October 2003 Fishing Reports

OCTOBER 31, 2003
Middle Chesapeake Bay Fishing Report
By Capt. Jim Brincefield

For our (fill in number later when I catch up) trip of the 2003 season (and in celebration of Halloween) we welcomed Bill Merkle and the Crossroads Hunting and Fishing Club of Ferndale, MD for their annual “Rocktober” club charter fishing trip for a total of 7 anglers. The weather was absolutely perfect. Warm temperatures, fair seas, and light winds made for another spectacular “Indian Summer” Fall day on The Bay. It is interesting to note that all of the leaves had fallen from the trees at Halloween last year. This year at Halloween, our leaves have not yet turned. What a difference a year makes! We got an early start this morning which made all of the positive difference in the world. We were the first boat on the grounds and it really paid off! We sashayed on down to “The Gooses” to try some chumming for Striped Bass (“Rockfish”) with light spinning tackle. We rigged up with standard chumming rigs and used cut Bunker and Razor Clams for hook bait. We caught 14 obese Rockfish from 18” ­ 20” (our limit) plus our boat fish at this location. We also released quite a few undersized Rockfish. We had some time left in this beautiful Fall day, so we tried some jigging for Gray Trout (“Weakfish”) with light spinning tackle on Brownie’s Hill. We rigged up with Li’l Bunker and Stingsilver jigs. We made 5 drifts and caught 8 Weakfish (5 keepers ranging from 13” to 16” and 3 undersized releases). Weakfishing is still very slow, but hopefully, will improve over time this Fall. Capt. Cindy Sheridan (not pictured) served as 1st Mate today.

OCTOBER 30, 2003
Middle Chesapeake Bay Fishing Report
By Capt. Jim Brincefield

For our (fill in number later when I catch up) trip of the 2003 season we welcomed Laura Livingston and her company Limbach Company LLC of Lanham, MD for their annual “Rocktober” company charter fishing trip for a total of 10 anglers. The weather was absolutely perfect. Moderate temperatures, fair seas and light winds made for an enjoyable day on The Bay. We got a late start this morning which, unfortunately, turned out to be the “kiss of death”. It seems that a lot of other weekend warriors and weekend charter boats took advantage of the good weather to slip away from their normal weekday routine on shore. They certainly did find their way to The Bay today as it looked like a Saturday out there today! We slithered on down to “The Gooses” to try some chumming for Striped Bass (“Rockfish”) with light spinning tackle. When we finally arrived, our usual chumming spot was already taken. So, we tried another spot on “The Gooses” with zero success. As more boats steadily started arriving on “The Gooses”, we decided to bail. We rigged up with standard chumming rigs and used cut Bunker and Razor Clams for hook bait. Then, we moved to Choptank Buoy #3 and tried that. It was very slow. We caught 1 keeper Rockfish of 18.5″ and released one undersized Rockfish at this location. Then we tried the Diamonds – also slow, undersized Rockfish releases only. Then we tried “The Stone Rock” near Sharps Island Lighthouse with the same result – undersized Rockfish releases only. So, with only 1 fish in the box, out of desperation, we returned to “The Gooses” and anchored at the extreme North end of the pack of boats. Boat pressure, arriving late and poor decisions/moves on my part made for a tough bite the whole morning. But the party hung in there and as the afternoon wore on, the fishing (and my mood) improved. By the end of the afternoon, the bite was steady and we managed to salvage the day with a total of 12 keeper Rockfish from 18″ – 20″ plus a bazillion undersized Rockfish releases which provided excellent light spinning tackle action. When we returned to the wharf, we heard and saw that many boats in the fleet who have switched over to trolling got a good bite at the Deale Fishing Reef and at Buoy 83A today. This is the time of year when most boats switch over to trolling. As you all know, yours truly, Capt. Croakerhead, is always a bit different. My Grandmother used to say “the boy is touched.” We try to wait as long as we can before switching over aboard the “Jil Carrie” so we may take full advantage of our light tackle opportunities. However, frustrating days like today start “the wheels turning.” Hopefully, this trolling bite will reduce the fishing pressure on the chumming grounds. However, it won’t be long before we switch over and target “The Beasts From The East”, though. If the Fall/Winter Trophy Season is half as good as the Spring Trophy season, we will be all set! Zach Stauffer served as 1st Mate today (in rear in group shot).

OCTOBER 29, 2003
Middle Chesapeake Bay Fishing Report
By Capt. Jim Brincefield

For our (fill in number later when I catch up) trip of the 2003 season we welcomed Andrew Bullen and his company Earth Data, Inc. for their annual “Rocktober” company charter fishing trip for a total of 11 anglers. The weather in the morning was poor with heavy rains and gusty winds but as Andrew (a/k/a/ Bob Ryan) accurately predicted, the mid day and afternoon was much better! The skies cleared, the wind calmed, and the day turned into a fantastic Fall piscatorial cornucopia. We slithered on down to “The Gooses” to try some chumming for Striped Bass (“Rockfish”) with light spinning tackle. We rigged up with standard chumming rigs and used cut Bunker and Razor Clams for hook bait. It was a steady bite today with only light boat pressure. We caught 22 obese Rockfish from 18” ­ 22” (our limit) plus our boat fish at “The Gooses”. We also released one bazillion undersized Rockfish which provided for some exciting “Rocktober” light spinning tackle Fall fishing action! Zach Stauffer served as 1st Mate today (on far left in group shot).

Here’s our big fish pool winner for today.
Here’s our big fish pool winner for today.

OCTOBER 28, 2003
Middle Chesapeake Bay Fishing Report
By Capt. Jim Brincefield

For our (fill in number later when I catch up) trip of the 2003 season we welcomed Byron Vorce of J. Byron Landscaping Co., Shawn Vorce, family, and friends for their annual “Rocktober” charter fishing trip for a total of 6 anglers. The weather was much improved from yesterday with moderate winds and temperatures and a fair sea. Whew! We slithered on down to “The Gooses” to try some chumming for Striped Bass (“Rockfish”) with light spinning tackle. We rigged up with standard chumming rigs and used cut Bunker and Razor Clams for hook bait. It was a steady bite today with only light boat pressure. That makes all of the positive difference in the world in fishing productivity. Weekday fishing is so much more productive (and pleasant) without all of the weekend warriors and weekend charter boats causing the weekly weekend scrum. Aaarrrgghhh! We caught 12 obese Rockfish from 18” ­ 23” (our limit) plus our boat fish at “The Gooses”. We also released one bazillion undersized Rockfish which provided for some exciting “Rocktober” light spinning tackle Fall fishing action! I won’t mention who was the honorary Jim Boland Lead (pronounced “Leeeed”) Rod today but I’ll give you a hint: he was the youngest angler! After we got our limit we discussed the options. Go home? Nahhhh…Go jig for Grey Trout (“Weakfish”)? Well, not much been happening there on that front… well, what the heck. What’s the worst that could happen? Another skunk pot? So what? We rigged up with Stingsilvers and Li’l Bunkers fished from light spinning tackle. We rode around and around looking, “drop ‘em”, looking…, “drop ‘em”… nothing…same ol’ bs… and then, like the USA hockey team ­ “Do you believe in miracles”? Right off Holland Point I spotted some great marks and we had our best Weakfish jigging of the year in 6 drifts. Go figure? Are they here now? Was it the “Blind Squirrel Theory”? Can we count on more Weakfish action now? Is it a trend? Is Conway Twitty’s hair real or a wig? (Oops, wrong line of questions). We caught 18 Weakfish in 6 drifts (8 keepers and 10 undersized releases). We also had several more on the hook which we lost. In the excitement of actually catching some Weakfish jigging all of us did some stupid stuff. 1 keeper was lost when an angler lifted the Weakfish out of the water. Always wait for the net with a Weakfish! The “Jersey Heave” is definitely not a technique for Weakfish (can you hear me now, Capt. Karl)! The usual tangled lines, Marlin Perkins hook sets, and the ol’ sandwich and beer in one hand, rod in the other also contributed to our failures, but hey, we did catch 18 of them which is fantastic compared to what we had been doing with the Weakfish. 18 is below standards for this time of the Fall, but it’s a start. Capt. Karl Bieberich served as 1st Mate today.

OCTOBER 27, 2003
Middle Chesapeake Bay Fishing Report
By Capt. Jim Brincefield

For our (fill in number later when I catch up) trip of the 2003 season we welcomed Doug Ebbert, family, and friends for their annual “Aaaaaiiiiiieeeeeee” charter fishing trip for a total of 7 anglers. After yesterday’s success at “The Stone” we returned there to find all undersized Striped Bass (“Rockfish”) which were all released. It became cloudy and foggy with driving rains and gusty winds at this location. Several squalls came through so we decided to pick up and slink on down to Cove Point to try that. Oh, the horror! We had one undersized Rockfish there and, of course, the rains, winds and seas were getting much worse. Now many would have packed it in at this point, but not this crew! Determined to slay our quarry, we moved to “The Gooses” where we endured some of the worst fishing conditions imaginable, but persevered! We started catching fish as soon as we dropped anchor. As the skies blackened and opened up torrential rains which no man or beast in the outdoors this day will soon forget pounded our beloved “Jil Carrie” and its crew. A “Cast and Blast” boat anchored beside us for a short while during the melee, but quickly departed for port as the worst squall of the day came through. The worse the weather became, the better the fish bit! I only have 3 pictures which don’t do justice to these horrific conditions, but the party took many action shots and I will post them at a later time. Our motto of “Never Give Up” resounded ­ do ya hear me now, Ira? We chummed for Rockfish with light spinning tackle. We rigged up with standard chumming rigs and used cut bunker and razor clams for hook bait. We caught 14 magnificent in their corpulence Rockfish from 18” ­ 25.75” (our limit) at this location. We also released quite a few undersized Rockfish. Suffice to say I did not hang around for a boat fish today. I was simply elated with our party’s limit and such nice huge fish. I will never, ever forget this day. Nothing could possibly describe what an adventure it was. Like the Phoenix rising from the ashes, we gloriously snatched victory from certain defeat. Only seven dedicated anglers, one quickly maturing1st Mate, and one mentally and physically exhausted Captain really know. As the last keeper Rockfish thumped ceremoniously to the “Jil Carrie” deck, I shook my fist at the black skies and somehow uttered a deep, Cro-Magnon guttural howl. Perhaps this was an attempt at exorcising the weather demons from the crashing waves, torrential downpours, and foul sea. Perhaps it was something deep inside me from long ago. Victory. Perseverance. Determination. Success. Serving as 1st Mate today was TJ Reiber (in rear in group shot).

OCTOBER 26, 2003
Middle Chesapeake Bay Fishing Report
By Capt. Jim Brincefield

For our (fill in number later when I catch up) trip of the 2003 season we welcomed TRU-GREEN Lawn Care Co. on a charter fishing trip organized by John Lawler for a total of 14 anglers. We got a late start which, on a weekend, can be a complete nightmare. As we slithered on down The Bay to “The Gooses” all I could think about was the armada of weekend warriors and weekend charter boats that would have the whole place covered up when we arrived. It was cloudy and foggy with 15 ­ 20 knot SSE breezes on The Bay today and moderate temperatures. Much to my surprise, there were only 3 boats there when we arrived. One of those boats was in my prime spot, but that was okay as we located a group of fish on the video sounder close by and dropped anchor. We started catching fish right away. We chummed for Striped Bass (“Rockfish”) with light spinning tackle. We rigged up with standard chumming rigs and used cut bunker and razor clams for hook bait. As the armada arrived, boat after boat anchored in our slick, dragged their anchors through our slick, rode circles around us, and generally aggravated me to the point I became frustrated and just plain left the grounds. I lost my cool and simply imploded. But before we left, we managed to catch 8 portly Rockfish from 18” ­ 24” at this location. We also released quite a few undersized Rockfish. We also caught 1 Chopper Bluefish. Then we decided to move to “The Diamonds” and try the same thing there. We caught 7 undersized Rockfish there and released them. Determined to find these Swingin’ Richards some more fish, I tried “The Stone”. Bingo! It was Striper Akimbo! We caught fish steady for about 3 hours before the party cried “uncle”. Most were throwbacks, but we did manage to put 10 more legal Rockfish in the box. We caught over 150 fish on the day, released most of them, and managed to bring 18 keeper Rockfish of 18” ­ 24” and 1 Chopper Bluefish back to the wharf. Believe me, after a tough, frustrating day like today, I was happy with that even though it was not our limit. But the big story today was 13 year old angler Master Patrick Whealton of Sykesville, MD who caught 11 fish including a 19.25” keeper Rockfish (see below picture). He achieved this impressive feat after rebounding from a slight bit of seasickness which showed his true piscatorial determination ­ “Never Give Up”! Master Whealton earned a MDDNR My First Fish Award for that beauty! TJ Reiber served as 1st Mate today (in rear in group shot).

Here’s the biggest fish on the day ­ a beautiful 24” Striper!
Here’s the biggest fish on the day ­ a beautiful 24” Striper!

OCTOBER 25, 2003
Middle Chesapeake Bay Fishing Report
By Capt. Jim Brincefield

For our (fill in number later when I catch up) trip of the 2003 season we welcomed Dwayne Rainey and the gang from Stewartstown, PA Baptist Church for a total of 9 anglers. We sauntered on down The Bay to “The Gooses”. It was another beautiful, cool day on The Bay today with brisk Fall winds and moderate temperatures. We continue to see this new group of fatter, larger Rockfish on the grounds. Today was a Saturday and we got an early start. This really helped us handle the scrum on the grounds with the weekend warriors and hordes of weekend charter boats. By the time the melee was in full swing, we already had the fish in our slick…and then it was lights out! We chummed for Striped Bass (“Rockfish”) with light spinning tackle. We rigged up with standard chumming rigs and used cut bunker and razor clams for hook bait. We caught 18 portly Rockfish from 18” ­ 24.75” (our limit) at this location. We also released quite a few undersized Rockfish. We also caught 1 Chopper Bluefish. But the big story today was 13 year old angler Trevor M. Hill of Glen Rock, PA who took the big fish honors from the day with a 24.75” Rockfish (see below picture). Master Hill earned a MDDNR My First Fish Award for this beauty! Capt. Karl Bieberich served as 1st Mate today (on far right in group shot).

Here’s Capt. Karl with 13 year old angler Master Trevor M. Hill with the biggest fish of the day ­ 24.75”/5.7 pounds!
Here’s Capt. Karl with 13 year old angler Master Trevor M. Hill with the biggest fish of the day ­ 24.75”/5.7 pounds!

OCTOBER 24, 2003
Middle Chesapeake Bay Fishing Report
By Capt. Jim Brincefield

For our (fill in number later when I catch up) trip of the 2003 season we welcomed Johnny Crudup and family for a total of 7 anglers. We sauntered on down The Bay to “The Gooses”. It was another beautiful, cool day on The Bay today with brisk Fall winds and cool temperatures. We continue to see this new group of fatter, larger Rockfish on the grounds. We chummed for Striped Bass (“Rockfish”) with light spinning tackle. We rigged up with standard chumming rigs and used cut bunker and razor clams for hook bait. We caught 14 portly Rockfish from 18” ­ 22” (our limit) at this location. We also released quite a few undersized Rockfish. Capt. Cindy Sheridan served as 1st Mate today (not pictured).

OCTOBER 23, 2003
Middle Chesapeake Bay Fishing Report
By Capt. Jim Brincefield

For our (fill in number later when I catch up) trip of the 2003 season we welcomed our good friend, expert angler, and 4 time All American lacrosse star Tom “It was only 3” Sears from Severna Park, MD and friends for a total of 8 anglers. Also, as a special guest of Tom’s was country music legend Conway Twitty. Charlie Meck was also in attendance! We sashayed on down The Bay to “The Gooses”. It was a beautiful, cool day on The Bay today with brisk Fall winds and cool temperatures. We continue to see this new group of fatter, larger Rockfish on the grounds today. These fish were definitely coming from somewhere else. We chummed for Striped Bass (“Rockfish”) with light spinning tackle. We rigged up with standard chumming rigs and used cut bunker and razor clams for hook bait. We caught 16 portly Rockfish from 18” ­ 24.75” (our limit) plus our boat fish at this location. We also released quite a few undersized Rockfish. Capt. Cindy Sheridan served as 1st Mate today (not pictured).

OCTOBER 22, 2003
Middle Chesapeake Bay Fishing Report
By Capt. Jim Brincefield

For our (fill in number later when I catch up) trip of the 2003 season we welcomed John Nugent and the gang from John E. Nugent & Associates Home Builders for a total of 6 anglers. We sashayed on down The Bay to “The Gooses”. It was a beautiful, cool day on The Bay today with brisk Fall winds and cool temperatures. We saw a new group of fatter, larger Rockfish arrive on the grounds today. These fish were definitely coming from somewhere else. They had shrimp, small crabs, and Bay Anchovies in their bellies instead of chum, clams, and cut Bunker. We had most of our Rockfish in the 22” ­ 24.75” class and they were very fat and healthy. They almost looked like ocean run Rockfish with brilliant color and perfect skin, but they did not have any Sea Lice which would be a tell tale sign. However, if this influx is a trend it could be a harbinger of red hot Fall light tackle action setting up for a larger class of Rockfish ­ WOO HOO! We chummed for Striped Bass (“Rockfish”) with light spinning tackle. We rigged up with standard chumming rigs and used cut bunker and razor clams for hook bait. We caught 12 portly Rockfish from 18” ­ 24.75” (our limit) plus our boat fish at this location. We also released quite a few undersized Rockfish. We also caught 2 fat Chopper Bluefish which provided quite a fight on light tackle! Zach Stauffer served as 1st Mate today (in rear in group picture).

OCTOBER 21, 2003
Middle Chesapeake Bay Fishing Report
By Capt. Jim Brincefield

For our (fill in number later when I catch up) trip of the 2003 season we welcomed Jim & Kathleen Kenyon for a total of 2 anglers. They invited Jil to join them on their first attempt to catch Striped Bass (“Rockfish”) from a Charter Boat. We sashayed on down The Bay to “The Gooses”. It was a beautiful day on The Bay today with gusty Fall winds and moderate temperatures. We chummed for Striped Bass (“Rockfish”) with light spinning tackle. We rigged up with standard chumming rigs and used cut bunker and razor clams for hook bait. We caught 6 portly Rockfish from 18” ­ 21” (our limit) plus our boat fish at this location. We also released quite a few undersized Rockfish. We also caught 2 Snapper Bluefish which are such great sport on a light tackle! We also caught a monster Jimmy crab! I did not have a first mate today.

OCTOBER 20, 2003
Middle Chesapeake Bay Fishing Report
By Capt. Jim Brincefield

For our (fill in number later when I catch up) trip of the 2003 season we welcomed Al Souder and the gang from Sprinkler Fitters Union Hall 669 for a total of 8 anglers. We sashayed on down The Bay to “The Gooses”. It was a beautiful day on The Bay today with light winds, blue skies and moderate temperatures. The last time this group came was a Spring Trophy trip last May when the wind was howling and the seas were rough. They left “Ralph” and “Earl” back at the Union Hall this time! We chummed for Striped Bass (“Rockfish”) with light spinning tackle. We rigged up with standard chumming rigs and used cut bunker and razor clams for hook bait. We caught 16 corpulent Rockfish from 18” ­ 22” (our limit) plus our boat fish at this location. We also released quite a few undersized Rockfish. Then we went looking for some Gray Trout (“Weakfish”) to jig on with light spinning tackle. We rigged up with Li’l Bunkers and Stingsilvers. Weakfish jigging this year has been very poor to nonexistent. Today was nonexistent as we did not catch any. New Mate TJ Reiber served as 1st Mate today (not pictured).

OCTOBER 19, 2003
Middle Chesapeake Bay Fishing Report
By Capt. Jim Brincefield

For our (fill in number later when I catch up) trip of the 2003 season we welcomed Mike Thron and the gang from The Maryland Anglers Network (mdangler.net) for a total of 7 anglers. Also making a cameo special guest appearance with this bunch was Scott Meushaw (2nd from right with limp wristed St. Mary’s sweatshirt) the famous son of Ed Meushaw and nephew of Tom “It was only 3” Sears. We sashayed on down The Bay to “The Gooses”. We chummed for Striped Bass (“Rockfish”) with light spinning tackle. We rigged up with standard chumming rigs and used cut bunker and razor clams for hook bait. We caught 14 corpulent Rockfish from 18” ­ 23” (our limit) plus our boat fish at this location. We also released quite a few undersized Rockfish. Then we went looking for some Gray Trout (“Weakfish”) to jig on with light spinning tackle. We rigged up with Li’l Bunkers and Stingsilvers. Weakfish jigging this year has been very poor to nonexistent. We made 5 drifts at Holland Point and only caught one. But, it was the biggest one of the year for us so I guess that’s something! Capt. Karl Bieberich (on far right) served as 1st Mate today.

 

OCTOBER 18, 2003
Middle Chesapeake Bay Fishing Report
By Capt. Jim Brincefield

For our (fill in number later when I catch up) trip of the 2003 season we welcomed Jim Stansbury and friends for a total of 4 anglers. We sashayed on down The Bay to “The Gooses”. It was a beautiful day on The Bay today although a bit breezy. We left the wharf early in an effort to get a good spot on the chumming grounds before the armada of weekend warriors and charter boats arrived. We chummed for Striped Bass (“Rockfish”) with light spinning tackle. We rigged up with standard chumming rigs and used cut bunker and razor clams for hook bait. We caught 8 corpulent Rockfish from 18” ­ 22” (our limit). Today could have been billed as “The Attack of the Killer Throwbacks as we released a bazillion undersized Rockfish. This provided some red hot light tackle action but exactly how many 17 ½ inch Rockfish are there? New Mate TJ Reiber served as 1st Mate today (pictured standing, in rear).

OCTOBER 17, 2003
Middle Chesapeake Bay Fishing Report
By Capt. Jim Brincefield

For our (fill in number later when I catch up) trip of the 2003 season we welcomed Rob Yetter of Yetter Insurance Company, clients, and friends for their annual charter fishing trip for a total of 10 anglers. Conspicuous in his absence from this annual fishing fest was 4 time All American Lacrosse star and expert angler from Severna Park, MD ­ Tom “It was only 3” Sears… maybe the kitchen table lady had him preoccupied??? We chummed for Striped Bass (“Rockfish”) and Bluefish with light spinning tackle. We rigged up with standard chumming rigs and used cut bunker and razor clams for hook bait. We caught 20 obese Rockfish from 18” ­ 23” (our limit) plus our boat fish at this location. We also released quite a few undersized Rockfish. We also caught 5 Snapper and Chopper Bluefish which provided excellent sport on a light tackle. Serving as 1st Mate today was Capt. Cindy Sheridan.

OCTOBER 16, 2003
Middle Chesapeake Bay Fishing Report
By Capt. Jim Brincefield

For our (fill in number later when I catch up) trip of the 2003 season we welcomed Todd Staub and friends for a total of 6 anglers. We slithered on down to “The Gooses”. We chummed for Striped Bass (“Rockfish”) and Bluefish with light spinning tackle. We rigged up with standard chumming rigs and used cut bunker and razor clams for hook bait. We caught 12 obese Rockfish from 18″ – 23″ (our limit) plus our boat fish at this location. We also released quite a few undersized Rockfish. We also caught 2 Chopper Bluefish which provided excellent sport on a light tackle. Then we went looking for some Gray Trout (“Weakfish”). We rode all over the place searching. This year has been horrible so far for Weakfish and today was no exception. We managed to catch only 2 and 1 was snagged! Serving as 1st Mate today was Capt. Cindy Sheridan. Jil came down to see the Weakfish and is mugging in the background in the group shot!