|Chesapeake Bay Fishing and Lighthouse Tours|
|Written by Carol Martino|
|Friday, 16 April 2010 09:57|
Pursuing the Elusive Rockfish
"Trophy fish coming aboard!” Those words are sweet music to anglers who dream of catching a once-in-a-lifetime prize rockfish, also known as striped bass. For anglers aboard Net Profits, that music played daily as they reeled in trophies while Virginia Beach fishing during the winter rockfish season.
Anglers were catching stripers that averaged 20-50 pounds one after another. Most of them were at the higher end. Tom said it sometimes takes 20 minutes or more to pull one in, "cranking and winding down on the rod, pulling back, winding down while it’s thrashing around. Sometimes your arms wear out but the excitement never does.”
Passengers are often curious about the lighthouses still standing on the Chesapeake Bay, so the captains often throw in a history lesson. Picturesque Thomas Point Shoal, a screwpile lighthouse built in 1875, graces the mouth of the South River and is the most photographed, according to Capt. Steve. These screwpile structures, which stand on threaded pilings and are screwed into sandy or muddy bottoms, proliferated the bay in the 19th century. Thomas Point, with its one and a half story cottage, dormers and a cupolo is a Chesapeake Bay icon. It's the only remaining lighthouse at its original location in the United States and was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1999. Captain Steve said that rockfishing is typically good around the shallow waters near Thomas Point where the currents and tides are strong.
Passengers are also fascinated with the rustic Bloody Point Bar, a caisson-style lighthouse at the southern tip of Kent Island. It was built in 1882 when caisson platforms, thought to be more stable during winter ice flows, began to replace screwpile lighthouses. According to legend, Bloody Point Bar withstood more than harsh winters. Some say its name comes from a bloody past that includes pirates and picaroons and also ambitious colonists who slaughtered the natives. Other popular casisson lighthouses seen during Chesapeake Bay Sport Fishing excursions include: the 1858 Sandy Point Shoal, a bright red sructure with a white roof that sits at the southern mouth of the Magothy River and is visble from the Bay Bridge; and the 1908 Baltimore Harbor Light, the last lighthouse built on the Chesapeake Bay. Located north of the mouth of the Magothy River, the two-story octagonal white brick tower once guided ships to the Port of Baltimore.
Chesapeake Bay Sport Fishing caters to all types of charters, which provide a perfect get-away for both avid and casual fishermen. Business owners find that corporate outings are productive and entertaining while developing camaraderie. Private excursions are popular for family reunions and bachelor parties or birthday and retirement celebrations. Capt. Steve noted that all fishing gear and licenses are provided, and food and drinks can be catered. "We do all the work. All they have to do is have fun. We’ll even clean their catch at the end of the day.”
Captain Lee, who takes Jessie Girl out most days during fishing season, said, “A lot of people are from out of the area, maybe on a business trip or visiting family. They take an afternoon off to go fishing. They may never get to the Chesapeake Bay again, so we try to make the trip a memorable one for them. Sometimes we fill the boat with fish, other times it’s tougher. It’s always exciting to see their eyes light up when they catch the big ones, especially the kids who have only been exposed to a fishing pond,” he said.
The fact that customers keep coming back says a lot for the captains, according to Tom. “Their vast fishing knowledge is a big draw, but it’s more than that. Fishermen are interested in what the captains and mates are doing and how they’re working the bait. They take time to answer all of our questions. They’re professional, courteous, have a sense of humor, and they sure know how to have a good time. Once you spend time on one of their boats you leave as their friend.”Chesapeake Bay Sport Fishing adventures are available every day April through December from the Queen Anne Marina on Kent Island which is within minutes of Annapolis, Baltimore and Washington D.C. Custom pick-up and drop-off points can be arranged anywhere on the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries. Also, the captains offer fishing out of Rudee Inlet, Virginia Beach, December through March. To experience the excitement of a rockfish quest, call Captain Rich at (410) 703-2760 or visit Chesapeake Bay Sport Fishing.
Chesapeake Bay Fishing
|Last Updated on Thursday, 22 September 2011 05:39|