Josenhans FF ~ Fun with Bluefish

15 06 2011

Kyle with one of his many blues

Bluefish continue to bail me out when the mid-day striper bite slows, but I’m not complaining. I’ll take a 20 inch blue anytime over a 20 inch rockfish. The guys and gals are having a great time with this hard-fighting summer gamefish.

Saturday, June 4 – Today I enjoyed the company of Bert Massengale, his 13-year-old son Kyle and Bert’s mother Joann. It was Bert’s first trip with me, and while talking on the way to the fishing grounds I had mentioned to him that it is always good to start and end the day on a high note. Well, as luck would have it.. Pulling up to the first spot we caught some nice stripers right off the bat. It quickly became apparent that this was to be Kyle’s day. A number of nice rockfish were brought boatside with Kyle doing much of the catching. Bert got in on the action as well, and for an hour or so we had rock to 24 inches coming in the boat. Things cooled off just as fast as they started, and for a couple of hours it was slow fishing. I decided to make a run across the sound to a favorite bluefish hangout and the fish didn’t disappoint. For the remainder of the day, the entire Massengale family enjoyed some fantastic light tackle action with blues averaging 18 to 20 inches. “My new favorite fish” said Bert, as none of the family had ever before caught a blue. The feather-light G.Loomis Pro-Green rods were a perfect match for the hard-fighting blues. What a great way to break-in the family on Tangier Sound fishing.

Kyle was top dog with the stripers

Joann Massengale with a nice bluefish

Bert's "new favorite fish"

Storm Rattlin' Chug Bug

Monday, June 6 – Norm Bayer, Bob Hedrick and Joe Lundin joined me today for a six-hour trip on the lower portion of Tangier Sound. We had “slick cam” conditions, as the locals say, so we were able to quickly make the long trip from Crisfield to the lower end of Tangier Sound. We were hoping for some big rock on poppers at first light. It started off with a bang as two 26 inch rock inhaled our offerings and put up a great fight in the shallow water. Storm Rattlin’ Chug Bugs were the ticket this morning. The Rattlin’ Chug Bug is a great popper for this type of fishing as it pops and splashes effortlessly, rarely tangles, and the best part is the hooks don’t rust. The stripers love ’em! Unfortunately, with the sun rising fast to the east the bite suddenly turned off. Searching here and there we picked up another small striper, or three, but unlike the weather the action was anything but hot. Thinking of Saturday, I again traveled across the sound to the bluefish hole and, like Saturday, the blues were ready and waiting. In almost a carbon copy of the previous trip we had three hours of non-stop action with the blues. Norm’s Rapala Trigger X was like candy to the blues, and surprisingly long-lasting considering the blues razor-sharp teeth. No tail bite-offs with the Trigger X. This is Rapala’s answer to the Berkley Gulp! and I was impressed. Bob was doing his best to keep up with the fly rod and the blues were more than willing to oblige. Another day saved by the bluefish.

Tuesday, June 7 – Joe DeMeo and friends Joe and Chen fished with me on the Little Choptank out of Madison hoping for a mixed bag of croaker and rockfish. With a good supply of fresh peeler crab we headed to some hard bottom to try to put some croaker in the box. To make a long story short, it was not meant to be. A couple of croaker and the same number of large cow nose rays were all we had to show for our efforts. The evening shallow water striper bite wasn’t much better. The shallows were murky at best, due in part to a strong southerly breeze that had kicked up, and I think we are still a bit early for the good topwater rockfish bite that we experienced last summer. We’ll get ’em next time guys, thanks for the gallant effort!


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