I'm happy to report I caught my first striped bass of the 2019 season this past Wednesday afternoon April 17th!
I was fishing from my kayak on Cape Cod and was very surprised to find that one of the stripers was covered in sea lice.
Sea lice are marine external parasites that feed on the mucus, epidermal tissue, and blood of host marine fish. Sea lice often "hitch a ride" on the skin of striped bass which have been swimming in the open ocean.
Stripers with sea lice are generally accepted to be migratory fish that have arrived on Cape Cod after swimming for a period of time in the open ocean.
This past Wednesday I was expecting to encounter holdover striped bass, which are fish that have spent the winter in the estuaries on Cape Cod. Holdover stripers usually do not have sea lice.
Was the striper I caught on Wednesday one of the first migratory stripers to arrive on Cape Cod? Or was it a holdover bass?
Members of My Fishing Cape Cod can download the full 7 minute video with more information about the trip, the lures I was using and the general location by clicking here.
I supposed it may be possible that the striper was a holdover, which had left the estuary to go into the open ocean, only to return to the estuary covered in sea lice.
I personally do not know for sure, so please draw your own conclusions and let me know what you think by commenting below.
Between 6pm-8pm on Wednesday I managed to land three striped bass. Only one of the fish had sea lice and they were all very small schoolies. I also had about a half dozen missed bites from other bass.
The main biomass of stripers has definitely not yet arrived on Cape Cod, but it won't be too much longer now.
Members of My Fishing Cape Cod can download the full 7 minute video with more information about the trip, the lures I was using and the general location I was fishing by clicking the orange button below.
Full 7 minute video with more information about the trip, the lures I was using and the general location I was fishing.
PS - I also want to mention that I always wear a life jacket while fishing from my kayak, but during this trip I had forgotten my life jacket at home. Fortunately I was in shallow, calm water, and was only about 30 feet away from shore. Just wanted to mention that because I know how important life jackets are.