A couple weeks ago, with what looked like decent weather, my dad and I fished the Eastern Shore of the middle Chesapeake for striped bass. From late April to early June, there is good fishing to be had around the islands, rivers, and creeks off the Honga River, Little Choptank, and Choptank Rivers.
The weather forecast was a bit off, and what was supposed to be a 5 kt wind out of the south turned into a 15 knot wind out of the south. With seas building, we tucked into an area that has heavy structure: Stump fields, concrete debris, and grass flats. While the traditional haunts didn’t yield much, we eventually found clean water, and started catching fish every cast.
The fish were in the 14″ to 21″ range, and were all healthy and feisty. The water was crystal clear, and about 7 feet deep. I used large Clouser minnows (the only fly you need for striped bass) and my dad used 4″ bass assassins on 1/4 oz jig heads.
One embarrassing aside: I would have preferred to anchor instead of drift these fishy areas, but earlier in the day used my shallow water anchor in an area of heavy current, snagging a stump. I thought I could pull the boat up to the anchor to free it, but the current was far too strong, and before I knew it, I was fighting to keep the last 6 inches of line in my hands as the current pulled the boat away. With the boat motor off, I didn’t have a prayer, and soon that last little bit of line pulled from my hands. Lesson learned…use longer anchor lines next time.