phil29In my last fishing report I whined that I ran all over the mid-Bay last weekend, but could only find baitfish that was either too big or too small.  Today, I feel like I’m telling a “Goldilocks” story by reporting that I’ve found some bait that is JUST RIGHT.  Better yet, it’s very close to home.  I’ve only had a few hours on the water in the evenings this week, but the fishing has been very good.  Migratory fish are in the area and it’s just a matter of time before we get trophy-class striped bass in the Chesapeake Bay.

Tuesday evening, I met my friend Jamie at a ramp on Kent Island.  He arrived before me, and made use of his time by talking to101309jamiebait a  fisherman who was coming back off the water with some nice fish.  Armed with that information, we pointed Crockett’s Reel off in the opposite direction from where we had originally planned, and popped right in on the fish within a mile of the ramp.  We both hooked up with keepers on our first cast. It was very windy with gusts up to 25 knots, but fortunately the area we were fishing was relatively sheltered from the strong northwest wind.  Later, we moved up into some shallow, sheltered inlets where we found some stripers chasing peanut bunker from the creek beds up onto shallow flats.  It was a lot of fun watching the fish blow-up on the bait and our topwater lures.  Sometimes, we could see them coming with their backs out of the skinny water as they chased after our plugs.  Once I actually had to duck down in the boat to keep a fish from seeing me as it charged after my lure.  Despite the conditions, it was a fun evening.

101309jamiefishThis afternoon, my friend Phil from Wye Mills launched his Parker out of Matapeake and picked me me at the dock om front of Hemingway’s Restaurant on Kent Island.  We started at the Bay Bridge then ran around a little, finally finding some quality fish within sight of where we started.  I have to give props to my buddy Paul “Skipperwork” for calling us in on the fish tonight.  He was fishing with our mutual friends Dave and Francis and banging some big fish.  Jamie and I had just been discussing those guys along with a few others the night before.  Young guns of light tackle and the next generation of Bay fishermen, they’re lighting up the jigging ledges and they’re  only going to get better.   After a few minutes, Andy showed up in is boat with a fishing partner. Andy is another all-star light tackle guy who is frequently “on the fish.”  He was both jigging and casting a fly rod.

I joked that I was gonna file a report about how I taught all these guys how to fish, but the truth is, they were the ones doing the teaching because every one of them fished circles around me tonight.  We fished in a tight area so we could talk and34 inch laugh as we jigged. They got several thirty-inch-plus fish, while my biggest was 29.5″.  Dave made sure I knew that he caught a 34 incher from practically beneath our boat.  Every time I looked up, Paul and Francis were hooked up, and I could hear Andy’s drag singing from a hundred yards away.

francis30Phil is also an excellent fisherman, and he did his part to destroy whatever was left of my ego by landing about four fish to my one.  I went for one period of about twenty minutes without a bite while all six of the guys around me repeatedly landed big fish.  At times, everyone was hooked up but me!  I’ve fished enough to know that the sun doesn’t shine on the same dog’s hind-end every day, but it certainly wasn’t on mine tonight.  Subtle differences matter in light tackle fishing, and for whatever reason – maybe lures, maybe presentation –  the fish didn’t take my offerings. Unfortunately, I also forgot my camera so I could only get were blurry cell phone pics.  Hopefully they’ll at least show the quality of the fish we were catching.

Water temperatures dropped a little over the past couple of days to 64 degrees.  We had a ripping outgoing Tuesday 101409phillevening, but fished through the end of the incoming into the outgoing tide tonight.  Mark this down as the beginning of the next level in fall fishing.  While I’ll still fish the bridge from time to time, the better fish will be schooling up and chasing bait in open areas of the main stem of the Bay, or in areas like Eastern Bay.  Waves of quality migratory fish are moving into the Chesapeake from both the north and south as they feed up on peanut bunker for the winter.  It’s sure to be a great fall.

Related posts:

Bridges & Breakers

Posted Wednesday, October 14th, 2009 at 9:51 pm
Filed Under Category: Fishing Reports
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Responses to “Found the Peanuts – and more!”

  1. Kevin says:

    Shawn,

    Thanks for the weather update yesterday. Unfortunately I never made it out. Looks like you all had a great day and eventually the pupil does out do the teacher on occasion.

    I commend you for helping others to hone their skills. When I began fishing the bridge over 30 years ago it was everyman for himself.

    Thanks for the report!

  2. Daniel says:

    ok ok…I’m coming soon.

  3. Don Richitt says:

    Shawn – Once again, thanks for taking the time to post these reports. I can’t wait for this slow moving system to exit our area and get back out there. That must have been a blast fishing that night with Dave, Francis & Paul. See you on the 20th…Don

  4. Shawn says:

    Thanks Kevin & Don. Daniel, good thing you weren’t here this past weekend. Rough weather and boat problems.

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