Got up this morning intent on fishing the outgoing tide at the Monitor/Merrimac Bridge Tunnel. Had most of the stuff loaded on the boat yesterday, so all I had to toss on there this morning before leaving was my back pack. Stepped on the gunwhale to wipe the frost off the curtains and darn near busted my butt due to the frost on the floor. Saved myself by grabbing the radar arch.
Launched out of Bennetts Creek to slick calm water. 30 minutes later set up the trolling equipment (stretch 25 on one rod, 3 way on the other with a 4" shad) at the small boat channel and started working the down current side of the pilings towards the tunnel. As I rounded the turn just before the tunnel, I see an orange RIB heading my way and commented to myself the Coasties were out early this morning. Then he turns directly for me and turns on the blue lights. I idled away from the bridge, reeled in everything, and got my courtesy boarding and inspection. Everything went smooth and was back fishing in 15 minutes. Only complaint was the one black scuff on the deck from their work boots. Other than that, they were very courteous.
Back to trolling,...made 3 passes along the bridge then headed over the tube. The bottom machine indicated very scattered bait with possible stripers under them, but I could not entice them with either of the trolled baits. Even tried dropping the 3 way rig down to bounce on the rocks and only accomplished getting hung up. Spent 5 minutes jockeying with the current trying to retrieve the rig and finally got it unhung.
Headed back to the bridge to try once more time, and still no love. There was a head boat out there with 28 people casting jigs at the pilings, and that captain said they had only caught 4 fish all morning, and only 2 were legal size.
Well, I think my striper season on the river is over. Hearing reports of some decent class of fish gradually moving down the Chesapeake Bay, so time to start targeting them. Hopefully next report will have pictures of fish!