Maryland Saltwater Sportfishermen's Association So. MD Chapter

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Light Tackle Options for Summer Fishing (July 17, 2014)
The Chapter met with Captain Brady Bounds, the featured speaker light tackle guide, and his “surprise” guest, Captain Sonney Forrest.  We were treated to a lively give and take between the two captains that combined a fishing seminar with a comedy routine.  While enjoying the pairs’ good natured kidding between old friends, we also learned about light tackle fishing.  High on that list was the need to use braided line instead of monofilament line to minimize line stretch and maximize sensitivity.  Captain Brady stressed the need to use a 2 or 3 foot monofilament or fluorocarbon leader with that line to allow the angler to grab the line without cutting his or her hand when landing a fish.  He also pointed out that he never nets fish with sharp teeth. 

Fishing the Thomas Johnson bridge pilings was discussed briefly.  Brady said that during times of maximum water flow fishing the pilings is almost useless, because one cannot get the bait to where the fish are.  Captain Sonney pointed out that one also needs to hit some of those popular spots prior to other anglers - in other words get out early.

Both captains discussed the importance of structure for fish, such as rip rap that has grass growing on it and good current at some point of the tide cycle.  They urged the group to learn to identify those likely places.

Captain Brady pointed out that as fishing guides he and Sonney had to rely on more than luck to find fish.  They need to have a set of reliable and consistent spots to find fish and understand what it takes to catch fish in those places.  Later in the evening he responded to Jerry Gaff’s question on how to locate fish in the doldrums of summer with a couple of ideas which included the following:

  • Watch the activity of other animals like birds including ospreys, eagles, herons and others.  He also noted the need to watch the behavior of other anglers and boats in the area as their actions can telegraph the fact that they are catching fish.

  • Identify structure where fish might live.  Looking at Google satellite map imagery during the off season and investigating what might be good spots during the fishing season is an excellent start.

  • Fish over structures that you understand so you develop a “feel” for what different bottom types feel like when you drag a jig or lure over them. 

  • Learn how to use and read your sonar forward and backwards.

  • Explore - if you see a potential spot on a satellite image go check it out.  If you note a ridge on your fish finder stop and fish the drop.  Explore and remember the winning spots.

Following the presentation, Tom Kemp talked about the logistics of “Hooked on Fishing” which took place the next day.  On Friday the 18th about two dozen members turned out to help 92 of St. Mary’s youth try to catch fish on the Point lookout Fishing Pier.  Unfortunately the stiff northeast breeze and the nice cool front that came our way may have driven most fish away.  It was not a very productive day, but the children seemed to enjoy wetting a line. 

Finally Captain Bruno discussed our upcoming chapter fishing contest to be held on the morning of Saturday August 23rd.  The contest with a $5 entry fee will have awards for the largest croaker, spot, white perch, bluefish, rockfish, or Spanish Mackerel caught.  Weigh in will be at Tom Meiser’s pier no later than 1:00 PM.  Prizes will be awarded that afternoon while members enjoy a few quick hot dogs for lunch.  Sign up will be at the next chapter meeting so please mark the date.

Captain Bruno opens the meeting. Sam sell’s Jerry a 50/50 ticket and hands out the door prize ticket.
Captain Brady Bounds (right) and his surprise guest Sonney Forrest (left) look on as Bruno opens the meeting. Captain Sonney looks on as Captain Brady begins the talk.
Captain Sonney makes a point while the guests look on. Tom Kemp drums up help for what turned out to be a very enjoyable “Hooked on Fishing” event at Pt. Lookout.


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