Keith Lockwood, Fisheries Biologist
- Oxford, MD
- Total Reports: 39
- View all reports by Keith Lockwood →
Posted on June 28, 2010 | Permalink
Pre-dawn Shallow Water Fishing
Region: Central Bay
Despite the dire need for sleep on a Saturday morning I woke up 10-minutes before my alarm clock was set to go off at 3:45am; I looked at the clock and decided to get up. It seems to be a common occurrence with fishermen and hunters anxious to get out and enjoy the outdoors. My fishing buddy and I were heading out the mouth of Island Creek on the lower Choptank by 5 am; the hard fact of trying to beat the sunrise only a few days after the summer solstice. Our goal was to fish the shallows on a high ebb tide for striped bass using topwater lures before the sun cracked over the horizon. As we moved into position with the electric bow motor, the morning air hung like a damp heavy overcoat; it sure looked like it was going to be hot and humid. (It was) I chose my “Go To” topwater lure, a Storm Chug A Bug and Matt cast out his favorite Creek Chub popper. We weren’t exactly lighting up the world with fish, so I tried an old favorite; a jointed Bomber swimming minnow plug. About the third cast it was “fish on”, Matt switched to the same lure and the scenario repeated itself till we had four nice fish in the ice chest. We caught and released fish until things shut down around 6:30 as the sun popped up over the horizon.
We were just enjoying the peace and quiet when we got word from a friend that they were into fish out towards the mouth of the river. Good reports have been coming in from the False Channel/ Sharps Island area all week. We decided to just sit put and continue to watch a raccoon make a long swim across a cove and catch some white perch; about 7:00 or so, a boat came motoring into the shallows next to us; a little too late and certainly a little too neighborly and noisy. Water temperatures are now in the mid to upper 80’s in most of the Chesapeake and the sun is high in the sky, two things shallow water striped bass don’t care for. It was time to depart with a great start to the day and thoughts of the season’s first eastern shore sweet corn and fresh rockfish fillets for dinner.