Tried fishing in the Merrimack River for the first time today, went near the Schwinn shop in Haverhill, walking distance from home. When we lived in Gloucester I went fishing for stripers a half dozen times without ever catching a keeper, but this first time out on the river I ended up bringing home a 31-inch fish. I made the catch at around 10 – 10:30 in the morning on the outgoing tide. Before catching the keeper, my father-in-law and I caught a half dozen or so schoolies. We used herring for bait. When I caught the keeper, I was down to the last piece of herring, which was pretty much just a head. My first couple casts caught on bottom debris and by the third cast there wasn’t much left on the hook. After taking the bait, the fish ran pretty much straight downriver, taking line at a rate that made me worry he’d empty the spool. Put up a fantastic fight.