Alarm clocks buzzing send sleepy hands reaching for the snooze button, but when the first big Striped Bass of the season arrive, an addict like me will hit the ground running.

Coffee brewed the night before, a crisp sunrise, and fingers ready to pounce on fly line, it's the only breakfast I need until the sun is high and turning winter skin rosy red.


So was the case this past week as fellow fishing fiend and I made plans to hit the water pre-dawn, hoping to find the first Striper of the season.

Preparing to tow six thousand pounds of fiberglass in the dark had me compulsively checking straps and trailer lights longer than I will later in the summer. Arriving to the Newburyport ramp thirty minutes later than planned, as the sun was just peaking over the horizon.


As soon as the freshly installed electronics fired up, the screen was filled with baitfish. It wasn't long till we were spotting substantial ripples as big Stripers chased down Herring in the glow of morning light. All too soon excited whispers changed to frustration as our casts came back without a tug. Within minutes the sun grew brighter, the ebb tide went slack, and the boils of ample Bass grew further and further apart. As the dawn turned to day it seemed our quarry had eaten its fill and the bite was off.


As the incoming tide brought cold water into the Merrimack river, we checked our favorite spots, finding them vacant of the schoolie bass we had hoped to greet on their migration north.

With fishing, as with life, we take what we learn and try again with more knowledge than before. Spring in New England is an exciting time for salty anglers, like me, and with every new tide we get one step closer to reuniting with the iconic Striped Bass.

New Hampshire Saltwater Fishing Report 5/3/2018

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The 2018 striper season is knocking on the door and we are all excited to feel the tug of that first bass.

If you're looking to find quality stripers early this year one of the best places to try is in a school of horny Alewise. This herring species shows up early in the spring to spawn in the fresh water tributaries that feed in to the Great Bay. These fish have already been spotted moving up river and stacking up in front of dam's. As water temperatures rise, it wont be long till hungry stripers can be found ambushing these nutrient rich bait fish as they wait to climb the fish ladders that lead to their spawning grounds further upstream.

The Alewise are fairly large and the Bass that feed on them are usually good size, as well. These stripers will be keyed in on the shape, size, and color of this prey, a very accurate imitation is crucial for success.

My go to lure for this situation is a Live Target, Blueback Herring. This soft plastic is extremely life like in it's appearance and swimming action. Access is often limited in these locations so Its substantial weight helps achieve long casts which will increase your chances of a hook up. For fly fisherman I recommend a large bodied fly like a white Hollow tied Semper Fleye with a blueish grey highlights.

From shore back casts are often restricted due to pine trees or city streets so fishing off a 23' Jones Brothers can really help deliver a fly or lure to the perfect location.

Now is a great time to book a trip with Sea Run Charters, I still have open spots for the spring run, and that 30lb striper you've been dreaming about all winter might be closer than you think