Curb Your Enthusiasm: Preseason Rockfish

Collin with the big fish of the day.

My brother and I were eager to return to the Chesapeake after our first trip went better than expected we wanted to build on our early success. I had to work Sunday morning so we decided that as soon as I made it home around 12 we would hit the road. After a couple of brief delays we made it to the Sandy Point State Park launch around 2 o'clock. The sun was pretty high so we initially headed for deeper water along the bridges to try jigging the structure of the bridges with soft plastics. This is a technique I am very familiar with using in Lake Pontchartrain, and I love the solid thump you feel when the fish hits your lure. We jigged the different structures of the bridge including the rock piles for about an hour and a half with nothing to show.

 I would have liked to stay and jig longer but our time was short so Collin and I decided to go back to what worked on the previous trip.  We began trolling which is not my favorite technique but I cant deny its effectiveness. I wanted to work the drop off so I started on the edge of the deeper 30 ft range but Collin made his way up shallower to where we were on the previous trip (read here). His lack of willingness to try a new approach payed off as he was able to break the ice with a 24.5 inch Rockfish. We trolled a little longer but were interrupted twice by two different DNR boats checking our fishing licenses. As the sun dropped further we decided to head onto a  shallower 4 to 6 foot flat and drift and jig. In this shallow water I was able to avoid the skunk and landed a 18 inch schoolie striper on a 1/2 ounce Rat-L-Trap. We then got on a pretty quick bite and Collin even had a fish chase his lure to his kayak as he was reeling in to cast. We were only able to land one during this time but should have landed at least three or four more in the fifteen minute stretch. Next time I am in that situation I may break out a popping cork another Louisiana favorite technique . By that time it was 6:30 and time to head back to the launch before it got dark. We trolled straight back to the launch and Collin was able to catch two more in quick succession on a 6 inch paddle tail. Hopefully next weekend I can get a full day in and concentrate more on jigging rater than trolling. Until next time I will continue reading articles and reports and watching YouTube videos to learn how to catch a 40+ inch Rockfish.

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