Chesapeake Outdoors

by C.D. Dollar

Five Hours of Bliss

Schedules have kept Chris Colbeck and me from fishing.

An assistant lacrosse coach for the University of Virginia's men's team, Chris is one of the best in the game today. His passion runs hot for lacrosse, a game that gave me years of joy.

Nearly year-round, lacrosse is Chris' life, so his fishing time is drastically reduced. Fishing is my passion, and I steal a few hours in the early morning and late evenings to pursue it, but rarely do I have a whole day to get after it.

Last Friday we had five uninterrupted hours of fishing.

After picking up Chris' brother, Kevin, at Horn Poin, by 7am were just south of Thomas Point. We set the hook in about 35 foot of water over hard bottom, then dropped a frozen chum log over the transom. I weighted the mesh bag (a tip from a friend) so the oily slick would release farther down in the water column. Using spin tackle, we baited all-around hooks with slaps of bunker, then waited for the first strike.

Chris' rod tip shuttered twice but on the third hit stayed down; the fish ran a couple of times, then gave up. First prize was a 21-inch rockfish, and the fishing was heating up.

After a couple of quick releases, I had on a nice fish. As soon as it was boated, Chris's rod went down hard; the fish hit the floater line set back 125 yards. We played a version of Chinese fire drill, switching places and ducking under rods to keep our lines from tangling.Chris played that fish well as it swirled and fought hard, sounding one last time when it saw the boat. It proved to be a fat 25 inches, the perfect eating size.

Kevin, Chris thought, would enjoy fishing more if he could go after them with only a knife. Kevin's a hunting outfitter who does habitat and soil conservation plantings.

Soon the lure of fast action was too much to resist even for Kevin, who landed the next keeper rockfish. In less than two hours we had our limit. By 11 o'clock, we went our separate ways. But for a couple of hours, it was all about the fish and fun.


Fish Are Biting

The phrase "same old same old" refers to something tiresome and ordinary. Yet it's an apt description of the fishing action these days. In the upper Bay, rockfishing is very good at mouth of the Magothy and Chester, Hacketts and the Bay Bridges. Chumming is the common method, but live bait and peeler or soft crab work. Big catfish in the Chester, and the Severn River has a ton of white perch.

The Hill, #1 Buoy off West River and 40-foot edges near Thomas Point Light hold rockfish.

Trollers working from Parker's Creek to Cove Point are catching big rockfish. Kathy from Bunky's says the Gas Docks and Cedar Rip are hot for rock, and hardhead, spot and flounder are being taken in the Patuxent River and Drum Point.

For stripers, the Middle Grounds, HS to #76 Buoy and Point No Point have produced for trollers and chummers. Hooper Island light and Kedges Straits have numerous croakers, spot, and sea trout. DNR reports bluefish in excellent numbers south of Buoy #72.

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VolumeVI Number 26
July 2-8 1998
New Bay Times

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