A Cape Ann Teenager Makes a Bid for Striper Fishing Fame

By Billy Baker.

MANCHESTER-BY-THE-SEA — It’s 4 a.m. and 18-year-old Finn Hawley is in a shed behind his house, doing what he does most days, which is preparing to go fishing for striped bass.

Hawley is a lanky teen, just under 6 feet 4 inches tall, and despite the pre-dawn hour, he has an unapologetic enthusiasm about him as he rushes around getting his gear together. All around him are rods and reels, waders and wetsuits, and he is quickly selecting lures from the dozens that hang neatly above a work table and stuffing them into his plug bag.

“The fall run is heating up and there’s some big fish out there,” he says with a racing excitement.

As he gets ready to pile into his pickup truck and head out toward the surf, he grabs perhaps his most important piece of gear — a waterproof backpack full of camera equipment.

That’s because Hawley is attempting something that has really never been done before. He’s hoping to carve out a career as an “influencer” in the world of striper fishing.

The premier saltwater game fish of the Northeastern United States, the striped bass is the centerpiece of a massive recreational fishing industry.

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