Greetings from Capt. Dave & Baymen Charters!
We are twenty days away from the first day of spring (!) and just 40+/- days until the rumors of the first striped bass in our local waters begin. What an exciting time of year!
Typically, over the last 31 years, I have tried to land my first striped bass of the season by April 15th. I use to be driven to be the first to get a fish in our local waters on the MA coast. But as the years have gone on, I have mellowed a little LOL… and I am happy to post up right on here on The Baymen Reports, a photo and kudos to the angler to land the first of the season.
But the fist fish is still 40+ days away, so I have gone back up into the North Maine Woods to enjoy the -11 degrees below zero temps. Back in MA it is in the 40’s and has been there for almost the entire winter! NO SNOW this year in Baymen Land. I have not had to plow or shovel snow once! But in the Maine North Woods there is three feet or more of crusted snow in the woods and it is hard going.
The deer have come out of the woods and can be seen along the back roads, up on the snow banks created from plows after many storms. The snow banks are 6-10 feet high and frozen. The deer walk these snow banks to reach higher branches of the evergreens for food. The evergreens in the woods have all been browsed as high as they can reach and now the deer must find a way to get higher up. The snow banks help to solve that problem.
Moose are often seen on the trails and roadsides as well. But they are not eating evergreen browse. They are licking salt off the roads that was put down by sanding trucks to keep cars from sliding off the roads. They will often kneel right down in the road to lick the salt off the ground as in this photo I took yesterday.
I am always amazed at how wildlife can survive the harsh winters of the North Maine Woods. -11 below zero is no joke. It is tough, hard cold. It warmed up to 9 degrees above zero a few days ago and I did a short hike of a couple miles on snowmobile trails that weave all through the Maine woods all the way to Canada. It is a big deal up here and everyone has snowmobiles. I got so warm, I began to sweat and took off two layers. The only thing that got cold were my gloved finger tips, my toes (I did not wear my pack boots for this short hike) and my cheeks and nose. If I were doing a long hike in the woods, you can bet I would of had all my survival gear with me. This is no place to take chances.
Well, back on the Massachusetts coast, I am anxious to get all the final prep work done for the start of the striped bass season. I got most things done EARLY at the end of 2022, for the upcoming 2023 season. But the boat still needs to be painted and I have to run shakedown cruises on the bay to make sure everything is in tip top shape. 2023 marks my 31 years guiding on the bay. People often ask me what I would do if I ever retire and I tell them exactly what I have been doing all my life.
Here’s to wishing all my friends, clients, fellow Baymen, and new visitors to my site a very happy and enjoyable March 2023. I can’t wait to hear and see about all the fish your are going to catch this season! Let’s spend some time on the water together.
Tight Lines, happy March & talk soon.
Capt. David Bitters
BAYMEN www.baymenlife.com 31 Years Guiding The Bay
“As long as the earth endures, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night will never cease.” – Genesis 8:22