by C.D. Dollar
Finally, I got to enjoy a weekend nearly chock full of fishing. Much better than the silly yard work that had strapped me for much of the last month.
The opening act on Friday had me and 15 co-workers bottom fishing for hardhead, spot and white perch, the latter obliging quite well on shell bottom off the green bell buoy at the West River. On board the Snow Goose, ably captained by Karl Willey, the fishing party was aided by retired "deckies" (which I discovered means charterboat mates) Yancey Powell from Hampton Roads, Va., and our own John Page Williams. We caught a decent amount of fish.
From Deb Nardone, who coordinates Chesapeake Bay Foundation's Juniata River Project in Pennsylvania, we took a lesson in persistence. Nardone is very familiar with the trout (brookies, browns and rainbows) and smallmouth bass that inhabit the cold, mountain-borne streams that feed the Juniata as it empties into the Susquehanna. But Bay fish are a different story. She suffered a long spell of inaction while those around her caught. But when the boat moved to Poplar Island, she moved from the bow to the stern, where she hooked up with a nice flounder that barely missed the new 15-inch size requirement.
In the stiff winds on Sunday, as scores of hard-core swimmers crossed from Sandy Point to Kent Island in the annual Bay Swim, Chuck Foster and I were anchored off Love Point. After scouring the bottom for holding rockfish, we finally settled on an edge near the shipping channel. We were away from the heart of the main chumming fleet, which grew so fast it resembled cells dividing in a petri dish.
Once the tide decided on a direction and began exiting the Bay, the bite turned on for a brief flurry of action that was enough to make the trip worth our while and fill our bellies.
Fish Are Biting
The main difference between last week and this week, from what I have gathered, is that the rockfishing, particularly in the upper parts of the Bay, has become more reliable. I haven't heard a whole lot about drum, although I am pretty certain there has been some action. "Pick a point," Rob from Anglers (410/974-4013) near Annapolis told me.
Chummers working Love, Tolley, Hacketts, Thomas or Bloody points took rockfish. Also, live eels drifted along the edges between Baltimore and Sandy Point Lighthouses scored, and trollers also continue to hook up.
White perch fishing is still relatively slow.
In the middle part of the Bay, the action for big sea trout has been red hot. Perry from the Rod 'n' Reel (800/233-2040) says that trout of five to seven pounds are being caught at night on shrimp and squid in areas like the Gooses. Mike from Breezy Point Marina (410/535-4356) says trollers working 35-to 40-foot edges from Breezy Point down past Parker's Creek are still catching fish, and the Hill and Gas Docks continue to attract chummers.
Flounder can be caught in both the shallows and deeper edges in front of Poplar Island and down off James Island and Punch Island. The Patuxent area is still very active for rockfish at Cedar Point, and hardhead and trout action is excellent around the river mouth and Drum Point.
In Maryland's lower part of the Bay, Rick from Rick's Marine (301/872-4355) says that black drum in the 50-pound range have been taken off the Boys Camp in the Potomac River. Cornfield Harbor is still hot for croaker and gray trout. But, as in the rest of the Bay, few blues are being caught around Point Lookout. Mudleads is a good bet for rockfish, and Tangier Sound fly fishing guide Kevin Josehans (410/968-3579) reports that there are a few good speckled trout in the low-light parts of the day.
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Volume VII Number 24
June 17-23, 1999
New Bay Times