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





Josenhans Fly Fishing ~ News & Notes

3 11 2012

Hello All – I hope and pray that you and your families made it through Hurricane Sandy unscathed. I appreciate all of the calls and emails expressing well wishes for me and my family. As for me and mine, we came through relatively untouched. I’m afraid that I can’t say the same for Crisfield.  Floodwaters rose during the peak of the storm to levels not experienced since Hurricane Floyd in 1999, and some say since Hazel in ’54. The good news is, I traveled down there yesterday and found the clean-up is progressing nicely, with many of the stores, shops and restaurants already back to at least partial operational status. The Captain Tyler Motel, Waterman’s Inn and Circle Inn are all open for business. Allowing the town a full week to get back on its feet, I should be up and fishing again beginning Monday, November 5th.  I expect the rockfish action to be terrific around the banks and creeks of Smith, Fox and Tangier Islands. I’ve included some of this fall’s speckled trout photo’s for your viewing pleasure, but first, some additional news & notes.

Tangier Sound Rockfish – While speckled trout are  making a beeline for parts south, Tangier Sound striper fishing is just heating up! Right before the storm, rockfish catches had increased in both size and numbers while fishing the shallows and creeks of Smith, Fox and Tangier Islands. This is a great time of the year to fish the island marshes, catching stripers on light tackle, while enjoying the company of migrating waterfowl and shorebirds. I have a handful of dates available during the next three weeks that I would like to fill, so come give it a try. You won’t be disappointed!!

CBBT – Due to the many requests that I have been receiving, I have decided to begin fishing the CBBT (Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel) near Cape Charles, VA beginning the week after Thanksgiving. I have a limited number of dates available, so if you are interested in a chance to catch a big striper on light tackle, please give me a call at 443-783-3271, or drop me an email at kjosenhans@aol.com This is cold-weather fishing, so proper fowl-weather gear is a must! Check-out my Web site for pricing and trip info at www.josenhansflyfishing.com

Walk-Ons– I have one or two anglers interested in sharing the cost of a trip with another angler. This will be for Tangier Sound fishing between now and Thanksgiving. Please contact me asap if you have an interest.  

Chesapeake Women Anglers (CWA) Crisfield trip with Capt. Dan Harrison and your’s truly – http://www.chesapeakewomenanglers.org

LaJan Barnes (CWA) with a healthy redfish

Pati Nicholson (CWA) shows-off a beautiful speck

Lucia DiRado (CWA) joinined in on the great speckled trout action!

Gene Jones with a nice speck on the Big Annemessex River

George Jones hefts a fat speck

Scotty Bolles with his Annemessex River speck

The “Jones Brothers” George & Gene – Sorry, no relation to the boat builder

What a Day!! Dave Wilmoth with one of a pair at 6 pounds!

Rob McColligan boated this nice spotted trout

Ron Long proudly displays a big speck

Dave put’s the finishing touch on a 42 speck day with his second 6 pounder!

Dick Franyo with one of 23 specks he and Joe Evans caught on fly tackle

Terry Tubman landed this 5 pound beauty in lower Tangier Sound

Phil Todd and Terry having a great day catching big specks

Bobby Shenton, Phil Todd & Terry Tubman show off some of the days catch

Tom Stapf & John Plowman pulled 17 nice trout from a small stretch of clean water on a blustery October day

The pool winner? Beautiful speck John!!

Kevin Gladhill braved the wind and cold to pull a few nice specks from the shallows

Michael Rembold took top honors for specks on yet another wind-blown day

Maurice Klein enjoyed good success with specks, rock and redfish.

Keith Campbell arived during the transition from specks to stripers

Kevin Campbell proved the specks were still around

These pelicans should be heading south very soon

Matt King shows off a healthy shallow water striper

Bill Enos with a fine rockfish, and..

..a beautiful late-season speckled trout

Skip Powers with a colorful speck on his birthday. Happy Birthday Skip!





Josenhans FF ~ Specks Hanging On!

14 10 2012

As you can probably guess by my lack of blog posts, it has been a very busy fall fishing season. Since Labor Day, I have been on the water just about every day that the weather has allowed me to fish. While business is booming, I’m afraid it does not leave me a lot of time for writing updates. I apologize for this and will try to be more current with future fishing reports. Now, on to the current fishing situation. Speckled trout catches have slowed a bit during this recent cold snap, but I look for things to pick back up once the weather stabilizes. Last season, we had some of the year’s highest catch totals during the second and third weeks of October. Keeping my fingers crossed! The flip-side of cooler water temp’s is rockfish action has really taken-off! Yesterday, we enjoyed my best day with stripers since early June. Rock to 26-inches are keeping clients happy while searching for the sometimes finicky specks. Redfish are still around, as well. Enjoy some snapshots of this fall’s successes!! 

Kyrie Perdue hefts a beautiful fall speck!

Jay Burkholder landed this nice rockfish on a very windy day fishing out of Onancock, VA

Jay added this very nice speck!!

Todd Allen shows off a fat speck

Gary Beard got in on a little redfish action

Gary’s son Randy with a gorgeous puppy drum

Diane Hurley fooled this colorful speck

Ray Shelesky with his six-pound speck

Steve Shelesky caught his on the fly

Steve and his dad Ray had a great day catching specks

Norm Bayer proudly shows-off a fat speck. Norm is a sales rep for Teeny Fly Lines and Shu-Fly fly rods

Bob Hedrick with a fly caught speck

Joe Lundin joined Norm and Bob in the hot action!

Lew Armistead with a nice fly-caught spotted trout

John Holton with a beauty of a trout!!

Mark Nichols had a day to write home about!!

Mark Symmes with one of 42 specks between him and Mark N.

Mark S. with this season’s 1000th speckled trout

 

Mark N. with a nice spottail

 

 





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 kjosenhans@aol.com 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