Cooling weather bringing big stripers southward

Paul Daisey, left, and Ralph Short caught this 40-pound striper last week in the mouth of Delaware Bay. SOURCE SUBMITTED PHOTO
November 11, 2013

When the weather's fit, striper fishermen are flocking to the mouth of Delaware Bay.  They keep their eyes in constant motion, looking for gannets feeding on bait fish, watching other fishermen and their nets, scanning their own rigs, wondering when the big fish will begin taking baits and lures. Some say the first fish to arrive are the largest.

Ralph Short told me this week he expects the big fall bite to begin any day now.  "This is about the time they started last year and the news from up the coast - northern Jersey - is that they're moving down - acres of them - coming our way."

Everyone's most hopeful when the season's just starting.

Short and Paul Daisey hooked and landed one of the early fish late last week.  Mouth of the bay, near the eights.  She was a big one:  46-inches long, 40 pounds.

But that was their only fish of the day.  "Soon there will be more," said Short.  "That's when we'll all be coming in to the docks with our limit."