Tuesday, July 23, 2013
Wandering the Sassafras River
I hit the river bluff with wide eyes for what may be ahead of me on this morning. Unfortunately the summer rain and steam meet me, boiling off the surface of the Sassafras River. I park the truck on the top of the bluff, looking out over the river's mouth at the upper Chesapeake Bay. I finish my coffee. I wait. Eventually the rain stops.
I haven't fished here before, but I'm in need of some real success. 2013 has not been a kind year for fishing. In minutes, the kayak is down to the water, loaded, and then shoved off into the water lotus. Its kevlar leaves and bulletproof stems tell me that nothing will be easy today.
The rain has muddied the creek, and the creek has muddied the river. Storm flows across the Bay are actually pushing water back up into the creek here, and so I decide to fish the tide at some of the inlets.
I beach the boat and target hungry stripers on the incoming tide. No action, just stormwater ripping up into the creek where only saltwater should be headed.
Headed back into the creek to target largemouth, who I think were hunkered down due to the stormwater and turbidity. Nobody can say I didn't try.
Fish started jumping, and I was curious what they were. I worked the vegetated shoreline pretty heavily on the leeward side of the cold front. Most of my heavy assortment of tackle got a good workout. The smacking sound of small fish feeding on the surface made me wish I had brought my fly tackle. Finally I figured it out, running a 1/8oz black inline spinner with a gold blade right across the edge of the lotus patch.
Figured these guys out too:
He's actually more important, since he would have made wonderful bait for large striped bass, just a half mile downstream. Oh well, I know for next time. I ended up catching 20 or so white and yellow perch. Which, I suppose, is better than 0 perch. Also found out that some jerk has been using our offshore duck blind all summer - him and his bratty kids:
And though I was a bit salty over missing out on bigger fish, I look forward to my next trip to the Sassafras.
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