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A few weeks back, Jim Rekas and I had decided to fish on Friday and Saturday, most likely we would be headed down to the Cobb Island area. But an opportunity came up that was hard to pass up so we jumped on it: The new Horizon Bass Anglers Club had their summer social outing which I was fortunate enough to be invited to. The destination was the Piankatank River (P) home of DC area fishing guide, Capt Mike Starrett, it sits on a creek just off the River.
This is what you look at when you get to the boats in the AM!
Anyway, the plan was to fish for LMB in the Dragon Run (feeds in to the P) in the morning and afternoon but we didn't get started until past 1 PM )here's two of the flotilla).
We went up the Run but unfortunately, I do not have the trolling motor hooked up yet so fishing the grass edges was difficult in the center Console. By 3:30 PM, Jim and I had a few bites but no takers so I called Capt. Mike to see how he and the other boat (Charlie) were doing. They had NADA at that point so I told Jim that we were going to go downriver towards the bay in search of a saltier species.
For several hours we threw everything at 'em with no takers. At one particular point, the current was moving right, we had a drop-off, there was bait and all we could do is get stuck in a foot of water!
So back to camp we went for a great dinner and lots of fishing talk with the seven fishermen....oh, the stories! After laughing for several hours, it was time to bed!
At 0530 we were woken up to the smell of an incredible breakfast. After we ate, we got in our boats and went back to the fishing. Jim and I were going to the bay loaded with chum, bait and big sticks to see if we could set up a chum slick and look for sharks and cobia and what ever else might be lurking. The anticipation of catching a big fish was killing up. We set out on our 8-9 mile run to the bay and the river was slightly choppy but looking good. But as soon as we got out of the river, we were met with a 20 knot N-NE wind which churned up 3-4 footers. Man did we get wet!
Three times we attempted to get out past Gwynn Island and into the bay and three times we turned around to head back. The final one came after I called Capt. Jeff Hammett, who was fishing the Potomac down below the 301, to get a 2nd opinion. We were back in the Piankatank in minutes.
We had just wasted 2.5 hours and now we had to fish a river that I knew very little about. So.....we tried several fishy looking spots to no avail. We did monitor channel 68 and all we heard were fishermen lamenting about the wind, the bad fishing etc. I wasn't feeling so bad.
After a while we happened on a point that had shallow water and I started looking for white perch. All of the sudden, the bottom went from 2 feet to 15 feet. Hold on...we could like this! The problem was that the tide was going in (towards the shallow) and the wind was blowing against it so there was little movement in the water. We threw a bunch of stuff and all of the sudden, Jim's pole takes a serious bend.....and I go looking for the net! It took him a few minutes to fight the fish and Jim lands a nice flounder! Dinner is on....well not really. While it was a nice fish, it did not go the required minimum of 18.5". It went 18 inches!!
The next catch was a blue crab that never let go of Jim's bait.
After the flounder, we fished for another hour without success so we moved....and moved...and moved. We could not find a fish to save our lives until Jim found this croaker in 3 feet of water.
Now it was time to go home (about 130 miles) but not without a stop at Capt. Mike's house to say good by to the crew. Here's is Capt. Mike who had just come in after having landed 12 LMB with his 2 partners!
Spectacular weather and scenery helped lessen the lack of catching!
What I didn't say was that Jim reeled the flounder almost out of the water before I could get a net on him, we were lucky he didn't break of. He played the croaker perfectly.
We caught that flounder in a protected cove, out of the wind. The wind let up by 11, it was brutal early in the open water.
I have now fished this area three times: once with Curly and a guide, once alone with a guide and now with Jim. Each time, we have had an E or NE blow which does not do much for the fishing. You'll catch them but not as much as when it blows from other directions.