Josenhans Fly Fishing – Susquehanna Flats 2014

13 12 2013

IMG_2243Believe it or not, I am already receiving calls about the 2014 Susquehanna Flats Catch & Release Striped Bass Season. For those of you who have yet to fish the flats with me, I keep my Jones Brothers Cape Fisherman docked at the Havre de Grace City Yacht Basin for several weeks each April. If you have fished the flats, you also know that the fishing can be like Forrest Gump’s proverbial box of chocolates – “you never know what you’re gonna get.” This past spring we experienced a handful of days (five to be exact) of some of the hottest fishing the flats can provide. Rockfish up to 43-inches provided consistent action in water no deeper than six-feet, exciting light-tackle fishing to say the least. Then we had an early spawn and the stripers vacated the flats for over a week, and never really returned in numbers. The remainder of the season was spent working really skinny water, casting to several pods of trophy stripers that ventured back onto the flats post-spawn. This can be exciting fishing, especially during low-light periods when the large rockfish would crash a surface popper. There were several days where we did more fishing than catching, but that chance at a real trophy on light tackle kept people’s interest. That said, you can book your trip today with the assurance that should the rockfish decide to play hard-to-get, I will inform you ahead of time so you can decide for yourself if you wish to roll-the-dice. When making your decision, be mindful of the fact that the fishing can get hot with each new tide. Drop me an email at KJosenhans@aol.com or give me a call at 443-783-3271 if you would like to get in on some shallow water striper fishing.

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Josenhans Fly Fishing – Speck Catches Ahead of Last Season

3 06 2013

lil_jimy_MPPDespite a constant and relentless breeze, speckled trout catches are ahead of last season’s record pace. It looks to be another fantastic season for this spotted member of the drum family. While I have yet to have any puppy drum come aboard my boat, I have heard of a few starting to be caught in Maryland’s portion of the Chesapeake Bay. We have had the best success casting Bass Assassin 4-inch Sea Shads rigged to a 1/4 or 3/8 ounce Specialized Baits Jig head, something brand new in an already excellent line of speciality lures from creator George Lenard. George’s old standby, the Li’l Jimy, is as effective as ever when trying to coax a fat speck out of the grass or stump-field.

John Nelson shows off a big spring speck

John Nelson shows off a big spring speck

Chris Mitchell with one of nine specks to 24-inches

Chris Mitchell with one of nine specks to 24-inches

Jack McKenna in perfect form with his G. Loomis 8-weight

Jack McKenna in perfect form with his G. Loomis 8-weight

In addition to specks to 24-inches, Jack nailed this fine flounder in skinny water

In addition to specks to 24-inches, Jack nailed this fine flounder in skinny water

Benjy Duke took a break from guiding for trout in Wyoming to fish for the salt water variety

Benjy Duke took a break from guiding for trout in Wyoming to fish for the salt water variety

Reddi Duke, following in her brother's footsteps as a guide, adds a nice speck to the days catch

Reddi Duke, following in her brother’s footsteps as a guide, adds a nice speck to the days catch

Not to be outdone, dad Ben Duke gets in on the action

Not to be outdone, dad Ben Duke gets in on the action

Phil Kerchner hit it right with the high catch of the young season - 35 feisty speckled trout between he and walk on partner Chen Sun

Phil Kerchner hit it right with the high catch of the young season – 35 feisty speckled trout between he and walk on partner Chen Sun

Chen showing off a perfect cast after lessons from Lefty Kreh

Chen showing off a perfect cast after lessons from Lefty Kreh

Rob Leatherbury braved the wind to land this fat speck

Rob Leatherbury braved the wind to land this fat speck

Rob's son Jake with his first fly-caught speckled trout

Rob’s son Jake with his first fly-caught speckled trout

Long time client and good friend Maurice Klein hefts a pretty speck

Long time client and good friend Maurice Klein hefts a pretty speck

While fishing with Maurice, Gene Jones ups the ante

While fishing with Maurice, Gene Jones ups the ante

Gene nets a nice rockfish for Mom

Gene nets a nice rockfish for Mom

Tangier Sound sod banks serve as avenues for specks and stripers

Tangier Sound sod banks serve as avenues for specks and stripers





Speck Fishing as Hot as the Weather!!!

8 07 2012

Bring on the heat!! Even with the sweltering temperatures of late, there has been no let-up in the speckled trout bite! Given decent weather and a break from the wind, on most days we are catching 20 – 30 fat, healthy specks on a variety bucktail jigs, soft plastics and flies. Specialized Baits Li’l Jimy’s, Bass Assassin 4″ Sea Shads, Clouser Deep Minnows and Cactus Stripers are all gobbled-up like cotton candy at a carnival. I have seen stretches of good speck fishing in my 30 years of fishing Tangier Sound, but never have I experienced such a prolonged period in both size and numbers. The specks are averaging 17″ – 21″, and this past Monday, Dennis Dame boated a gorgeous five-pound, 25″ specimen on fly. With a little luck, look for this incredible fishing to continue right through October. On the flip-side, the fantastic flounder fishing that we had last summer has, so far, failed to materialize. That said, I haven’t been putting in a lot of time trying, for obvious reasons.. Bluefish to 20-inches are available if you want a hard-fighting gamefish to put a bend in your light spinning or fly rod and a few stripers are always around. I have less than a handful of dates remaining open in July, and August is fast becoming booked as well. Drop me an email or call if you would like to get in on some hot summer fishing. If a full day sounds a bit too long in this heat, the less-expensive six-hour trip is plenty of time to fish a tide, and we will be off the water before the oven cranks up!  

Walk-on Notice

On the subject of guided trips, I am in need of one or two anglers to share the cost of one or two days fishing with another angler. The date(s) requested are July 26 or 27 and August 20, 21, 22 or 23. This will be a full day, 8-hour trip. Cost will be $150 or $225 per person, subject to total number of anglers. Specks, blues, rock and maybe even some flounder should be available. I look forward to seeing you on the water!!

Troy Scott with a beautiful speck

Sam Dame caught this 23″ beauty on fly

Dennis Dame and his 5-pound, 25″ speck on fly

Laura Wolf is all smiles with a gorgeous speck

Happy Father’s Day to dad Dave Wolf

Chris Wolf gets in on the action, as well

One more for Dad!

Barb Long had the hot hand early

Doug Curtis boated this healthy speck

Ron Long adds a nice rock

Doug with a nice rock of his own

Scott Evander with a big speck

Mike Long shows off a good spotted trout of his own

George Lenard of Specialized Bait fame shows the Li’l Jimy in action

Rob Allen cradles a fat speck

Rob fooled this nice striper on a Stillwater Smack-it!

A colorful speck for Trey Blackiston

Ginni Bowen with her 11 pound rockfish – nice catch Ginni!!

For the catch of the week, Trey pulled in this 32″ cobia! The fish was released.

Justin Matoska with a windy day speck

Justin’s friend Kenny with a speck of his own

Cam added this nice flounder after the wind finally won out





Josenhans Fly Fishing ~ After the Wind

11 11 2011

October usually provides me with a day off here and there, what with the odd cold front pushing its way through. Well, beginning on the 19th a strong front kept me off the water for three straight days. I thought this just might do it for the specks, as we had some fairly cold nights mixed in with the wind. See the results for yourself..

Saturday, October 22 – I moved north a bit and met Tom Hylden and Shelley Davis in the small town of Nanticoke on the upper portion of Tangier Sound. This is a short portage for Tom and Shelley, as they wanted to tryout the fishing closer to home. We fished the shallows of Fishing Bay, Bloodsworth and Holland Islands. A cold morning it was..

Shelley landed this 24" rock on a brisk morning out of Nanticoke

Tom managed to get in on the action with his fly rod

Sunday, October 23 – Keith Campbell and Bill Martin flew into the Salisbury airport where I picked them up for the thirty-minute trip to Crisfield. We spent a beautiful fall day on Tangier Sound casting shads and Bass Assassins to the stumpy points and creeks of Smith Island. The morning started off a little slow, but as the tide ebbed in the afternoon the fish came alive and both Keith and Bill had good success with stripers to 24″ along with five speckled trout. Looks like the specks might hang around a while despite the cooler water.

Monday, October 24 – Boy, am I getting spoiled by this gorgeous fall weather. Matt LaFleur and Wil Goetz, along with Tammy and Tobey Godwin met me at Somers Cove Marina for a six-hour evening trip, and after a brief exchange of pleasantries I made a beeline for Fox Island. The tide was perfect for my favorite speck hole, and after catching a few yesterday, I wanted to see if our success was a fluke. The water temperature was down to 63 degrees, and though a bit on the cool side it was still  well within the specks comfort zone. It turned out to be a great evening of fishing with good friends and the speckled trout and rockfish proved eager to please. I think we finished the day with 15 specks to 20″ and a like number of rockfish to 23.”

Wil started the afternoon off right with this colorful speck

Tobey had the hot hand with the specks

Tammy got in on the action with this nice rock

Matt and Tobey double-up on specks

Wil took top honors on rockfish

 

 





Josenhans Fly Fishing ~ Specks and Blues!!

18 09 2011

James David with his colorful Choptank speck

Since the double-whammy of Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee have muddied mid-bay waters I have been spending most of my time fishing out of Crisfield, MD. Speckled trout have been available, though finicky at times, as well as stripers and blues. While the specks are fun, it’s been bluefish that has everyone talking. Averaging 2 to 5 pounds, we have been enjoying some fantastic fly and light tackle fishing for these scrappers, that seem to be endowed with an endless supply of energy. An added bonus is the aerobatic display put on by many, as they often jump like baby tarpon. What a blast this has been! Casting in the clear waters of lower Tangier Sound (no adverse affect from the tropical weather here) my anglers have usually given-up before the blues. While I’m not sure what effect the recent cold front will do to this action, I expect they will be around for at least another couple of weeks. VA striped bass season returns on October 4th, so I can stop worrying about which side of the line I am on should someone wish to take home a couple of rockfish fillets. Here is a rundown of some of the action from the past two weeks.

James and dad Andrew with a topwater rock

On Thursday, September 1, I fished with Andrew David and his son James out of Madison. As we skimmed across the glass-like waters of the Little Choptank we kept an eye out for diving gulls; second only to “bent-rod sonar” as a means of locating feeding schools of fish.  We were soon rewarded with a patch of surface feeding stripers and blues, just off the False Channel, near the mouth of the Choptank River. Andrew was able to land a nice bluefish and a small rock before the school sounded. As luck would have it, the flat-calm conditions were soon replaced by a strong chop from the south, so we took our cue and slipped into the protected waters of the Big Choptank. While the guys were busy feeding Bass Assassin shad tails to six-inch bluefish, James let out a holler and shortly thereafter I slid the new under a beautiful twenty-inch speckled trout. A nice surprise on a breezy afternoon. We tried a few more points and as the wind died out we traveled south for some evening topwater with shallow-water rockfish. After a slow start the rock came alive just as it was getting too dark to see. As the routine went, we heard a splash and the guys felt a tug as their popper was inhaled by a scrappy rock in the 22 to 24 inch range. This lasted perhaps an hour before the darkness enveloped us for good. It was a great way to finish the evening.

Jake Leatherbury with a light tackle rockfish

On Saturday, September 10, Jake Leatherbury and his dad Rob met me near Saxis, VA for what started out as a speckled trout trip. This was a new experience for me as I trailered the Jones Brothers to an obscure ramp on Messongo Creek, just outside of Saxis. The tide was low, and the gnats hungry, but I managed to get the JB in the water okay and we pointed the bow west in search of some specks. It was not meant to be. The stronger than anticipated westerly breeze and low tide combination had roiled the shallows just enough to put the specks off their feed, so we resorted to Plan B. I was soon fishing more familiar waters over near Tangier Island. After a slow start, the tide picked up and so did the fishing. For the next couple of hours, Jake and Rob had good action on rockfish in the 17 to 23 inch range, great fun on the light-action G. Loomis Pro Green Series rods that I have really grown to like.  As the rock fishing slowed, I asked Jake if he would like to see if the blues were hungry, since we had to travel right past my bluefish honey-hole on the ride home. He and Rob were more than willing to give it a try. Well, to say we finished-off the day on a high note was an understatement. Bluefish from 2 to 4 pounds attacked our offerings with abandon and, quite simply, put the weaker fighting stripers to shame. There’s simply no quit in a bluefish. We left ’em biting, which is always a good thing when you’re a guide. No specks today but I don’t think the guys had a complaint. Enjoyed the trip guys! Stay tuned for more bluefish and speckled trout action in future reports!!

Jake and dad Rob doubled-up on rock

 

Rob Leatherbury showing off a light tackle bluefish

 

Jake after a hard-fought battle





Josenhans FF ~ July 4 on the Bay

12 07 2011

Jacob breaks the ice with a big perch!

Matt Schneble, who with his wife and two children Jacob and Susannah were spending their July 4 weekend in Cambridge, decided a half-day fishing trip would be just the thing to cap off a fun-filled weekend. I met Matt and the kids at the free Cambridge city ramp on Franklin Street a little after 8:00 a.m. The waves were kicking up quite a chop, and not wanting to beat the kids to pieces on their last day of vacation we opted to fish for white perch around Howell Point. Jacob was the first to break the skunk and promptly brought to boat a nice perch. We were casting small Beetle-Spins and the kids were doing a good job casting and retrieving the small lures. It wasn’t long before Susannah got in on the action. After a few more perch, Jacob decided it was time to try to catch a rockfish. Since the winds had calmed a bit, we stowed the ultra-lights and made our way to the mouth of the river.

Susannah with her big white perch

I looked around for some marks in a spot where I had done well about a week before and sure enough the fish were there. It wasn’t long before Jacob had caught his very first rock jigging a Bass Assassin. He was quite proud of that feat, as well he should be. Up in the bow of the boat Susannah was doing all she could to hang onto her G.Loomis and Shimano rod & reel combo, as a hard-fighting 20-inch rock was trying his best to take it from her. Susannah won the battle and boated the first and only keeper of the day. A couple of more drifts netted six or eight smaller stripers, with Matt also getting in on the act, before Dad decided it was time to call it a day. The kids did a great job and never gave up in some difficult wind conditions. Great job guys!

Jacob with his very first rock!

Susannah and proud Dad showing off Susannah's catch





Josenhans FF ~ Mid-Bay Rockfish

6 07 2011

Quiz with a 27 inch 'Maryland' rockfish

Sunday, June 26 was a travel day for me – so to speak. So far this season I have been spending most of my time fishing Tangier Sound out of Crisfield, mainly due to the fantastic rock and flounder fishing that we have been experiencing. I had a request for a trip out of Oxford, on the Choptank River, from friend Jim Lee and his buddy from Florida Jim ‘Quiz’ Quisenberry who was in town for a little striper fishing. Seems rockfish are in short supply down in the Sunshine State. After launching at the free public ramp in Cambridge, I pointed the Jones Brothers downriver for the short run to the Oxford Ferry dock. After picking up Jim and Quiz we continued west towards Tilghman Island. Since the forecasted five knot winds were blowing at a brisk 15 to 20 out of the northwest, I decided to head through Knapps Narrows and begin the day fishing in the lee of Poplar Island.

Jim showing off a nice striper

We spent the first hour casting to the rock out-crops on the eastern side if Poplar and Quiz was able to catch his very first striper, a fat 20-inch fish that went in the box for dinner. We drifted around some nearby trollers without success and proceeded to work our way south as the winds slowly subsided. Around mid-morning, as I was cruising an edge a few miles south of Poplar the screen of my Lowrance sonar unit lit-up with good-sized marks. We dropped our jigs and almost immediately hooked up with a nice grade of rockfish. For the next several hours we were able to stay with the school, all-the-while boating fish to 31 inches. Five-inch Bass Assassin Saltwater Shads and six-inch Storm Wildeye Shads were the ticket today. Quiz had a blast, and actually out-fished us Maryland boys on our home waters. The wind dropped off to nothing and gave us a much better ride in than we had coming out.

Quiz having a blast with rockfish - We're not in Florida anymore!

Jim hooked-up again!