Rocks keep Rock 'n'

Rocks keep Rock 'n'
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 depths.

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.  

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