Capt. Bob Tonkin says New Hampshire is having a great striped bass season.

Tonkin, who with his sister Capt. Jeanne Bailey runs Captain Bob's Lobster Tours and Fishing Charters in Hampton, NH, said that they caught some of the biggest fish of the season during their trip on Tuesday.

"The last three days, it's been off the charts," Tonkin said. "The lack of pogies is driving the fish into the rivers and the bays, and we're in there, too."

Tonkin, who operates the 42-foot-long Miss Ava Lee, has said for the past few years that the pogies were so thick he could walk on them. He is not sure what happened this summer, but it has been a pleasant surprise for the people who booked fishing tours because the striped bass are hungry.

Tonkin is starting to switch gears so he can run more lobster tours - where people check traps and he brings them out to the Isles of Shoals to fish - but he still has some time slots available for people who want to experience catching striped bass.

"I have six voicemails I have to return now, people who want to go out this week," Tonkin said after his 12-hour day on Tuesday.

Tonkin isn't the only one finding success with striped bass this summer. Capt. Greg Brown's company, G Cove Charters in York Harbor, Maine, is doing well.

A Facebook administrator posted on Monday that a new batch of fish moved into the area on Friday night with tropical storm Elsa.

The voicemail message at G Cove Charters said on Tuesday afternoon that there are no available time slots available until Sept. 13.

The following is posted on New Hampshire Fish and Game's website:

"The striped bass is currently the most sought-after coastal sportfish species in New Hampshire. This highly migratory fish moves north from the mid-Atlantic area during the spring and back southward during the fall, spending roughly the months of May through October feeding on Great Bay’s abundant food resources, including river herring, pollock and silversides."

Fish and Game has videos posted where they show people how to catch striped bass from a boat.

From a kayak.

And from shore.

According to officials at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, striped bass can live for up to 30 years.

They can grow up to five feet in length and weigh up to 77 pounds, according to the NOAA website.

Contact Managing News Editor Kimberley Haas at

10 Mainers and Their Big Ol' Fish









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