Thursday, March 15, 2012

First Stripers....When Will It Happen?

It's that time of year when many cabin fevered fishermen will start fishing for stripers hoping to jump start the season, get ahead of the crowd and catch the first one. I'm guessing there are those who are trying along the oceanfront right now. Here's a breakdown of when I have gotten the first ones in the last three years.  In 2009, it happened on April 24, in 2011, it was on April 11 and last year, 2011, I got my first ones on April 20.  Traditionally, the average start along the south shore oceanfront seems to be around the third week in April.
But, this is not an average year.  We are coming off the warmest winter ever, water temperatures are above normal and the current weather is a month ahead of schedule. So, how will that affect this year's fishing? I fully expect to see an early start.  If I had to bet, I would say that week from April 8-15 should be it provided the weather remains warm.  Things could even happen earlier from the last few days of March until the first week in April.  We've never seen big numbers of schoolies in March and I don't think it will happen this year.  It can be warm in March, but hey, it's still March.
Expect that fishing will light up in the Bay as well as along the south shore at about the same time.