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I did my first spring trolling in several years yesterday (Saturday, 4/30). My brother was in a neighborhood striper "contest" and invited me on his boat (he possesses neither fishing rods nor knowledge of fishing, so I was the closest thing to a ringer he could find :))). It was not an ideal set-up, but workable. He has a slow, lumbering trawler that limits our range out of the Severn, but it doesn't quite lumber slowly enough for ideal spring trolling speed (I prefer 2kts, we could only get his boat down to 2.6 kts).

Short story, no strikes.

Long story, the DF was lit up with bait and larger marks in the 40-50 foot zone between the Severn and TPL. In several places, the fish were so thick that the DF gave false depth readings. One place, in particular, gave us five solid minutes of continuous "Christmas tree" plumes of combined bait and large marks, complete with oil sheen on the surface and a distinct fish smell on the breeze. I was sure we would get a strike, but nada. Still, that was good to see and makes me optimistic about how the season might progress later this spring.

We could only run two rods, one with an 8-oz tandem 150-feet back, and one green spoon umbrella with a large, green tsunami shad with an additional 3-z weigh back 200-feet. I later learned that the latter lure was fouled with sea squirts -- must have dragged the bottom as we let it out too quickly while setting lines. Lesson: check your lures frequently. I also don't think that these rigs got us deep enough yesterday, aside from when I let that one lure hit the bottom. Most of the big marks were from the bottom to about 20-feet.

Later last eve, I learned that some folks did catch where we were, although the fish were mostly in the 28"-32" class. Our lures were probably a bit on the large side for those. Next weekend if I can get out on the Grady, I may replace the large shad on the spoon umbrella with a 9/0 or 7/0 green CA, a combo that has worked well in past late-spring and early summer trolling patterns. I'll probably switch to 9/0 CAs and dive planers on other lines. I'll also have some jigging rods rigged in case I run into another feeding situation like we saw yesterday. Too often this time of year, we commit full-in to trolling when that may not always be the most effective method.

I haven't submitted a report on here in a while, so this is the best I can do for now. Hope it's useful to someone!
 

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Good report and time we'll spent with your Brother. What is not working is just as useful as what is working........ Gary
 

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Nice report, been there , done that with the FF. I tell my friend the makers of FF put a chip in there to record fish just to show the customer it works, LOL. I've caught fish with no reading and got skunked when the FF was lit up.
 

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Goose; you were in good company yesterday. I have been successful on all my Trophy season trips this year; until yesterday. I dropped lines around 7:30am. Proceeded to hook up a nice fish, only to lose it on the way in. No big deal, I'll catch another:)
That was the last strike I had all day. And, when I say all day, I mean all day.
We picked up lines about 2:30 and as we were coming back into the creek, the sun came out and gave us hope for an afternoon bite. I fueled the boat and we went BACK OUT and still didn't pull anything from Neptune's grasp.

If I was only pulling two rods, I wouldn't have been so frustrated. As long as you had a good time with your brother, you did just fine.

Now; please let's just keep it between you and me that I got skunked yesterday:thumb up:
5th
 
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