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April 22, 2024
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General Outdoors: Fishermen Ready for Striped Bass Season

Fishing is good from the shore
Fishing is good from the shore
James Lupi with daughters Nicole (l) and Carissa
James Lupi with daughters Nicole (l) and Carissa
or on the water of Cornwall bay.
or on the water of Cornwall bay.
The Caudy brothers love to fish
The Caudy brothers love to fish
April 30, 2007

"When the forsythia blooms, it’s time for striped bass.” James Lupi had this observation as he sat by the riverfront Sunday morning, tending three fishing poles as he waited for the fish to bite. Two of the poles were for James’ daughters, Carissa and Nicole, part of a family outing that may have meant more about being together than catching any significant fish.

Further down the waterfront, another family unit, this one made up of two brothers who have been plying the waters of Cornwall Bay for half-a century. Rich and Howie Caudy split the $40 fee for a parking permit so they can return to the haunts of their childhood on the banks of Cornwall landing.

Like the Lupi family, the brothers come for the love of fishing and have accumulated lots of knowledge about the striped bass. Over the years they have reeled in plenty of the fish that can be as large as 50 or 60 lbs, though most catches are closer to 20 or 25 lbs. Rich says the biggest one he has seen is 46 pounds. Nearly all the fish they catch they release back into the river, eating only a couple during the season.*

The waters of Cornwall Bay are not yet warm enough to attract the big stripers that are massing further south, Rich said, noting that his brother had caught one small one earlier that day. When the water passes 50 degrees, the saltwater fish will head north to spawn, going as far as the dam in Troy, New York, before returning back south.

Today in late April, with the water temperature hovering around 48 degrees, the stripers were sparse and people fishing were reeling in mostly white perch and catfish.

“May is the best month to catch stripers,” Howie says. “Some years the water is boiling with them. “ Boiling, he said, because the female fish spawns on top of the water and the males come up and hit them and knock out the eggs. That’s when you can literally scoop the fish out of the water, although he said that nets are not allowed.

The bait of choice on this cloudy day was blood worms, bought by the dozen at Ceely’s bait shop down on Shore Road. Sand worms are also good bait, the Caudy brothers agreed, and they have sharp teeth that can really grab ahold.

The Moodna creek is also a source of fish, trout mostly. The New York state department of Environmental Conservation stocked the Moodna with more than 2,000 brown and rainbow trout in March and April.

On this Sunday, however, the Hudson was the place for hopeful fisherman and women. They laughed and cast their lines into the water, waiting, watching for that tug that showed a fish, maybe a striper, had taken the bait.

*New York State advises people not to eat more than one meal a month of most fish caught in the Hudson River. Click here for details about specific fish species and recommendations on how to prepare and cook fish to reduce exposure to contaminants including PCBs and mercury.


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