chester river

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If there is ever a season when it’s necessary to pull out all the stops in order to catch nice striped bass in the Chesapeake Bay, it’s late summer.  There are plenty of small fish to be caught, but getting the bigger ones takes a lot more effort. In my presentations this year, I’ve advised fishermen to take what they know about the five reasons why striped bass bite – hunger, reaction, competition, territory, and curiosity – then consider the five senses fish employ when feeding – sight, smell, sound, feel and taste – and fashion their fishing techniques to maximize their chances. In other words, 5 X 5 = success.

When fish are hungry and feeding aggressively, they’re easy to catch. Fishermen who are lucky enough to find a school of hunger feeding fish blitzing beneath screaming birds are certain to be successful, no matter what kind of lures they use. Unfortunately, it’s not easy to find bigger fish feeding on the surface this time of year. I’m very envious of the few fishermen I know who have the time and money to chase blitzing rockfish all up and down the East Coast. Since most of us have to go fishing close to home in the limited time we have available, we have to look diligently for the few good stripers that might be around.  When we’re lucky enough to find them, we usually have to work hard to convince them to take our lures. Sometimes, they just don’t want to bite. Read More!


On the margin of the river,
Washing up its silver spray,
We will talk and worship ever,
All the happy golden day.  –
from Shall we Gather at the River, Robert Lowery, 1864

With Stevensville church bells ringing in the distance, we pulled into the parking lot at the Kent Narrows boat ramp about 11:00 AM.  I always feel a little bad about fishing on Sunday mornings.  My father was a Church of Christ minister who preached for a small Appalachian congregation in the Clinch mountain highlands near Sneedville, Tennessee.  Needless to say, when I was a kid we went to church every time the doors opened.  Dad was also one of the best bass fishermen in the Southeast.  When the bass pros came to fish the big tournaments, he was the first person they contacted.  People said he was a fisher of fish and a fisher of men.  It wasn’t unusual to see him fishing in a suit and tie before or after church services, but we never missed church.

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