I was invited to join a group of friends that has been making an annual pilgrimage to the “Rod ‘N’ Reel” Pro-Am Sportfishing Tournament in April for 16 years. The guys meet at Chesapeake Beach, Maryland on the shore of the Chesapeake Bay for the event and as always-chartered Captain Eddie Green [or his dad Pop Green]. This year we had residents of Delaware, Maryland, central Michigan and myself from Virginia. Captain Green’s Plumb Crazy is a 40’ bay-built fishing vessel and a perfect choice for us. Our quarry was the Morone saxatilis, also called striped bass, striper or rockfish. They are anadromous fish that generally leave salt water in the spring to spawn in freshwater tributaries. It is during this migration and afterwards that they pass through the bay in such great numbers.
The group gathered Thursday afternoon for welcome drinks at the hotel lounge and then adjourned to the restaurant for a dinner of fresh, local fare. The next morning we were up early to board Plumb Crazy for a full day on the Chesapeake. We left the harbor and ran out into the bay, which is quite narrow here, only about 10 miles across to Tilghman Island on the eastern shore of Maryland. The day was cool and overcast with an easterly breeze. Since I was the “newbie” in the group I was given the first rod when mate Kyle Kendricks called out “fish on” not long after we dropped lines overboard. It was a nice rock near 40 inches in length and with a full, heavy body. Other fish struck our lures but the bite was slow due to a foul tide. Midday we gathered in the cabin for Smithfield ham sandwiches and freshly made crab cakes all washed down with cold beverages. After lunch the tide turned more favorably and the strikes came more often. The captain worked diligently to keep us in the fish and the mate kept the lines from fouling and in the strike zone.
As the afternoon wore on we put more fish in the box with a total of eight that day. Having to get back to Richmond on Saturday I left for home. The rest of the group fished and had a better day with ten fish caught. Eighteen huge rockfish over two days in the upper 30s – lower 40 inches [about 30 lbs.] was a good catch indeed but the fish were just shy of the money. We all took fish home and there was quite a cooler-load of beautiful rockfish taken back to Michigan! The winning striped bass of the tournament was a 51” 50.21 pounder!
Fellas, many thanks for letting me join you!
Contact Captain Eddie Green at 301-855-8260 www.plumbcrazycharters.com