very few reported.
? Flounder: A poor year.
And, my ?lessons learned? in 2004:
? Get out to Joppa Flats in June and July.
? Try some mid-summer codfishing if the dogfish have slowed down
? Enjoy the bluefishing in August and September.
Let?s talk about this year?s fishing?
After hearing about the good haddock fishing, I went out last Saturday on
the Captains Lady II with Oscar Boreth, son Brad, and 7 of Brad?s friends.
Although the forecasts earlier on were for easterly winds and 6-8 foot
seas, when we left the oceans were flat and calm. The fishing all day was
slow, as in ?watch the grass grow?. The good news was that I was high-hook in our party of 9; the bad news was that I caught the only fish ? a 3-pound haddock that yielded one pound of fillets ? hence the $71 a pound (after buying bait, tackle, etc.) The fishing was so slow that, at one point,
Oscar boomed out in a loud voice: ?The fishing is slow, so let?s sing our
favorite arias?. The high point of the trip was cook Byron?s unbelievable
chowder ? free to the patrons on the return trip.
When I spoke of the trip with Chris Charos of Captains Parties, he was
befuddled on why our boat did so poorly while the other boats, including
Captains Lady I, did well. ?That?s why it?s fishing, not catching?, I
guess. Chris said that, through most of last week, both boats had done well with haddock to 11 pounds, codfish to 10-12 pounds and a few large wolfish ? to 18 pounds. Chris said that the codfishing should be improving as the bait moves onto Jeffrey?s Ledge. Captains Parties are sailing everyday except Tuesday and Thursday. Please give Chris or George Charos a call at 1-800-427-1333 to make your reservations.
Captain Rick LaPierre of the Yellow Bird writes (regarding Sunday?s trip):
?In the past few days the haddock have been coming aboard like I've never seen before. The average angler has been going home with 30+ fish. And then along came today, with the total catch reaching 40 fish. A gradual shut down would have been nice, but hey, that's fishing. ? You may call 1-888-234-3531 for Yellow Bird reservations.
Mike, at Crossroads Bait and Tackle in Salisbury, spoke of great rainbow
trout fishing in the Ipswich River, Essex River, and Haverhill ponds. He
also said that largemouth bass were ?all around? the area.
I spoke with Martha Moulton of Surfland on Plum Island. Martha had heard
rumors of ?the water boiling on Joppa Flats? and one angler catching 16
striped bass. We both discounted that rumor as the water temperature is
only 42 degrees and it?s too cold (?) for stripers. Stay tuned.
Paul DeFrancisco of Bridge Bait and Tackle in Salisbury said ?no news?? Henn said that the water was still too cold, that the shad had not shown up yet, and that any stripers caught would be ?hold-overs?.
As always, I thank Kay and Martha Moulton, Rene Vigneault, Paul
DeFrancisco, Paul Hogg, and the local sport-fishing captains for their
forecasts and news. If you have your own stories, please call me, John
Altson, at 978-499-9972 with your news, recipes, and stories. Better yet;
send them by e-mail to [email protected]
. I?d love to hear from you.
Have a great weekend!