Chesapeke Bay 12/16/2011

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Jim Burch
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Joined: March 31st, 2011, 1:41 pm
Location: Durham, North Carolina

Chesapeke Bay 12/16/2011

Post by Jim Burch » December 27th, 2011, 11:15 am

Sorry for the lateness but after seeing Mike's similar report I thought I would add my experience at the Bay.

Fished Friday 12/16 from 7am to 10am. Fished with one of my Buggs Island friends and his son who had been up there since mid-November.

Weather: Started very nice but the weatherman had predicted a big blow. Air temps: in the upper 50s to start but a front dropped them to the low 40s by 9:30. Wind: Very calm at 7am but at 8:30 somebody turned on the fan and it came down from Maryland at a 15 to 20 clip and at times we had gust close to 30.

Water: Temps were in the upper 40s. Clarity was very murky as the tide was pushing lots of stuff through. Moderate chop to start but once the wind got on the same page as the tide it was about 4 to 5s.

Technique:
Live eels on corks, Offshore planerboards, and one freeline. Used 7/0 Gamagatsu Octopus hooks. Lines at 40, 60, 80, and 100 feet behind the boat. Drifting with the tide using trolling motor to keep lines out the stern.

Results: One 25 pounder within minutes of setting out at a spot called the Spider Buoy, lots of non-productive drifts, and ended the day about 3 miles east of the Cape Charles boat ramp with a 32 and a 45 pounder.

Overall a very nice trip. Eels are $2 a piece but will live for weeks on ice, in freshwater, saltwater, and for 30 minutes or so in pvc tubes to keep them from squirming up you lines as you move from drift to drift.
Fish were strong and know how to use the current to their advantage.
This trip is about 250 miles from my door to the boat ramp so not something I could do much but I do plan on going again next year.

First photo is of a 25 pounder taken while fishing and you can see the corks in the background.

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Next photo was taken back home, tried to get a few more on the water but too rough to manage the boat and photo. This fished was right at 45 pounds.
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Here's my nearly 6 foot tall son for comparison sake, he was not able to go but plans on making the trip next year.
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Tight lines and screaming drags to all!

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Dirk Dial
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Location: Dawsonville, GA

Re: Chesapeke Bay 12/16/2011

Post by Dirk Dial » December 27th, 2011, 12:24 pm

Nice fish, especially in that type wind (gusts over 20 mph and I usually head to the house, especially when its cold). That 45 lber is a serious hog and glad you got some good ones.

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Jim Burch
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Location: Durham, North Carolina

Re: Chesapeke Bay 12/16/2011

Post by Jim Burch » December 27th, 2011, 2:04 pm

Thanks, Dirk. Normally I would have not fished those conditions but after such a long haul I decided to take the chance. The day started nice but you could actually see the front come through in the form of clouds and waves. Been fishing the ocean for decades and never saw conditions change so fast. Luckily we were only a short distance from the ramp. We tried to do one final drift but the current and wind had us moving over 5 mph and the eels just would not stay at the proper depth so we called it a day.
Tight lines and screaming drags to all!

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Shawn McNew
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Location: Lake Allatoona

Re: Chesapeke Bay 12/16/2011

Post by Shawn McNew » December 27th, 2011, 8:18 pm

Awesome report and pics. Those bay fish all look like they've been feasting throughout the holidays!
Image

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Mike Ward
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2 Cans

Post by Mike Ward » December 27th, 2011, 10:05 pm

Great report Jim - I assume that bit of PVC on the rods is your eel storage when running? Does it come off when fishing or it's attached to the rod?

Maybe next year we can get out that way at the same time. Glad I went last week - this one has looked rough - although the forecast is promising for end of the week when I looked last.
Image
mwardncsu

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Chad Gilmore
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Location: Vinton, VA

Re: Chesapeke Bay 12/16/2011

Post by Chad Gilmore » December 27th, 2011, 11:42 pm

I'm headed to the bay to fish on Thursday......hope the wind doesn't blow.
HokieChad

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Jim Burch
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Location: Durham, North Carolina

Re: 2 Cans

Post by Jim Burch » December 28th, 2011, 8:50 am

Mike Ward wrote:Great report Jim - I assume that bit of PVC on the rods is your eel storage when running? Does it come off when fishing or it's attached to the rod?

Mike, you're right. The pvc comes off after the run. It has a piece of wire at the top to attach to the rod and a rubber band on the bottom to attach to the reel. A slit 3/4 of the way up allows you to slip the still hooked eel into the tube, place it into your rod holders and run up current for your next drift. Sometimes the eel gets stuck in the tube and you just rinse him out with the washdown hose. Very tough buggers.
Let's try to get together, be nice to have some company on the trip. The guys I stayed with are at Oregon Inlet now trolling Mojo rigs. If the fish make it to Cape Lookout I may try to make a trip down there as we have a place near Morehead.
Tight lines and screaming drags to all!

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