Just as predicted, we’re right in the middle of the best summer for light tackle fishing in recent memory. Right now we have thirty-inch-plus stripers in shallow water above the bridge, and hoards of marauding bluefish down south. Here’s what it looks like:
If you haven’t already, subscribe to my YouTube channel to get my latest videos. Also don’t forget, a lot of my recent Internet activity has been via social networks, especially Facebook (@Shawn.Kimbro), Twitter (@ShawnKimbro) and Instagram (@Shawn_Kimbro). It’s very easy to get a message out via these outlets and I can very quickly post fishing pictures and short reports. If you haven’t already, please look me up! Here are some recent videos.
“What’s that sound?” I kept fishing, pretending not to notice the conversation in the back of the boat. Hank DiNardo had been nice enough to invite me out on his Southport 28TE to fish Eastern Bay. I hadn’t fished with Hank before and he wasn’t familiar with my quick-snap style of jigging. The fish finder told us there was fish around the boat, but they weren’t biting. I was up on the bow using every strike trigger I knew, including snapping my jig for all I was worth.
From the back I heard my regular fishing partner, Jamie Clough explaining, “That’s just the way Kimbro jigs sometimes.”
Indeed. That was seven years ago and since then I’ve earned something of a reputation for my energetic, somewhat spastic jigging style. When fishing is tough, you’ll frequently hear my rod tip cutting through the air as I snap my soft plastic jigs off the bottom. It’s a technique that’s been both mocked and revered with the biggest detractors being a couple of local guys who thought they already had it all figured out and the strongest proponents being newcomers to the Chesapeake Bay light tackle game who just want to catch more fish.
Why snap jigging? Read More!
Long time no blog! Most of my recent Internet activity has been via social networks, especially Facebook (@Shawn.Kimbro), Twitter (@ShawnKimbro) and Instagram (@Shawn_Kimbro). It’s very easy to get a message out via these outlets and I can very quickly post fishing pictures and short reports. If you haven’t already, please look me up. I also have some new Chesapeake Bay How-To fishing videos coming out soon on YouTube, so be sure and follow me there as well. This weekend marks the opening of the striped bass kill season in Maryland. On April 18th it becomes legal to catch and keep a striped bass. So far in 2015, we’ve been releasing all the fish we catch. The regulations are different this year than they’ve been in years past. Between April 18 and May 15, anglers can keep one rockfish per day if it measures (a) between 28 and 36 inches in length or (b) over 40 inches. After May 15, you can keep two fish, but there is a minimum size of 20 inches and only one of those fish can be over 28 inches. Hopefully, Maryland anglers have heard of these new regulations by now, but it never hurts to spread the word! Let’s also spread the word that it’s a good idea to release those 40-inch-plus fish too, even though it’s legal to keep them. Almost all the fish caught in the next couple of weeks will be pre-spawn. If we want strong rockfish populations in the future, we have to let the big spawners go.
Most of the light-tackle fishermen I know don’t pay much attention to the opening of kill season. We’ve already had some of the most exciting fishing of the year. Kill season just means more boats on the water and more big fish taken before they have a chance to spawn.
The spring rockfish migration is well underway now and fish are moving up the Maryland portion of the Chesapeake Bay in waves. So far fishing has been pretty good. My assessment of the 2015 warm-water-discharge season up to now is good but not great. Oh, we’ve released plenty of big fish – some well over fifty pounds – but I’ve seen a lot better cold-weather fishing.
Some of the most exciting fishing in April and May takes place right along the bank. Lately, shore fishing is so good that some of my fishing buddies are leaving their boats at home and hiking down to the piers and points to cast. They’re catching trophies too. My friend Andrew Burton of Annapolis is catching and releasing big fish on quick outings before and after school. He’s had a few evenings when he’s landed three or more stripers that were over forty-inches long! Andrew isn’t alone. I’m hearing about big fish caught all along the western shore from Sandy Point State Park clear down to Point Lookout. On the opposite side of the Bay, my neighbor Dan Hughes has been wearing them out from the shorelines on Kent Island. The picture on the right is of a beautiful fish he released last week. There is also some nice fish being caught at the Matapeake Pier. Unfortunately, there’s also been some poaching at Matapeake. Maryland Natural Resource Police busted three fishermen earlier this week for keeping big rockfish they caught from the pier. Let’s hope these bad guys get the maximum sentence possible.
In my younger days, almost all my striper fishing was from shore. The first rockfish I ever caught was with a topwater plug casting from the bank. Here are some things I’ve learned along with a few tips from Andrew, Dan, and other anglers who are successfully catching big stripers from shore. Read More!
I’ve had a great time kicking off my new book, The Right Stuff – Gear & Attitudes for Trophy Light Tackle Fishing. Over eighty anglers came to the release party on Kent Island last month. I hope everyone had as much fun as I did! The book is now officially released to regional retail outlets and tackle shops. Most regional bait shops have it and some have already reordered. If you’re a fishing tackle or book retailer in the Mid-Atlantic region and want books, contact me. It is also available in both paperback and digital formats on Barnes & Noble and Amazon. Better yet, you can get a signed copy directly from me via this website. I still have a few special CCA Maryland hardcover editions available. After these are sold, there will be a half-dozen or so auctioned at CCA fundraisers, but otherwise, the hardcovers will be gone. I have scheduled several seminars and talks and I’ll have a signing table at some of the upcoming fishing/outdoors shows in the Baltimore/Washington D.C. region. Here’s my schedule as it stands now. I’m especially excited about speaking for the Chesapeake Bay Magazine Seminar Series at this year’s Baltimore Boat Show at the Convention Center. I have room to work in a few more talks, so fishing clubs and other organizations are welcome to contact me about speaking opportunities. I’ll try to keep my schedule updated here, and on my Amazon.com Author Page. I’ll also make announcements on Facebook when something is coming up. I hope to see you soon!
In January’s past, I’ve suggested a few New Year’s resolutions to my fishing buddies. I stand by the resolution I recommended in 2013 that we fishermen should include at least one picture of our wife and kids on our cell phones to balance out the one hundred thirty two other shots of our boat, truck, and every fish we’ve caught in the past three years. I also still recommend that we teach our kids how to tie their shoes before we show them how to make a Palomar knot. I thought of some good ones this year too. I mean, shouldn’t we all resolve to spend less time at the gym and more time watching fishing videos on YouTube? And, couldn’t most of us change our internet passwords since “rockfish” is getting a little over used? Nevertheless, this January I decided to worry less about the resolutions of others and focus more on my own self-improvement goals. Here are my fifteen personal resolutions for 2015:
1. I resolve to stop showing my fishing partners Victoria’s Secret videos on my cell phone while they’re driving the truck and pulling the boat. Oops, never mind. Already broke that one.
2. I resolve never to regret a tattoo, not even one on my lower back from 1982 of Aunt Bee holding a bent Ugly Stick while reeling up a Jack Daniels bottle. Read More!