How To Fish With A Stout NE Wind, Tearing Up The Bay

Capt Brady

New Member
When the water is warm as in the summer months, the fish are somewhat dispersed across a wide area of the Ches Bay and in the tributaries. When the water cools down in Fall, and later into December, the forage moves offshore and generally schools out into the middle of the Bay and Potomac River, suspending over the deeper water. If one thinks about this a moment, this creates advantadges and disadvantadges. For instance, this past Sunday, August 31st, there was a brutal NE wind that started around 4am in the morning of about 15-20kts and by the time most Labor Day boaters got to the ramps at 6:30 am or later, the sea conditions in the main bay were were rough and rougher. In the Pt Lookout area, where the Potomac River flows into the Bay, much fishing activity has been reported there, but the waves were just too much for all but the largest charterboats to endure. I saw many boats going eastward out of the River only to return a half hour later.

To add to the sea condition in this area, there was an outgoing tide, so the outflow from the Potomac River right at Pt Lookout Light, on the Maryland side, was appx perpendiculiar to the flow of the Bay and slightly into the NE wind. In short, it was a rough place.

The way I deal with a stout NE wind in the middle bay area, from a relatively small guideboat,(19' cc) is one of two courses. Either one can , at a slow speed, push their way windward across the Bay, and get into the protection of the Hooper's Island to Smith Island chain, out of the heavy seas but not completely out of the wind, or one can relocate by road into the Potomac River and by staying on the Md side of the Potomac be out of both the waves and the wind(to an extent.) This latter course of action I have done many times over the last decade of fly and light tackle guiding, and this past Sunday, again it made a very sucessful trip, out of a bad day.

I simply launched at the new boat ramp at Piney Point, by the St Georges Island bridge and started southward towards Pt Lookout, about twelve miles away. The landmass of St Mary's County kept the majority of the wind and waves off of us. Before we got hardly three miles, we were into gullls and breaking fish.

More later.....