Mill Creek, just north of Annapolis, was socked in by fog Friday morning as Capt. Ed Darwin moved about the Becky D, lighting the kerosene heater, warming the engine and chatting easily with a late-season charter party.
"This is the fifth straight morning like this, and even though I should know the channel by heart, I think I'll wait at least until I can see across the creek before we take off, " Darwin said as he stowed a horde of bloodworms in the ice chest.
"There's some nice fish out there - big white perch and a lot of really nice rock. The trout seem mostly to have moved on, but we might get lucky."
Darwin, who retired from the Baltimore city school system some years ago, has been running charters on the Becky D for more than 25 years, specializing in light tackle fishing from Poplar Island to the Patapsco River.
Bob Dobart, former bass fishing angler of the year in Maryland, booked the trip to learn more about feather jigging for sea trout in the Bay Bridge area from Darwin, an acknowledged master.
"I have wanted to learn this for years, " said Dobart, president of the Bass Expo, Saltwater Fishing and Fly Fishing Show, held each January at the state fairgrounds in Timonium. "After I heard Ed give a seminar at the show last year, I thought he was probably the guy to teach me."
But by the end of the day, with the wind close to 25 knots and 3-foot seas rolling up Chesapeake Bay, Dobart and his good friend, John Melzer, were teaching the master a few tricks.
"You take what you learn in bass fishing, and you can use it anywhere, " said Melzer, as Darwin steered the Becky D through a thinning fog out the narrow, horseshoe channel into Whitehall Bay. "I gave up bass tournament fishing about 10 years ago and started fishing the bay, and the difference amazed me. There are just so many different species out here."
But to Darwin's way of thinking, there were really only two good possibilities Friday - white perch and rock - and only two sure-fire ways of catching them.
"I think what we'll do first is try jigging the rock piles at the bridge, and then, if the wind doesn't come up early, we'll run north and try bottom bouncing, " Darwin said, as the Becky D ran out past Hackett's, where a half-dozen patent tongers worked the bar for oysters.
Jigging small bucktails at the rock pile produced a handful of perch and a dozen rockfish, including a half dozen over 20 inches, and a pair of nice sea trout. But after an hour or so, the action slowed and Darwin headed the Becky D north toward the lumps and edges off Gibson Island, just south of the mouth of the Patapsco.
Normally, Darwin would set up for bottom bouncing, trolling with just enough weight to hold bottom while small bucktails trailed behind just a few inches above.
Instead, Dobart asked to drift over the edges while jigging a 2-ounce silver spoon he said had been steadily stinging rockfish and trout in the Solomons area.
Off Gibson Island, however, the spoons did little Friday, even though the Becky D's fish finder showed plenty of tightly packed fish.
About that Saltwater fishing expo in SOmerset
I had posted about the Fishing Expo in Somerset, remember someone said it was spam? :) Well, I did go to it and it was amazing. Holy shit! I found a new brand (to me) of Fly reel that seems to be really well made and inexpensive, for a fly reel. So soon as I get some free cash I'll order one.
It was really great, it's been a very long time since I've done any fishing and it just felt great to be around like minded people and really get to see what kind of tackle is used up here in the North East. Now I just gotta figure out how, when and where to get out
Saltwater Fishing Expo in Somerset
March 18-20th there is a Saltwater Expo at the Garden State Center. I'm going and thought I'd give you guys a heads up in case you want to go.
Go to www dot sportshows dot com to get more info, there are three more scheduled in different areas in the North East.
I went to the Flyfishing SHow there and it was amazing!
Pennsylvania gun owners
Pennsylvania gun owners threatened to boycott the state's largest hunting and fishing expo Tuesday after organizers announced that they would ban the display and sale of assault rifles at this year's show. Reed Exhibitions, a British-based company that runs the Eastern Sports and Outdoor Show in Harrisburg each February, notified vendors of the change in policy over the last several days, a company representative confirmed to The Inquirer.
The presence of so-called assault weapons and high-capacity magazines might have served as "a distraction" from other aspects of the event in the wake of the recent school shootings in Newtown, Conn
See the stars of 'Duck Dynasty' at the 4th Annual Tennessee Valley Hunting and .. — whnt.com
.. with stars of the hit TV show “Duck Dynasty,” receive fishing tips from a Bassmaster Classic Champion, and tour over 500 sporting manufacturers' booths during the 4th Annual Tennessee Valley Hunting and Fishing Expo at the Von Braun Civic Center.
Hunting and Fishing Expo features TV celebrities, water-skiing squirrel and .. — whnt.com
HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) – If you have an interest in the outdoors, the South Hall of the Von Braun Center in Huntsville is the place to be. It's the home of this year's Tennessee Valley Hunting and Fishing Expo.