AS I BECAME A MORE EXPERIENCED ANGLER, I FINALLY CAUGHT MY FIRST STRIPER OFF THE DOCK AT AGE 13.
Each summer growing up, visiting my grandparents for a week in Kennebunkport, Maine was always a highlight. Spending time with family, running a lemonade stand, and going to the beach were always fun, but fishing off my grandparents’ dock was something I always looked forward to. I was told stories about huge stripers out back on the Kennebunk River, but for many years my lures and hours of blind casting never produced. As I became a more experienced angler, I finally caught my first striper off the dock at age 13.
During my last visit to Maine in July of 2013, I caught my personal best 34” striper with my grandfather. Over the years visiting Maine became difficult, but this July I had the opportunity to visit my grandmother for the first time since my grandfather passed away. Although this recent trip was not meant for fishing, there was no way I wasn’t going to at least wet a line.
I packed up some saltwater fishing gear that consisted of four Florida Fishing Products Osprey Spinning Reels, two packs of Mustad Ultra Point 3/0 circle hooks, and one spool of 25 lbs Seaguar Fluorocarbon Leader. I didn’t want to break any fishing rods during the flight up north, so decided I was going to buy the cheapest spinning rods possible at Wal-Mart once up in Maine.
We lucked out with some great new moon tides, and I was excited to take my cousins fishing for their first stripers. They are a little younger than me, but Jack and Sam both heard the same stories I did growing up. They were a bit hesitant in believing there were any fish off grandma’s dock, but persistence paid off for us.
After many years of targeting these stripers and learning their feeding habits, I was confident that we would catch a few fish. I knew if we fished the 1-hour high tide window each day before the tide got too low, there’d be just enough water for the fish to funnel through. With a 12-foot tidal swing in the Kennebunk River, there can be 8ft of water at the dock at high tide and nothing but mud on low tide. Luckily that short window was in the afternoons, so we planned each day’s festivities around the tide.
Using frozen clams from the local marina, the stripers were there and hungry just as expected. In three days of fishing, we were fortunate enough to land 18 stripers. None came close to the 34” fish I caught with my grandfather years before, but the quantity of fish was more than I’d ever seen.
Maine’s striper fishing regulations only allow you to keep one fish per person per day, and they have to be a minimum of 28”. Wherever you fish, ensuring healthy fisheries for future generations is important. You should always be aware of the local rules. Our largest striper this trip was 25”, but all were healthy fish, put up a fantastic fight, and were released to swim another day.
Without having my Osprey Spinning Reels by Florida Fishing Products, the proper saltwater fishing tackle and prior knowledge of the fishery, success would have been much more difficult. We could have done the exact same thing on the same tides the week prior and possibly caught zero fish. I also believe fishing with family brings luck, and always makes for a good time. Helping my cousins, Jack and Sam, and my girlfriend, Sally, all catch their first stripers made for a great trip and memories that will last forever.
I want to thank my Grandmother, Julia Krieg, for inviting me up to Maine and all the rest of my family who helped make this trip possible.
Thank you all for reading and Good Fishing!