Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Old Habits Die Hard

High water in the Raritan this time of year usually means "stripers."
When: Wednesday, May 16th, from 1pm to 1:30pm
Where: The Raritan River
What: Striper fishing with FastEddie
Weather: Fair skies, 77 degrees, calm wind
Barometric Pressure: 29.89in and slowly falling
Relative Humidity: 62%
Moon: Waning, a couple days before new
Water Conditions: High and dirty, gauge height at Bound Brook 20 feet, incoming tide, low tide at New Brunswick 12:16

Well, I lasted a few days.

In all honesty, this wasn't my fault. Since the Raritan River sharpies have been keeping their eye on the rain and the gauge height at the dam, it was no secret that there could very well be stripers around today.

And there were.

I had zero intention of fishing for them, as evidenced by the lack of stout gear in the car. However, after a few text messages from Andy, I was compelled to leave my desk and make the short drive to the falls.

FastEddie was already there, having landed a 34-inch bass an hour earlier, and I joined him tossing plugs into the whitewater.

I soon hooked a goodie.

Only problem was, I was using a medium action rod with a small reel and 8-pound test. It was all I had in my car and I never had a chance.

The fish took 75 to 100 yards of line off my spool before I had to make a last ditch attempt to pull him back upriver before he took every last inch. Not surprisingly, the line snapped. I would have been pissed had the circumstances been different, but there was just no way I was getting that fish in on that gear.

Still, it was cool to take a few swings with Eddie and it's undoubtedly better to have hooked and lost than to never have hooked at all. And it's also better to have hooked and lost than to be sitting behind a desk.


  1. Is it only this time of year or through the summer when stripers run up in high water?

  2. I'm pretty sure it's just this time of year Bruce, although smaller fish will remain in the river year-round.