We met up at the docks in Portsmouth Rhode Island at 6 a.m. The tide was coming up and with the water moving, and the sun still low in the sky, it was the perfect time to head out and catch some bait, to catch the stripers.
Striper fishing offers some of the best action here in the Northeast. It’s what everyone is going after until the tuna and the blues show up, but even then, it’s the stripers that keep fisherman busy and fixated here in New England.
Keepers have to be 28 inches and they can grow much bigger in size. It’s believed they can grow up to 125 lbs and live to be thirty years old. They also put up a worthy fight and are delicious eating.
So we met up with the crew from Randolph Engineering and Hunt Yachts and set out to get some pogies for bait. Catching pogies means keeping an eye out for disruptions on the surface, casting right at them, and dragging a treble hook through the water and hooking the oily little fish and putting them in the livewell.
The day we went out the pogies appeared as giant balls of bait on the fishfinder.
The boat we were on, a Hunt Harrier 36, could not have been better equipped, a true fish finding and catching machine, and our Captain, Greg Weatherby from Hunt Yachts, couldn’t have been a better guide. We pulled the poagies in one after another, excitedly putting them in one after another.
We fished all morning, filling the livewell and readying for stripers, but with the sun high in the sky, we headed into provision. We headed back out quickly and chased schools of stripers over shoals and around Narragansett bay, fishing wrecks and underwater features where they congregate. No doubt they were down there, but even with a livewell full of pogies our catch was lean as the bite had slowed. They don’t call it catching as they say.
We’ll be back.