Sunday October 4, 2009
PHOTOS: Fishing Report - Skinny Water Stripers
Dave Yost -

Today's fishing report started with an early morning wake up call at 3am as my wife has a part time job and this is when she rises. Go figure on a Sunday morning.

It's not her ideal time to wake on a Sunday. I figured I would give the early am a shot and it paid off. I made a pot of coffee and contemplated my plan of attack.

I usually fish my local marina dock pilings at night under the lights and stripers are schooled up by the hundreds. You can see them everywhere feeding on minnows and grass shrimp, so i decided to try that first. When I arrrived it was fairly quiet, but there were some boats starting to arrive so I didnt have to much quiet time left. I was using a semi ultra light outfit with my Go Bomber plug (black/silver/yellow) that I like to call the school bus. I usually cast just inside the shadow/light line and the strikes occur just as the lure comes into the light. I made a few casts to my usual catch points to no avail. On about the 10th cast I hooked up as a striper crashed my plug as they usually do and the fight was on.

My drag was set light and he made a few strong short runs, had one good zzzzzing on the reel and then I got him over to the dock and on the pier. I carefully got the treble hooks out, admired him for a minute and released him softly back to the water. Nice fish and as always a good fight. This fish was approximately 16 inches.

After a few more casts dawn was coming and my plan was to watch the sunrise and move over to my local jetty and cast before the sun came up.

I arrived at the jetty and put on my Korkers. I quietly started out on the jetty when I noticed movement and a small wake in the water not even 20' from the rocks. I set my bag down and made a quick cast just over the wake and movement, SLAM a striper nailed it after only 2 or 3 turns of the reel. It is awesome to see a striper crash a bait like that. It made a few short runs and a couple zzings of drag. I got him over to the rocks and in my hands. Another nice fish about 16 inches that fought like a 24 inch fish. What an adrenaline rush and so close to shore.

It was starting to get light and I knew there were more around, but I wanted to get to the end of the jetty before the sun rose. I hooked my lure back on the eye and made my way to the end of the jetty. I knew as it got lighter the fish would be running along the jetty and on their way out to deeper water once the sun rose.

The plan was to catch them as they were coming out. Rockfish usually head for cover come day break, because they have no eyelids and tend to shy away from the bright sun. Boats were passing on their way out and the sky was pink and picturesque. I started casting at the end of the jetty and was reeling my plug parallel with the rocks. After a few casts with no strikes I noticed minnow being driven up. That was my cue that stripers were under them feeding and on their way out of the shallow water. I watched as they got closer and closer and made my cast, BOOM, my bait had barely hit the water and was slammed by another striper. Another nice fight and rockfish - this one being a little bigger at 17 inches. He was cautiously released to fight another day. The stripers continued along the rocks chasing the minnows, but as it got lighter and the sun was up they started to get a little more shy. I caught one more about 14 inches and decided to pack it in for the morning.

Well worth gettin up early. I am looking forward to colder water and weather, as the stripers will get better in size.

Until my next report - GO CASTIN......TIGHT LINES!

About the Author: Dave Yost is an avid saltwater and freshwater angler. You can visit Dave and contact him about Chesapeake Bay fishing on his website at

chesapeake bay shallow water rockfish

chesapeake bay jetty fishing sunrise

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