Fishing Report: Middle Chesapeake Bay

I enjoy fishing without other people around.  I think most people do.

Because of this, I will happily burn fuel to get far away from the pack, often as not taking me across the bay to the Eastern shore of Maryland.  Sometimes, however, that doesn’t work out.  A few weeks ago, I had that kind of day with my two cousins, Mitch and Luke.

Mitch and Luke are fishy.  They know where fish are likely to be, how to present a lure, how to move around a boat when it’s pitching in 3 foot seas.  The latter came in handy when, instead of a calm 5-10 knot wind, we had 20 knot winds with gusts to 25 knots bearing down on the mouth of the Patuxent River.  This dashed my hopes of running to the Eastern Shore of Maryland, forcing us to pop around the various fishy locations in the river.

We did poorly, but managed a dozen or so stripers and a single fat perch in a half day of fishing.  I’ll hope to have these guys out another day when the conditions are better.

After a quick vacation to and from France, I had a shot at redemption, this time taking a coworker who was in the US on an extended work detail.  He had never fished before with lures and rod and reel, nor been on a boat.  And, as in my trip a few weeks earlier, the conditions were not as advertised:  5-10 knot winds were 15 knots with gusts to 20. After catching a few small fish in the river, I made my colleague put on a life vest, and we braved the conditions, running across to the Eastern Shore.

A small fish from Cedar Point.
My colleague was able to use my free Yeti hat and Costas, and enjoyed being able to see the grass flats, and all of the small fish, stingrays, and crabs that live there.

Once there, we tucked in behind a few of the islands out of the wind, and found some halfway clean water to anchor near.  On my first cast, success!  A nice speckled seatrout!

We followed that routine, moving along the leeward side of the islands on the falling tide, casting over abundant grass flats.  We did OK catching around 15 striped bass, with most in the 18-20″ range.  My colleague had a blast, with his first fish leaving him laughing and smiling, and for the rest of the day, I barely had time to get the boat into position before he was casting.

With water temperatures in the 2′-3′ deep flats around 75 degrees, and healthy grass throughout these areas, I think the Eastern Shore will fish well for the rest of June.  I’m excited to get back over there soon, and find some larger speckled trout.



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