Wednesday, March 15, 2017

The cows came home!


March 7, 2017


So the cold front past leaving behind the worst conditions imaginable and things just changed.  I think everything came back to life all at once.  Women, girlfriends, wives, even dogs and friends will come and go but the beautiful thick ladies of spring will always return around the same time.   The cows have come home. 

Monday March 6th  after work I ran down to chain bridge in DC to see what was going on.  Nothing for the first hour and then a guy shows up next to me.  He's rigged with a 4 inch Kalins chartreuse speckled grub and I think the first cast hooks up.  Guess what, it's a striper?!  Decent size schoolie of about 6 pounds.  Literally the next cast he's hooked up, good size walleye!  Then finally he took a few casts without a fish.  Remember I hadn't caught a thing.  Finally though I put it together and get a walleye and a decent schoolie striper.  Not bad.  Heard of several other reports of an excellent walleye bite from Great Falls down through DC.  Water temp made it to 46 on USGS and air temps were in the 50's, plus some wind.  Too much wind to use the boat.  Although I thought about it. 



Tuesday... Still don't have Ryan.  Feeling bummed out a little from women issues.  Might as well go try for a woman that always aims to please.  Although she can be a little unpredictable about when she decides to show.  Headed up to the susky.  First tried for shad but the river was blown brown poo.  Local fishing for shad said it just came up.  Well, that didn't help things.  Tore my waders somehow on the first spot and flooded them with 40 degree water.  It was like having needles stabbing your leg every second.  I couldn't stand it anymore after about an hour.  Packed it up.  Found a wader patch, drank a few beers in the car with the heater on.  Changed into an old pair of jeans, no socks, no underwear... Then checked the Conowingo report for water level conditions.  Must have listened to it 12 times.  The report was already on tomorrow's report but it should be similar to today.  They estimated the river to drop from 59K CFS to 21k cfs at 2100 hours.  Well, it's an estimate.  I've never seen the spot I was in with so much water before and I've fished there over 100k CFS with spill conditions.   Not sure what was up but maybe they had more water pushing over the eastern side.  Disclaimer... you cannot target striped bass above the line between lapidum and Port Deposit.  But there are fish on that line.  Patched my waders, drove and got some coffee... I'm ready now.  Checked the river again and sure enough it dropped.  Nothing at the first spot.  Water conditions had significantly improved.  11pm and water dropped even more.  Finally a tug.  Not just a tug, more like a gut wrenching violent blind sided collision with Troy Palomano in his prime.  That wasn't a rock... Drag singing, fish trying to tail walk like a steelhead but it's immense belly preventing the entire body from clearing the surface...   That's what I'm looking for.  Three more fish followed suit.  This is the best of the best and it's not even past the first week of March.  Not another soul on the river either.  No boats trolling where they would certainly succeed.  We'll see how popular this blog is.  I shouldn't post it for a while really.  But the cold will return this weekend and I'm sure it will shut it down again for a while.  It was near midnight now and I actually left biting fish after releasing my fourth spring giant.  All fish were near 40" except the first... it was huge.  Terrible photos, better phone was dead.  Leave your wives, quit your jobs and head down to the river people.  The time is now! 




March 9, 2017

I took a day off of fishing to play baseball and basketball with Ryan.  The warm weather had returned and of course my mind was on the water so a day was long enough.  On Thursday I just couldn’t take it and decided to pick Ryan up from school early… with the boat in tow.   Check out his reason for leaving?  Someone said, “the truth will set you free.”  I usually tell the truth, no matter how much it will piss someone off.  It’s kind of a fault of mine. 



We ran down to DC and launched at my favorite boat ramp at the airport.  We first checked on the channel and sure enough there were decent marks.  Almost certainly striped bass and big ones at that but I couldn’t get them to play.  Tried trolling and jigging…. I’d suspect bait would do it but we didn’t have any.  The bait should be fresh like bloody slimy bleeding fresh.  Kicking is best but fresh dead like a few hours earlier is good too.  Water temps were 52.  With an hour of light left I ran down to the poop plant.  This place stinks but always holds fish.  I mean always.  The water coming from the discharge is always clear too, like the 2000 flushes add.  I think it’s the same chemical as it comes out blue.  Even if the rest of the river is brown poo, chocolate milk, there will be clear water at the discharge.  First maybe second cast and ryan is hooked up to a decent schoolie striped bass.  He loved it too as it rocked the lucky craft pointer.  They love those things… so does everything else too.  I get nervous fishing them as they are so expensive but wow do the fish eat them.  When striper fishing it’s best to replace the hardware too.  Lots of schoolie striped bass entertained us for the 20 minutes of light we had left.  The tide went slack as we were there and just as the sun was setting.  I’m sure it would have been an excellent bite of good size schoolie striped bass if we had a decent tide.  Ran back to mess with the trailer and then drove the boat and trailer to College Park to watch Quince Orchard High School win the semi finals in basketball against Wise.  Awesome game!



Took Friday and Saturday off but hit the water again on Sunday.  Another cold front moved in.  But just before it did people were catching double digit walleye in the lower river on jerk baits and after dark under the near full moon.  I didn’t get in on that unfortunately.  But on Sunday in cold windy conditions I took Ryan and his friend down to Fletchers to mess around.  The water was as low as I’ve ever seen it.  The strong winds blew all the water out I think.  No fish, nothing at all, not even a bite.  Then went to great falls in search of that awesome walleye bite…. Nothing.  Total skunk and I was in all the right spots.  Kids enjoyed rock climbing and maybe took three casts each. 



March 15, 2017

Update on March 15, 2017.  We just received a “Nor-easter”.  It was scheduled to dump 12 to 20” of snow but we barely got two inches of snow and sleet.  The county closed, the schools closed and MD was in a state of emergency?  I read that the fishing around the area waters was excellent just before the storm hit on Monday, March 13, 2017.  John and I thought about running out but then there were all these warnings and I imagined being stuck on 95 for the night.   No thanks.  We chickened out but we both phoned each other at about 9pm saying this isn’t shit?  We could have put a few fish on the bank by now?  We even thought about heading out then too.  Full moon and all.  But we didn’t.  Then the snow came and now the wind and bitter mid winter cold.  They say that 90% of the cherry blossoms will die now.  I wonder about the fish? I could careless about the cherry blossoms but what about the river herring, the shad the showed up early?  The perch?  And of course the stripers?  It looks like the weather will break again on Friday, March 17 and I plan to see who will wake up with the warmth.  Saturday also is looking decent but I also saw a long range forecast for next week and more snow?!  WTF is mother nature smoking?  This really messes with the fishing.  Get with the program!  

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