The last two weekends I fished out of Solomons, MD, hunting for all the great early fall fishing that comes this time of year.
The first weekend I fished the Honga River with a crew of three. With strong winds out of the north, we headed across the bay from Solomons, entering the Honga north of Hooperville. We found pockets of moderately clean water slightly protected from the wind, and in depths of 2′-3′ found a dozen striped bass as the tide went out. The fish were between 15″ and 21″, and happily ate our 1/4 oz jigs.
All fish were caught over grass beds, which were thick and healthy.
As the wind picked up, the water became dirty, and we ran across the bay back to the western shore in 3′ seas. At Drum Point, we found breaking fish, and caught a dozen more fish to 20″.
The following weekend, I went out with a coworker from the mid-west. The goal was to fish the lower Eastern Shore islands, looking for speckled seatrout, puppy drum, and striped bass, and also chasing breaking fish (hoping for big bull drum being caught around Cove Point).
We drove across the bay, seeing massive schools of large menhaden, but no breaking fish. We arrived at our island of choice, and noticed that there were boats all over. Hard to believe for such a remote spot, but there they were, anchored and fishing floats and baits on the bottom. I found a stretch of shoreline that had produced in the past, and we floated past it.
On my first cast with my fly rod, bang – a fish on. After that, we drifted and poled our way throughout this section of water, and found 15 – 20 striped bass and one puppy drum.
After fishing the first two hours of the falling tide, we left to hunt for breaking fish.
On the way, we spooked several large fish on the surface heading north in 25′ of water. They looked like large fish, and not stingrays – unusual in this area. Stopping the boat, we scanned the water, but they did not appear.
Arriving south of Solomons, we immediately were into breaking fish. We fished these breakers north for several miles, finding a massive school at Cove Point. The fish were on top and deep, and ate our sting silvers and flies with abandon.
By the end of the day, we had caught between 60-70 fish, including a weakfish, puppy drum, and a dozen bluefish. All striped bass were below the legal limit of 20″.
On the way in, we watched more large schools of menhaden splash and ripple in the fading light.
The next day, I joined a friend and his father to fish out of Kent Island. New to light tackle fishing, I provided a little guidance on where to go and how to fish, but being new to the area myself, I was a poor guide. We found one large perch in the shallows at Bloody Point, and then ran north along the eastern shore. As with the day before, we discovered breaking striped bass in the shallows, in the main channel of the bay, and under the bridge. They were all undersized (8″ to 15″) and we caught and released dozens over the course of the morning.
We were off the water by early afternoon, and I drove back to DC spent.