p9080005Lately I’ve been walking around with a big smile on my face humming Bob Seger songs. Fifteen knot sustained northeast winds with rainy, overcast skies since Saturday are enough to keep most people off the Bay.  If they only knew what they’re missing.  A low pressure system stalled off the Atlantic Coast is churning up the waves and driving them into the Chesapeake Bay.  Last weekend’s full moon pushed even more water into the area.  The end result is that there are coastal flood warnings posted for Annapolis, Baltimore, and all along the western shore.  The other result is that the fish are going nuts!  ♣  I’ve been hanging out the last couple of evenings at my very favorite fishing spot on the Bay.  The William Preston Lane Jr Memorial aka, Bay Bridge.  The fish are hanging out there too.  The northeast wind is pushing directly against the strong incoming so the net is that a boat can stay almost stationary at any given location.  There’s a little bouncing to put up with, but it creates the optimum situation for fishing the pilings and underwater structure near the bridge.

Generally speaking, light tackle fishing is best at the bridge when currents are strongest.  Live-liners might disagree with that againstwindbecause a strong flow makes it hard for them to keep their bait down deep in the strike zone, but there’s no doubt that it makes the fish feed aggressively.  I’ve been casting primarily to the shallower pilings, then moving up to underwater cover just before dark to throw a top-water plug.  I’m using the stealth techniques I describe in my CLT article on fishing the Bay Bridge, always positioning the boat so that I’m casting into the current. The object is to get the lure to bounce along downstream just like a crawdad crankbait in a mountain stream. Even though I’ve only had a couple of hours to fish, I caught very nice rockfish both evenings, some of the best fishing we’ve seen at the bridge since last Spring.

Last night there were only two other boats in sight.  One of them was a couple of commercial hook & line guys from Kent Island.  They were anchored up live-lining on one of the pilings while I worked the area around them with a jig.  I was careful not to get in the way of them doing their job, but I was close enough to see them put about twenty nice fish in their ice box.  Even though I was getting a fish about every ten minutes, they were obviously out-fishing me.  I saw them catch three or four thirty inch class fish while I only had one.

p9080004Tonight it was a different story.  There were no other boats fishing, and the stripers were slurping up everything I threw at them. I fished the same six or eight pilings that I worked the night before, this time with even better results.  I found myself wishing the hook & liners were back out there so I could show them I could keep up with a jig in the right situation.  Of course, I didn’t have to spend several hours ahead of time catching bait.  As my old fishing buddy Curt used to say, “The sun don’t shine on the same dog’s ass all the time.”  Even though there was a light mist falling, the sun was definitely shining on Crockett’s Reel tonight!

p90700032I got a couple of nice top-water fish tonight too, both well after sunset on a full-size Stillwater Smackit.  The best part of it all is that the forecast is the same for the remainder of the week.   So, as the song goes, those drifters days are past me now, well at least for a little while.  If you happen to drive over the William Preston Lane Jr Memorial Bridge, that Bob Seger song you hear might not be coming from your car radio.  Give your horn a tap when you look down and see Crockett’s Reel.  I’ll have a fishing rod in my hand while I’m riding the strong current, against the wind.

Posted Tuesday, September 8th, 2009 at 10:41 pm
Filed Under Category: Fishing Reports
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Responses to “Running Against the Wind”

  1. Paul B. says:

    Shawn, I’ve been curious about storms and good fishing. Do you think the storms push fish into an area or is it that the barometric pressure tells them its time to eat?

  2. Shawn says:

    I think it’s the falling barometric pressure coupled with overcast skies. Also, bad weather keeps the crowds down at the bridge. Amazing how much difference that makes.

  3. Tom Hughes says:

    Shawn: Thanks for the enjoyable fishing report and the pictures….nice looking fish. 🙂

  4. Kevin says:

    Nice job! It’s always been my preference to have wind against tide, it really makes it easier to hold the boat around the pilings. I don’t fish as much these days in rough weather but you’re right, it turns them on.

    Thanks for the report, that area has been hot lately.

  5. Clancy says:

    Shawn –

    Sorry for the late post. Evans and a buddy of mine had themselves quite a morning on the 11th. One other boat around. I still haven’t found a topwater groove yet.

    BTW, the website upgrades look great!! Thanks for sharing.

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