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Fishing Guide Chesapeake Bay

fly fishing - light tackle fishing - sport fishing - charterboat fishing

Blog posts : "Sport Fishing"

Catching Fall Stripers Using Light Tackle & Fly Fishing

Steps to Catching Striped Bass in the Fall
on Light Tackle or Fly Fishing Equipment

Michael Dalgaard, from Denmark, and I enjoyed fishing with light tackle and fly fishing equipment on the Middle Chesapeake Bay. The weather was fair with 2 to 3 foot seas rolling when we left the western shore. We crossed the Bay and got out of the wind, enough to light tackle fish. I was looking for and found some large working birds.

1st Step in Fall Fishing - Find the Largest Working Birds
 
2nd Step - Make Sure You're on Fish

3rd Step - Light Tackle Fishing - Use the Correct Lure -
ZMan 5" Scented Jerk ShadZ - 1/2oz BKD White Jig Head
Most Productive Light Tackle Technique
 
Jig-Jig, Crank

This is a 2-step technique where you jig the bottom first then move the lure off the bottom and up through the water columns in a jigging action. It’s highly productive on striped bass that are on the bottom or when suspended. Accomplish this technique by snapping the wrist rather than moving the rod by using just the arm.
 
NOTE: The boat will be drifting down current with the motor off only if you are not in a dangerous location (like the Bay Bridge).
 
1st Step-Jigging the Bottom
From the up current side of the boat, cast the lure out, put the rod at 9 o’clock and let the lure hit the bottom. Swiftly snap the rod to the 10 o’clock position, lifting the lure off the bottom swiftly. When the line starts to descend again move the rod tip downward in sync with the line until the lure hits the bottom again. Do this 3 times.
 
2nd Step-Jigging the Water Columns
The lure is still in the water after completing the 1st Step and on the bottom. Swiftly jig the lure twice (Jig-Jig) then crank on the reel handle once (Crank) taking the slack out of the line. Do this swiftly until you get a hook-up or the lure is back to the boat.

4th Step - Fly Fishing - Use the Correct Fly -
5" Half & Half/Chart & White - Count the Fly Down
until it is in Front of the Striper (here was 27 count)

Most Productive Fly Fishing Technique

Fly Fishing

Move the Fly with Short & Swift Strips - Cast a weighted fly and count down to the desired depth (in front of the fish). With 350 grain sinking line and a 9w rod with a weighted fly, it will sink one-foot per second. The fluorocarbon leader should be 20 pound test, 4 feet long.
 
Start stripping the fly swiftly (no hesitation between strips), with the rod tip just above the water, pointing directly at the fly, in two-foot increments. Do this until the fly is back at the boat. 
 
NOTE: During the drift, since there is current, keep the rod tip just above the water and move it horizontally to keep it pointed directly at the fly. This keeps all the slack out of the fly-line needed for a good hook set.

Tight Lines,

Capt. Tom Hughes
Fly & Light Tackle Fishing Trips
Understand Your Fishfinder/Chartplotter

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Striped Bass Fishing Has Changed

Like every year striped bass fishing has changed. Right now the best fish finders are the seagulls diving on bait that is floating. Not the small white terns.  They are diving on small baitfish since they can get their beaks down in the water.
 
The water temperature last week was 74.6 degrees. It is finally starting to cool. It is 72.1 degrees today at Thomas Point. More baitfish should start leaving the rivers into the Chesapeake Bay. Look for birds at locations where the river enters the Bay.
 
Seven consistent trips allowed me to visit the Upper and Middle Chesapeake Bay into October where I’ve seen spanish mackerels caught from Thomas Point Shoal to as far north as Tolchester, MD.

Click on any picture to enlarge.
 
David Hoekzema with Nice Spanish Mackerel 
 
Most of the schools, under birds, have been small. Keep moving and you can locate some nice stripers that can be taken on topwater.
 
Thomas Hjolmarsson from Sweden

 
HDS 9 200kHz

I hope you can attend the meeting. It is free to the public and the hot dogs are great.

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Catching Nice Stripers on Your Birthday

Sunday, 09/01/19, was a great day to fish the Upper Chesapeake Bay. Gretchen had purchased Ralph a birthday present that consisted of a full day of fishing for striped bass using light spinning tackle. I was fortunate to join them on this trip.

We left the dock at 7:00am. The seas were calm until we turned toward the northeast leaving the river toward the Bay. The two and a half footers were no problem, but Gretchen and Ralph were to sit in the seat forward the center console. When we arrived at our first location the seas had began to lie down. The flood current was at its maximum, leaving us two and one half hours of good catching.
 
Ralph Landed this Striper on His 1st Cast of the Day
 
We took time to take a break and eat lunch once the catching shut down. We enjoyed a delicious lunch and cruised around the Bay enjoying some of its breathtaking beauty. The ebb current started to move, so back to fishing we went.

Some small birds were working over 10 feet of water, and the fish were small. We ran the ledge out into water 20 to 28 feet and larger stripers showed up.
 
Gretchen Caught Some Nice Stripers While Using a Spoon

Thank you, Gretchen and Ralph, for allowing me to join you on the Chesapeake Bay.

Most Productive Lure: Specialized Baits, 3/4 oz. Li'l Bunker Spoon, in Gold
Most Productive Technique: 
Jig-Jig/Crank-Crank (Throughout Desired Water Columns)
Note:  The boat is drifting down current, with the motor off.
 
Cast the lure out the side of the boat where your line will stay tight during the entire retrieve. This is normally the up current side of the boat. A lure with a 1/2 ounce lure will drop 1 foot per second.
 
Move the rod tip to 9 o’clock when the lure hits the water. Count the lure down to the desired depth. Then move the rod tip from 9 o’clock to 11 o’clock, swiftly, 2 times (Jig-Jig) then crank on the reel handle 2 times (Crank-Crank). Repeat this until you hook a fish or the lure is back at the boat.

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Learning a New Method of Catching

Learning a New Method of Catching

Gordon Auduong is a light tackle angler who wanted to learn another method of catching striped bass and other saltwater species.We had light tackle and fly-fishing equipment aboard my boat and Gordon wanted a lesson on how to fly-fish to see if it would suit him. 
 
Gordon was a fast learner.  His rod bent completely under the boat before he landed this 22” striper. This is an exciting fish to catch when fly-fishing the salt.
 
Nice Striper on the Salt 

 
MOST PRODUCTIVE METHOD: Move the Fly with Short & Swift Strips - Cast the fly and count it down to the desired depth. With 350 grain sinking line and a 9w fly rod with a weighted fly, it will sink one-foot per second. Keep the fly in line with of just above the target (fish). 
 
Start stripping the fly swiftly, with the rod tip just above the water, pointing directly at the fly, in two-foot increments. Do this until the fly is back at the boat. 
 
NOTE: During the drift, since there is current, keep the rod tip just above the water and move it horizontally to keep it pointed directly at the fly. This keeps all the slack out of the fly-line needed for a good hook set.
 
MOST PRODUCTIVE FLY:
Orvis, Clouser Fly, Yellow, Size 2 hook
 

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Spending Quality Time

I met Don Arthur and Andrew his grandson visiting from Texas, at Sandy Point on Monday. We cruised to the Western Rockpile to find it too crowded to fish so we headed south. It didn't take long before we sighted a few flocks of birds blitzing the water. It turned out to be a fun day for all. Click on any picture to enlarge.
 

Andrew and Don with the 1st Double


Andrew Landed a Nice Striper


NOT US Coast Guard Approved


On Tuesday afternoon Don took Andrew to the airport to fly home and picked up his brother Bradley.

Wednesday morning Don and Bradley met me at Sandy Point State Park at 7am. We didn't try to fish the Bridge as we moved south on the Western Shore looking for birds. They finally showed up and the catching started.

Don and grandson Bradley

More stripers were caught today than on Monday, but all were released while in the water. Two years ago this pair of anglers caught 47 stripers, many keeper size with the majority on topwater, using Heddon Saltwater Series Super Spook XT lures. Good luck Bradley in your freshman year at Texas Tech University.

MOST PRODUCTIVE LURE (both trips): Berkley, Gulp Alive Jerk Shad, 5", in Pearl White
fished on a BKD Lure - 1/2 ounce, White/Red Eyes Jigheads. NOTE: These jigheads have 2 keepers that are excellent for keeping Berkley Gulp Alive lures on for many fish.

MOST PRODUCTIVE TECHNIQUE:
Jig-Jig, Crank-Crank
This is a 2-step technique where you jig the bottom then move the lure off the bottom and up through the water columns in a jigging motion. It’s highly productive on striped bass that are on the bottom, or when suspended. Accomplish this technique by snapping the wrist rather than moving the rod, using just the arm.
 
NOTE: The boat will be drifting down current with the motor off only if you are not in a dangerous location (like the Bay Bridge).
 
1st Step-Jigging the Bottom
From the up current side of the boat, cast the lure out, put the rod at 9 o’clock and let the lure hit the bottom. Swiftly snap the rod to the 10 o’clock position lifting the lure off the bottom swiftly. When the line starts to descend again move the rod tip downward in sync with the line until the lure hits the bottom again. Do this 3 times.
 
2nd Step-Jigging the Water Columns
The lure is still in the water after completing the 1st Step and on the bottom. Swiftly jig the lure twice (Jig-Jig) then reel handle twice (Crank-Crank). Do this until you get a hook-up or the lure is back to the boat.
 

I set this Garmin FF/CP up last week (click to enlarge)

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Plenty of Stripers Now in the Bay

The Chesapeake Bay has been very productive lately to anglers who fly or light tackle fish. I met Brad and Jon at Sandy Point State Park. We stopped at where the swiftest current was moving throughout the day. Click on any picture to enlarge.
 
Brad Deardorff with a Nice Striper
 
 
Jon Norsworthy with another Nice Striper

Both stripers were caught on a Clouser, 3", weighted fly in yellow/white and white/red neck. Fished on 9w, with 350 grain sinking fly line.

Technique
Moving the Fly with Short & Swift Strips - Cast the fly and count down to the desired depth. With 350 grain sinking line and a 9w rod with a weighted fly, it will sink one-foot per second. Keep the fly in line with of just above your target.  
 
Start stripping the fly swiftly, with the rod tip just above the water, pointing directly at the fly, in two-foot increments. Do this until the fly is back at the boat. 
 
NOTE: During the drift, since there is current, keep the rod tip just above the water and move it horizontally to keep it pointed directly at the fly. This keeps all the slack out of the fly-line needed for a good hook set.

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