Left Sandy Point at 7:30 am this morning with my friend Dean and his brother Kevin. Idea was to troll up some Mackerel - catch Spot and live line for Rock. Nice calm sunny morning.
Ran south to the Severn and put over 4 rods - two #1 planers at 90 and 120 - two # 2 at 50 and 60 feet. Saw 8-9 boats in general area some trolling - some LTJ around diving birds. # 1 planer tripped but no fish - bummer. # 2 tripped - same thing - odd. Soon happened a 3rd time - WTF ?
4th time we reeled in to find Spanish had cut leader at black swivel - damn. Finally got one to stay hooked - Kevin reeled in a 18 incher. We circled and #2 planer got hit but instead of rod tip coming it - it bowed over and line was moving off reel. Slowed from 6 knots to about 3 - fish still pulling line. It was not snagged - we could see rod tip moving and line was not going out the same speed of boat - plus the fish moved about 90* across stern. Line was getting low when whatever it was came loose.
Kevin reeled in and we saw lure was gone - 30 lb leader or knot broke. No idea what it was - perhaps a Ray or Red Drum - even Cobia. Not likely a Rock as I have caught 35 inchers on this outfit with down planers before. Put new spoon on and checked other rods - found another spoon bite off at swivel. Shit. Going to rig a short piece of wire on either side for next trip.
We moved out to 30 feet and had close encounter with charter boat - we both trolled towards birds but they had planer boards out. No flags and barely visible - had to speed up to avoid them catching my lines.
Had a hit on a #1 - reeled in a piece of trash bag. Soon got a small Blue that crossed over and tangled up two rods - F&^K. Got rods back over and somehow a #1 got into a #2. I've trolled this spread for years - never had tangles like today. While slowing down - got a 22 inch Rock.
Took one # 1 out of spread - three rods and all was good. Stayed near mouth of Severn - and noticed a boat running towards us as we trolled south close to Tolly Point. We had been on this heading for about 10 minutes - GPS trail showing nice straight line. We watched as the 30 ish footer was closing in - Dean and Kevin waving their arms as I held down horn and prepared to gun engine and turn hard.
The boat - Devil Heels - finally slowed about 75 feet from our starboard stern - idled by - then got back up on plane. I'm convinced they did not see us - no reason to run that close to another boat.
I was shaking my head at weird luck - guess Friday 13th got me a week late. We got bite off again at swivel - but managed to put couple more Macks on ice. I had creviche in cooler - made with Macs caught Wednesday - I thought fish were biting off leaders as payback for eating their family. Got a 14 inch Bluefish - nice surprise.
We trolled north along the 30 foot line - staying east of a sailboat race. Picked up a couple more Macs and then pulled lines south of bridge. South breeze had picked up as we set anchor in 17 feet to get Spot. Had slow but steady bite - took about 30 minutes to get 25. Tried the bridge on west side - but out going current against south south east wind made it tough.
Took gamble and ran to east side - as wind shifted due south , we lost the lee on east side. Set up on some fish but they made fools of us by pulling Spot off hook. Dean finally stuck one - nice 31 incher. Hook came loose as Kevin netted it - I was hoping our bad luck was done.
Next fish was giving Dean trouble - pulling line off reel. Had to hold line but fish got away. We saw the drag was tight - braid was slipping on spool - mother F*^Ker. Tough way to lose what seemed to be a real nice summer Rock about 34. Dean had the touch - got another nice keeper. We put one more about 29 in box - three overs , not bad - considering everything.
It was about 3:30 so we called it a day. Idled slow and let the braid off the one reel - retying the arbor knot with few new feet of mono backing. Wound it back on nice and tight for next trip. Ran back at an easy 27 knots - head on a swivel after all the mishaps of the day.
Saw a barrel - 55 gallon drum 3/4 submerged - luckily dodging it by about 100 feet. Made it to dock and saw tide was very low - was extra careful near the slimy water line. Put boat on trailer and divided up the catch. Kevin was heading to Anglers for citation - he had a 24 inch Mack.
Ride home was not bad - I was still on edge it being Friday 13th a week late.