The window-down kind of days have slowly brought on the wader-up type of outings. Like a banner of farewell, the bold colors of the trees bid bon voyage to the mass exodus that brings about a sea change to the Chesapeake Bay fishery.
The last several weeks have been a great time to take advantage of the gluttonous appetite of many species on the way out. And if there was a certain summer specie you were looking for, unfortunately time is running out. My quest for a trophy croaker (3lbs or 20") will have to resume next year as I fell short in 2012.
One of the species that stay available almost all year, including winter in certain warm water pockets is the speckled trout. Local legend and trout master, Forrest Short, was once again generous enough to let me hang out with him a few weeks ago.
On Sunday the 21st, I took my cousin Chris and his friend Steve out to meet Richie Bekolay at the trout hole. Long story short, casting MirroLures, jigging soft plastics and trolling either or both did the trick. Pink, pink/yellow, chartreuse, peppered white, and dark greens with chartreuse tails were the flavors of the day. Several nice specks up to 20" and a few small reds were tagged and released.
|Richie Bekolay 18" Speckled Trout|
|Chris Lee with an 18" Speckled Trout. He also had a pretty 20"er earlier|
We were off the water just as the sun was setting. After a bite to eat we launched again at the HRBT. There was 2 hours left of the outgoing and I was hopeful. But I was wrong. As my cousin put it, I "snipered" off the one lone striper we saw on the entire light line. It was a skinny little 21"er and I put the lure perfectly in it's path. Unfortunately no picture. As the current slowed, we jigged for whatever wanted to bite since we had to wait until the tide swung. After several gray trout, I picked up a 15" flounder and just as I was tossing it toward my cousin (just to startle him) I realized that was my inshore slam (speck, red & flounder)... and with the striper, an inshore grand slam... a pleasant surprise, but unfortunately, no pictures of the flounder or striper. As the incoming current picked up I was really hoping that the stripers would line up thick. However, after 2.5 hours into the tide, I knew it wasn't going to happen. We found a few here and there that were very finicky. I managed to entice 8 or so up to 27". Chris and Steve had a few follow their lures but not commit. It was great none the less to see them so excited. Actually seeing the fish, sometimes literally right next to the kayak in paddle touching distance, reacting to their presentations is really a magical thing. Even though they didn't catch any, they understood the challenge and what to look for. They'll be back, I'm sure.
It was a great day to enjoy the season and spread the love... and the addiction.