Bay Bride Tunnel, fly and light tackle - 12/14
Looks like the year isn’t over for me yet. Got a call from Brandon White early Sunday asking me to fish with him at the CBBT on Monday morning. As Chief Angler of Tidalfish.com and Lateral Line, Inc., it’s hard to imagine an angler who’s more dialed into what the fish are doing on the Chesapeake Bay than him, so when he says the bite is on, it’s on. Turns out he was filming a show for the Sportsman Channel and wanted to get some pre-fishing in before the hosts arrived on Tuesday.
I met him in Easton and we headed down to Cape Charles, VA where he had rented a condo in an upscale, gated community. While the rest of the world was camping in tents or sleeping in run-down motels, we were living it up in a beautiful condo facing the fairway of a golf course.
Monday morning was foggy with no wind and temps in the 50s - a total gift from the fishing gods in December. We motored out slowly and eventually the fog burned off and we were heading south in a 23’ Jones Brothers Light Tackle Edition center console .
The plan was to head south into the ocean since the conditions were so nice, On our way down we jigged a few of the pilings near the 4th Island and Brandon had a 20-something inch fish after a few casts.
Now that the skunk was off we blasted south and motored around the Chesapeake Light Tower looking for fish. Gannets were diving all over the place but they were very scattered, not working one specific area. We stuck with the plan and covered a lot of water over the next 4 hours but eventually headed back into the bridge to work the structure there.
We caught fish to @30” on flies and light tackle until dark. It wasn’t hot and heavy fish on every cast fishing, but it was pretty great. The fish were strong and healthy and fresh from the Atlantic with sea lice on them. I lost a few fish that snapped my 15lb tippet like nothing. Lesson learned from this trip: 30lb straight mono leader to fly line + palomer knot = fish in the boat. Anything else is a chance you don't need to take.
Throughout the day we ran into members of the Tidalfish community – Jumbo1, Chris Newsome, Walleye Pete, Wild Bill, and Ritchie Gaines. It was great putting faces to names and seeing everyone catch fish.
As it started to get dark we headed towards Virginia Beach to try the light line in the small boat channel. We marked plenty of fish on the finder but they just weren’t feeding yet so we decided to head in after a long day. We had quite a ride ahead of us to get back to the boat ramp.
For light tackle jigging we used ¾ to 1oz TidalFish lures. The butterbean shape of the jig head allowed them to sink much faster than other bucktails and plastics combinations. It looked like everyone was throwing plastics, and in heavily fished areas, I think it helps to throw something a little different sometimes. These lures are also finished with big eyes and a lot of flash in the tail like flies and I think that makes a big difference. All hypothesizing aside, the lures caught fish and they are just great for vertical jigging when you want to get your offering deep quickly.
The hot fly was Brandon's blanco fly.
I can’t believe the ride of that Jones Brothers. Brandon’s old 21’ Parker was a sweet ride but it honestly didn’t compare to the Jones Brothers. Even thought we were in 8’ swells at one point, there was never a point that I felt uncomfortable and while we were motoring between spots it sliced through the chop effortlessly. The best way to describe the ride is that after a full 12 hours on the boat and covering the amount of water that we did, I wasn’t at all sore the next day.
Pics to come - Brandon took most of the pics while I fished.
Last edited by Brandon; 12-18-2009 at 12:08 AM.
Reason: typo I caught
A little more detail?
How about a little more info for the fly guys, if you would?
Were you fishing heavy sinking lines?
Big, heavily weighted flies to get deep? How deep were you finding the fish?
Casting upcurrent and getting a s much sink as possible (I assume)?
Not looking for secret spots or technique. Just general info.
happy to share more info.
i used a rio 300grain Striper 26ft DC line on a st croix legend elite 8wt.
i used brandon's blanco fly primarily, which is mainly a clouser with big eyes and synthetic material, not sure what exactly. it definitelty sinks quickly. the color pattern, if you haven't guessed, was mostly white with a good deal of dark (olive/black, i think) colored flash on top.
brandon would hold the boat down current and i would cast up and across to get a little tension in the line while i retrieved it.
the best advice i can give is to look at you fishfinder to see if the fish are there. some piles would be bare, on others the fish would be stacked up like crazy.
Very nice. I bet that boat is something else.
You guys had a good day. But did you see Capt. Jake's report on the va and chesapeake board? Looks like he hit the mother load of birds and big stripers rolling on top yesterday near Cape Henry. Sounds like it's about as good as it gets down there and this pattern should continue for at least a month. Especially if you're willing to run to the tower to do a little C&R. Plenty of big blues out there too normally. Now all I have to do is find a boat or a crew and plan a trip.
I see where you are going with this Gregg. When are we going down?
Originally Posted by GScott
yeah, let's go. i'm itching to get back and have tons of annual leave to use before the end of the year.
nice fish, chris! your panga looked like a nice ride for those conditions. do you think the bite will last throught the next 2-3 weeks? pmail me if you have any open dates.
The bite should only get better during the next 3wks. After that it's hard to say, depends on how cold the water gets. I have Jan 1, 11-15 open. I don't always check the internet, so give me an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org if you need me.