Summer of Striped Bass

Tim Moore

I spend my summers guiding kayak fishing clients for striped bass. Some years are better than others. Last year left a lot to be desired. The striped bass would be round one day, and gone the next. I struggled all summer. I went into this season hoping and praying for more consistent fishing and so far I got more than I asked for.

Every year I can count on two or three days when the striped bass surface action is memorable. When I say memorable, I mean non-stop surface action with stripers blitzing all around the kayaks. My dad always used to say, “Be careful what you ask for, you just might get it.” Boy was he right. This season has been unbelievable. I have seen more striper blitzes this season than the last three combined. This week alone I have had two separate occasions where the stripers were blitzing when I arrived, and still blitzing when I left.

Certain areas will be best at one particular time of the tide. Knowing where those areas are is only half the battle. Fish movements change based on water temperature, light conditions, and the location of bait fish. It is necessary to stay with the fish and the only way to do that is to fish a lot. This is no problem when I am guiding every day, but if I have any lag between trips I must get out and fish so that when the fish decide to change it up I know it. Not a bad problem to have right?

I headed out this morning to do a little pre-fishing for upcoming guide trips. I was fishing a particular hump that has been holding fish when I noticed birds diving into the water in the distance. As I focused on the surface of the water I noticed the tell-tale splashes of a striper blitz. The fish went back down only to reappear at the surface moments later. I made my way over to them and two hours later I was simply too tired to catch any more fish. It pained me to paddle away from such amazing fishing action, but something tells me it won’t be the last time I see it this summer.

If you have never experienced hundreds of fish smashing bait on the surface all around you in a kayak, you should add it to your bucket list because it’s an experience not to be missed. All this willing participation on the part of the striped bass has been good for my guide business. It’s reassuring for future clients to see such regular action and helps keep my confidence as a guide very high.

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