Doug, Tim, and I were excited as we left Catonsville, MD to go striper fishing with light spinning tackle. We discussed our strategy on where the fish might be located as we headed down Rt. 97 heading to Sandy Point State Park.
The current and wind were both heading south, keeping the waves under 1 foot when we hit the water. Knowing we could move freely in the Bay, we started searched on the western shore before moving across the Bay. There were plenty of baitfish just outside the tributaries, but no rockfish showed up on the sonar unit. Tim wanted to check out a particular shallow water location behind Poplar Island. This location had plenty of grass and structure. It appeared to have all the makings for an early morning-late afternoon topwater bite and that it might hold some speckled trout if they move up the Bay. We moved in very slowly for 2 reasons; to keep the noise down, and the water was very skinny.
Timbo Does it Again
We then looked on the channel breaks from south of Poplar Island to R”84”. We only spotted a few small schools of rain minnows with no stripers feeding on them. We then crossed back over the Bay. The water temperatures were between 76 to 79 degrees. The majority of baitfish showed up on the western wide.
Doug put us on some nice stripers ranging from 24 to 28 inches. They were caught on 6” Bass Kandy Delight soft plastic lures rigged on 3/4-ounce jigheads. The lure had to hit the bottom before the stripers would take it. The most productive technique was casting the lure out, then jigging back to the boat the bottom. Two fish were caught on a 2-ounce butterfly jig in chartreuse, red and white. The water fished was 25 feet deep.
Fishing Tip: Don’t count on birds to show you ‘where the fish are’. Before leaving the dock mark some good structures such as, points, ledges, false channels, etc. on your chart. After launching start running toward one of these structures and if you see birds work them. If not you can still have a productive day fishing structures without the help of birds.
Thanks Doug Schopman for a memorable fishing trip on the Chesapeake Bay.
Note: I will be giving a seminar this Tue, 6/19/12, from 7:30pm to 9:00pm, MSSA, Essex/Middle River Chapter titled Catching Rockfish Without Birds.