12/16/2013 Hudson River Striper Fishing Report (Pre-Fish Report)
I know it’s snowing outside and I know there’s snow on the ground, but this real strong hankering to go striper fishing just came over me, so I decided to write this to take the edge off. I did take a walk downstairs into my fishing room to check out some of my tackle along with my rods and reels. It didn’t take long before I started imagining myself out on the river with my friends and clients jigging up herring and fishing for that big sea run striped bass that the Hudson River is so famous for.
I also started thinking about what work I needed to do to get everything ready for that first shakedown cruise on the river and get prepared for that first Hudson River striper fishing charter. Seeing’s how I won’t even be able get to my boat until the end of March it looks like working on tackle and equipment will have to do for now.
My first plan of attack will be to strip off all of the old line off of all the reels including the jigging poles. At the end of last season I purchased four new Shimano FX 2500B spinning reels to hook onto my jigging polls. The reels that I’m replacing have seen their day! They have been through many years of hard use. The new reels will be filled with 17lb test Gamma. The nice thing about the Gamma copolymer line is that I can get two to three seasons out of it before having to replace it with fresh line. The jigging poles that I use called “The Bait Stik” allow the Sabiki flies to be drawn inside of the pole itself which is hollow and allows for this. It keeps those tiny flies from getting stuck and hooked on everything, including me!
The nice thing about stripping all of the line off the reels first is that it makes it much easier to take them apart and service them. As part of my service routine, I like to take apart all of my reels, clean out the old grease, degrease and re-grease the drags, lubricate the moving parts, and re-assemble and check the functioning. We use Shimano Charter special level wind reels for most of our drift fishing and Shimano Bait runners for when fishing off of anchor.
My line of choice for all of my drift fishing is Momoi Diamond in 30lb test. Momoi line is very abrasion resistant. Resistance to abrasion is a must when bouncing the bottom of the Hudson River because the river bottom is blanketed with sharp edged Zebra mussels. A lot of times when you do hook a striper while drifting, it will try to rub the bait out of its mouth by scraping its mouth along the bottom of the river. This can wreak havoc on a lessor quality fishing line.
At some point in time I like to go through all of my terminal tackle and supplies to make sure that I will have enough to get through the season with. I will order up all of the supplies that I’m short on before the end of the year to take advantage of any tax benefits for this fiscal year. Items such as hooks, sinkers, swivels, Sabiki rigs, leader material, and trolling plugs will all get inventoried. This is a good time of the year to load up on fishing tackle as it’s the off season and there are some really good deals to be had by shopping around on the internet.
In the next Hudson River striper fishing report I’ll talk a bit about some of the methods that we employ while charter fishing on the Hudson. Stay tuned and Season’s greetings …………
5/28/2013 Hudson River Striper Fishing Report (End of Season Report)
The end of what turned out to be a very productive and rewarding striper fishing season on the Hudson River has finally come to a close for this year. All totaled it was the very first season that every trip taken had some success. We did not have a skunk in 21 outings both in practice and for hire. Granted we had a few days were we only landed one fish, but the bites were there. In fact, on most days we took four and five man limits with exceptional striped bass exceeding 25lbs and we did have one top the scales at 33lbs. and was 42” long.
A special note goes out to Carl and Patty Behan and family who made their annual trip with us chasing stripers on the Hudson to celebrate Carl’s birthday. Carl’s daughter Sharon with her Husband Jim along with Mike and Max Behan came from as far away as New Jersey to be with their dad on this fishing outing. The weather was not the greatest. It was chilly and damp while it rained for a good part of the day. We even had the heater buddy going which did keep the cabin toasty warm. In spite of the inclement weather, Patty toughed it out and managed to hook and land a beautiful cow striper which she battled for almost 20 minutes. Good going Patty; way to hang in there!!!
Our last day of the season was a success, too! In spite of the incoming tide dominating the morning period, Coeyman’s area residents Jeff, Larry, Joe, Pat, and Chris managed to successfully land two very nice stripers. We also had several other bites and partial battles which the fish happened to win this time. Sixteen year old Pat landed his very first striped bass and it was a dandy. This was their second season with Ace Charters and I want to go on record and say that I consider it an honor to be chosen by these guys to come and fish with me. It’s a great feeling to be accepted and befriended by the locals.
I also want to extend a special thanks to Yanni’s Too restaurant and its Owner Mark Yanni and family. Their hospitality and quality of food and service is second to none. Also, the boys at Coeyman,s Landing Marina services Jim and Carl are always right there to make sure that my boat was always up and running. Last but not least, special thanks also go out to Heddi , Carl, and Erik from Coeyman’s Landing for being some of the most accommodating and pleasant people I have ever dealt with. I know where I will be going to be keeping my boat next year.
Till next striper season……….
5/18/2013 Hudson River Striper Fishing Report
Well hear we are folks coming into the home stretch of the 2013 Striper season and what a season it has been. We have been getting multiple bites and hook-ups on a daily basis. We have had many limit catches as well as some very happy first time clients. This is a charter captain’s relief. As many of you know, the last few years on the Hudson have been very difficult due to all the inclement weather and torrential rains. This year she has made a genuine attempt to make up for it. My only wish is that some of my clients who have had a tough time in the past would come back again to see just how good the striper fishing can be. We had a first yesterday for us. James Weaver actually caught a 6lb walleye on a whole live herring. We did release the fish back into the river. We will be pulling the boat this Friday and will be heading up to Lake Ontario in preparation for the Pro-Am tournaments which will be during the first two weekends of June. I do have several prime Lake Ontario charter trips to fill for those that might be interested.
5/13/2013 Hudson River Striper Fishing Report
There is an old saying that, “You’re never too old to learn something.” and it is so true. I was always under the belief that the brunt of the Hudson River striped bass spawning would occur when the river temperature hit 64 degrees. Over the seventeen years that I have been pursuing them in the Hudson River, this has typically been the case. This year has been totally different. The river temps have been as high as 66 degrees and the bass are still here. Check out these pictures of some of the stripers we have been fortunate enough to land over the last four days in spite of these warmer river temperatures.
Of note, two different groups of fishermen from my home town did quite well catching their limit of Hudson River striped bass while recently fishing with us. Mike McDonough ended up with bragging rights with his group landing the biggest fish of the day. Mike had set up the trip to honor George “Taylor Made” Taylor’s birthday along with friends, Tom and Bob. Bob Lemieux and son along with Chad Parsons and Adam O’Neil also limited out with us on their trip. Way to go all you guys from good ole N.A.
There was a cold front that blew through today and the air temperatures have plummeted along with it. Hopefully it will cool the river temps down a bit and discourage any thoughts of the stripers spawning in the very near future. For now, we’ll just keep taking it one day at a time.
5/6/2013 Hudson River Striper Fishing Report
Hudson River striper fishing continues to improve for us. Our clients have been getting the bites and successfully landing huge sea run striped bass that are presently here in the Hudson River on their annual spring spawning run. Our clients have been limiting out almost on daily basis. Take note that today, one of my very good friends Chucky Boyles came up from southern New York to fish with us. He brought along one of his co-workers (Steve) along with his two teenage sons (Steve and Shane). I have to tell you that I have never seen a fisherman display the touch that young Shane did. He hooked and boated seven stripers with the biggest being over 36″. His brother also managed to land three stripers too! The gang as a whole boated 12 stripers and over twenty bites for the day. They love the taste of striped bass and kept their limit for the table.
Also of note, we were privileged to have Navy servicemen and a Navy contractor fish with us over the weekend. Rick, Cody, Chris with his son William (not Will), and Steve managed to boat four good stripers and experienced several other bites with a few good fish dropped behind the boat.
5/3/2013 Hudson River Striper Fishing Report
The striper season is officially under way for Ace Charters. During the last couple of days we have been able to boat several nice stripers including one that was just below 38 inches long. Although bait has been a little tough to get, the blueback herring are now showing up in greater numbers which should make the task easier. I do believe that if the weather holds as is the forecast, we should see striper fishing this year like the good old days.
4/17/2013 Hudson River Striper Fishing Report
We were over to scout the Hudson River today and drop the boat off for the upcoming striper fishing season. The Coeyman’s landing docks were just being put in as we got there. Our local intel has informed us that there are river alewives in the creeks from Stockport all the way up to the Troy dam. The water temperatures are actually more normal for this time of the year than they have been in the past couple of seasons. What this means is that river temperatures are still running in the lower forties which is typical for this time of year. As I have mentioned in previous reports, we are looking for 48 degree water to trigger the annual striper runs up the Hudson River.
It is my educated guess that given the long range forecasts and if they hold true, things should be lighting up around the last weekend in April give or take a few days. This is when I expect the mature stripers to be in our area in fishable numbers for anglers and my clients to enjoy. Our first scheduled trip is May 1st. We have a few openings left after this date left to fill to load up our calendar for the season. If anyone is interested please feel free to contact us for more information or to book a trip.
3/24/2013 Hudson River Striper Fishing Report
I’m sitting here watching the snow come down wondering if “Ole Man Winter” is ever going to let go of his freezing grip on us. I have been receiving several calls from potential clients looking to start Hudson River striper fishing already as the official start of the season is March 15th. I have been repeatedly telling them the same thing over and over that it’s just too cold, yet. So how do we know when it’s not too cold and it’s time to go after Hudson River stripers?
Year after year for over the past twenty or so there seems to be a magical river temperature that triggers the annual Hudson River striper run. That temperature is 48 degrees. When Long Island Sound reaches that 48 degree temperature you will begin to hear reports of mature stripers being caught at the mouth of the Hudson River including areas like Haverstraw Bay and Croton. About 7-10 days later they begin to arrive in our area. A good link to check out river temperatures and other Hudson River striper information is available at http://www.rung.us/chas/rivtemp.pl. It is a link that is part of the Hudson River Fishermen’s Association. The main link is http://www.hrfanj.org/ Check it out if you have the chance. Another good source for Hudson River striper information is http://www.riverbasinsports.com/ and can be useful for tracking the run of fish up the river, too!
I have been forming a theory as to the relationship of the herring arrival and the striped bass for quite some time. This is what I have noticed to support my thoughts. The arrival of the first wave of herring which are River Alewives arrive sometime around the second week of April up in our neck of the woods which is the Albany, NY area and points north. The second waves of herring to arrive are the blueback herring and they usually show up around the first week on May this far north. Every indication I have seen leads me to believe that the herring spawning migrations are controlled by “photoperiodism” or the amount of available daylight. Over the years regardless of the water temperatures these baitfish arrive on schedule; first the River Alewives and then the bluebacks.
Normally, over the years, the river temperatures are usually below 48 degrees when the River Alewives first arrive in our area. As mentioned, this is typically around the second week of April. The bluebacks usually arrive sometime around the first week of May. The river temperatures are usually around 48 degrees during the first week of May, too! So guess what comes up the river with the bluebacks? You guessed it. Mature Hudson River stripers! Last year with such a mild winter and unseasonably warm water temperatures, the stripers came early. And right on cue with the 48 degree temperatures the Hudson River filled up with mature stripers by the second week of April over two weeks earlier than “normal”.
The stripers arriving early made for a very unique situation. Here we had a river full of stripers who made their “temperature dependent run” way ahead of the photoperiodic blueback herring. Reports from the river indicated that if you could find bait, you could catch all the stripers you wanted. Those who couldn’t find or didn’t want to run bait had very good success trolling stickbaits. For about a week to two week period this was oh so true until the cold rains came and reshuffled the deck.
This year should be a lot more “normal”. I was looking at the river temperatures and they are in the mid to upper thirties. There is still a lot of snow on the ground and iced over lakes and ponds that dump into the Hudson River and should keep it cooler for a while. It’s my bet that this year the Hudson River stripers will follow their temperature dependent cue and the bluebacks will wait for the right amount of available daylight to make their annual spawning runs, and that they will coincide. Come heck or high-water, we are planning to be there to meet them!
2/15/2013 2013 Pre-Season Hudson River Striper Fishing Report
My phone has started to ring with potential customers inquiring about upcoming Hudson River striper fishing trips for this spring. As if my fishing fever temperature wasn’t hot enough, the latest thermometer reading shows that the needle is pegged to the max. Rest assured that I have started to prepare for the season, in fact everything is done except for the boat which will be coming out of storage the first part of April, weather permitting. Is it April yet?
I thought that I would take the time to describe what a typical day on the Hudson River fishing for stripers would entail aboard the “Ace”. The “Ace” is usually parked on the inside of the gas dock at Coeyman’s Landing Marina which will be her home from the end of April untill Memorial Day in May. Your fishing party will be personally met there by me. We will load all of your belongings safely onto the vessel in preparation for the departure into the main body of the river. All the necessary fishing equipment will have already been prepared and waiting to be used when we get to our destination.
The biggest issue to be faced will be the possession of bait. There will be times, especially on the half day charters, where bait will already be onboard so that we only have to make a short run to begin fishing on the striper grounds. Usually as the season progresses bait becomes locally available and we can jig up what we need to use for the duration of the trip. On full day charters we will most likely run to areas that are known to contain bait schools and catch what we need to fish the day with. New this year is a state law limiting the baitfish (Herring) possession of ten per person or fifty for a charter boat that is properly permitted which the “Ace” is. If we were to go through fifty bait in a trip it would be a first!!!
It will depend on the water temperature and the striper school locations as to where and how we will fish for them. Water clarity or should I say lack thereof greatly influences how we will fish, too. Methods that we employ may include either fishing off of anchor or drifting over bottom hugging schools. Sometimes we may even resort to downrigging and pulling stickbaits and plugs for the bass. At times under the right conditions, trolling can be most effective.
One thing that we do like to do is to cater to the likes of our clients. We have some clients who like to sit back while sipping a beer and relax while on anchor waiting for a striper to take the bait and run off with it making the clicker “sing”. We have other clients that like to hold the rods in their hands to feel the bite as it happens, especially when we are drifting and bouncing bottom. There is something to be said for a striper bite that just doubles a rod over when the hook is set!
The absolute best time for the kids that fish with us is jigging up bait. When the herring bite is on, youngsters can literally hook into herring as fast as they can get the lines in the water. It is common to have 4/5 baits on the “Sabiki” rods at once. At times it can be difficult to get the kids to quit jigging so that we can leave and go striper fishing at a different location. After all, who doesn’t like bending a rod and catching fish after fish when you’re young?
We have begun filling our calendar for this striper year and anticipate a full schedule as we draw closer to the start of the season. We have several quality dates left to fill. Feel free to give us a call at 413-652-2063 if you have any further questions or would like to book a trip. As always, you can also check us out on the web at www.acecharters.com . Remember, we guarantee a striper on our Hudson River striper charters or the next trip is half price!