Monday, September 26, 2011

Chasing Moonlight Bass on the Upper Shore

Some days I feel like a sprinter who's been told 2 miles into a race that he's actually running a marathon.  Life is full of activity right now, and not enough of it is fun, or even mentally tolerable.  And that's how it goes, right?     Well, I had a little time one evening to stop at one of my favorite fishing spots on Maryland's upper eastern shore right before the sun went down.  The photos are in order, taken in the span of just an hour, so you can see how quickly it got dark!

As I've been doing lately, I tried hard to concentrate on the moment, although it was tough - life swirling around in the back of my mind, and the sun moving further west every minute.  It was pretty clear that no one has fished this spot since our earthquake/hurricane/tropical storm/ wet week / tropical storm p2 / wet week part 2, so I figured it might be easy fishing.  I was wrong.  But after about 15 minutes, I finally hooked up with a reasonably sized bluegill...from his coloration, I can guess that he's feeling pretty stressed in the high, acidic, black water that is still draining out of our coastal swamps.

I caught a few more over the next 20 minutes, all about that same decent size...

Predictably, the light got thinner and thinner, and I suddenly hooked up with one of the bigger bluegills I've ever caught - a true copperbelly, too!

And was suddenly dark, and the mosquitos descended.  They were atrocious.  But I still hadn't caught a largemouth - which has only happened one time I've ever fished here (mid-day in August 2010).

There was some good moonlight, but combined with  the tannic black water, there was no way that a bass could see most of the lures in my tacklebox.  So I grabbed this square-billed crankbait and started tossing it around in the dark.  It's glossy pearl white and does not look like any real baitfish in this river - and I am a stickler for "match the hatch."  But at least I could see it on the surface.

After a few minutes and a few utterances of "1 more cast," I brought it back to the weedline on shore and BOOM!  My bass.  Finally.

And with that, I packed up and went home.


biobabbler said...

1. Congrats. =)
2. I LOVE the smoochie face the fish make. Like they just want a kiss!
3. Where is your blue and black water spider post? I did a search of your blog and came up w/nada. I'm home, so could play around with some ID fun if you ARE interesting in learning what it is. Well, that presumes I can find the answer, & really, I'm not even an entomologist, but I think it'd be fun. And I KNOW bug people, so... =)

Kirk Mantay said...

I'm a habitat ecologist, so figuring out critters is just a tangential task, "See, the red mouth wolf fanged ant is using our new buffer site!"

Here's the mystery bug:

It'll be obvious which one it is. The plants in the photos are Phragmites stems, about 1cm diam.

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