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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well, after rosy weather predictions from our meteorologists, I planned an early trip to Washington to validate some reports of Striper hitting topwater. Coordinated plans with my 9 year old the night before for a 5:00 wake up, then figured he'd like an extra few minutes of sleep, so I set my alarm for 5:15.

At 5:00, I was awakened by my son who informed me that he was too exited to sleep anymore and that it was time for me to get up. Some trips are successful even before they begin.

We got the boat loaded up and sipped coffee on the way, watching dawn creep across the sky, saying little, but enjoying each other's company and the prospects for the day. A quick launch by Backwater Jacks and we were off to our first spot.

That's when things went sideways on us. The sunny day that our meteorologists promised us was not to be. Our first run was in spitting rain, and it got progressively worse as the day went on. No problem, because I was planning on working topwater baits, so calm winds and overcast skies were just the right combination. Unfortunately, the fish didn't seem to agree.

Our first spot couldn't have looked more "fishy" but aside from some small pops, which later turned out to be white perch (I actually caught one on top!), we had no love. Off to the second spot, third spot, fourth spot, and no love at any of them.

Where the heck did the striper go???

We finally went upriver from Washington. No striper, but the Gar were going absolutely nuts around us. I don't think I've EVER seen that many Gar anywhere. My son was salivating over the prospect of catching one, and convinced me to stick around. I'll give him credit, he was persistent. Many bites, but those hard jaws just don't take a hook well. Things finally came together, however, and he ended up landing a very nice specimen.

With an hour of fishing time left, I made the decision to head downriver in search of puppy drum, flounder, and maybe even a trout or two. I was hoping to make it past Goose creek, but the rain was getting harder and time was running out, so we stopped across from Blount's Bay. Again, fishy looking waters, but absolutely nothing going on.

SO, help me - what happened to all the fish? Did all the striper move upriver for the spawn? How far East do I need to run to get into some alternatives (pups, flounder, trout) this time of year?
 

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Maybe some of the stripers have moved further upstream for the spawn, seeking fresher water. Still seems like there should have been some around, especially if the WPs were around. If I had been on the water and found white perch, I'd have broken out the ultra lights and stayed on them. Great tasting and your son would have a blast. Its a fish I've only begun to target in recent years, and now a huge fan of them. Sounds like you've got a fishing buddy for years to come.
 

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Red X Angler
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We have "resident" stripers always around Washington, I think they just shut down. I am getting the same story reading reports on just about every species in every part of the state from this weekend. Bass tourneys, catfishers, crappie hunters, trout, reds, pier fishermen etc, .... no joy. Just something weather related I must assume. Sometimes a large change in barometric pressure quickly really shuts them off. BTW white perch are very tasty. If they were willing that might have been your best bet. Keep some small curly tail grubs onboard.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks all! Sounds like the fish were just "off" on Saturday, that weather system moving in must have shut them down. Good to know it wasn't just me (misery loves company, I suppose!). Sorry so many others had similar luck!

As for the White Perch, I was sorely tempted to stick around and play with them, but it was first thing in the a.m. and I had Striper on the brain. Next time, I think I'll stick around a bit longer!
 

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I think you're right. We fished the off of Shiloh Sunday morning. We got two stripers on the first two casts. The wind was coming up so I repositioned while the front was moving over and like magic, instant lock-jaw. We didn't get another hit all morning. I assumed the pressure change had something to do with it.
 
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