Monday, September 14, 2015

Long overdue update

As I look back over my pictures since the beginning of August I would not say fishing has has been bad , but I definelty had quite a few less "perfect topwater nights" than past years. On August 16th I had my daughter Grace and her boyfriend Jack onboard. That was a great night. Jack had never topwater fished before and the smile on his face after his first blow made even Popa Dogg smile. We caught quite a few fish that night and enjoyed one of those sunsets that August provides. Besides that I counted 3 nights where I have pictures of fish over 24, including tonight.

It has been much breezier than years past, which has been great for playing with my new toy, a Harbor 20 sailboat. All I can say is fishing is a whole lot easier than sailing. It's been fun, but my learning curve has been steep. I say this because  Dabs tells me that fishing has been great. So it could be that I just did not go out as much. Things should pick up nicely from here out. The 24 tonight slammed Popa Dogg after the sun went down and we were well into slack tide. He was a good deal off the rip in a random spot, that normally would not yield a 24.
Tonights 24 

August 16th

Grace on Aug 16th

Jack is hooked for life....guaranteed

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Good Week

Last Thursday I did a charter out of Harris' Crabhouse in Kent Narrow, put together by some work associates. I had heard from a number of friends that the primary biomass of bigger Stripers has been holding up north all summer. This theory was confirmed as we quickly limited out with 10 guys. A number of the fish were low to mid 30 inch fish.

This week was quite interesting. It was windy every day, so I was unable to make it out to the Shoal, That  did not mean I did not catch fish. On Tuesday, I ran across some working birds at red number 12. Normally I would assume that they were chasing dinks or baitfish. After all, it is July. Well to my chagrin the fish were mostly in the 22 inch range with several up to 26. All on Popa Dogg.

A big storm rolled through around 3 tonight, but things had settled down nicely by early evening. Low tide was 5:30 and the breeze was about 12 knots from the south, which meant for a choppy bay. I arrived around 6:30 and the tide was still coming in, or at least it seemed that way with the wind pushing the boat  to the North. I did manage a few 18's, but the action was quite slow, until the boat began to swing around around 7:30. This once again confirmed my theory that the best time for Topwater at the shoal is 2 hours after low tide. The action from 7:30 to 8:30 was nothing short of spectacular. I lost count, but I boated at least 15 nice keeper sized fish. (20 inches this year). Every slam was followed by a tail walking dance, each one better than the last. Great night.
Typical 20 inch fish tonight

The Eastern Shore Way. Make that 28 look like a 40.

The new "Mama Dogg" logo

Thursday, July 16, 2015


First of all, I need to correct and injustice done to my boy Danny. I said he had never caught a keeper sized striper, when in fact I meant "on my boat". He had indeed landed a very nice 24 which if I look back, was featured on this very blog. So when we anchored up Tues. night he had extra incentive to get the skunk off the boat immediately, which is exactly what he did when he landed a nice 18-20? on the fly. The conditions were just plain horrid. The tide was wrong, the wind was howling, and it was quite choppy. We did manage several more 18-20 inch fish, but it was a tough night,

Tonight could not have been more perfect. The wind was calm, the tide had peaked an hour before I anchored, and the humidity that has plagued us for weeks was gone. Unfortunately several other boats were anchored exactly on the spot. So I moved closer to the point and just plain murdered them. There were several times where 22-24 class fish were chasing the hooked fish to the boat. All was great until I got cocky and managed to sink a treble hook deep into the top part of my thumb. Last night I watched a film by Mark Wahlberg titled "lone survivor". Its a hollywood version of a true story of 4 soldiers that must escape literally an army of Afghan soldiers after their mission goes horribly wrong. These guys are subjected to the most gruesome injuries as they attempt to climb a mountain to call for help as the Afghans chase them down. The are shot, fall down ravines and break bones, etc. Like all great American war movies they just shake it off and kill hordes of enemy soldiers until just Wahlberg is left and miraculously rescued by the home team. I was thinking of them as the wrench turned over and ripped that sucker out. It hurt like a bitch, but at least I was not shot.

Monday, July 13, 2015

The Golden Years

We moved into our new home or "final resting place", as I like to call it, July 4th weekend. It has been a long ordeal that took us 2 1/2 years, but boy was it worth it. Better than the dream, by far. So with things settled down and topwater season finally kicking in, I am ready to officially start my Golden Years.

I fished Sat morning, a rarity for me, before the boat traffic kicked into high gear, and luckily hit a perfect topwater morning. I picked up 2 nice 22's on Popa. Had a few more blowup's from larger fish that missed. When I pulled onto my lift and looked up at our new home, all I could do is utter NICE to myself. I left everything open and all the electronics still running.  I guess the plan was to, at some point that morning, clean the boat. Unfortunately, I completely  chilled on our back patio for the rest of the weekend and did not even wander down to the boat again until last night when I noticed a glow coming from the front window. So, I should not have been surprised to find a dead battery when Danny and I attempted to leave at a little before 6 tonight. Since most of my fishing stuff is still in boxes, finding my charger was futile, so we decided to take the Kayaks. As Danny was pulling them out of the boathouse, I decided to throw a Hail Mary. I jumped in the car and headed to Boaters World. I have never heard of a charger that will also act as a jump starter, but you never know. Sure enough, the salesman, who happened to be in that section, said that they did not carry anything like that. But wait!!! this one does say it will jump start an outboard. So I flew home and she (officially named my new 16 year old boat "Mama Dogg") fired right up. So by 7:15, we were anchored up at the spot. The outgoing tide was ripping against a 10 knot northerly breeze so conditions where quite choppy. Danny has yet to catch a keeper sized striper on his fly rod, so he started on the front throwing a small streamer. I of course was armed in ready with the dogg. It was no contest. By the end of the night Popa had boated 19 nice healthy keeper sized fish and the fly rod Zero. After the 14th, Danny reluctantly set down the fly rod and added to Popa's final total.

The view from my new lift.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Somewhere over the rainbow.

Light tackle fishing has been difficult this entire year. If it has been windy, or thunderstorms were on the horizon nearly every night. Last nights storm was one of the worst I have seen in my 50 years living in MD. The sky was black as coal. The winds went from 5 knots to 70 knots in a matter of seconds and Papa Dog sized hail rained down seconds later. Then, just like that, it was over. The sun popped out and a beautiful rainbow appeared over the bay and at the end of that rainbow was my pot of gold. 

I used my pot of gold to buy the perfect topwater night. I met Carter at the new house at 6 pm. It was the first time that he had seen the "new,16 year old, boat". I could tell from his reaction, that the decision to stick with Mama Dog rather than buying a new boat, was the right one.. It was still a bit breezy, but the horrendous humidity was finally gone. After a short jaunt out to one of the freighters to toss plugs up against the hull, we ended up at "the spot" around 7. Even though it was low tide was 5:30 the outgoing tide was still ripping. It was flat enough to work topwater but not ideal. Carter was tossing plastic while I, of course, was working Papa Dog. Around 7:15 I had a huge blowup and it was on. After several  drag screaming runs my line snapped. If I had to guess, I would sat it was a 26 or 28. All I know is that it was the best fish I have had in quite some time. A few tosses later, in the same spot, I picked up a nice 22. This was followed by a double as we both boated 18's. We continued  to work that spot for the next hour with non stop action. The biggest was a 24, which for the shoal in June is quite a feat. It was a great and welcome night after the crap mother nature has thrown at us the past month or so. 

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Living the dream.

I have actually been working to make tonight happen for the past 2 months. I had taken my 1999 Parker 2520 in for a much needed facelift when she was pulled back in the fall. All winter, I could picture her sitting out on my new lift, at my dream home, looking straight down the mouth of the South River to "the spot". For some reason I have always referred to my boat as "my baby" and thus a woman. I had not seen the boat, but had talked to Chris and Harvey from Intrinsic Yacht numerous times throughout the winter. She was to get a new, "faster", Yamaha 250. The rub rails were to be replaced. The gouges from from 15 years of the wear and tear were to be re-gelcoated, and then hull was to be painted a "baby blue" color with complimenting bottom paint. When I set eyes on her last night, I knew the first part of the dream was complete. My little baby was all grown up and looked incredible. The lift had been quite a project also. Capt.Karl also owns a lift company and had installed the lift several months ago. The problem was there was no electric to the pier when we purchased the 1915 cottage that sat on the hill above the water. It has been more than a few years since

My new boat

The dream

 we sold the "family home" and began the process of building our final resting place. So tonight when my youngest daughter,who was home for a few days, asked to head out for a little topwater action , I did not hesitate. We drove to our unfinished house and lowered my lift for the first time ever and headed out in my new boat "Mama Dog" for her maiden voyage. The night could have ended there as "a perfect topwater night", but things actually got even better when we dropped anchor at "the spot". The water was bathtub calm, air temp perfect, and a strong outgoing tide. Minutes later Grace had a nice slam and quickly boated a nice 24. It was the perfect start to what will surely be a great year.

The post above was written on May 7th, over  a month ago. I had saved it as a draft, but never published.The house is still not ready and since that night we have experienced the most rain in 121 years. If it was not raining the wind was blowing 15 knots. I was only able to toss plugs on May 17th when I picked up a 20. That was it until tonight when the weather finally cooperated. I anchored at the spot at 6 pm with the tide still going out and hour after low tide. I picked up 4 quick fish in the 16 inch range on plastics before switching over to Papa Dog. I immediatly picked up a nice 20, but that was it for the night. Please  let summer begin.
May 17th 20

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