Thursday, September 27, 2012

New England Keeper Bass

I have been fishing the river exclusively since my last post and it has been scary good. Nearly every one of my spots has produced. What I have discovered though, is that if you give a man a fish he will eat for a day, but if you teach a man to fish he will steal your spot. So I will be light on the details when it comes to river fishing from here out. The highlight of the week was boating a very nice 16 inch redfish. If the little guy is any indication of how they fight, then I cannot wait to hook up with one of the big boys.

My wife is out of town tonight, so I headed out early at 5 PM. I had planned on fishing the river, but as I got closer to the the bay, conditions seemed too good not to give it a go. So I was anchored at the "spot" by 5:45. Mild bill showed up a few minutes later an anchored inside towards fishing creek. The tide was going out, so I was positioned just north of the rip. My first 3 casts resulted in a 16, 18, and a nice sized blue. Not long after, I boated a very nice healthy looking 24. My next battle was with a fish that I knew was bigger than your average summer Striper. The splash was huge and he made several drag screaming runs before finally giving up after 5 minutes. This one required a net and I was pleased as hell, when the tape showed a New England Keeper sized 30.

16 inch RED

River 25

Keeper sized 30
The bite at the point soon slowed, so at 6:30 I pulled anchor and headed back into the river. When I pulled into "the cove" there was bait everywhere with big fish clearly under them. My frustration level was running high with all the action around me while Popa Dogg went untouched.  I changed tactics and casted back out towards the deeper water and the action began. Nearly every cast I had a huge blow up. The same fish would literally jump 2 feet in the air from the same spot each time. Finally after 4 or 5 tries, I had her on. I must say that a 25 inch fish in 2 feet of water is twice the excitement of a 30 in open water. I just love river fishing.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

River Reigns

I left the marina at 3:30 with the intention of filling the gas tank and coming right back home. There was a change of plan when I realized just how nice it was out. It was a bit breezy, so I decided to work the headwaters of several creeks in search of a "new spot". Although it was quite enjoyable, the fish were nowhere to be found. By 5, I decided to make my way out to the shoal. I arrived at the same time as Mild Bill, and we anchored up current of the rip. Over the next hour, I managed to boat three keepers (barely). I soon grew bored of the smaller fish, so a trip back into the river was in store. I headed straight to "The Cove". It took a while, but I finally had a decent blow up and boated a 20. Although it was early, I headed in. After back to back extra inning Orioles games on the west coast, I was simply too tired to go on.

The 20

Mirror image of last night

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

High Sun

I was to pick up my buddy Brandon at 5:45 at his dock on Crab Creek. When I arrived he was fighting what I figured was a perch, given the ultra light rod in his hand. It turned out to be a 25 inch striper, his biggest ever in his creek, and a nice relief to have the skunk off the boat before we got under way. We continued to work the shoreline as we made our way out to the river proper. Brandon had a nice blow up that missed and then followed that up with a huge perch that hit a black Stillwater Jr. He also boated a nice pickerel on a plastic. I was anxious to get back to "the cove" to see if the fish from Sunday were still there. We had several blow ups that spit the plug, before Popa Dogg finally attracted a nice 24 that put on quite a show. That was basically it for the night. What I found interesting is that all the action tonight came when the sun was still high in the sky and quite bright.

The 24

The sun sets on another perfect Sept. night

Monday, September 17, 2012

Hitting for the cycle

Carter and his buddy joined me last night. We took a quick run out to the shoal, but it did not take long to realize that things just were not right. We arrived to dead high tide and a fairly stiff breeze, which made for some choppy conditions. So it was off for plan B, a little river fishing. Our second stop was "the cove". Not long after arriving I had a spectacular blow up in less than a foot of water. It was very exciting to see the back of the fish slice through the water on the way to the boat...a nice 22. The was followed by an even bigger blow up by Carter, but unfortunately the fish threw the plug.

The skies were overcast tonight and I had very little time to fish, so after checking out a few Lake Riva spots, I headed back out to "The Cove". I arrived at a little past 7:15 which would give me maybe a half hour of plugging. On my first cast I picked up a spunky 20. This was followed by a twenty two a short time after. My next blow up was right up against the bank in what could not have been more than 9 inches of water. The fish literally went nuts. He made two spectacular jumps and then made a beeline back into the grass bed. It took some time, but I was finally able to coax him back to the boat and over the rail. Since my third fish was a 24, I began to dream of the elusive South River Cycle (20,22,24,26). At this point it was beginning to get dark and I was getting ready to hang it up. All of a sudden...WAM, I had a huge blow up. Could it be? It sure felt like it could be a 26. I got several good looks at the fish before losing him at the boat...Damn, a bent hook. Oh well, I will never know, but that was one exciting half hour of fishing.

The 20

The 22

The 24
22 from last night

Sunset from last night

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Three Dogg Night

My oldest daughter Katie and Boyfriend Danny joined me tonight. We hightailed it to the point to assure the prime spot. Mild bill was anchored exactly where I left him last night and the conditions were  as perfect as perfect gets. All three of us were locked and loaded with red and white Popa Doggs. It was a beautiful thing to see the plugs, three abreast  sliding across the mirror like water with the tell tell click click sound all around. We did manage to boat a handful of fish, but they were all sub-legals. The whole crew was anchored up close by, but not one legal size fish made its way over the rails. Great to spend some quality time with family and even better to see the results of my instructions over the years as Katie outcasted both Danny and Myself.

The 3 Doggs

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Quick Report

I left the dock at 6 tonight to beautiful fall like conditions. My plan was to get out to the point a little earlier tonight since low tide was predicted for 8:30. I only made one stop, at the Brown House, where I picked up a 18. Anchored up next to Mild Bill at "the spot" around 6:45.  I figured that the outgoing tide should still be strong, but was surprised when the ships were all in various stages of a swing around. The tide was basically slack. It did not take long for the the first blow up to ocuur. I had the fish on for several excellent jumps before he threw the plug. The next cast resulted in another very good blow up from what appeared to be a bigger fish. It turned out to be a 24 that looked like it was on its way to the great beyond. That was basically it for the night.

I had meaning to post a picture of my buddy from Boston, Joe, who texted me a picture of a nice "Bass" he caught off his pier on Cape Cod using my beloved Papa Dogg, that he had seen in all his glory during our trip North. I look to see Papa to go international by the end of the year when my wife and I head to the BVI's.

Popa takes the North by storm

Love that Sept sky

The 24

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Ahh Fall

Whenever the "loved ones" in my life give me grief about fishing every night, I explain that fishing is my "gym  time".  Since I missed last night, I was anxious to get in a good workout tonight. I left the dock at 5:30 to crystal blue skies and a near perfect 78 degree temp. My plan was to work the north shore of the river and do a little hunting for a new spot. I made quite a few stops, made 10 casts or so, and then moved on. It is always interesting to drift up to a spot directly in front of a complete strangers home and begin casting. Most people have no idea that 24 inch stripers lurk in the shallows right up against their dock or bulkhead in the fall. It was a little after 7 when I finally arrived at the shoal. My river adventure had proved fruitless, so I needed a little of "the spot" magic. For the first time in several weeks the tide was going out, so I felt confident. After a half hour my confidence was seriously waning. Finally at 7:40 I had my first blowup and boated a respectable 20. For the next fifteen minutes the action was scary good. Along with a half a dozen sub legals, I boated three more 20's and a rather sickly looking 24. I don't know what it was tonight, but the fish were really spunky. Lots of tail slapping and several fish that went airborne. The best part of fall fishing is the incredible sunsets and vivid colors that follow.

Sept 11th...a day to never forget.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Brown and White

Feisty 22 at the "White House"

Sun sets on summer fishing
I was amazing how a brief shower around noon today completely blew the bad air out of town. By the time I got home from work, it actually felt like fall. Not wanting to waste precious time running out to the shoal, I decided to give the river a try again. My first stop was the river side of the Broad Creek point. It did not take long to get a real nice blow up that missed. I worked that same fish for the next 15 minutes. There were boils, swirls, pops, and tail slaps, but no fish. I finally gave up and moved across the river to the "Birds Nest" and picked up a 17. From there I ran out to the "White House". The tide was rising, but was still very low. On my third cast I picked up a feisty 22. The fish exploded in less than a foot of water and went airborne several times. Now that was fun!!!. After picking up another 20 at the "Brown House", I decided to do a little exploring. After fishing the river now for close to 15 years, it is very rewarding to catch a fish in a new spot. I worked both the points at the entrance to Aberdeen Creek inside the channel markers. The drop offs on both points are quite dramatic, so you are quickly in 2-3 foot of water. I must have made 200 mindless casts as the O's game playing in the background. Lets just say I was in heaven when I had a huge blow up that missed within seconds of Matt Weiters hitting a 3 run home run against the Yanks, in what may be the biggest game since I graduated from college 30 years ago. As I write this post, the O's lead 5 to 1 and could share 1st place in the AM. Fall fishing and the Birds in a playoff race, can life get any better?

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Puppy Dogg

Was out early this AM and was anchored at the shoal before the sun came up. Unfortunately, it was quite breezy and the tide was still coming in despite a 5.30 high tide. I fan casted for perhaps 15 minutes before heading back into the river. Fished the bayside of South River Farms Park to no avail. It was tough to find anything out of the wind, which was blowing straight down the river. At the "Brown House" I picked up my first ever Puppy Red on a plug. It hit the second the plug hit the water up against the rocks. Worked Glebe bay for another 1/2 hour before again getting a spectacular blow up at the white house in less than 2 feet of water. That was basically it for the morning.

Puppy Red

19 at the "White House"

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