p6280006The period around the Independence Day holiday is typically pretty tough fishing.  There’s a lot more boats on the Bay than usual, and the fish lay low until things simmer down.  I got out twice this past week.  My first evening was spent with a friend from the TidalFish board, Mark.  I knew Mark to be a good fisherman from what others have told me, and I’ve been looking for an opportunity to get out with him to show him what I know of jigging around the Bay Bridge.  He has previously tried jigging, but had more success by live-lining or trolling. We finally got the chance to go this week.  

We found  good outgoing current in the evening after 6:00 PM and started on the eastern bridge pilings, just like always.  I have a few columns there which I refer to as “indicator pilings” because they often clue me in to where the fish are most likely to be.  If I get bites on the shallow side of the piling, I’m more likely to head east and work for fish holding closer to the bottom.  But, if I find fish on the deep side, I go after the suspended bite.  This year the chances of getting a bigger fish have been better on the deeper columns.

After fishing the first two pilings all indications were that the fish would be suspended.  We headedp6300003 west after hot-rodding some 6″ Mann’s Hardnose lures and adjusting the weight of our jig heads so they would move as horizontally as possible through the current, but still allow us to feel the crossbars and other structure around the pilings.   We got a couple of short fish, just keepers but not very big, then Mark hooked up a 28 incher using the “do nothing” method I describe in the Articles & Techniques section (look for it in the tag cloud).  We continued to work west from piling to piling finding a fish or two wherever we stopped.  There were also a few fish on the rock piles.  Most of our fish were at least keepers, but Mark’s 28 incher turned out to be the big one for the day.

Thursday evening, I fished with my friends James & Michael again.  You may remember them from earlier reports.  Michael owns a technology company called Synergy Interactive and James works in the same business.  They specialize in creating websites and working as technology partners for associations and institutions all over the region.  I’m very fortunate to have friends with those skills.  James has helped me with the new design of Chesapeake Light Tackle.  We launched into Eastern Bay at Shipping Creek and ran south.  Unfortunately, there were no fish to be found at any of the usual spots.  Hoping to save the evening, I decided to head back north to the bridge.  There was a lot of boat traffic and fishing was tough.  We spent our first 30 minutes towing in a mother and her daughter who had broken down about a mile off the Matapeake Pier which left us less than an hour of daylight.  We found a few fish, but really didn’t give it a fair shake.  p7010001

For the remainder of the holiday weekend I’ve done more boating than fishing.  My wife and I launched into the Honga River Friday, and made the 90 minute run down through the Hooper Straights into the Tangier Sound to the secluded fishing community of Smith Island.  Smith Island is the only inhabited island in Maryland that is accessible only by boat. We were successful in our quest to avoid the holiday crowds.  There was hardly another soul in town.  We entertained ourselves by checking out the crabbing and fishing shanties and watching Crockett explore all the new sites and scents.  Hopefully our part of the Chesapeake will settle down this coming week and I can get in some more serious fishing. p7030054

Related posts:

Independence Day Weekend
A Week In July
Oktoberfest!
Light Tackle University Open for Summer School
String Music

Posted Sunday, July 5th, 2009 at 1:11 pm
Filed Under Category: Fishing Reports
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