Time for Spanish!
Irene Update: My family, house, vehicles and boat came through unscathed. Thanks to all who called, or sent emails and text messages wishing us well, both before and after the storm. Your thoughts and prayers were most appreciated. I hope you all came through it safe and sound as well. Crisfield was flooded for a couple of days, but that is a hardy bunch down there and things should be getting back to normal in short order.
Today (Wednesday, August 31) will be my first day fishing since the storm and I hear the breaking rock and blues are just waiting for us. I don’t think the fishing will be affected one bit. I have an evening fly fishing trip so stay tuned for an updated report.
David Pacy showing off his big croaker
While my last two trips for flounder have dropped off a bit – in fact, we came up with a big ‘goose-egg’ on the last trip – I have been overjoyed to see the mid-bay area come alive with breaking rock, blues and spanish mackerel. But, I’ll get to that in a minute. It seems that the flounder have moved well north, into the upper reaches of Tangier Sound, and it took me a couple of trips to realize this. While it could just be a temporary lull – bad tides, lack of wind, too much wind, etc., etc. (guides have plenty of excuses) – I haven’t given up on the lower reaches of the sound just yet. In fact, the flounder fishing down near the mouth of the bay is still going strong, so I expect some great catches yet to come. If I get some interest, I’ll be following the fish north, but there is still plenty to do on the lower portion of Tangier Sound. There are some decent sized blues roaming the flats of Watts Island and these are great fun on light spinning or fly tackle. The speckled trout catches should improve after the shallows settle a bit from the effects of Irene. Rockfish will aggressively attack poppers during early morning hours and as the waters cool, will begin to feed in the shallows all during the day. In short, things are shaping up to look like we are in for a very good fall fishing season.
On a recent trip with Bert Massengale, his son Kyle, and Kyle’s friend David Pacy we tried our best to get some big flounder in the boat. I went to the exact spot where, just a few short days before, we slammed big flatties to 24 inches but we couldn’t draw a strike. The tide was perfect, with little wind but it just wasn’t meant to be. David did manage to perk us up with a very nice croaker. The fish really gave him a fight on his light spin tackle. We moved to another location and after a few drifts Bert managed the first keeper flounder. A short time later Bert pulled in the second flounder, a fish of perhaps 21 inches. That was it for the flounder. It was still a fun four-hours on the water, and Bert took home some beautiful fillets.
Bert Massengale with a brace of flounder
I would be remiss if I didn’t tell you my earthquake story. I was waiting at the Madison boat ramp around 2:30 P.M. for my afternoon party when I received a cell call. It was my client, who asked if I had heard about the earthquake south of DC. I had. (I didn’t feel a thing, as I was on the road on my way to Madison for a half-day trip chasing breakers) . To make a long story short, my client was in a bind, as he is in the alarm business and the earthquake had wrecked havoc with his systems – not to mention cell service. Not a problem, we rescheduled for the following week. Being a thinking man, I had the boat, I was at the ramp and I had four hours to kill. I called my wife to give her the scoop, got the okay and off I went to do a little fishing. I never even made it to the False Channel (my intended starting point). Just off the mouth of the Little Choptank the water was whipped to a froth by ravenous schools of rock, blues and mackerel. The macks were a nice surprise. They were feeding on small bay anchovies and the smaller the lure the better. I stayed with the fish for about and hour and left them biting to explore a little. Not seeing much up north, I returned a bit later to find the fish were still on top. Looking at my books from last season, September was terrific for breaking fish off the mouth of the Big and Little Choptank rivers. It looks like this year will provide us with a repeat performance. This is a fly fishers dream, so break-out that long stick and give me a call for some fast-paced action.