Maryland fishing charter
 

LAST REPORT

December 16th, 2012

Hello All,

After yet another year of poor fishing and still no regulations to protect the Striped Bass from total destruction I have cut back on my future bookings.  I am also shutting down my web site and this blog.  If you would like to book a trip in 2013, call me and I will be glad to let you know what I am doing and what I am hearing out there.

Thanks for following my blog

Capt Russ

CBBT Fishing for winter 2012

November 29th, 2012

LOCATION:  Lower Bay, CBBT (Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel)

SPECIES:  Striped Bass

UPDATE:  November 29, 2012

FISHING CONDITIONS:  I am now fishing at the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel (CBBT).  The fishing there has been improving and based on reports, the best methods are eels.  There are schools of migrating striped bass that are feeding on flys and lures are getting more consistently around 7 to 12 pounds.  Deep sinking lines are the best and nearly the only way to catch these fish. 

WATER TEMPERATURE: Mid Bay 46 Degrees, Lower Bay (CBBT) 47 Degrees

MOST COMMON BAIT:  Bunker

“MUST HAVE” FLIES IN DESCENDING ORDER OF IMPORTANCE:

  • Large, heavy Clouser deep minnow pattern, Chartreuse and white 
  • Large bunker patterns and half and half’s 

 

RECOMMENDED LEADER: 16 to 20 pound test, 7 ½ foot or 9 foot.

BEST FLY ROD AND REEL OUTFIT:  9 weight with large arbor reel

IDEAL FLY LINE TYPES: Full sink line in the fastest sink rate. 

SPINNING REEL OUTFIT:  Six foot, medium, fast action rod with reels loaded with braided line in 20 or 30 pound test.  3 to 4 foot Leader in matching test fluorocarbon.

BEST TECHNIQUES: Deep water technique is a must, with full sinking lines and half and half’s.  On occasion you might also use a large bunker pattern effectively, but this is mostly when the fish are working closer to the surface.

COMMENTS:  Lower bay fishing at the CBBT is the best bet for those of us that use fly and light tackle.  The conditions are there with loads of structure, warmer waters, strong current and best of all bait that is found in large quantity make this the fishery for the winter.                                

7-DAY OUTLOOK: Temperatures are falling, which will move more of the big fish to the CBBT from the mid bay.  It only gets better from here.

Nothing but the facts

November 21st, 2012

Fishing is always about skill and luck.  That combination is gold to the angler.  

Our luck has run out!

Normally the area where I live is full of opportunity for the angler.  There should be lots of Striped Bass schooled up and feeding on the ample bait that should be here.   Currently, I am only hearing reports of limited trolling successes.  Even these reports don’t come back often.  In fact, not on most trolling outings.  Some smaller fish are falling for the offerings of light tackle and fly, when you can find them.  Generally speaking, nothing is happening like the past 20 years that I have been in this area.  There is plenty of blame to go around but nothing can overcome the simple fact that there are fewer fish.  Period! 

As far as the remaining winter season, I hope to continue to support the fishing and conservation groups that I am a member of and when possible I will continue to teach fly casting in anticipation of future opportunity.  I have decided to stop taking people out this season unless the reports for the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel begin to come in and fish are being caught there something akin to the years past.   I will try and find interesting technical updates for my reports but fishing reports are done until spring.

For those of you fortunate enough to be able to travel, check ORVIS FISHING REPORTS for locations you might be able to visit. 

I hope to see everyone next season!

Not yet but hopefully soon

November 13th, 2012

FISHING REPORT FROM:

Chesapeake Bay Fly Fishing.com

LOCATION:  Chesapeake Bay

SPECIES:  Striped Bass.

UPDATE:  November 13, 2012

FISHING CONDITIONS:   Water temperatures have been steady largely due to a warming trend we experienced this week.  Lots of sun and the water warms up or holds its declining temps.  The bait and the fish enjoy this and as anglers we benefit by not losing our game in the upper bay.  (As water temperatures fall the bait and fish move into more temperate waters, either deeper or down the Bay.) 

WATER TEMPERATURE: Temperatures are varied with the sun, Mid Bay 52 to 54, Lower Bay 54, Near Coastal 55 Degrees   

TYPE OF BAIT FISH ARE FEEDING ON:  Spot, Bunker, Silver sides.

“MUST HAVE” FLIES IN DESCENDING ORDER OF IMPORTANCE:   Mid bay the larger Striped Bass are eating big to add to their body mass.  Stick to large patterns if you want to hook up with nice fish.  I find the standard half and half’s, large bait fish patterns are working best for the big guys and tiny Clouser type flys for the schoolies on the surface.

 

RECOMMENDED LEADER:  I am using standard 7 ½ foot or 9 foot tapered or non-tapered 30 for the Striped Bass and Blues. 

BEST FLY ROD AND REEL OUTFIT:  9wt with large arbor reels.    

IDEAL FLY LINE TYPES: Primary lines were full sink.  Floating lines for the breaking fish work great as well but are limited if fish are in deeper waters.  

BEST TECHNIQUES:  Fish are scattered more than I like but sonar helps to locate the center of the stronger schools of fish.  Go to the mouth of major tributaries and watching for bird activity while moving over the drop offs around 20 to 30 feet of depth.  Once located, move up current or upwind of the school so your drift will carry you over the feeding Striped Bass.  Sinking lines with appropriate flys will net you plenty of action.  Be sure to count down the sink rate of the line into the fish.  Starting too soon with your retrieve will have you coming up empty.

MY TIPS OF THE WEEK:  Toward the end of the daylight always look for shallow water action.  The birds are going to be there too and will indicate excitement when they see Striped Bass working the bait.  This is likely to be the biggest hits bigger fish of the day.  Hopefully the depth will be 12 feet or less so sink times are shorter.  You rarely have to strip very far before the big fish give you the tug you are waiting for.

7-DAY OUTLOOK:  We are having some very mild weather this week and even the cold snap that is forecast should only serve to improve the fishing.  Water temperatures are right in the range where larger Striped Bass like them.  This is truly the best fishing available until the migrating fish from the coast reach the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel (CBBT) in the lower Bay in December.

Good Fishing to be found on the Bay

October 5th, 2012

I am not making a detailed report this week, jus want to say the fishing has been good to great, lots of smaller fish and when lucky fish the size of footballs.  Footballs is a good size of fish by the way.  Nothing has changed in the way of lures or tackle, just do more of the same.  Cooler weather will change the game soon and expecting to use larger flys and lures as the smaller baits disapear.

Check back next week for changes that might be occuring.

Great Fishing on the Chesapeake

September 19th, 2012

FISHING REPORT FROM:

Chesapeake Bay Fly Fishing.com

LOCATION:  Lower and Middle Bay

SPECIES:  Spanish Macs, Blues and Striped Bass.

UPDATE:  September 19, 2012

FISHING CONDITIONS:  The northerly winds are blowing us off the water many days but when you do get out you can expect good things.  Fall patterns are forming and fish are fattening up for winter.  Good sized Spanish Macs are running with fat and healthy blue fish while the large Striped Bass are keeping their distance right now.   Bay schoolie size Striped Bass are plentiful though and we are catching many in the 16 to 20 inch class. This will change soon and I expect to see more big striped bass any day.  Water temperatures have put an end to the Cobia bite in Virginia.

WATER TEMPERATURE: Mid Bay 74 Degrees, Lower Bay 73.8 Degrees, Near Coastal 75.2. 

MOST COMMON BAIT:  Silver sides, Bunker, Crabs, and other species.

“MUST HAVE” FLIES IN DESCENDING ORDER OF IMPORTANCE:   Mid bay Striped Bass and blues and Spanish Macs are eating small Clousers with flash easily.  A peanut bunker size fly with light colors is working in some cases even better. 

 

RECOMMENDED LEADER:  I am using standard 7 ½ foot or 9 foot tapered or non-tapered 20 to 30 for the Striped Bass and Blues.  Add a little wire for the blues and Spanish or expect to lose flies.  For Cobia use straight 80.

BEST FLY ROD AND REEL OUTFIT:  Blues, Spanish and Striped Bass I’m using 9wt with large arbor reels.  I always use large arbor reels. 

IDEAL FLY LINE TYPES: Primary lines were full sink.  Floating lines for the breaking fish work great as well.  

BEST TECHNIQUES:  Be fast!  By this I mean that the schools of fish are moving up to the surface for moments but as the bait gets consumed or is scattered the fish then move on to find more.  The angler must be ready to cast and more important be ready to move the fly almost as soon as it hits the water.  Cast only the amount of line that you can lay out cleanly with no slack at the end.  Better to cast only 30 feet but have the fly moving quickly than to lose even a moment of time pulling the slack out of the cast.  The most common fish hooked up right now is in the first strip!  There are rarely fish under the top water action schools right now so fishing in the top of water column is all you can hope to do.  This will change in the future.     

COMMENTS:  Fish are eating in schools with even more determination that in summer.  Find the right area with loads of bait and when those fish schools hit action looks like a washing machine in full cycle.  Exploring rivers areas for small concentrations of fish is a good thing right now as well.  Cooler water has the fish along the shore line and around docks and pilings.  Pay special attention to deep pockets of water along the shore.         

7-DAY OUTLOOK:  Weather especially the wind is having the greatest effect.  Pack a sweatshirt or light jacket to stay comfortable.  Big blues and Spanish Mac’s are common in our fishing right now.  If these are your favorite, don’t wait to get out.  As water temperatures drop they will leave the bay for more temperate waters to the South.

SEPTEMBER HAS ARRIVED, BIG FISH FALLING FOR FLYS AND LURES

August 31st, 2012

LOCATION: Virginia Lower Bay and Maryland Middle Bay
SPECIES: VA, Red Drum, Cobia MD, Spanish Macs, Blues and Striped Bass.
UPDATE: September 1, 2012
FISHING CONDITIONS: the first week of September is bringing in thoughts of hurricanes, cooler days, lots of bait, and active fishing patterns. Fish size range from the small to large, with the biggest striped bass this week over 24 inches. Many more blue fish and Spanish Macs are around during the day and as usual, the latest trips in the day are frequently rewarded with the best Striped Bass of the day.
WATER TEMPERATURE: Mid Bay 85 Degrees, Lower Bay 78 Degrees, Near Coastal 78.
MOST COMMON BAIT: Silver sides, Bunker, Crabs, and other species.
“MUST HAVE” FLIES IN DESCENDING ORDER OF IMPORTANCE: Mid bay Striped Bass and blues and Spanish Macs are eating small Clousers with flash easily. These imitate silver-sides. Keeping a larger fly ready for when the bigger fish are active.

RECOMMENDED LEADER: I am using standard 7 ½ foot or 9 foot tapered or non-tapered 20 to 30 for the Striped Bass and Blues. Add a little wire for the blues and Spanish or expect to lose flies. For Cobia use straight 80.
BEST FLY ROD AND REEL OUTFIT: Blues, Spanish and Striped Bass I’m using 9wt with large arbor reels. When prospecting for Cobia and Tarpon, 12 weight rods are the primary and the 10 weight the secondary. Always use large arbor reels.
IDEAL FLY LINE TYPES: Primary lines were full sink. Floating lines for the breaking fish work great as well.
BEST TECHNIQUES: Mid bay is still a moveable feast. Working birds is the best and only game in town for the blue fish. Be ready to cast the moment you are on them because the blues will scatter at speed you can scarcely believe once the bait breaks up. Unlike the striped bass, there are no straggler fish under the area that just moments before held hundreds of feeding blue fish.
COMMENTS: Strong winds are an element that we have to endure and need to work with. Pulling out of the worse areas and moving to calmer waters was working yesterday with lots of fish along this edge. The bait is pushed into shallower water and the predators follow right into the shallowest. This is great fun with a fly rod.
7-DAY OUTLOOK: Weather is the producing the biggest changes and our days will be cooler. Pack a sweatshirt or light jacket to stay comfortable. Fishing is undoubtedly getting better as fall moves in.

August Fishing Can Be Great!

August 14th, 2012

LOCATION:  Virginia Lower Bay and Maryland Middle Bay

SPECIES:  VA, Reds, flounder and Cobia · MD, Blues, Striped Bass, reds and atlantic croaker.

UPDATE:  August 14, 2012

FISHING CONDITIONS: Normal summer hot days but most often the breezes off the water keeps us comfortable.  VA is giving us Reds and recently Cobia are on the increase according to a good friend of mine.  MD is being consistent with nice Striped Bass (up to 28 inches) and Bluefish are clearly in the area based upon the amount of leader material I am going through and replacement of flys.  Some have been up to 22 inches.  I have seen a few Spanish Mac’s but so far none at my boat.

WATER TEMPERATURE: Mid Bay 85 Degrees, Lower Bay (Barrier Islands) 78 Degrees+, Near Coastal 78.

MOST COMMON BAIT: Bunker, Crabs, Silver sides and other species.

“MUST HAVE” FLIES IN DESCENDING ORDER OF IMPORTANCE: To imitate the silver sides there are many great fly patterns available, and most often a smaller (2 inch) Clouser type fly will do well, especially if it has some flash.  These flys work great in shallow water, around docks and on rivers, and creeks.  When we are in the presence of larger bait like spot or menhaden use larger flys like a 4 inch half and half or bunker pattern.

RECOMMENDED LEADER: for most small flys you can use as light as 10 pound test but when I am throwing larger flys I prefer 20 or better to get the turnover as well as provide a good bite tippet for blue fish.  Most of the fish are not leader shy so using short 7 ‘ or even smaller leader is ok.

BEST FLY ROD AND REEL OUTFIT: Sticking with my old favorite I always use 9 weight rods.  No need to change.  I always use large arbor reels.

IDEAL FLY LINE TYPES: Primary lines are always full sinking and when top water fishing I will stick with them.  Just for fun I use a floating line and popper but hook ups are almost 10 to one using the sink lines.

BEST TECHNIQUES: Finding fish larger than 12 inch is tough.  Most often I have been finding one or two places that at the right time of day and the right current/tide we have a real shot at nice fish.  Otherwise it’s try and try again along shore lines, points and structure of all kinds and hope a big fish is lurking.  Most larger fish that are schooled up with like size fish are in deeper water and somewhat sparse.  Fast strips when the fish are on top will help you get that larger fish but be ready to strip strike.

COMMENTS: Although disappointing at times the fishing is really fun right now.  Catching 50 fish in a few hours is just about the best time you can have, even when they are small.  Fish early or late to get the best fish and pay attention to the current and tides.  These are key with big fish.   

7-DAY OUTLOOK: Tides and weather are good and with my new flats skiff I can get into the shallow areas that were just a high tide location when using my center console.  Maryland waters are fishing well at dusk but any time of day seems to be producing once the fish are located.

SUMMER FISHING WITH BIGGER FISH

July 19th, 2012

LOCATION:  Mid Bay, Lower Chesapeake Bay

SPECIES: Striped Bass, Atlantic Croaker, (Micropogonias undulatus), Cow Nosed Ray (Raja Bonasus), Blue Fish (occasionally).

UPDATE:  July 19, 2012

FISHING CONDITIONS:   There are two size groups of fish (age grouping) right now.  Either smaller fish from 8 to 14 inches or larger fish from 15 to 28.  Smaller fish are caught in shallower waters feeding on smaller bait and the larger fish are in waters from 15 to 30 feet deep.  Mostly this relates to the fishes tolerance of water temperatures.  The smaller fish are breaking on top and frequented by birds feeding on the bait but only rarely are birds over the larger, deep water feeding fish.  Some quality fish can be caught if you patiently are working shallow water very early or very late in the day in fast moving water.  use of electronics is necessary to find and stay on the larger fish.  The chummer’s on the upper portion (above the Bay Bridge) are attracting nice fish and occasional drifts in the same area works well for fly and light tackle.   In the Lower Bay, flounder, striped bass and kingfish are along the shoreline and in the back bays.  Off shore the tuna and marlin action is heating up.  Reds are still in the surf, flounder are starting to run well in shallower waters, Cobia are getting caught on lumps and at buoys, and Spade Fish are on structure as well.

WATER TEMPERATURE: Mid Bay 82 Degrees, Lower Bay (CBBT) 77 Degrees, Near Coastal 78. 

MOST COMMON BAIT:  Bunker, Herring, perch, spot, and more.

“MUST HAVE” FLIES IN DESCENDING ORDER OF IMPORTANCE: Large (four inch) half and half’s, blue and white is still working best although all white and chartreuse and white are good choices as well.  Smaller Clouser style minnows (1 ½ inch) in various dark and white colors are working at times better than half and half’s especially when on smaller fish in the shallows.  Having a little flash tied in seems critical.  When you find breaking fish, small poppers or gurglers are working well on top water fish.  These are working with some success at dusk and dawn in shallow water.

 

RECOMMENDED LEADER: 20 to 30 pound test, 7 ½ foot or 9 foot non-tapered.

BEST FLY ROD AND REEL OUTFIT:  9 weight with large arbor reel

IDEAL FLY LINE TYPES: Full sink line in the fastest sink rate for waters around 6 to 12 feet and full float in skinny or if you happen to see fish on the surface or when fishing at dawn and dusk.    

BEST TECHNIQUES:  despite the bird action I have been using electronics to stay on fish or locate bigger fish.  Incoming and outgoing tides are both working but current speed is important as noted on a particularly strong incoming tide the other day.  Really caught some nice fish in the strongest of current, keeping the fly down was the problem.  Fish size is around 18 to 24 when on an active school.  Starting early or fishing late still offers the best opportunity.    

COMMENTS:  Larger fish (24 inches and up) are present but difficult to catch.  Keep a lookout when other fish area being pulled in and if another angler is on board they should be casting at your fly caught fish to pick up followers.  This can be a nice bait and switch method to find better fish.

7-DAY OUTLOOK:  It’s warming up to be a great summer.  Weekday trips are better for fishing with less boat traffic and starting either early or late in the day and fishing for four hours in twilight conditions can be a very nice alternative to mid day sun.

What a difference from last season!

June 11th, 2012

LOCATION:  Eastern Bay, Chesapeake Bay

SPECIES:  Striped Bass, Atlantic Croaker, Cow Nosed Ray, (Raja Bonasus)

UPDATE:  June 10, 2012

FISHING CONDITIONS:  It’s very early in the season to start catching big fish in schools breaking on the surface but thats what is going on!    There is plenty of bait everywhere and I’m beginning to see breaking fish with more and more regularity.  Continued use of the large spring size flys is best as the bait looks like mostly peanut bunker.  Match the hatch is the old credo and absolutely true now, more than ever.  Better quality fish are available in the breaking fish.  Last night my clients were hooking up in 5 to 6 feet of water and the fish were large.  The best times for shallow water fishing is in the darker hours at dawn or dusk. 

WATER TEMPERATURE: Mid Bay 75+ Degrees, Lower Bay (CBBT) 70 Degrees, Near Coastal 68. 

MOST COMMON BAIT:  Bunker, Herring, perch, spot, silver sides and more.

“MUST HAVE” FLIES IN DESCENDING ORDER OF IMPORTANCE: Large (four inch) half and half’s, blue and white is still working best although all white and chartreuse and white are good choices as well.  Smaller Clouser style minnows (1 ½ inch) in various dark and white colors are working at times better than half and half’s.  Having a little flash tied in seems critical.  When you find breaking fish, poppers or gurglers are working well on top water fish.  These work at dusk and dawn in shallow water too.

 RECOMMENDED LEADER: 20 to 30 pound test, 7 ½ foot or 9 foot non-tapered.

BEST FLY ROD AND REEL OUTFIT:  9 weight with large arbor reel

IDEAL FLY LINE TYPES: Full sink line in the fastest sink rate for waters around 6 to 12 feet and full float in skinny or if you happen to see fish on the surface or when fishing at dawn and dusk.    

BEST TECHNIQUES:  look for breaking fish, but typical of this time of year, birds aren’t the tip off.  Look at the huge balls of bait since they are producing as well as the smaller pods I locate near using sonar and suspended in the water column. 

COMMENTS:  Larger fish (24 inches and up) are present and so far have been separated from the fish under 14 inches.  Not difficult to catch. 

7-DAY OUTLOOK:  It’s warming up to be a great summer.  Pick your date soon and plan a trip.  Weekend traffic on the water is high and weekdays are better for fishing if you can get out.  Late day trips for four hours ending near dark can be a very nice alternative on both weekends and weekdays.



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