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Crossroads Bait and Tackle Fish Report > Early May
Early May

May 3, 2012

I went out into the river yesterday and bagged a handful of schoolies up off Eagle Island, in the Merrimack River just East of Deer Island. The stripers were taking Alewife Slug-go's on a 3/4 oz Scampi Jig Head. Had a couple chasers on a white popper however they weren't quite active enough to slam the topwater. I got reports the water temps were a little higher upriver and the topwater was producing a little better. We had confirmed keepers caught at Cashman Park, and Deer Island over the weekend. I recommend fishing in the rivers in the early season. The water temps off the beach are around 49 F and in the river it is around 52 to 57 F degrees depending on the day, tide and how far upriver you travel. A lot of people think that since the Striped Bass need to travel along the beach and through the mouth to get into the river that those are the best spots to try. This isn't always the best strategy. I would prefer to find 100 feeding fish than 1000 that aren't. Unless these stripers pass right by your bait they aren't hanging out and feasting in 49F degree waters. These early season fish have inlet and river feeding in mind while the travel the coast. They show up for the herring run in the Merrimack river and don't want to be late.

The groundfishing has been great for those that prefer haddock. The haddock fishing out on Jeffries Ledge near the Curl or on Northern Tillies has been very productive. It seems like the cod have already moved into the restricted areas near Long Ledge putting them out of reach of anglers. The Haddock are being taken on clams, shrimp and to my surprise sea worms. I don't ground fish with sea worms however after being shown up by Cliffy who was fishing the worm I'm gonna start bringing some on my next groundfishing trip.

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