Monday, October 24, 2011

Hunting for Rockfish...Clutching at Straws

Too much rain. Too much wind. Too little time.  But we went fishing anyway, in J's 19' Mako on Maryland's South River.  In most years, the anglers here call the month "Rocktober" for the ridiculous amount of school-size (12-18") rockfish, or striped bass, feeding in schools of baitfish or up against structure.  Not this year.

A serious of whallops from hurricanes and tropical storms has left the upper Chesapeake Bay's water cloudly, cool, and fresh - which is not a good thing if you are essentially a saltwater fish. Salinity is so low in some Maryland rivers that a high level of oyster mortality is predicted for this winter.

But we fished anyway.  We threw Calcuttas and Storms.  White bucktails and chartreuse bucktails. Sassy shads and Super shads.  No fish. Nobody's catching any fish.  There are tales of anglers right across the bay - safely away from these flood flows of fresh water - who are catching rockfish, speckled trout, and more.

But for now, we're left to enjoy the beautiful scenery, and to keep talking about the mammoth task of better managing stormwater and pollution in next Rocktober can be a good one!


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