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Well we decided to try a new area this past weekend so we ran up to Cambridge.

At about 6:45am nearly high tide we launched the boat at Great Marsh Boat Ramp in Cambridge. The plan was to try to catch a few spot up by the rt. 50 bridge then see if there were any stripers around the fishing bridge to liveline for.

After about an hour of fishing we had about 10 spot from 4-6" in our makeshift livewell, not sure if we were doing it wrong or they just weren't there in force. We were using bloodworm in small pieces with just a tiny bit of the hook point sticking through as I've seen suggested on these forums. I think the tackle may have been a bit heavy for the little guys, I had better luck on the lightest action poles we had but I suspect the pole I use for crappie and bluegill with only 5 lb test line would have been much more effective.

We figured 10 spot was plenty since we've never livelined before anyway so we moved out of the shallower water towards the channel watching for marks on the fish finder. There really didn't seem to be a whole lot in the area other than bait so we decided to move on to our secondary target.

This target was Cook's Point Reef quite a trip with my boat's limited range but it's just within our range so we headed out on fairly flat water at a good clip. Surprisingly there were nearly no boats out on the water, I think we passed maybe 3 or 4 boats on the 13 mile trip. Along the way we passed a school of bait on the surface so we circled around to investigate, we tried our hands with the cast net with very limited success. In one throw we netted about a dozen menhaden, we figured these are food for the local fish so might as well try them for bait so in the livewell they went.

When we arrived at the coordinates for the wreck that I had acquired from the DNR website there was another boat sitting on it so we moved a little ways away and proceeded to drift. We basically drifted 4 times in the course of about 3 hours and in that time we caught one striper @ barely 18", 1 croaker @ 15.5" (so close to a citation), a dozen more croaker in the 11-13" range and 3 perch in the 9-10" range. We also had probably another 2 dozen croaker in the under 10" range, a few striper in the 8-12 inch range and a few times our liveline poles seemed to have hits but we never saw the fish at the boat and when the hook came up the spot was still alive and kicking.

It might not seem like a great day to the expert striper guys out there but it was the first keeper striper my boat has seen and our first try livelining had success so we were definitely happy. Several pounds of croaker going home for a fish fry later in the year is also a great bonus.

On another note, this is the second time I've seen bait on the surface and the first time I've been able to catch any to see what it was. Sunday was ridiculous you couldn't look in any direction without seeing a group of these fish splashing around on the surface but no seagulls around and when we would pass over them there didn't appear to be marks under them other than more of the same bait marks.

Now to figure out why my boat felt like it was running on 3 cylinders at the end of the day so we can do it again next weekend.

James
aka 1st Timer

edit: forgot pictures
 

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i cast net menhaeden for bait, they are better than spot but the die easily and the swim in circle and make a mess of your tackle. i fish them under slip bobbers & carolina rigs in the south river. last night i got 2 keepers in selby bay on soft crab and tonight i caught 1 keeper on a live menhaeden with a sliding weight. they are much easier to catch once you get good with a net
 
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