Good Year for the Susquehanna Flats?

23 02 2015

While last year’s Susquehanna Flats catch and release season surely tried the patience of even the most passionate flats aficionado, I look for better things to come as this spring approaches. Here’s my reasoning. This past fall saw a pretty good run of striped bass in Maryland’s mid and lower bay. Beginning in mid-September, Tangier Sound and the bay proper along with the shallows surrounding the bay islands of Tangier, Smith, South Marsh, Holland, and so on, provided some of the best fly and light tackle angling for rockfish that we’ve experienced in several years. As the waters cooled, stripers gravitated towards the deeper channel edges of lower Tangier Sound, Smith Point and the mouth of the Potomac River. While the strong 2011 year class was well represented, many fish in the 28″ to 32″ category were also brought boat-side. These bigger males should begin returning to the spawning grounds in March, and I have to believe many of the 2011 fish, which should be approaching twenty inches or better, will tag along and fill in the gaps. There is always the chance of a true trophy of 40-inches, or more. All we need is some relatively clean water. Hopefully, most of the heavy snow melt gives the Susquehanna river basin a break for a change.

To that end, I will once again be trailering my Jones Brothers to Havre de Grace for this very special spring fishery. I still have a few open dates remaining during the month of April, so if you would like to get in on this fun shallow water fishery please email or call me at your earliest convenience. I can be reached at kjosenhans@aol.com or 443-783-3271.

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“Trout” Heating Up

14 06 2014

We’ve all been waiting for the speck fishing to heat up and with the recent spell of hot weather there is the anticipation of some North Carolina trout heading our way. Yesterday, while prospecting for a few of the spotted variety we happened across one of his cousin’s, the weakfish ; a.k.a. gray trout, grey trout, yellowfin, tiderunner, squeteague, or simply sea trout (This fish has more aliases than a bad rapper). Anyway, the six pound ‘weakie’ (had to throw that in there, sorry) was a pleasant surprise. Oh, and we did manage to land four ‘specks’ of 18 to 20 inches, so things are looking good for a summer run. Remember, all speckled trout caught in Virginia waters must be released until August 1st. Specks caught in Maryland’s portion of the bay may be kept, but the creel is now 4 per day.

Paul Anderson shows off his 27-inch ‘weakfish’

Chen Sun boated this fine redfish on a Berkley Gulp! Swimming Mullet

Chen Sun boated this fine redfish on a Berkley Gulp! Swimming Mullet





Bull Red Drum & Trophy Stripers

18 05 2014

20140518-142843.jpg Bull red drum fishing on the Virginia Eastern Shore flats is as good as it gets! – at times. When conditions are right, this is world class fishing. In nine days of fishing the flats and shoals at the mouth of the bay my anglers boated 11 red drum of 43 to 50 inches. All but one were caught casting artificial’s, mainly 5″ Tsunami and Storm shads. Two gorgeous 46-inch reds were landed on fly. A four-inch half & half in white was the ticket.

20140518-144307.jpgSkip Powers proudly shows off one of six reds boated during his two day trip

20140518-144657.jpgBob Lepczyk with a nice red after a hard-fought battle on a G.Loomis NRX 9 wt. Photo credit Bob Lepczyk

As an added bonus, we were blessed with four days of trophy stripers cruising the shallow flats of the nearby barrier islands. Looking not unlike dense schools of large bunker from a distance, upon closer observation it soon became evident this mass of fins and scales was anything but bait. This was flats fishing heaven. Forty-inch striped bass gently gliding around and under the boat in turquoise colored water was a site to behold. Large Stillwater poppers pulled through the tightly packed schools brought explosive strikes and long, hard runs from rockfish weighing upwards of twenty-five pounds. The Susquehanna Flats was never like this!

20140518-150826.jpgSkip Powers with a brace of trophy rockfish

20140518-150948.jpgJohn Nelson hefts a big rock fooled by a Stillwater popper

For more photos and details of the trip check out my soon to be published e-newsletter. You can subscribe by visiting my website at JosenhansFlyFishing





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





Josenhans Fly Fishing ~ Red Drum Photos

3 05 2013

As promised, here are a few pics from a recent drum excursion to Fisherman’s Island, Virginia. I had hoped to have more to show you, but this persistent east wind has made life difficult. I will be fishing a little closer to home tomorrow in the Honga River for stripers and specks. Hope to make it back to Fisherman’s early next week. Black drum was a nice surprise!IMG_2307-001IMG_2330-003IMG_2316-001IMG_2332IMG_2346-001IMG_2352-001IMG_2353IMG_2343-002





Josenhans Fly Fishing – Crappie R Biting

26 02 2013

IMG_2061For several weeks now, the water temperature of the Pocomoke has been holding steady at around forty-five degrees. This consistency brings with it a usually reliable crappie bite. Yesterday was a case in point, as I landed close to thirty of the speckled perch up to twelve-inches, in a short afternoon while fishing solo. After a slow pick at my first stop I idled the Jones Brothers up to a fallen bald cypress tree and quietly slid the anchor over the stern, so sure I was that there was somebody home. On my very first cast I saw the line twitch, a telltale sign that something had inhaled my 1/16 ounce crappie jig. I set the hook before even feeling the strike and was rewarded with a steady pull, and shortly thereafter, a thrashing twelve-inch crappie at boatside. I quickly released the fish and a second cast brought a similar result. Like submerged Christmas ornaments on a sunken Fraser Fir, the crappie were hanging tight to the dead tree’s underwater branches. Every so often a twenty-inch pickerel would grab the small jig, giving me a battle on the four-pound ultralight G. Loomis spinning rod. As the tide dropped off, so did the catching. Tidewater fishing is funny that way.

Good eating, but more than that, just plain fun to catch!

Good eating, but more than that, just plain fun to catch!

Call me crazy, but pickerel are my favorite Pocomoke River fish.

Call me crazy, but pickerel are my favorite Pocomoke River fish.

Winter pickerel like small baits, too. And they rarely cut the leader if you play them light.

Winter pickerel like small baits, too. And they rarely cut the leader if you play them light.

New cushions and windshield. Jones Brothers does good work!

New cushions and windshield. Jones Brothers does good work!

G.Loomis SJR 700 GL3 - Hands down the best crappie rod on the planet!

G.Loomis SJR 700 GL3 – Hands down the best crappie rod on the planet!

 





Josenhans Fly Fishing 20 Year Anniversary

8 01 2013

IMG_1813-002No, not my marriage – I’m very happy to say that that’s actually a bit more. Actually, the year 2013 will be the 20th year of operation for Josenhans Fly Fishing.  Formerly Josenhans Sportfishing, I changed the name a few years back, in part to remind Chesapeake Bay area anglers that salt water fly fishing is alive and well here in the “Land of Pleasant Living.” That said, I’m currently finding that over half of my trips are spinfishing or baitcasting outings. This suits me just fine, as I enjoy and welcome all manner of light-tackle fishermen. But I digress. Point being, while there have been some special individuals along the way who have given me professional advice and words of encouragement, if I began to name names I would surely overlook someone. Therefore, I would like to thank all of my clients, blog readers, newsletter subscribers, sponsors, outdoor writers, tackle industry contacts, well-wishers and friends; with a special heart-felt thanks to  my family, for making the past twenty years possible. Your past and continued support is appreciated!!

Current Fishing Report – I have none. I have been enjoying the Christmas and New Years holidays with my family. I am making plans to have some minor cosmetic work done to my Jones Brothers Cape Fisherman 20. Just a few dings and scratches after nine years of hard use. The integrity of the hull and fittings is remarkable. I think I tightened one screw on the leaning post after nine years of punishment on the sometimes choppy waters of Tangier Sound. You just can’t buy a better fishing boat for the money in my honest opinion. Anyway, I think you will be pleased the next time you step aboard.

Josenhans Fly Fishing Goes Mobile – If you have a smart phone, your can now view my Web site in mobile format. While still a work in progress, this really does allow for easier viewing of the key features of my site. You always have the option to switch to the full site format. Comments and suggestions are welcome, and encouraged, from my readers.

Susquehanna Flats Dates Going Fast – This is just a friendly “heads-up.” While I usually don’t try to “extort” dates from my clients,  I have been filling my calendar in April at a record pace. Many of the callers have been new clients and I welcome each and every one of you. If you have any inkling of booking a trip with me for the catch & release season at the flats, please call, or drop me an email at your earliest convenience. I still have plenty of good dates available, but I anticipate filling them ahead of last years schedule. As usual, if the water or fishing conditions are impossible, you will be given the option to cancel, or reschedule. That said, the adage “you won’t  know unless you go” is never more appropriate than on the flats. Last spring, some of our best “big fish” days were had casting in coffee-colored water with a strong nor’ westerly breeze. I look forward to hearing from you!

Winter Fishing Opportunities – I am currently scheduling trips on the scenic Pocomoke River out of Byrd Park in Snow Hill, Maryland. This is ultra-light tackle fishing at it’s finest. We’ll be casting crappie jigs, minnows and flies to yellow perch, crappie, pickerel and bass. A six-hour trip is only $300 and this includes fishing license, all tackle, cold and hot drinks, along with ice for your catch, if you so choose. I expect to have the boat back and ready by February 1st.

Shows and Speaking Engagements 2013 – I will be giving PowerPoint presentations to several area clubs during the winter months, and I will have my usual table at the CCA sponsored Lefty Kreh’s TieFest 2013. Contact me for additional information. If you are in the area, please drop by and say hi.  

PowerPoint Presentations

February 19 – White Clay Fly Fishers, London Tract Baptist Meeting House, Landenberg, PA 

March 6 – MSSA DC Metro Chapter, Steamers Seafood House, Bethesda, MD 

March 7 – Trout Unlimited Northern Virginia Chapter, Vienna Firehouse, Vienna, VA 

Fishing Shows

March 9 – Lefty’s Kreh’s Tiefest 2013, Prospect Bay Country Club, Grasonville, MD 

Ron Long hefts the last fish to come into my boat in 2012 - His 41-inch trophy striper

Ron Long hefts the last fish to come into my boat in 2012 – His 41-inch trophy striper