Even though fishing is getting better close to home, I had my mind on some exotic species that live farther down the bay. Last Saturday, I went on a fish/camp trip to Buzz’s Marina in Ridge,Maryland with my friends Jesse Rossmann and Brian Pelisek. This is one of my favorite places on Earth to fish/camp and is very near where the Potomac River meets the Chesapeake Bay. Large Redfish (Red Drum) and Cobia had been caught in the area last week, along with Black Sea Bass, Bluefish, Weakfish (Sea-Trout), Kingfish and Spanish Mackerel. These are the Exotic Species I had in mind.
Generally the fishing conditions were really tough this trip. High winds and big waves kept us off the water much of the time. Sunday only yielded a few fishable hours but we caught some Bluefish jigging 5″ Z-MAN plastics on 3/4 oz. jig heads. These fish would be part of an early dinner. Big waves chased us off the water around 3 pm, at camp we started prep for big evening meal. Dinner included Charcoal grilled Rib-eye Steak, fried Bluefish, a steamer pot full of vegetables, home grown tomatoes and wine and on… and on. Morning greeted us with 20 mph winds from the North. Breakfast was a work of art also!
Monday afternoon, the rough conditions subsided as we headed out the water was very fishable. We started out running and gunning… fishing every slick, boil, splash or group of birds we could find with only a few small blues to show for it. We then switched over to structure fishing and found one 20″ Rockfish on a triple legged pilling. Then we slowed down our search working promising areas more thoroughly. At that point I suggested we light tackle troll some Drones Spoons on # 1 Planers to locate some fish then jig on them. Brian was at the helm and Jesse and I manned the rods and in short order had a few blues in the box. Soon after we took a nice Spanish Mac where the channel made a slight bend. After crossing the area repetitively, we had a Mac on each pass. The trolling gear was quickly put aside and we started jigging up Bluefish on almost every cast. The up current side of the same channel edge held a massive school of small (8 to 14″) Weakfish which loved our home-made Mac-Whacker jigging spoons. We caught doubles of the small trout for about an hour. Some larger predator fish were in the area,too! Several of our trout were attacked on their way to the boat. Brian had a trout bit in half right at the boat! I suspect larger Bluefish were the culprits. We fished until the last bit of daylight and headed in. The Redfish never graced us with their presence but the Blues, Trout and Spanish made for fast catching on light tackle… The company was great and the food was delicious! I call that a successful trip… planning the next one now!
I gave my friend Mike Henderson owner of Buzz’s Marina a few of my Mac-Whacker jigging spoons and he put them to good use jigging up Black Sea Bass and Northern Kingfish. They also had a good Spanish bite the day after we left and found some Redfish.
Closer to home, my friend Gerald Eldreth caught some exotic species in the Upper Bay area… on recent jigging trip he had Rockfish, Bluefish, White Perch, Hickory Shad and Weakfish!
The next 3 weeks are the best time to gear up to catch those late summer visitors, the “Exotic Species” of the Chesapeake Bay. Don’t wait… They’re only here for a short while!