This is it, the last weekend for the 1991 fall recreational striped bass fishing season.
Today, tomorrow and Sunday are the final daysof the season. The fishing time is from 5 a.m. to 6 p.m. The creel limit is one fish per person per day.
The charter boat season ended Oct. 27. Charter boats and their crew may fish for striped bass like any other recreational fishermen, but they are not supposed to run striped bass charters.
There has been little in print on where, when and how to catch these fall stripers. The people who were fishing every day, the charter boat captains,kept the information pretty much to themselves. Since I wouldn't mention where I was fishing, I decided not to say where others were catching fish, either.
But it was not hard to find out where the fish were being caught. Most of the tackle shops got the word from the recreational fishermen who were fishing every day.
In the upper bay, the hot spot was Sparties, an area southeast of Buoy 2 and east of Man O' War Shoals. Sparties was primarily an eeling place.
Down our way, the activity started at Love Point, but quickly died down. Then it was scattered between the lumps along the channel to include SnakeReef, Belvidere Shoals or the Winter Places near the Dumping Grounds. Some number of fish came from the Bay Bridge, but those anglers paid dearly in lost tackle.
Further south, the activity started at the fishing reef off West River, and then the captains found the large schools of rockfish in and near Herring Bay.
Big schools of rock and bluefish were found near the Airplane Wreck near the mouth of the Choptank. This was early fishing. You had to get there early, get your fish and get out. If you didn't get your fish early,
you worked hard the remainder of the day to come up with a catch.
In the Solomons area, most the catches came from the Patuxent. Later, catches came from the Rock Pile, across the bay and from the Construction (the old LP plant).
Last year, the secret weapon was the live eel. It was hard to drop a live eel anywhere on Love Point and not catch a rockfish. This year, the secret weapon was the big bucktail.
Historically, you bottom-bounced a small bucktail for small and big fish. This year you fished 7/0 bucktails with big plastic grubs on in-line sinkers. This is typical springtime-type fishing. Many captains admit that they never had seen fall fish go for big bucktails like they did this year.
Where will they be today, tomorrow and Sunday? I haven'ta clue because, very few people are fishing, and this cold weather will have an obvious impact on the rockfish actions. I have no idea where I will be fishing this weekend.
Bob Spore is a Coast Guard-licensed charter boat captain from Pasadena. His Outdoors column appearsevery Friday and Sunday in the Anne Arundel County Sun.