Launched at Sandy Point at 6 am with friends Dean , Mike and Mike's father Greg. Only about a dozen trailers on lot. Ran out on nice calm bay and headed SE towards Mattapeake but stayed on west edge. Slowed to trolling speed in 50 feet and set course SE towards # 87.
We put out six rods off each board - two wire line rigs off boat and two downriggers. Added one WWB off transom. Mix of parachutes from 2 to 8 ozs - mix of single and tandems. Shad colors were white , chartreuse , blue sparkle , blue /white , green glitter. I thought back to when getting 4-5 rods out was a slow start.
Once lines were out zig zagged along channel edge as slack water came at 7 am. Trolled into a tide line but luckily only hooked one stick. There was a lot of junk in the line - quickly got away from it.
7:30 saw some bait and circled it - hooked one 13 inch Menhaden. Swung back around and in channel got hit off planer. Nice fish that gave Greg a good fight. He got it to boat and since it hit the dropper ( short line ) of tandem - he could reel it right in.
Fish was right at boat and I put net under it. Fish got across net and rim knocked lure free - fish rolled off net and was gone. Looked about 42 -43 inches but was full of roe and we would have let it go. It hit a PSCR barbless lure - 6 oz white Spakin Striper with chartreuse shad.
Greg was good sport about fish getting away - I cringed knowing how tough bites have been and worried that would be only chance. Incoming current was moving as we trolled off Brick House bar area - more / less alone. I was surprised by so few boats.
We checked a few rigs - all were clean. Cloud cover made for nice day as gentle north breeze kept us cool. Worked across channel to 40 feet and back. Very little on meter - side scan showed some bait but not a lot.
We ate lunch as current slowed but it changed fast to a strong outgoing. Crossing into 50 feet on west side - wire rod got hit hard. Dean took the rod as fish took some drag. Slowed boat as fish ran - Mike turning boat slightly to keep fish straight behind boat. Fish came near - we could see it hit dropper lure - Spankin' Striper the late Gary calls ole Blue eyes. On my boat it is Blue eye - as one is missing. White 10 oz with white shad.
Dean did good job reeling fish in but just out of net range it took off. I held my breath hoping hook would stay in. All went well and soon fish was in net range and quickly scooped up. Very nice 40 -41 inch male - one reason it fought so well.
Amazing how one fish can change a trip - we rest line and worked the area for about two more hours but no more hits. Reeled lines in about 4:00 and ran back to ramp. Dean , Mike and Greg divided the fish - really nice fillets from it. Quick check confirmed it was big male - not spawned out female. Few friends were out and reported nothing or 32-34 inch throw backs.