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April 19, 2012 - We spent the previous weekend visiting friends on the south shore and my daughter's family in Plymouth. What a glorious weekend to be within close proximity to the water with 100% available sunlight and only a warming west breeze to deal with. Late Sunday afternoon my son-in-law Steve Curtis fielded a phone call from one of his angling buds regarding a late afternoon campaign along the Eel River, a popular local estuary and the scene of many successful early season sessions. He became more and more animated as the conversation lengthened as I observed with curiosity. Seems like the voice on the other end of the phone witness striped bass crashing mature herring just east of the system. To put this tale into prospective the forage being masticated were 14-inch, mature blue back herring, hardly target fare for school fish.

I suspect that these were migratory, not "power plant" fish so we fell confident from our prospective the game is certainly on.

We have fielded numerous reports from the R.I./CT. border to the southern Cape Cod shoreline that school fish are taking hold and numerous successes are being reported. Things seem to be occurring about 2 weeks earlier than normal and we would suspect that pretty reliable estuary fishing could be expected by weeks end. There is also better news to recount. Unlike previous years, most fly anglers are dealing with varying age groups and it has not been uncommon to record catches between 12" and 18". I don't know what your personal experience was during the previous few years but a sub-25" fish was a novelty with most species averaging 26-32-inches even during the early spring. Without exception every saltwater angler relishes catching larger fish a mixed age class certainly bodes well for the future. More on the subject as the striper season matures.

Tom Blalock recently returned from his annual campaign to Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula and while the fishing was tedious at times, he was able to land a portly permit along with a number of baby tarpon. Add to this an array of decent sized bones and it sounds like a grand slam to me.

Good fishing and safe wading,

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