Jamie Howard’s film captures the excitement of the striped bass migration, and the obsession of the people who live for it.
I don’t know a single striper fishermen who hasn’t entertained—if only briefly—the idea of leaving everything behind and following the migration up, and then down, the East Coast for one glorious season. That’s just what Jamie Howard set out to do in 2011, to follow along on the striped bass’ annual journey, filming the people and places impacted by these fish.
“Striped bass are amazing fish, and the places they go are amazing,” said Howard, citing the striper’s ability to live and thrive in a wide variety of habitats from deep, offshore rips, to rocky boulderfields, to shallow, sandy flats.
The initial plan was to film it all in one season, one migration, but the more Howard traveled, the more fishermen he met, the more time he realized he’d need to do it right.
All in all, it took five years to complete his film “Running The Coast.”
The film, which Howard released in late 2016, shows nearly 3 hours of striper-fishing footage from casting crab flies on a sandy, Nantucket Shoal to dropping eels into the rips off Montauk Point to casting plugs into schools of post-spawn stripers near the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay. Howard fishes with and interviews anglers from Virginia to Maine, learning that despite the differences in latitude, striper-fishermen from all along the coast have a shared an obsession. While all have their own reasons for pursuing striped bass, they all agree that the striper fishing isn’t as good as it used to be, and that changes need to be made in how this fish is managed. You can order the film and view more of Howard’s work at howardfilms.com.