Josenhans FF ~ Flounder Have Arrived!

20 06 2011

Matt with the tip of the iceberg

Boy am I behind with the fishing reports! I have been on the water every day, with the exception of Sundays, and I just haven’t gotten around to my blogging duties. Sorry about that!! The big news on the fishing front of late has been the arrival of good numbers of BIG flounder. Jigging Berkley Gulp! and Li’l Jimy bucktails from Specialized Baits in 1/2 to 3/4 ounce  has produced limit catches for those willing to take a break from the rockfish-bluefish scene. More on that in a minute. Here is a rundown on some of the fishing we have enjoyed of late.

Wednesday, June 8 – Barry Portnoy, Doug D. and Matt Roach gave it their all after a breezy morning that roiled the water just enough to slow the bite for the day. Where we had been catching rock and blues with abandon, we settled for two here and three there at each spot that we tried. The bite was even off around some deepwater structure that I have been fishing, and while the rock were showing well on the finder, they just weren’t in a feeding mood. Matt finally decided to try the fly rod with a smaller bait and that did get the interest of a few more schoolie stripers. Matt also hit on something that he probably didn’t even realize at the time, in that he discovered the tip of the iceberg to a flounder bonanza. Matt fooled three big flounder with a four-inch pearl shad and it took until the next day for me to realize that he had hit on something special. I owe you one Matt! All-in-all a fun day on the water with three good friends!

Aaron with his 23 inch flounder

Thursday, June 9 – An early start-time for a chance at some big stripers paid off for Bernie Kemp and son Aaron. Stillwater Smack-it! poppers did the trick with several nice rockfish and Aaron landed a beauty at 31 inches and eleven pounds. After this bite slowed we tried the blues again with only a limited amount of success. After a bit, I decided to test Matt’s flounder discovery of the day before with a theory I had and boy did it pay off. Jigging Chartreuse Berkley Gulp! Swimming Mullet baits on 1/2 ounce jig-heads, Bernie and Aaron managed a nice limit of flounder from 18 to 23 inches. The flounder were aggressive and inhaled the baits like they were flounder-candy. Much to my chagrin – and Bernie’s amusement – I quickly discovered that shallow rubber nets and big flounder are not a good mix. See, flounder don’t stop swimming once they’re in the net, and I felt like I was landing these big flatties with a trampoline. I had flounder flying all over the place. But I digress.. Anyway, I think I might be on to something here..

Aaron's 31 inch shallow-water striper on a popper

Paul with average-sized flounder

Friday, June 10 – Paul Anderson, son Matt and Eric Green met me bright and early at Somers Cove ramp and the first thing Paul handed me were several packs of Berkley Gulp! baits. He said they were from Bernie and that we would be needing them. I crossed my fingers and hoped he was right. First things first, so we proceeded to the striper grounds for some early topwater action. The rock were active and the guys managed to land a couple of 24 inch beauties after some savage strikes. After the topwater bite slowed we were off to the bluefish grounds once again. The blues cooperated better than they had in days and we enjoyed some great light tackle action with the two to three-pound fish before turning our thoughts to flounder. I informed the guys the tide was about right, so we pulled in our lines and headed to the flounder grounds. For the next three hours Paul, Matt and Eric enjoyed our best day to date with some truly unbelievable flounder fishing. The guys took home their limit of big, fat flounder ranging in size from 18 to 22 inches. While the day was already a success with the rock and blue action, the flounder simply added icing to the cake. All were in agreement that they had never before witnessed flounder fishing of this quality on the Chesapeake Bay.

Eric showing off the days catch

Tom with his early morning striper

Saturday, June 11 – Tom Hylden and Shelley Davis were met with tough conditions caused by the seemingly ever-present winds. Tom managed a heart-stopping strike on a popper, and after a game fight landed a fat 24 inch rockfish. Another explosive strike near the boat and that was it with topwater for the day. A slack tide and slightly turbid water made the morning fishing conditions less than ideal but Tom and Shelley both hung in there and gave it a brave effort. Their persistence paid off, and after the tide changed we ended the day with a flurry and perhaps a morning total of twenty stripers and blues. A nice mid-day lunch of fried soft crabs on Tangier Island capped off another beautiful summer morning on Tangier Sound.


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