I have noticed some major changes since my last report. The last few trips we have been seeing less and less fish on the deeper channel edges. The water temperatures have dropped almost 10 degrees in as many days. This cooling trend has the Rockfish moving into some of their fall feeding stations a little early. All of our better fish came snap jigging shallow structure. All along the Eastern Shore side of the bay shallow near shore structures are producing better fish. These spots often only produce well during a certain portion of the tide. Generally I want the period of strongest current flow for good structure fishing. On a few upper bay structures we will stop catching Rockfish and start catching Catfish, on the jig as the current slows down. You can estimate maximum current flow by adding 3 hrs. to the high slack or low slack water given in local tide charts. This will be “prime time” on any structure. This week, we started looking in some very different areas and were rewarded with some beautiful fish! Below is my friend Dean Bowman, he has been fishing with me lately and learning the art of snap jigging. I’d say he’s getting pretty good at it!
Dean and his wife Beth have been visiting the shop often and learning quickly… Dean Says “Somehow she always out fishes me”… I enjoy sharing my knowledge with good folks like this. Her smile in the picture below says it all… one of the rewards of sharing!
The shallow water bite is often best at sunrise and sunset or on grey overcast days. This week we have peak current flows coinciding with sunrise…Ange Harclerode and I took the 14′ Creekboat out on the main-stem of the Bay the first day the weather cooperated. We were fishing some shallow water, near shore structures scattered over a couple of miles of shoreline at first light. We caught our limit at the first stop within about 30 minutes! I mashed down the barbs on my jig and began to catch and release Stripers from 18″ to 25″ pretty much every cast until the current slowed way down. My next few casts produced catfish and we knew the bite was over! During the “good bite” Ange and I both had nice fish come over the rails at the same time. Below is Ange with our pair of “Doubles”…
As the waters begin to cool somewhat expect the Striper bite to get better. If you are not finding the quality fish out in the deep… try moving shallow it paid off for us this week!
I hope to see you in the shop or on the water. Enjoy this sunrise picture from this week!