9.25.2015

First Down East [Maine] Stripah

I had the privelege of being in a wedding this weekend in Kennybunkport, ME.  What more, Carly was also in the wedding.  We had a great time over the weekend catching up with old friends and drinking and eating way too much.

But on Friday, Carly had a "ladies luncheon" that I was not invited to.  So what I was I going to do while she was sipping tea and eating pastries?

Fish, obviously.


I dropped Carly off at the resort and made a bee-line for the closest access spot.  Literally within 10 minutes I had my neoprene booties on, korkers strapped over the top, and I was off to scramble on the kelp covered rocks.

It was cold, strong off shore wind, but I wore shorts, not wanting to deal with bringing waders and way too self concious in this ritsy place to wear my wetsuit.  I fell twice despite the korkers, and really came to appreciate my wetsuit now that I didn't have it on- it really protects you from bumps and scrapes.


I had 0 expectations.  I had read 0 reports, done 0 research beyond 10 minutes that morning to find a place to park.  I brought only a handfull of poppers and pencils, and a single oliver SP minnow.


I saw a few folks bucket sitting/fishing on the adjacent inlet, but saw them catching nothing.  They looked miserable honestly.  And for the first 45 minutes or so I saw nothing to indicate that there was any life in the ocean.  But I was having fun casting my poppers 120 yards with the strong back/cross wind.

But then, all of a sudden, right in front of me peanut bunker was being blown out of the water!  I frantically reeled in my talkin' popper, and casted to the area.  But got no response.

After another 10 minutes my excitement faded: maybe it was a cormorant on them.  They were everywhere after all.

But then, it happened again even closer.  I watched carefully for a bird: nothing.  Got to be schoolies.

I kept casting, and after about 10 more minutes was pleasantly jolted awake as a schoolie smashed my 6" popper.  I set the hook, and he trashed on the surface, before diving.

The small fish took 2 tarpon jumps before giving up and letting me more or less just reel him right in.

I was ecstatic- my first Maine striper!  And with so little work.  Yes, he was only like 20", but I was smitten.  I garnered some attention from the mass of tourists near by, so I raised the small fish for them to see, and a couple of them clapped for me!  I laughed and slipped the little guy back into the water.  I had to run to pick up Carly shortly there after.  I was impressed by how much structure there was: this place most be a striper paradise in June/July/August.