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Thread: Skunk report, 5/18/17

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2016
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    Default Skunk report, 5/18/17

    Wasn't planning on going this evening. The wind was 9mph from the south and we had passes to the Cal Ripken Benefit in Annapolis but the wife was tired so I went fishing. Wife told me that on her way home from work the water looked calm. I made her make a video on her phone to prove it since I've been blown all over the Bay recently. She was right. Conditions weren't perfect, but definitely fishable.

    I launched in my usual spot, Franklin Manor and headed north to an area that is about 1/2 mile south of the mouth of the West River. This spot has yielded over 60 stripers for me so far this year. Recently, the skunk has stayed in the kayak. As usual, the fish finder showed next to nothing in water shallower than 12 feet, then a few arcs at 14 ft, and a ton of fish at the fast drop off between 16 and 25 ft. I trolled a 1 oz white twister tail jig with a chartreuse skirt, and a 4.5 inch Windcheater Bomber plug. It dives about 8-10 ft. In the areas where there were fish showing on the sonar (deeper than 14 ft) there were arcs scattered throughout the water column. I also stopped and jigged in 20-28 ft of water.

    Now, I know that the fish finder isn't fool proof, but generally when it shows fish as thick as it was tonight, I catch fish. However, the last three trips I haven't had so much as a bite! It's like the bottom fell out of the striped bass season.

    Here are a couple of pics of my fish finder screen this evening:
    IMG_1177.jpgIMG_1179.jpgIMG_1204.jpg

    As the sun started to set, I began to see more arcs in the upper water column as I expected I would. To adjust for this, I removed the Bomber and replaced it with a X-Rap Glass Ghost (dives 4-6 ft). Still nothing. I paddled a good 5 miles and didn't get a single bite and I've paddled almost 15 miles in the last 3 trips and nothing. Frustration was starting to build. Then, as I looked to the West to check one of my lines, I was reminded of the real reason that I kayak fish as often as I do.
    IMG_1205.jpg

    After this pleasant reminder, I enjoyed dragging my lures back to the ramp a lot more.

    How-evah...

    I'm not losing my mind am I? Aren't those pretty obvious fish arcs on my fish finder? I promise you, the thing is not on demo mode! Are you guys experiencing fish just watching your offering just swim by or have I truly forgotten how to fish?
    Last edited by Hawg; 05-18-2017 at 11:26 PM.
    Trident Ultra 4.3
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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Posts
    3,846

    Default

    Those look like fish arches to me too. Often this spring I have trolled through areas with large bait clusters or numerous fish marks and failed to get bites. I wish I knew why the fish were not biting. One suggestion that has worked for me over the years is downsizing lures. If I am in an area that I believe is holding fish, but cannot get them to bite, I often switch over to a smaller or different type of lure. Sometimes it works -- other times not. This applies both to trolling or casting.
    John Veil
    Annapolis
    Native Watercraft Manta Ray 11 and Slayer Propel 10
    Member - Pro Staff team for Native Watercraft

    Author - "Fishing in the Comfort Zone" - light tackle fishing techniques for kayaks and small boats

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2016
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    Churchton, MD
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    Thanks John. These fish were thick like you see on the pictures for hundreds of yards at a given depth. I wasn't using very large lures to start with. Nothing over 4.5 inches.

    I guess it's good to know that others are experiencing the same stubborn fish.
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  4. #4
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    Jun 2011
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    lexington park
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    If you're trolling multiple rods, I'd size up on one rod and down on the other ....often, however, I dont remember to bring larger paddletails, so I'm stuck

    Sent from my SM-G360V using Tapatalk
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  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
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    Gaithersburg, MD
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    Check your kayak for bananas? Did you eat any that day?
    Donnie

    2012 Malibu Steath 14
    2013 Cuda 12

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2016
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    Churchton, MD
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    Quote Originally Posted by Donsail68 View Post
    Check your kayak for bananas? Did you eat any that day?
    No, but I just bought a ton of bananas! Maybe that's it.
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