Rocks keep Rock 'n'
With only 10 days remaining in the Striped Bass or Rock (as
we call them) season in the Bay, they are showing good staying power in the lower reaches from the York River entrance to the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel.
In the late fall you have to pick your days fishing on the Bay to miss the
fronts that push across the area. With inclement weather pending we
trailer my boat across the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel and launched from Cape
Charles Marina at sunrise. A short 20 min ride out of the marina and we set up
our lines on the first drift. Watching the fish finder I noticed the fish were
hanging around the 20-30 ft range and large bait balls scattered about the same
As the sun began to rise over the Bay, we had three run offs but no takers so I
repositioned the boat and set up for our second drift. No more than 5 min into
the second drift we had landed two nice fish in the upper twenty pound class
that we decided to release since the current regulation is two fish per person
and only one fish can exceed 28 inches.
Still paying close attention to the fish finder I noticed we had a sudden
change in depth which was peculiar so I glanced at the chart plotter which did
not match. Then reality set in, this was a massive bait ball again at the
twenty foot range. Moments later, we had two hook-ups and one proved to be
first class. I set the hook and she ran off 50 yards of line then banked hard
left. Then without notice she headed
straight at the boat and I took up the line as fast as possible trying to keep
tension on the line as she darted under the boat. So, I maneuvered around the bow
and then she countered with a dash back under the boat and screamed off another
50 yards of line. With a grin on my face the adrenaline was pumping knowing
this was the class of fish we were looking. At this point, I could feel her getting
sluggish on each swipe of her tail. Then I got her head turned and she surfaced
and I knew she was exhausted. I got her boat side and she was a beauty. She
measured 47 inches and weighed 39 pounds.