Episode 536: Absolute Insanity on Miramichi Stripers (Part 2)

In part 2 of this Fish’n Canada episode, we welcomed everyone “back” with a recap of last week’s part 1 show in which we absolutely had a heyday on catching striped bass hand over fist. As well, we attended an authentic Miramichi kitchen party and talked a bit about the history of the river. It was a jam-packed show.

And, as we alluded to last week, this was our first venture into the autumn Striper fishery on the Miramichi. 

We hit er’ hard here in the spring of 2015 which was absolutely insane by the way… but on this trip, we were in a totally different area, during a completely different season. 

And, as a bonus, we had our good buddies Steve Neidzwecki and local Striper expert Jeff Wilson on another boat, in another fishing area, using a completely different pattern to catch em’. Their mission was to catch us a Striped Bass dinner… at least we hoped!

As for the previous episode’s fishing, we went out with high hopes of catching these late-season Stripers on topwater baits. It was a big ask as we knew the water temperatures were dropping on a daily and often hourly basis. 

Our best topwater action on most fish species “usually” occurs during more stable weather patterns, in water above the 60-degree mark. We’ve caught fish in colder temps than that but it’s iffy and on a day-by-day basis… with the majority being on the “not so good for topwater”.

But with Stripers being far from our normal quarry, who knows… It’s always worth a try.

And although our previous episode’s catch ratio was insane, unfortunately, our topwater wish didn’t come true. 

We caught lots and lots of fish in and around this size in part 1 of this trip… some on a Yo-Zuri Twitchbait and some on soft plastics.

The schools of Stripers we located were in and around the 10-12 foot depth mark. The odd one would take a lackadaisical shot at a topwater but most of the fish we encountered wanted a sub-surface presentation.

So, we still had our work cut out for us. Not at catching these fish, because we literally smashed ’em earlier, but at catching them with the ultimate presentation… heart-pounding topwater!

The big Princecraft/Merc combo was in search mode looking for shallow Stripers.

Fast forward to this portion of the shoot, and we are scouring the Miramichi in search of more active fish. Our thoughts were that, hopefully, if we found some shallower fish, they might play into our topwater hand.

FNC TEAM #2

Way too big to keep but SO much fun. Those smiles say it all.

As we searched for our hopeful topwater mayhem, remember as we said, we’re not the only Fish’n Canada team out on the river. 

Steve and Jeff are on the hunt for Stripers in a WHOLE different scenario, and with a whole different intent… to catch us a Striped Bass, AKA Chilean Sea Bass dinner! 

Their boat was literally anchored about 200 yards from where we were all staying, at the Rodd Miramichi Hotel.

It’s the most easily accessed, and popular Striper fishing pattern you’ll ever encounter. You literally launch your boat, turn on your fishfinder, drive around for a few minutes to locate the Stripers, anchor your boat, and start fishing. 

Quite honestly, it gets no easier than this.

Jeff had all the gear pre-set up so Stevie pretty much had it made. A guide, a boat, a Garmin LiveScope and some heavy-duty spinning rigs with a non-finesse dropshot type of setup with big chunks of Mackerel. It was crude but, man, did it catch fish!

Steve and Jeff came through with flying colours. They boxed the perfect amount of legal Stripers (within the designated size limit during the time of our visit), cleaned them up and hand-delivered them to the chef at the Rodd Miramichi. 

Jeff and Steve had a heyday within a couple hundred yards of our hotel… and they supplied us with the ultimate east coast feast!

On a scale of 1 to 10, the anticipation for dinner was an 11!!

BACK UP-RIVER WITH ANG AND PETE

“About 15 miles upriver from Steve and Jeff,” says Ang “a big fog bank rolled in over Pete and I. It was sitting high in the sky, but was strong enough to cut the power of the bright sun. It was a perfect scenario to get fish cranked up.”

The boy’s frantic search found a nice school of Stripers that were in around 6 feet of water. Much shallower than their previous schools. Ang fired in a big fluke and was instantly pounded by a big Striper. That fish was extremely aggressive and, being shallow, it got team #1’s wheels turning. 

Shallower fish of better quality and a bit of cloud cover… that’s what we’re talkin’ bout!

“I’d say Ang’s big fish was due to the changing weather conditions,” said Pete “that my friends, is what we’re always looking for… a SIGN!”

  • a low ceiling creating overcast skies…?
  • the water has flattened out nicely…??
  • a school of big, aggressive, shallow fish…???
  • a species that has been known to crush topwater lures…????
  • LET’S GO!!!!

TOPWATER TIME

Well, you guessed it. That fog bank made all the difference for Ang and Pete’s topwater wish to come true. They each tied on a Yo-Zuri Pencil Popper in the larger 125mm size, and proceeded to giggle like little kids as the fish blew up, struck at, missed, smacked ’em out of the water, and eventually engulfed their topwater presentations.

Check out these crazy topwater sequences Ang and Pete experienced on this trip. BTW, there were a lot more misses than hook-ups.

CONCLUSION

Pete holds up a quality Striped Bass taken during the last week of the 2022 Striper season on New Brunswick’s Miramichi River.

“What an amazing east coast fishing trip,” says Pete “Ang and I pounded the Stripers with sinking baits and got on to the best cold-water topwater bite we’ve ever had… 

“And, Steve and Jeff came through BIG TIME,” continues Pete “in catching us the perfect sized fish for the table”.

“And finally ending the trip off with a world-class, east coast seafood feast,” says Ang… “absolutely outstanding is about all I can say!” 

A wonderful seafood (Striper) chowder followed by Striper fish cakes and then an amazing presentation of one of the best-tasting fish on the planet, Striped Bass.

If you get the chance to visit this beautiful part of Canada and experience battling with Mirimachi Stripers like the boys did, we guarantee you some of the best fishing memories of your life!

HOTSPOT brought to you by Garmin

N 47 01.689  W 65 28.659

This easy access Hotspot is a somewhat broad area that, at certain times of the year, will have you hauling in Stripers hand over fist!

Due to the flow of the tides, you will need either a conventional anchor or better yet, the anchor feature on an electric trolling motor, to hold you in one spot.

If you’re not catching them at this Hotspot, move 50 to 100 feet and try again.

Keep moving in small increments until you hook up. There’s no mistaking once you find the right spot.

Your best method is to find fish with your electronics, then anchor slightly up current of them, and proceed to have a ball!

DEPTH: 19-25 Feet

PRESENTATION: Dropping cut bait from the stern of the boat

BAITS: Cut Mackerel

EPISODE GETTIN’ THERE brought to you by Ram Trucks

To get to this episode’s wild Striped bass action, we first travelled east through Ontario on hwy 401. 

We next hit Quebec and took Hwy 20 to Hwy 30 and eventually got back on to Hwy 20. Next, we turned southeast on Hwy 85. 

Once in New Brunswick, we took Hwy 2 southeast and then drove north on Hwy 8 at Fredericton. 

We finally took 117 into the town of Miramichi, a left on Henderson st and on to our final destination at the Rodd Miramichi Hotel

This may well be the most “convenient” fishing destination we’ve ever been to. The accommodations are right next to the fishing area and there’s a boat launch a block away. 

You get up in the morning, launch your rig, travel a short distance to the fish, and start catching. 

It gets no easier.

SPECIAL THANKS FOR THIS EPISODE

Miramichi Sport Fishing, Owner – Brian Gray (506) 625-6756 [email protected] www.Miramichisportfishinginc.com

Miramichi Bay Outfitters, Owner – Matthew Gregan 506-624-8849 [email protected] https://www.facebook.com/miramichibayoufitters/

City of Miramichi – https://www.discovermiramichi.com/ 

Province of New Brunswick – https://tourismnewbrunswick.ca/ 

Rodd Miramichi – https://roddvacations.com/hotels/rodd-miramichi-river/ 

Jeff Wilson Pro Angler – https://www.miramichistripercup.com/ 

Miramichi Kitchen Party – https://www.facebook.com/TheMiramichiKitchenParty/ 

TV EXTRAS

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