Woods & Water

Tom Lum Shows off a 31-inch and a 34-inch rockfish on a trip with Northern Bay earlier this month.

Catching is hot — in one spot!

In this area of the Bay the water is filthy and the fish are basically elsewhere. Granted, there are fishermen who manage to catch their limits, but they are few and far between. If you want to catch a rockfish, go where the rockfish are, and that is Rock Hall.

Right now, the game is chunking. Put a fresh piece of bunker (menhaden) on the hook and lower it to the bottom and jig it.

Last Wednesday, Valerie and I joined six other fishermen from the Northern Bay Fishing Association and got on board Bayside Girls. Captain Chuck is ready to roll at 5 a.m. He is a good example of a good captain: He is constantly changing baits, checking hooks, changing rods, talking to the passengers and telling them what he expects to happen during the course of the day and the summer.

Val hooked a good fish early — it turned out to be 26-inches long. Then she caught several smaller ones. The rule is that each person is entitled to two fish, regardless of who caught them. So you may catch four good fish, and I catch none. Nonetheless, we split them up, so everybody gets two fish.

It was definitely not my day. I caught several smaller fish, including one that was the smallest of the day, but I did not get a keeper. However, at the end of the day, everyone walked off board with two fish, already filleted and ready to cook.

We were back at the dock at 7:30 a.m., having fished for about two hours. The fish do move about from place to place, but where there is food, there will be fish. Right now, that is Rock Hall. Northern Bay has a dearth of fish, as does the southern part of the Bay.

The next step will be to chum for fish. That is different than chunking in that a bucket of scraps will be ladled over the side of the boat to draw the fish into the boat and keep their interest.

Fishermen are welcome to bring their own rods or use one that the captain provides. If something goes wrong, the captain will exchange rods for one that does work. However, that was not necessary on this trip.

As we fished, we learned lots of information about fishing, birds that feed on them, and other tidbits of info. It’s expensive, but for one trip a year, it’s worth it, especially for someone new to fishing.

Good luck! I hope you catch some good fish.

Coyotes here?

Last Sunday night my neighbor heard lots of commotion between the ducks and something else. He assumed one of my cats had grabbed a duck. However, in 11 years, none of them has yet to grab a duck.

I found out the real reason from Steve Cilento. He was coming home from work that night, and as he rounded the corner, his headlights caught the sight of a large animal trying to catch a duck. It stood still long enough for Steve to identify it as a coyote. He knows what a coyote looks like, I know. He has pointed out two to me that were run over on a secondary road close to my house. I definitely believe he knows what a coyote looks like.

It is unusual for coyotes to be this close to us, but they are. I have seen a couple, also, but not so close to home. Nevertheless, they are here. Generally, like everything else, when you see one, there are about 10 more that you don’t see. So keep small pets in the house at night.

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