Article on Perch Fishing In the Potomac River, May 5, 2016

WaPo Perch.jpg
The Washington Post Sunday magazine had this piece by Bill Heavey: “Fishing on the Potomac: Line, sinker and hooked”: https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/magazine/fishing-on-the-potomac-line-sinker-and-hooked/2016/05/04/e5468aa0-fce2-11e5-886f-a037dba38301_story.html

It describes the spring perch frenzy that sounds a little like the spring shad frenzy. The whole piece is worth a re-read. These exceprts were especially interesting.

“The perch have yet to make it the two more miles up to Fletcher’s Boathouse in any numbers. Sure, a few were caught from shore on the mud flats just past the parking lot last week. Shallow water heats up faster, so that’s where the first ones are usually caught. But those fish — part of the annual ritual — were flukes, outliers. Perch don’t really like a mud bottom. Nobody ever gets into them good from shore.

The river’s right — 55 degrees, the water stained but not muddy, running high but not too high on this late-March day. And it’s late enough in the spring, which matters because the angle of sunlight matters.”

“Fletcher’s won’t be renting its gray-and-dark-red rowboats for another week. If those factors aren’t enough — and they are — there’s the fact of the cormorants. If there were fish here, hordes of the black birds would be circling, diving and skimming. Today, they’re packed shoulder to shoulder on rocks out in the river, like Supreme Court justices sitting irritably for their portraits…. We launch Gordon’s 17-foot boat at Gravelly Point [Arlington], idle five miles upriver to a hole I’m not allowed to name and drop our rigs in 40 feet of water. We’re fishing the small bucktail jigs that Dickie Tehaan, a fishing savant who grew up at Fletcher’s, ties by the dozen. He won’t sell them but gives them to friends.”

The article shows a photo of both conventional and casting rods being used. And the location may be a bit north of Fletcher’s Cove

Fishing for Stripers In Montauk, New York, August 18, 2014

Striped Bass Bluefish Rig 1 Striped Bass Bluefish Rig 2We caught a Viking boat (65 feet, 200 tons) at 6pm, and got off the boat at midnight. It was about 1.25 hour trip out to the Block Island area. The previous night between 12-6am, the boat fished this same area and had 2.5 quiet hours and then 1.5 hours of many fish. The trip cost $85 per person plus $5 to rent a rod. We fished with live eels that we hooked through the lower and upper lips.

Our rods were 6 feet or so in length and very thick. The rig was a big hook on the end of the line, and a three-leaf clover shaped swivel with a line tied to a fat sinker (#12). The line was incredibly thick monofilament. The aim was to sink the line to the bottom and have the eel swim a couple feet above.

In short, it was a “scratch and claw night” as the captains put it—and very disappointing. Two stripers were caught (one more than 40 inches), along with two bluefish (including a 30+ incher by yours truly) during 4 hours of fishing.

Bluefish

Bluefish

Fluke and Black Sea Bass Fishing in Montauk, New York, August 12, 2014

Fluke Black Sea Bass Viking boatWe left dock a little after 8:30 AM and returned a bit after 12:30 PM. Robert and I were on a 65-foot Viking Fleet boat: http://www.vikingfleet.com/fishing/fishing.asp

The weather was beautiful—70 to 75 degrees, and it had not rained in some days.

We fished for maybe 2.5 hours. We fished 4 places. It was a mediocre day.

Each rod had heavy monofilament, with a decent sized hook on it, and 2.5 feet above was an #8 sinker (some folks had #10 ones, which would have been better with the current.) The model was the same as the catfish rig but with the sinker and hook positions reversed (catfish = sinker at the end with the hook tied above; fluke was hook at the end with the sinker above.)

Fluke Black Sea Bass rig

It was bottom fishing with one dead sand eel (3 inches long and hooked through the eye) and one slice of squid body (5-4 inches). We got a couple of fluke and a sea bass. We had some hits that took our eels. Most folks got only 1 or 2 fish the entire trip. A minority of folks caught 4-7 fish.

Learning experience: Get a spot on the back of the boat where there are fewer rod holders and thus people in whose lines you can get tangled. Folks let out too much line and ended up tangled under the boat with folks on the other side.

Fluke

Fluke

Black Sea Bass

Black Sea Bass