Volume XI, Issue 35 ~ August 28 - September 3, 2003

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Chesapeake Outdoors ~ by C. D. Dollar

Charts Are Chock Full of Inviting Spots

I heard rumors that Spanish mackerel were slashing through Eastern Bay waters recently, so I thought I’d burn the last hours of dimming light to see what I could see. I came up empty for these high flyers, but I found a few small pods of rockfish that kept me busy for a spell.

The last decent Spanish mackerel I took was five summers ago, just north of Sandy Point. It was pushing five pounds and took an epoxy fly.

I still fish the area around the Bay Bridge some, but not nearly as much as I used to. Home waters now include Eastern Bay and points south. If you look at a chart, you can easily see why these waters are so attractive to small-boat anglers. The numerous sheltered coves and creeks, accessible from several public ramps (permit required), are prime areas to chuck a lure or toss a fly. Add big open expanses at the mouth of Eastern Bay and north through the Narrow to the Chester River, and you have most fishing habitats covered.

I used to fish The Narrows often, but in the height of summer, forget about that. Too congested. Even during the week, the tremendous traffic — at times worse that I-95 — keeps me away. To my thinking, clogged fish grounds defeat the purpose of small-boat fishing, especially when there are plenty of other quality spots with less competition.

Starting in less than a month, we’ll be entering peak fishing season, which often lasts well past Thanksgiving. If conditions are right, we should have shots at lots of rockfish, bluefish and weakfish. Bottom dwellers, including croaker, white perch and spot, are abundant now. The common denominator? Each of these species is known to infiltrate oyster reefs, man-made structures, underwater grasses, marsh cuts and points of these waters.

Anglers who prefer a run-and-gun style of fishing can’t go wrong casting to the rips, points, drop-offs and structures. Hood Point, Parsons and Bodkin islands and Tilghman Point are just some of areas that hold fish. Poplar Island, currently undergoing an enormous metamorphosis, and one well worth the investment, also is a fishy area. All locations are conducive to various kinds of soft plastics (such as Bass Assassins), top water plugs and flies (HalfnHalf and Clousers). The charts are chock full of inviting spots for small boat fishermen. Sometimes the hardest part is carving out the time to launch the boat.

Fish Are Fishing
Ryan from Bunky’s offers this report: Spot fishing off Drum Point and Point Patience is gangbusters. Punch Island has drum and some seatrout. If you want consistent action for keeper rockfish, head south to Point No Point and Targets or the edges around buoys 74 and 76.

Capt. Mark Galasso of Tuna the Tide Charters has been trolling for rockfish in the upper Bay with good success. Otherwise, scattered reports note improvement in breaking bluefish and dink rockfish. Several more weeks, and we should be entering what for many anglers is best time of year to fish our part of Chesapeake waters.



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Last updated August 28, 2003 @ 3:01am