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Fishing Reports

Late October rewards Kent Island for the misery of August. While just breathing outside is a difficult task in the humid summer months, come October, cool breezes blow across the Chesapeake Bay through the lush green ferns that drip from the wrought iron balconies of the antebellum plantations near Romancoke at the far southern tip of the Island. I knew I would love the Land of Pleasant Living in October.

I drove down Route 18 past the Romancoke Fire Station before turning between two ancient brick pillars down a long, oak-lined gravel driveway. I got out of my car and walked up to the porch of the antebellum stone mansion. I heard about this place from a friend. “They don’t advertise,” he said, “you just have to know about it. It’s one of the nicest Bed & Breakfast Inns on the East Coast.” I was tired because I had made the long drive from Tennessee early that morning. I was considering relocating to the Mid-Atlantic, so I had spent most of the day looking for a place to live.

I stood beneath the ferns and looked up toward the slate-shingled roof. Something caught my eye up there, perhaps the quick movement of a bird. A dark feather spiraled toward me. Once it hit the ground, I leaned over to examine it – a pigeon maybe? No, it was more likely from the wing of a crow or a blackbird. I made my on way up to the front door of the house. Read More!

Fishing Reports

I awoke that rainy morning to the rumbles of thunder. From my upstairs bedroom on Kent Island, I could hear the long low blasts of foghorns as big ships passed beneath the Chesapeake Bay Bridge. They sounded eerily closer than usual this morning at 4:00 AM. I listened to the ships until it was apparent that I wouldn’t go back to sleep. I haven’t been fishing as much as I like to. My only opportunities have been in the early mornings before work, and often in less than optimum conditions.

This morning, despite the dreadful weather, I decided to make the best of the time I had available. I call my boat Thunder Road. The name is homage to the 1950’s song and movie by Robert Mitchum, but also because the Eastern Shore-built Judge 27CC is well suited to difficult weather conditions just like this mornings. I grabbed my phone, put on some rain gear, and backed the boat out of the driveway.

It was pitch black when I arrived at the Matapeake boat ramp. Oddly, the lights were out on the pier. It wasn’t windy, and a dense fog had set in. I launched into the dark water and idled slowly toward the mouth of the inlet without the lights of my sonar or GPS so I wouldn’t destroy what little night vision I had. The fog was so thick I could barely see past the front of my boat. I wiped my glasses and breathed a sigh of relief as I slipped between the end of the wooden pilings and the rock jetty. I was surprised to look up and see the shadow of a lone figure standing at the end of the pier. Another hardcore fisherman I thought, but then I noticed he didn’t have a fishing rod. My wave wasn’t returned as I continued out into the murky open waters of the Chesapeake. There was a cold chill in the air, so I pulled up my hood and swung the bow north into a strong outgoing tide.

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