Autumn on Tangier Sound

3 12 2017

Sorry I haven’t posted much but I’ve been on the water a lot, and by the time I get home the computer screen is just a blur. I often take the easy way out and simply post photos on my Facebook @JosenhansFlyFishing and Instagram @KevinJosenhans accounts. Please check out all my social media sites for current fishing reports. A picture really is worth a thousand words.

We’ve enjoyed a fantastic fall, fishing for stripers and speckled trout out of Crisfield. Shallow water action was great around Smith and Tangier Islands casting DOA CAL Shad Tails in Pearl or chartreuse colors. I can’t begin to tell you how much I love the DOA 4-inch Shad tail, especially for larger stripers. The action is extremely lifelike at slow or higher retrieve speeds. Attach to a 3/8 or 1/2 ounce DOA Premium Jig Head and you have my go-to rockfish bait. Check it out at

Enjoy some of my favorite shots of Autumn on Tangier Sound, with a few bonus pics out of Madison on the Little Choptank.

Josenhans FF ~ Tangier Slam!!

4 09 2012

Tangier Slam – In the world of flats fishing, a ‘slam’ is oftentimes considered three, maybe four different species of fish, caught by a single angler, with a specific type of gear during a given day. Well, how about six species! That’s just what has occured several times during the past couple of week’s on board my Jones Brothers while fishing here on Tangier Sound. In fact, five species seems to be the norm rather than the exception.  Stripers, bluefish, speckled trout, flounder, redfish and croaker are common catches while casting artificial lures on light spinning tackle or fly gear. On a recent outing with Don Harrison, his friend Doug Portner and Doug’s son Connor, while we didn’t quite reach six-species, sheer numbers made up for the species count. We began the day casting to breaking bluefish in the 12 to 17-inch range, enjoying action in which triple hook-ups were common for perhaps ninety minutes. We switched gears to look for specks, managing close to a dozen for the day up to 21-inches. Mixed-in with the trout were perhaps fifteen nice rockfish to 24-inches. The day ended on a hot note as the guys simply tore-up the puppy drum, landing maybe 50 in the 12  to 17-inch range, with a couple just shy of the legal 18-inch limit. All told, over one-hundred fish were boated giving the three anglers a day to remember. And to make his “slam” something really special, young Connor also accomplished several “firsts.” As is first striper, first bluefish, first speckled trout and first redfish! Way to break-out on the saltwater scene Connor!! Tangier Sound has always held a nice variety of game fish during the summer months and six or more species in a days fishing is not unusual. I look for this fantastic shallow water angling to continue right through the fall months.

Speckled trout continue to grab most of the attention here on the sound. Daily catches averaging ten-specks-per-angler have been the norm rather than the exception. Now that September is here, I look for the speckled trout top-water bite to really take-off! Last season, our top fish was an eight-pound beauty that exploded on a Stillwater Smack-it! popper.

Share a Trip  – Once again, I am in need of several anglers to share the cost of a guided trip. The details are as follows:

Trip 1 – I need a fly fishing angler to share a full day (8 hour) trip with another fly angler. Cost per angler will be $225, all-inclusive.

Trip 2 – I need two spining anglers to share a full day (8 hour) or 3/4 day (6 hour) trip with a third spin fisherman. Cost will be $150 each for the full day, or $135 each for the 3/4 day trip. There is a catch (no pun intended) – My first available date is October 20. Speckled trout should still be around, along with stripers, bluefish, flounder and redfish. In addition to the 20th, I have open October 22, 23, 25, 27, 30 and 31. If interested, please email, or call me at your earliest convenience. My contact info is or 443-783-3271. Thanks and good fishing!!

Nick Weber drove a long way to catch a speckled trout, and succeeded

Nick’s son Matt with a nice flounder

Not to be outdone by Matt, John Crowley bags a big flounder of his own

Matt LaFleur with an over-stuffed speck

Jerry Price adds a puppy drum (redfish)

Toby Godwin with a pretty speck

Darren Short found this big speck at the end of his line

Chris Mitchell surprised us with a 26-inch striper

Tom Phillips got in on the speck action

Chris adds a nice speck to his rockfish catch

Andrew Lepczyk caught this fine striper under working birds near Sharps Island

Pete Rolph has been trying to make this speck trip for two years – it paid-off!

Mike Johnson has his arms full with this hefty spotted trout

Elliott Pochettino can barely hold up his big speck

Owen Pochettino shows off his big fly-caught speckled trout

Don Harrison with a speck on his way to a Tangier Slam

..Likewise for Doug Portner..

..and Doug’s son Connor!

Doug boats a nice rockfish

Connor adds his own big striper

Connor with one of his many redfish

Terry Tubman with a fine Tangier Sound speck

Keith McGuire ran his boat over from the western shore to catch specks

Scott McGuire shows-off a specks canines

Scott with a nice spot tail

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 Go Out With A Bang!

8 11 2011

This has been some year for speckled trout on Tangier Sound. Perhaps the best in ten years. There seems to have been another successful spawn this season, with many juvenile fish showing in fishermen’s catches, so I’m cautiously optimistic that the speckled trout population has returned to its once great levels. The final test will be a good 2012 spring season. Lets hope that come May of next year, when the water temperature reaches that magic 62 degree mark,  everyone’s favorite trout will once again cruise the grassy flats of Tangier Sound. 

Thursday, October 13 –   Michael Avara and Mary Norton booked me for a half-day morning trip and enjoyed good action with rock  on poppers to 6-1/2 lbs. along with eight speckled trout from 16″-19.”  Nice mornings work!

Mary Norton holds her largest ever popper-caught rockfish

Michael Avara pulled this beauty from the banks of Fox Island

Monday and Tuesday, October 17 and 18 – Just as sure as the Monarch butterfly migration every fall, Maurice Klein and Gene Jones show up every October for a couple of days fishing. Well, fishing and eating Smith Island crab cakes. This year was no different as I enjoyed two beautiful fall days fishing with old friends. Monday was record-day, as Maurice and Gene eclipsed the existing two-person, single day record for the season by boating 32 speckled trout. The trout averaged   16″ to 21.”  Tuesday was for stripers, as we chose to concentrate our efforts on bagging a creel limit of rockfish. We succeeded, and then some, as we played catch-n-release for the remainder of the day. Another nine specks were added to the mix for a two-day total of 41 specks. Nice work guys!

Maurice and Gene with a net full of good-eating specks

Maurice with his homemade popper/clouser speck teaser

It's "lavender", not purple

Gene with a Smith Island "creek" rockfish

Josenhans FF ~ Tangier Slam is Alive and Well!

24 09 2011

The Tangier Slam – or one version of it – is usually considered catching a rockfish, bluefish and speckled trout on fly during the same day. Well, this is the time of the year to come on down and give it a shot. That is, if I can get you away from the blues once you get here. Yesterday, we had six of the prettiest speckled trout that you ever want to see from 16″ to 20″  that we caught during a quick stop on the way in from a very successful day of watching rock and blues knock our poppers all over the sound. When the weather has cooperated, the fishing of the past two weeks has been phenomenal! Here is a brief summary of some of the highlights.

Sunday, September 11 – I Fished with Gus McKee and his son Mac, along with Gus’ father-in-law Lou Pochettino and nephew Alex Pochettino. We found the mother lode of blues down near Watts Island and all hands had their fill. The 2 – 5 pound bluefish were all young Mac could handle on the light G. Loomis spinning rod, and the fellows sure kept the captain busy with the net! Great to see the younger generation get such a kick out of fishing. I believe Alex and Mac are ‘hooked.’

Alex and Mac with their trophy

Gus, Mac and Alex after a fun day on Tangier Sound

Monday, September 12 Today I had the pleasure to fish with The Frederick News-Post Outdoors Editor Jim Heim. Jim writes the Casts and Shots column for the paper and I was hoping upon hope that the fishing this day would be worthy of a small article. Boy, did the fish ever hold up their end of the bargain. We started the day near Tangier Island casting Storm Chug Bug and Stillwater Smack-it! poppers to ravenous rockfish in four feet of water. Most of the rock were in the 18″ to 24″ range, and they really put on a topwater show in that skinny-water. After two to three hours of nonstop action, we traveled across Tangier Sound to find hungry two to five pound bluefish ready for an encore. Only difference here was that there’s no quit in bluefish. Same lures, same surface explosions, but each fight lasted several minutes longer. I think Jim’s arms were sore at the end of the day. That’s a good thing if you’re a guide… See Jim’s article at the link for Casts and Shots.


Lew completes the 'slam'

Tuesday, September 13– Lew Armistead and Donny McDougall brought their fly rods and were greeted with ‘slick cam’ conditions on Tangier Sound. We started off the day catching a few rockfish on sinking lines, but it didn’t come close to the top-water action that we had enjoyed the day before. With bluefish waiting to please, I pointed the bow east and told the guys to hang on. Upon arrival at a spot near Watts Island the guys were hooked up almost immediately. While Clousers and sinking lines worked well, both Lew and Donny quickly switched to floating lines and Gurglers for some of the most exciting top-water fly action that I have witnessed in a long time. Two to five-pound blues slashed, crashed and dove on top of the popping Gurgler, until both flies needed the occasional field repair. A simple piece of 15# monofilament was all that was required to restore the Gurgler to “nearly new” condition. Lew asked me what type of knot I had used to make the repair and I replied “lots of knots!” There’s no time for perfection during the heat of battle, therefore, I believe it was Lew who coined the name “Triage Knot.” I wonder if I should get a patent?? We even saved an hour at the end of the day to catch four gorgeous specks to 20″ up near Fox Island, thus, both Lew and Donny were able to accomplish the ‘Tangier Slam!’ Nice going guys.

Donny with a nice blue on fly


Not to be outdone - Lew with an average-sized bluefish


Donny 'hooked-up!'

Josenhans FF ~ Tough Luck with Drum

8 05 2011

Evening view from Fox Island

Many of you have been asking about my search for red drum, so here goes.. I have tried to run a trip or two for red drum of late but the weather (wind) doesn’t want to cooperate. We have been fishing the Fox Island bar out of Crisfield in the evenings using peeler crab as bait, with little success. During the past week or so, when conditions have been right, some big reds have been caught at both Fox and Smith Islands. These spring-run drum average 30 to 40 pounds and are worth the wait, but they can be few and far between. In between the drum excursions, we have cast poppers, such as the Stillwater Smack-it! and Storm Chug Bug for rockfish in the shallows of Fox Island. Stripers averaging 18 to 23 inches have provided some explosive surface action during low-light periods. This topwater bite should only get better as more post spawn fish leave the rivers. This past week, I’ve had a full schedule of trips in a variety of places and I’ll have a full report in a day or so. Stay tuned…