May 2004 Fishing Reports

MAY 31, 2004
Middle Chesapeake Bay Report
By Capt. Jim Brincefield

Today was our 64th Fishing Trip of the 2004 season. We welcomed Dr. Leonard Bachman and friends for a total of 11 anglers. Since the fishing at The Airplane Wreck and “The Gooses” was so poor the day before yesterday and yesterday’s “Around The World” trip was completely miserable, we tried some different spots today. We baited up with Razor Clams and cut Bunker fished from standard chumming rigs. We also baited up some bottom rigs with Razor Clams, Squid, and Peeler Crabs. Here is the scoreboard for today’s chumming and bottom fishing trip:
Diamonds: 0

Cook’s Point: 0
Choptank Approach Buoy 4: 0
James Island Red #2 Buoy: 1 Croakersaurus (Woo Hoo!)
Volacano: 0
At this point, the outlook for the day was grim. These guys were all standing on deck in the pouring rain, heavy seas, and howling winds with looming thunderstorms and predicted tornadoes – trying so hard to catch a fish – it was unreal. Needless to say, my frustration level was 25 on a scale of 1 to 10. I was absolutely determined to get something, anything, going. I learned a little bit more today about our motto “NEVER, EVER GIVE UP.” Ira Harris, my good friend – who died last year after a valiant fight with cancer (and who made me try that gawd awful gifelta fish) – you can take credit for this one, buddy. I looked over to your spot on the boat and thought about your pole sitting in it’s holder with the cigar attached and your determined attitude. I thought about our agreement and our bond “NEVER, EVER GIVE UP.” I told the party about you, your story and your determination and asked for their patience and yes, I prayed. Now, don’t get me wrong, I pray a lot, but this time I really prayed. I’ve been so frustrated with this years’ fishing I literally prayed and asked God to give me the strength that Ira had and to help me to NEVER, EVER GIVE UP. This party was the nicest bunch of guys and they were trying so hard. That’s right, I prayed. Call it silly, call it what you will, but you know what – when you are in the darkest despair, that’s always the ticket. We kept working and working and finally decided to try 15 Gallon Hill. There, God’s will, Ira’s magic and legacy, and the sheer determination of 11 weary anglers, an able 1st Mate – Zach Stauffer, and 1 very thankful Captain merged to create one of the most beautiful dances I have ever witnessed on this earth. The fish started biting, and biting, and they kept on biting. As the boat swung wildly in the turbulent seas, tangles didn’t matter, lost fish didn’t matter, torrential rains didn’t matter, broken off lines didn’t matter, heavy seas didn’t matter, and thunderstorms didn’t matter. The fish were biting and that was all that mattered. We caught fish until we could absolutely catch no more. I will never forget today as long as I live.

MAY 30, 2004
Middle Chesapeake Bay Report
By Capt. Jim Brincefield

Today was our 63rd Fishing Trip of the 2004 season. We welcomed Maggie Lee and the gang from Chempacific Corporation for a total of 27 anglers. Since the fishing at The Airplane Wreck and ” The Gooses” was so poor yesterday we tried some different spots (unfortunately with the same results of slow fishing). We baited up with Razor Clams and cut Bunker fished from standard chumming rigs. We also baited up some bottom rigs with Bloodworms. Razor Clams, Squid, and Peeler Crabs. Here is the scoreboard for our “Round The World” chumming and bottom fishing trip: Diamonds: 1 single 14 inch Rockfish (released) and 1 medium White Perch
Cook’s Point: 0

Junction Buoy: 2 medium Norfolk Spot and 1 Jumbo Norfolk Slab Spot
Bomber Buoy: 0
Poplar Island: 0
West River Lumps: 5 medium White Perch and 4 small White Perch
Tolly’s Point: 0
Thomas Point: 1 single 5 inch long Rockfish (released)

So, as you can see, it was a really tough day. Another slow bite today (that’s 2 in a row if you are counting). Thanks to the party for really hanging in there and trying hard. Capt. Karl Bieberich served as 1st Mate today.

MAY 29, 2004
Middle Chesapeake Bay Report
By Capt. Jim Brincefield

You know, this fishing business sure can make a man humble. Today was our 62nd Fishing Trip of the 2004 season. We welcomed the 3 generations of the Burkholder family for a total of 7 anglers. Since the fishing at our wonderfully productive spot at The Airplane Wreck has been so good, we figured out we would try “The Gooses” on the way there figuring we could always easily limit out at our honey hole if “The Gooses” didn’t pan out. We hadn’t tried “The Gooses” in a while and we figured it would be a shorter run if it did work out. Well, it didn’t. So, still undaunted, we sashayed on down to The Promised Land with the greatest confidence of success after 5 days of red hot fishing at this location. Today’s fishing reminds me of a story. My grandfather – Capt. Al “The Livin’ Legend” Jones taught me something – which I have always remembered (but rarely follow). We were having a tough day one day and I was pulling what is left of my hair out trying to catch a fish. I had been wearing ’em out many days in a row and this particular day I couldn’t catch a fish if my life depended on it. I asked Capt. Al – “What am I doing wrong – I can’t understand why this is happening. I’m doing the same things, the same baits, the same rigs, the same techniques, the fish are here – why is this happening”? Capt. Al just smiled, squinted his eyes and said “when you figure it out, let me know”. Well, I’ve never figured it out. Maybe I never will. Maybe that’s the point. You’ll never figure out this fishing business. At any rate, we baited up with Razor Clams and cut Bunker fished from standard chumming rigs. We caught 3 portly Striped Bass (“Rockfish”) – a 17 ¾” (released), a 19 inch keeper, and a 21inch keeper, and that was it. We also caught 2 Atlantic Croakers (“Hardhead”) in the chum slick – one was a “Croakersaurus”. Some very slow fishing (again). My sincere thanks to the party for hanging in there despite the excruciatingly slow bite. Capt. Karl Bieberich served as 1st Mate today. Earning a MDDNR Citation and Embroidered Patch was Robert Burkholder for a 17″ Hardhead (see photo).

MAY 28, 2004
Middle Chesapeake Bay Report
By Capt. Jim Brincefield

Today was our 61st Fishing Trip of the 2004 season and ol’ Capt. Croakerhead’s (ahem, ahem) 29th birthday (again). We welcomed “Uncle” – Ed “The 6 Foot Pole” Mechlinski and the Stewartstown, PA gang for a total of 6 anglers. We slithered on down to The Promised Land which is now red hot smokin’ potato. We are now experiencing some of the best light and ultra light spinning tackle Striped Bass (“Rockfish”) fishing one could ever ask for. We baited up with Razor Clams and cut Bunker fished from standard chumming rigs. We admonished 20 obese Rockfish from 16″ – 25 ¼”, kept our limit of 12 plus our boat fish of the largest fish, and released the rest. We also caught our first Bluefish of the year! 5 days in a row of a red hot bite and we are groovin’ on a Friday afternoon. Then we went bottom fishing in this same area using light spinning tackle rigged with standard bottom rigs. We baited up with Peeler Crabs, Razor Clams, Squid, and Bloodworms. We caught 12 Atlantic Croaker (“Hardhead”) from 11″ – 15″ and 3 Jumbo Norfolk “Slab” Spot in 8 drifts. We also released our 1st Cownosed Ray of the year (oh, no)! At first we thought it was a big Drum fish, but when the brown bomber appeared on the surface, a collective groan was heard from the crew& Capt. Al “The Livin’ Legend” Jones served as 1st Mate today (on far left, in group shot).

Our 1st Bluefish of the year
Our 1st Bluefish of the year

MAY 27, 2004
Middle Chesapeake Bay Report
By Capt. Jim Brincefield

Today was our 60th Fishing Trip of the 2004 season. We welcomed Mr. Doug Bivens, Mr. Timothy Fields, and the gang from ROYALHOUSE CONSTRUCTION Custom Built Homes in Clear Spring, MD for a total of 5 anglers. We went sashayed right back down to our same “honey hole” which has now worked like a charm for excellent light and ultra light spinning tackle Striped Bass (“Rockfish”) fishing the last 3 days. We baited up with Razor Clams and cut Bunker fished from standard chumming rigs. We paddled 15 portly Rockfish from 16” ­ 27”, kept our limit of 10 plus our boat fish of the largest fish, and released the rest. 4 days in a row of a red hot bite and we are on a roll now. Then we went bottom fishing in this same area using light spinning tackle rigged with standard bottom rigs. We baited up with Peeler Crabs, Razor Clams, Squid, and Bloodworms. We caught 29 Atlantic Croaker (“Hardhead”) from 11” ­ 17.50” in 7 drifts. T.J. Reiber served as 1st Mate today (on far left, in group shot).

MAY 26, 2004
Middle Chesapeake Bay Report
By Capt. Jim Brincefield

Today was our 59th Fishing Trip of the 2004 season. We welcomed Mr. Wayne Sanders, Mr. Jim Waring, and the gang from VERIZON Customer Operations in Hanover, MD for a total of 10 anglers. We went right back to our same honey hole where we finally found some good Striped Bass (“Rockfish”) fishing the last 2 days at The Airplane Wreck. We used light and ultra light spinning tackle. We baited up with Razor Clams and cut Bunker fished from standard chumming rigs. We flogged 35 obese Rockfish from 16” ­ 25”, kept our limit of 20 plus our boat fish of the largest fish, and released the rest. 3 days in a row of a red hot bite is getting us back in the groove. We also caught a 15” Atlantic Croaker (“Hardhead”) in the chum slick. Capt. Karl Bieberich served as 1st Mate today (on far left, in rear, in group shot).

MAY 25, 2004
Middle Chesapeake Bay Report
By Capt. Jim Brincefield

Today was our 58th Fishing Trip of the 2004 season. We welcomed Mr. Andy McDonald, infamous Bay Weekly Intern/Reporter, GMU graduate student, and all around fishing aficionado and friends from NOVA for a total of 7 anglers. We went right back to our same honey hole where we finally found some good Striped Bass (“Rockfish”) fishing yesterday at The Airplane Wreck. We baited up with Razor Clams and cut Bunker fished from standard chumming rigs. We flogged 25 obese Rockfish from 17″ – 25.25″, kept our limit of 14 plus our boat fish, and released the rest. 2 days in a row of a red hot bite has done my soul good. “These pipes are clean.” So, fresh on the heels of our great success of Rockfishing, we were eager to try some Flounder fishing. Back to reality – goose egg – DOH! Then we tried some bottom fishing and that was slow. We rigged up with standard bottom rigs and baited up with Peeler Crabs, Bloodworms, Razor Clams, and cut Squid. We caught 6 Atlantic Croaker (“Hardhead”), 1 Jumbo Norfolk “Slab” Spot, and 1 White Spotted Hake. Just so everyone is acutely aware – the “Jil Carrie” is now the premiere White Spotted Hake Sportfishing boat. Capt. Al “The Livin’ Legend” Jones served as 1st Mate today (on far right in group shot).

MAY 24, 2004
Middle Chesapeake Bay Report
By Capt. Jim Brincefield

Today was our 57th Fishing Trip of the 2004 season. We welcomed Mr. John Stump, family, and friends from NOVA for a total of 8 anglers. We finally found some good Striped Bass (“Rockfish”) biting way down The Bay at The Airplane Wreck. We baited up with Razor Clams and cut Bunker fished from standard chumming rigs. Finally, after 9 long days of struggling, we spanked 30 obese Rockfish from 17” ­ 27.5”, kept our limit of 16 plus our boat fish, and released the rest. Man, it felt good to get a bite today. We also did some bottom fishing at this location. We rigged up with standard bottom rigs and baited up with Peeler Crabs and cut Squid. We caught 7 Atlantic Croaker (“Hardhead”) from 15” ­ 17.25”. Mr. Thomas C. Snedeker from Arlington, VA earned a MDDNR Citation and Embroidered Patch for the largest a portly 17.25”/2.7 pound “Croakersaurus”. T.J. Reiber served as 1st Mate today (in rear, in group shot).

MAY 23, 2004
Middle Chesapeake Bay Report
By Capt. Jim Brincefield

Today was our 56th Fishing Trip of the 2004 season. We welcomed Mr. Randy Steck and friends from The Van Metre Companies of Burke, VA for a total of 8 anglers. The disaster which is the 2004 Summer Season chumming for Striped Bass (“Rockfish”) continues. We tried The Hill today with the same results as everywhere else ­ GOOSE EGG. I am at my wits end with this fishing. Why is the chumming 50 miles south of here so good right now while we are suffering? Is it the very poor water quality in this part of The Bay? What is going on with this problem? Is this the beginning of more dead zones in our part of The Bay like we saw last year? After not getting a single bite on The Hill, we decided to try bottom fishing at Thomas Point Light, Tolly’s Point Bar, The West River Lumps, and Holland Point Bar. We rigged up with standard bottom rigs and baited up with Bloodworms, Peeler Crabs, and Razor Clams. We made what we could of yet another bad day (that’s 9 in a row in case you are counting) with 29 medium and jumbo White Perch and 1 Jumbo Norfolk “Slab” Spot. We also released about a dozen or so small White Perch. We also released 1 undersized Rockfish caught on a bottom rig. We also released another White Spotted Hake (very strange). T.J. Reiber served as 1st Mate today (on far left, in rear, in group shot).

MAY 22, 2004
Middle Chesapeake Bay Report
By Capt. Jim Brincefield

Today was our 55th Fishing Trip of the 2004 season. We welcomed Mr. John Holt and friends for a total of 5 anglers. The disaster which is the 2004 Summer Season chumming for Striped Bass (“Rockfish”) continues. We tried Cove Point again today for no other reason other than it’s been a week since we tried it last. One week later, same result. Zip. Nada. Not even a bite in 4 hours. Oh my gawd what is wrong with these Rockfish? So, under the circumstances, we decided to try bottom fishing at Cedar Point, Drum Point, Little Cove Point, Long Beach and Parker’s Creek. We rigged up with standard bottom rigs and baited up with Bloodworms, Peeler Crabs, and Razor Clams. We made a day of it with 5 Jumbo White Perch, our first 12 Atlantic Croaker (“Hardhead”) of the year, and our first 3 Jumbo Norfolk “Slab” Spot of the year. We also released 1 undersized Rockfish caught on a bottom rig. We also released a huge Oyster Toad Fish! Zach Stauffer served as 1st Mate today (on far right, in rear, in group shot). Elizabeth Renaut of Annapolis, MD (on far right in group shot) earned a MDDNR Citation and My 1st Fish Award for a 10 ½ inch White Perch.

MAY 21, 2004
Middle Chesapeake Bay Report
By Capt. Jim Brincefield

Today was our 54th Fishing Trip of the 2004 season. We welcomed Mr. Paul Rickett and the gang from Educational Services, Inc. for their annual Spring Fishing Outing for a total of 13 anglers. After the last several days of disasters chumming for Striped bass (“Rockfish”) at The Hill, today, I did not even bother. Discouraged chatter between other Captains over the marine VHF radio during the day served only to confirm my decision as the Rockfish bite is still dead as a hammer here. In addition, consultation with other Captains at the wharf last evening painted a very grim picture, indeed. So, under the circumstances, we decided to try bottom fishing at Thomas Point Light House and at Tolly’s Point. We rigged up with standard bottom rigs and baited up with Bloodworms, Peeler Crabs, cut Bunker, and Razor Clams. I hate to brag on Whiter Perch, but it’s all we have going right now and, frankly it was just really nice to catch a lot of fish after struggling so much the past several days. We made a day of it with 150 keeper medium and Jumbo White Perch. We also released about the same number of small White Perch that weren’t big enough to clean. We also released 2 undersized Rockfish caught on the bottom rigs. The big news today was that we caught our first Norfolk Spot! Although he was not a Slabber, it was good to see Spotty making his return to our waters for the Summer. We hope to have another good year with the tasty and sporting Slabbers this year. We also caught 9 White Spotted Hake (all released). This is an ocean fish that has apparently made it’s way into The Bay this Spring. I don’t know much about this fish (see yesterday’s Fishing Report) but they look very strange. Zach Stauffer served as 1st Mate today. And yes, once again, we have two items on the menu…until we run out of one of them…

MAY 20, 2004
Middle Chesapeake Bay Report
By Capt. Jim Brincefield

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Today was our 53rd Fishing Trip of the 2004 season. We welcomed John Reiff and friends for a total of 9 anglers. And (inexplicably) yet another day of absolutely horrifying fishing here in Deale. Hello& Houston, we have a problem here. Against my better judgment, we decided to try The Hill chumming with light spinning tackle for Striped Bass (“Rockfish”). These guys fished hard for 4 hours and we only had 2 undersized Rockfish (released) to show for it. This slow fishing is absolutely impossible for me to understand. We should be whackin’ ’em right now. I’m completely at my wits end. After 4 hours of this BS, I had more than enough.

I asked the guys if they would like to try some bottom fishing as we had not tried that yet this season. We went over to Thomas Point Light and baited up with Bloodworms, Peeler Crabs, cut Bunker, and Razor Clams. As completely pitiful as this may sound, we somewhat salvaged the day with 23 keeper medium and Jumbo White Perch. We also released about 20 small White Perch that weren’t big enough to clean. But a strange thing also happened today. We caught a fish I have never seen before and I thought it might be a Snakehead as it kinda looked like it! After this odd catch, I immediately consulted with the MDDNR Fisheries Service via The Bat Phone. The strange critter (picture) turned out to be a White Spotted Hake. This is an ocean fish that has apparently made it’s way into The Bay. T.J. Reiber served as 1st Mate today. Still no cake aboard the “Jil Carrie”.

MAY 18, 2004
Middle Chesapeake Bay Report
By Capt. Jim Brincefield

Today was our 51st Fishing Trip of the 2004 season. We welcomed MBC Design/Build Inc. for a total of 6 anglers. It was another day of excellent weather and sea conditions. We got such a late start that I decided not to try The Hill since I figured it would be covered up with boats by the time we got there. We decided to try some chumming with light spinning tackle for Striped Bass (Rockfish) at The Gooses. We did not get a bite there. We also tried Breezy Point, Calvert Cliffs Nuclear Power Plant, and Cove Point to no avail. No fish anywhere. Stinky, rotten, skunk. This is horrifying fishing so far for the chumming season. What is going on? Zach Stauffer served as 1st Mate today. No picture. Yeesh. This sucks!!

MAY17, 2004
Middle Chesapeake Bay Report
By Capt. Jim Brincefield

Today was our 50th Fishing Trip of the 2004 season. We welcomed Kevin Webb and friends from Harford County, MD for a total of 6 anglers. It was another day of excellent weather and sea conditions. We went over to The Hill to try some chumming with light spinning tackle. It was a much better day than yesterday as we caught 8 stout keeper Striped Bass (“Rockfish”) ranging from 18.5” – 25”. We also released quite a few undersized Rockfish. This is still not the light tackle action we expect this time of year, but it’s a start, at least. Capt. Karl Bieberich (in rear, on left, in group shot) served as 1st Mate.

MAY 16, 2004
Middle Chesapeake Bay Report
By Capt. Jim Brincefield

Today was our 49th Fishing Trip of the 2004 season and the 1st day of the Summer/Fall Season. We welcomed Steve Martin and friends from Delaware for a total of 6 anglers. It was another day of excellent weather and sea conditions. We had a plan to try and catch some of the last of the Spring Trophies via light tackle by live lining White Perch. We purchased some live White Perch and went on over to The Hill. We bombed out on that score not catching a single one. Then we tried some chumming and only caught 7 undersized Striped Bass (“Rockfish”) which we released. Trying to get something in the box for dinner we went bottom fishing at Poplar Island and then at Blackwalnut Point. We bombed out on that, as well. Overall, it was a very poor day. Capt. Karl Bieberich served as 1st Mate. No picture today. There still is no cake available on the “Jil Carrie”.

MAY 15, 2004
Middle Chesapeake Bay Report
By Capt. Jim Brincefield

Today was the fifteenth day of May, the 29th day of the 2004 Maryland Spring Trophy Striped Bass (“Rockfish”) Season, the last day of the 2004 Spring Trophy Season and our 48th Fishing Trip of the 2004 season. We had our Annual Navy – Bethesda MWR Spring Trophy Outing for a total of 10 anglers. Another day of excellent weather and sea conditions. We slithered on down south below the CP Buoy and trolled south towards the Calvert Cliffs Nuclear Power Plant and the Cove Point Natural Gas Pier. Another late start today and another big miss of the early morning bite. The fishing was very slow today as we are now mired in the mid May struggle portion of the season. Warm air temperatures have pushed the water temperatures up to 69 degrees. We are switching to light tackle on Sunday ­ 5/16. Today, we had only 2 strikes. We lost one fish (which really hurts when things are slow), and kept only 1 pudgy Rockfish of 32”. Capt. Karl Bieberich served as 1st Mate today. We have no more cake aboard the “Jil Carrie”.

MAY 14, 2004
Middle Chesapeake Bay Report
By Capt. Jim Brincefield

Today was the fourteenth day of May, the 28th day of the 2004 Maryland Spring Trophy Striped Bass (“Rockfish”) Season, and our 47th Fishing Trip of the 2004 season. We had our Annual Joe Anderson and friends from Northern Virginia Spring Trophy Outing for a total of 8 anglers. Another day of excellent weather and sea conditions. We slithered on down south below the CP Buoy and trolled south towards the Calvert Cliffs Nuclear Power Plant and the Cove Point Natural Gas Pier. We got a late start going out which really hurt us in missing the early morning bite. The fishing was very slow today as we are now entering the mid May struggle portion of the season. Warm air temperatures have pushed the water temperatures up to 68 degrees. We are switching to light tackle on Sunday ­ 5/16. Today, we had only 8 strikes. We lost two fish (which really hurts when things are slow), released two undersized fish (24” & 27”) and kept 4 pudgy Rockfish ranging from 30”- 36”. My scheduled 1st Mate today decided that he needs more sleep rather than come to work, so I worked by myself (again). A big “Jil Carrie” Thank You to the fishing party for their help with the 1st Mate’s duties along with our apologies for the “no show” and the slow fishing.

MAY 13, 2004
Middle Chesapeake Bay Report
By Capt. Jim Brincefield

Today was the thirteenth day of May, the 27th day of the 2004 Maryland Spring Trophy Striped Bass (“Rockfish”) Season, and our 46th Fishing Trip of the 2004 season. We had our Annual Jim “Lead Rod Jr.” Boland Jr. and friends Spring Trophy Outing for a total of 5 anglers. Another day of excellent weather and sea conditions. We slithered on down south below the CP Buoy and trolled south towards the Calvert Cliffs Nuclear Power Plant and the Cove Point Natural Gas Pier. The fishing was good again today. Warm air temperatures have pushed the water temperatures up to 67 degrees. We are switching to light tackle on Sunday ­ 5/16. Today, we kept 5 pudgy Rockfish ranging from 35”- 39.5”. The largest Beast From The East caught by Smokey – a 39.5 inch 20.5 pound male (that’s a really big male fish) was good enough for our 3rd Tournament win for the season. Capt. Al Jones (on far right in group picture) served as 1st Mate today. 1 angler is not pictured as he sprinted for the parking lot upon arrival at the wharf. Hot date?

Here’s Smokey with his Tournament Winner!
Here’s Smokey with his Tournament Winner!

MAY 12, 2004
Middle Chesapeake Bay Report
By Capt. Jim Brincefield

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Today was the twelfth day of May, the 26th day of the 2004 Maryland Spring Trophy Striped Bass (“Rockfish”) Season, and our 45th Fishing Trip of the 2004 season. We had our Annual Advantage Group Spring Trophy Outing led by Bruce Talbot for a total of 5 anglers. Another day of excellent weather and sea conditions. We slithered on down south below the CP Buoy and trolled north to the Goose’s Bell Buoy (Buoy 78). The fishing was good today. Warm air temperatures have pushed the water temperatures up to 67 degrees. We are switching to light tackle on Sunday ­ 5/16. Today, we hammered 12 corpulent Rockfish today keeping our limit of the 5 largest ranging from 36”- 39 and releasing the rest. Zach Stauffer (on left in group picture) served as 1st Mate today.

MAY 11, 2004
Middle Chesapeake Bay Report
By Capt. Jim Brincefield

Today was the eleventh day of May, the 25th day of the 2004 Maryland Spring Trophy Striped Bass (“Rockfish”) Season, and our 44th Fishing Trip of the 2004 season. We had our Annual Don Jerina/NIH Spring Trophy Outing for a total of 6 anglers. Another day of excellent weather and sea conditions. The severe afternoon thunderstorms skirted our area as we only heard thunder in the distance. We slithered on down to The Clay Banks Buoy (Buoy 80) and then trolled southward to the New Buoy (Buoy 78A), the Goose’s Bell Buoy and finally, trolled south to the CP Buoy. The fishing was fair at these locations again today and we hope it will hold up. Warm air temperatures are predicted for the next 10 days and the bay water temperature is up to a balmy 66 degrees. The big Trophies are scurrying oceanward and we are looking forward to the summer/fall season change on 5/16. We are switching to light tackle then. Welcome news of Hardhead and large Summer Flounder arriving in our area was received today from the pound nettersWe pounded out 6 portly Rockfish today (our limit) ranging from 30”- 38”. We had a bit of bad luck with several lost fish (including one that leaped out of the net) and an undersized Rockfish that was so small it would not be legal on 5/16 (released)! But we persevered and finished the job fortunately capturing a Trophy for each of our guests today. Zach Stauffer (in rear in group picture) served as 1st Mate today.

MAY 10, 2004
Middle Chesapeake Bay Report
By Capt. Jim Brincefield

Today was the tenth day of May, the 24th day of the 2004 Maryland Spring Trophy Striped Bass (“Rockfish”) Season, and our 43rd Fishing Trip of the 2004 season. We had our Annual Sprinkler Fitters Local 669 Union from the Columbia, MD Union Hall Spring Trophy Outing led by Al Souder for a total of 10 anglers. These guys have been together in this Union Hall in Columbia since their founding in 1972 and they really love to fish. We had excellent weather and sea conditions again today. We sashayed on down to the Goose’s Bell Buoy and trolled south to the CP Buoy and back again. The fishing was good at this location again today and we hope it will hold up. With the warm weather predicted for the next 10 days, I hear a loud flushing noise emanating from the Ocean and “The May Struggle” comin’ on. We pounded out 10 obese Rockfish today – keeping our limit of 10 ranging from 30″- 38″. Capt. Karl Bieberich (in rear in group picture) served as 1st Mate today.
MAY 9, 2004
Middle Chesapeake Bay Report
By Capt. Jim Brincefield

Today was the ninth day of May, the 23rd day of the 2004 Maryland Spring Trophy Striped Bass (“Rockfish”) Season, and our 42nd Fishing Trip of the 2004 season. We had our Annual Dan & Robert Bourcy from Fairfax, VA and friends Spring Trophy Outing for a total of 9 anglers. We had excellent conditions again today. After yesterday’s success avoiding the weekend warrior armada, I decided ride down south and troll past the CP Buoy to the Power Plant to try and hide on a weekend – Sunday. There weren’t many boats down there and the fishing was good. We pounded out 11 strikes and landed 10 portly Rockfish keeping our limit of 9 Rockfish ranging from 32”- 42.5” (our limit). We released an undersized 27.5” (would be a nice slot fish 5/16) and had a “spinner” break off a leader behind the boat. T.J. Reiber (in rear in group picture) served as 1st Mate today.

MAY 8, 2004
Middle Chesapeake Bay Report
By Capt. Jim Brincefield

Today was the eighth day of May, the 22nd day of the 2004 Maryland Spring Trophy Striped Bass (“Rockfish”) Season, and our 41st Fishing Trip of the 2004 season. We had our Annual Dave Beaston from Stewartstown, PA and friends Spring Trophy Outing for a total of 6 anglers. We had excellent conditions again today, however it was a bit bumpy early in the morning. As the day went on, the conditions improved. After yesterday’s debacle with the weekend warrior armada, I decided to take a ride down south and troll past the Goose’s Bell Buoy to the CP Buoy to try and hide. There weren’t as many boats down there, so at least my blood pressure was stable! Man, I hate weekends. We worked hard to catch 6 portly Rockfish ranging from 33”- 41.5” (our limit). But the big story today was 1st time angler and Farm Travel Club President – Justin Phillips of Spring Grove, PA. He caught the biggest Rockfish on the day ­ a 41.5” “Beast From The East” despite all of the calls from The Farm to come back to work. T.J. Reiber (not pictured) served as 1st Mate today.

MAY 7, 2004
Middle Chesapeake Bay Report
By Capt. Jim Brincefield

Today was the seventh day of May, the 21st day of the 2004 Maryland Spring Trophy Striped Bass (“Rockfish”) Season, and our 40th Fishing Trip of the 2004 season. We had our annual MD State Highway Administration Spring Trophy Outing, led by Mr. John Klausing for a total of 9 anglers. This was a 2 boat party with “Miss Grace”. We fished by trolling between Buoy 82 and the CR Buoy southeast of Deale. We had near perfect weather conditions again today which produced a 1 day premature weekend warrior armada. Hey is this Saturday? We struggled to catch 6 obese Rockfish ranging from 33”- 41” amidst a sea of boats. I don’t know if I’m getting older and less tolerant of boneheaded weekend warriors, but it seems to me that this year has just been horrible. The lack of common boating courtesy, not to mention boating safety, seems to be out of control this season so far. Of course, the days we have all of these boats packed together and cutting each other off, we struggle. After the flogging of 18 Beasts a mere 2 days ago, today seemed to be a different world. “Some days you’re the windshield and some days you’re the bug”. We definitely were the bug today. There is no cake left aboard the “Jil Carrie” today. Zach Stauffer (on far right, in rear in picture) served as 1st Mate today.
MAY 6, 2004
Middle Chesapeake Bay Report
By Capt. Jim Brincefield

Today was the sixth day of May, the 20th Day of the 2004 Maryland Spring Trophy Striped Bass (“Rockfish”) Season, and our 39th Fishing Trip of the 2004 season. We had our Jim “Klink” Mechlinski, Uncle Ed “The 6 Foot Pole Mechlinski, family, and friends from Stewartstown, PA Annual Spring Trophy Fishing Outing today for a total of 7 anglers. We fished by trolling between Buoys 82 and 83 just east of Deale. Under near perfect weather conditions and a breathtaking azure Bay sky we caught 11 corpulent Rockfish ranging from 30”- 41.5” (releasing the smallest four 30” ­ 33” and keeping our limit of 7). Capt. Al “The Livin’ Legend” Jones (2nd from left in group picture) served as 1st Mate today.

MAY 5, 2004
Middle Chesapeake Bay Report
By Capt. Jim Brincefield

Oh, what a strange and wonderful day! Today was the fifth day of May, the 19th Day of the 2004 Maryland Spring Trophy Striped Bass (“Rockfish”) Season, and our 38th Fishing Trip of the 2004 season. We had our Annual “Ol’ Duke” Wachter Spring Trophy Fishing Outing today for a total of 18 anglers. That’s right, I said 18 anglers… nahh I wasn’t nervous about getting ‘em all, no problem… That’s my story and I’m stickin’ to it! We fished by trolling between Buoys 82 and 83 just east of Deale. The morning started out with a brief light drizzle and puffy S winds, but as the morning wore on, a beautiful day developed. The fishing was red smokin’ hot today. We put the “Jil Carrie” Double Thermonuclear Hydrogen Floggin’ on ‘em today. We spanked 18 pudgy Rockfish ranging from 31”- 42” (our limit) with authority. But the wild story was when Ol’ Duke’s turn was up and he was winding in his 36” Rockfish, something very large came up behind the boat and took about a 12 inch bite out of the Rockfish right before our eyes! We could not tell what it was, but you know what I’m thinkin’? Check out the picture of the remains of this fish below. Also, a spectacular rainbow appeared over the bay with a 180 degree arc over the horizon in the afternoon. I have never seen a sight like this. The light from the rainbow literally touched down on Tilghman Island on the south end and Poplar Island on the north end (see picture below). Zach Stauffer (on far right in group picture) served as 1st Mate today.

MAY 4, 2004
Middle Chesapeake Bay Report
By Capt. Jim Brincefield

Today was the fourth day of May, the 18th Day of the 2004 Maryland Spring Trophy Striped Bass (“Rockfish”) Season, and our 37th Fishing Trip of the 2004 season. We had our Annual Catherine’s Draperies and Boat Canvas, Inc. of Deale, MD Spring Trophy Fishing Outing today for a total of 7 anglers. Conspicuous in his absence for this annual bash was “Big Bill” of Sherman’s Marina fame because he had to work. Persistent rumors of “Big Bill” having dibs on some fresh Rockfish filets for this evening’s Sherman’s Marina Happy Hour Grill made us wonder how much “work” was really getting done… We fished by trolling from Breezy Point east to the CR Buoy, then north to Buoy 82, and then west to the Deale Fishing Reef. The morning was cold, and blustery with a NNW wind of 20 – 25 knots which made for some sloppy
conditions. “Ralph”, “The Buick Salesman”, and “Earl” all made stealth appearances as the roving camera was most unfortunately unable to capture any action shots. However, as the day wore on to noon, the weather and sea conditions became much nicer. The cold, blustery NNW winds diminished and the afternoon was a beautiful Spring gem under an azure Bay sky. The fishing was slow again today and we worked hard to catch 8 corpulent Rockfish ranging from 33” – 39” (our limit). We kept the largest 7 and released a 33 inch Rockfish as we finished up and already had our limit. Things seem to be winding down already for the Spring Trophy season in our sector of the Bay. It certainly will not last as long as last year. Capt. Al “The Livin’ Legend” Jones (on far left in group picture) served as 1st Mate today.

MAY 3, 2004
Middle Chesapeake Bay Report
By Capt. Jim Brincefield

Today was the third day of May, the 17th Day of the 2004 Maryland Spring Trophy Striped Bass (“Rockfish”) Season, and our 36th Fishing Trip of the 2004 season. We had our Annual “Thank You Maryland Law Enforcement Officers” Spring Trophy Fishing Outing today for a total of 4 anglers. A few of our regularly attending officers could not make it this year but we hope they will make it next year! I cannot thank the officers of law enforcement enough for their dedication to us, the citizens of Maryland. These folks work hard for lousy pay and little recognition. Many also serve (like these officers) in the military as reserves to serve our country, as well. My hat is off to you folks for a job well done. We fished from Breezy Point south to Parker’s Creek. The day was rainy, cold, and blustery with a NNW wind of 15 ­ 20 knots which made for some sloppy conditions. The fishing was slow again today and we struggled to catch 4 Beastly Rockfish ranging from 35” ­ 42” (our limit). Things seem to be winding down already for the Spring Trophy season in our sector of the Bay. It certainly will not last as long as last year. Officer John Connors of the Montgomery County Police Department caught a 34” Trophy Rockfish. Officer Brian Fockler of the Baltimore City Police Department caught a 36” Trophy Rockfish. Trooper George Fockler of the Maryland State Police (Hagerstown Barracks) caught a 38.5” Trophy Rockfish. But the big story of the day was Trooper Barbara Shingleton of the Maryland State Police Aviation Division (Helicopter Pilot), stationed at Andrews Air Force Base, who took the day with her 42”/30 pound “Beast From The East”! Not only was this the biggest Trophy ever caught on our Annual “Thank You Maryland Law Enforcement Officers” Spring Trophy Fishing Outing ­ it won the Tournament for our second win of the season!

MAY 2, 2004
Middle Chesapeake Bay Report
By Capt. Jim Brincefield

Today was the second day of May, the 16th Day of the 2004 Maryland Spring Trophy Striped Bass (“Rockfish”) Season, and our 35th Fishing Trip of the 2004 season. We welcomed 92 years young master angler Roland Meade of Baltimore, MD, his children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren for their Annual Spring Trophy outing for a total of 10 anglers (one angler not pictured). The weekend warrior armada thinned a bit from yesterday, most likely as a result of the deteriorating weather. The day started out with fog and mist and as the day wore on heavy winds from the SSE built to 20 – 25 knots. The fishing was slow and we struggled to catch 7 chunky Rockfish ranging from 31″ – 38″. We also released 1 undersized Rockfish of 28.5 inches (DOH!). We also lost 2 fish which hurt us. My suspicion is that the curse of THE BANANAS from yesterday had not been successfully exorcised. In addition, and much to my dismay, a carelessly discarded banana peel floated right down the side of the boat as we were trolling and struck our lines, further adding to the jinx. Oh, the horror! Capt. Karl Bieberich (on far right in photo) served as 1st Mate.

MAY 1, 2004
Middle Chesapeake Bay Report
By Capt. Jim Brincefield

First of all, Jil wanted me to clear up a mistake on my part from yesterday’s afternoon Fishing Report. Jil was not “queasy” in any way, shape, or form. Mea culpa. Oh my gawd, MEA CULPA!!! Today was the first day of May, the 15th Day of the 2004 Maryland Spring Trophy Striped Bass (“Rockfish”) Season, and our 34th Fishing Trip of the 2004 season. We welcomed our neighbors Don Peppi, Eddie Czerwinski, Rusty Junkin, John Ward, and Eddie’s coworker K. Scott Wilson for a total of 5 anglers. A light South wind of 5 to 10 knots coupled with moderate temperatures and clear skies was a welcome change in the weather from yesterday afternoon’s fiasco. However, the party and the 1st Mate showing up 1 hour late, a discovered cooler full of contraband, to wit: BANANAS, and the unavoidable armada of weekend warriors set us squarely behind the 8 ball. Did I mention that the party also had to be in early? Here’s your sign… Undaunted by the obstacles before us, we caught 5 portly Rockfish ranging from 30” ­ 36” in a hurry and returned to the wharf before those dastardly BANANAS took their ill fated curse to task upon the “Jil Carrie”. The appropriate parking of the boat backwards in the slip, garlic cloves hanging, and a severe case of flatulence seems to have appeased the BANANA demons, but only time will tell. OK, once again, for all of you who may be considering bringing BANANAS:

NO BANANAS.
NO BANANA BYPRODUCTS.
NO BANANA MUFFINS.
NO BANANA NUTTIN’.
Yeesh.

Capt. Karl Bieberich (on far left in group photo) served as 1st Mate.