Tropical Storm, Super High Tides & Big Winds
September 6, 2016 | Well, that was Labor Day Weekend, so what happened to the fish? Before we tackle that question, let us look at what was happening before the storm.
Rockfish and blues were mixed, breaking the surface and attracting feeding gulls at Cedar Point from the O'Club to the PR buoy. The blues are about 15 to 18 inches, and most of the rockfish are the same size, but there are plenty of keepers in excess of 20 inches for patient fishermen. Trollers using spoons, bucktails, and sassy shads using 8 to 12 ounces of lead on the rip are very successful. Lure casters using top water plugs, crank baits, and bucktails are doing very well but have to wade through a lot of 17 to 19 inchers.
The Potomac had lots of breaking rockfish at the mouth of Smith Creek, in the St. Mary's River, and on the Virginia side from Ragged Point to Dolly Parton. Rockfish are scattered all up and down the Potomac from the 301 bridge to Smith Point.
Chummers and chunkers were catching cobia in the Bay near buoy 70. Good days produced one or two fish; great days were as many as five.
The huge bull reds have been playing hide and seek. I ventured out with Captain Kyle Johnson (Rock Solid Charter) last Thursday where we landed a fine Cobia and then went looking for the big channel bass.
We got an urgent call from a fellow charter boat that the fish had come up. Even though we could see the boat, it took about 20 minutes to get there. We found big slicks and smelled the odor of feeding reds, but they were gone. The weather got snotty and the boats from up north in Solomons headed home, fighting an ugly headwind. Our caller, the "Red Osprey," was trolling and had hooked four big reds in the 50-pound category. All the fish stuck at once. Our goal was to sight cast to the fish, and the heavy wind and seas was making this method untenable. We headed back toward the Target Ship looking and Captain Kyle yelled out a sighting. Ahead of us about a half mile away there was a swimming pool sized area of white water. By the time we arrived, there was only the slick they had created feeding on alewives. The weather forced us to head for home at Buzz's Marina in St. Jerome's Creek. We had a good cobia, and the excitement of getting close to the big redfish; a great day on the water.
Since the storm, there has been good fishing off the Town Creek Pier where keeper rockfish have been caught and lure casters using top water plugs have done well at sunset. There were about 15 big spot taken off the pier on Sunday night along with a dozen or so croaker that were 15 to 16 inches. There are white perch and lots of puffer fish off the pier.
The water is still high and normal tide heights may not resume until later in the week. The rockfish action should now get really good. The storm has dropped the water temperature a good 5 degrees and that will start to school up the rockfish.
The Spanish mackerel, big reds, and cobia could be put on the run by the sudden cooling, but the water is still at summertime levels, and as long as there is bait to chase, they may stay.
Perch are in the creeks with the cool, clean water pushing in from the rivers. There are tons of undersize reds in the creeks, and they are getting bigger every day.
Crabbing is fantastic.
Chris Gooden from Richmond, VA., with a fine Cobia from near Buoy 70.