lookawaybiggunDue to work and other obligations I’ve only fished twice this week, both early morning trips to the Bay Bridge.  Monday morning I fished with Mark on his boat.  We got to the bridge about 6:45 AM and fished the early incoming current.  I popped a few mid-20 inch fish pretty quick, then Mark hooked-up with one that was probably over 30, but it came off.  It can be tough to land big fish around the bridge because we’re fishing in depths that are often less than 10′.  The fish have nowhere to go but out, and they often wrap up in the pilings.  We messed around with some decent-sized bluefish while we waited out the slack tide, but could only land another fish or two on the first hour of the outgoing tide.  We saw a couple of hook & line professional fishermen using bait who were not catching fish, so I felt pretty good about our morning even though it was a tough bite. Mark caught a twenty-three incher on the proverbial “one last cast,” and I held him to his commitment.  We left on that high point just after 9:00 AM. 

I got out for about 90 minutes at daybreak yesterday morning and found a little better bite.  I hooked a 28 inch fish on my first P9300008cast, then had a steady pick of nice fish in a strong incoming tide.  My biggest topped out at 33 inches.  All the fish were caught on a 6 inch chartreuse Mann’s Hard Head lure with the tail hotrodded with red dye.  When the current was strong I used one ounce jig heads, but moved down quicky to three-quarter ounce as soon as I could feel the bottom with them.  I’m still working the shallower pilings and finding the fish very tight against the concrete.

I also need to report on a night trip I made last Saturday.  My football team wasn’t playing well, so I hooked up the boat and headed toward the Mattapeake ramp about 10:00 PM.  I found the ramp and pier very crowded.  The weather was good and lots of people were fishing.  After waiting about thirty minutes while some inexperienced guys got their boat in the water, I finally made it to the bridge about 11:00 PM.  Night-fishing definitely makes piling fishing more challenging.  Even though I had good light with a full harvest moon, it was still tough to see where my lure was landing.

The fish were biting, but I only had one really good fish on.  My guess is it would’ve gone about 30 incbridgeworkhes but I came off the hook right beside the boat.  I watched it swim away in the moonlit water, but I wish I could’ve got a picture to show.  There were plenty of keeper size fish. The bridge is beautiful at night.  There is some construction going on, and one of the workers was using a cutting torch which created a shower of orange sparks that looked like fireworks trailing down to the water.  I stayed out until about 1:00 AM, then decided to call it a night.

Water temperatures around the bridge have dropped to the mid 60s.  I’ve been catching a few fish with sea lice which is a signal that migratory fish are entering from the Atlantic Ocean.  My guess is that a few fish are coming in through the Chesapeake & Delaware Canal.  The weather has been a little more unsettled this week.  Fishing can be either very good, or extremely mediocre. The pattern is sort of like spring fishing in reverse.  Whenever we have a few days of cool weather, we get a good slug of fish.   At least for the next couple of months, I’ll be looking forward to cold fronts! P9300036

Posted Thursday, October 8th, 2009 at 11:20 pm
Filed Under Category: Fishing Reports
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Responses to “Night & Day”

  1. Dave C. says:

    Hey Shawn.

    I take it that most of your jigging is in 10-15ft along the bridge pilings? Are you drifting by the pilings, seeing fish on your fish finder then shutting off your engine, casting at a 45 into the current with a 3/4 to 1 oz jig head? Are you finding the eastern side of the bridge or the western side to be more productive? I think I have been fishing too deep because I can’t feel the jig hit the bottom. I’m sure it never even gets to the bottom. Thanks for your input and ohh by the way how is that fence holding up?

    • Shawn says:

      Nice to hear from you, Dave. We’re very happy with the fence! I usually don’t see fish on the finder around the pilings. Either they hold very tight so they don’t show up, or they come and go.

      Instead of drifting through, I ease up on the down-current side, swing the boat, kill the engine, then cast into the current. That’s to keep from spooking the bigger fish. The fish move around on the bridge, and some spots get hot while others cool off, but right now you’re correct that I’m working shallower. I usually start on the Kent Island side just because it’s closer. With this west wind we’ve been getting it sometimes makes more sense to start on the west side where it’s more sheltered. Hope that answers your questions.

  2. RogerT says:

    Cool night shot of the bridge I have yet to get a decent one with my camera.
    Night fishing at the bridge is challenging ,like you said its tough to see where the jig lands.

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