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now this post is in no way trying to brag. i was wondering about years past. this year is my first year really fishing. i have caught about 20 or so stripers. i realize reading this forum that this is better then alot of people have done. is the fishing really in that much of a decline or is it always like this or am i out so much that it is kind of expected to get that many. i go out 3-4 times a week depending and a lot of times i get skunked. but am i just getting lucky or whats the deal

dan lee
 

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I dont know I think two years ago was real good, last year was pretty good, and this year has been just plain wierd. I keep thinkin that things are about to bust wide open, but its gettin late! I hope to get into the big ocean striper like i have the past two years, but where are they?
 

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Last year at Christmas there was a run at Sandbridge. Remember?
I started off the season great and had my limit the first two nights. Then skunk, skunk, skunk....skunk....etc.
 

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yea I was at sandbridge in xmas eve last year and it was firing. but if the boat reports indicate that action along the ocean front is slim then things seem dismal for the shorebound
 

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It's a rotten year, no question.

I've come south to Tidewater for the last several years and always hit into a blitz. This year anglers much better than me are having a hard time getting a single legal fish.

2003 is a trainwreck.
 

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It sure helps that you can get out fishing 3-4 times a week. The problem some of us have is not being able to be there when something starts to happen.

Be glad you've caught that many your first year. What is killing some of us is that when the stripers are blitzing you can easily catch 20 fish at one outing. This year there doesn't seem to be much of that happening. In fact, 2003 has been a lack luster season all the way around, not just for stripers.

I've been consoling myself with the idea that a poor year's harvest will help there be more and bigger fish in the following years. It would be easy to look at this year and think that the fishing is ruined for good. It's not quite ruined just yet. I think we're suffering through a year when the conditions kept the masses of fish out in the deep blue sea. Next year might just bring them into the bay in an unforgettable way.

Saltwater fishing is filled with alot of unknowns. You never know what's going to happen when you cast that rod. It's that hope that something unbelievable might happen that keeps us so hooked on fishing the piers and the surf.

Stay on this forum long enough and you will hear some reports that will have you chomping at the bit to get there. There just haven't been many this year.
 

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2003 had it's moments. From the photo gallery. Me, bucket, Poleant and co. at Lynnhaven Pier back in April for one of the many blue blitzes that month. Photo courtesy of Graphixdude.
 

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You're putting in the time and that's half of the equation.

When the fish are there, You don't have to be Isaac Walton to catch them.

We tend to over analyze our failures.

Am I doing something wrong? Is the moon phase right? How about the wind direction? Is this the right lure? Rising tide or falling tide? Is the water too "fresh"? Is the water too cold?

When the fish are there..............

In My Very Humble Opinion, the life of a fish is pretty simple. He has a very short "to do" list.

It goes like this:

#1 - Eat
#2 - Make little fish

Unless he is successful at #1, he never gets to do #2.

So it's really all about baitfish.

Personally, I think the Chesapeake Bay is in BIG, BIG Trouble.

The unregulated, systematic rape of the Menhaden stocks in the lower Bay, at a time when the Stripers are increasing in size and numbers, is a formula for disaster.

The past 20 years of careful conservation, has restored the "Rockfish" to a level I haven't seen since I was a boy. (40 years ago)

In the "Big Picture" it's been a banner year for Stripers.

From the Jersey Shore to Cape Cod, Striper fishing has been very good. With lots of very Big fish being caught.

But in the Chesapeake Bay, the ancestral home of the "Rockfish", the cupboard is bare.

When the baitfish return in sufficent numbers, the Stripers will return too.
 
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