Monday, October 1, 2012

Strange Weekend Of Fishing

I'm not sure if it was the harvest moon throwing things off with the tides, the bright blue skies, or the strong winds from the west. The fish just were not around.

We tried Gravelly Point on Saturday morning. We had these conditions:

  • outgoing tide
  • clouds
  • cool temps
  • clear water
  • loads of bait fish
  • one other angler
We managed to pull in a yellow perch and a bluegill on a squirmy worm. My clients worked both sides of the channel and the deep pool in the center. We could see our feet the water was so clear. Every step we took had bait fish swooping in to eat micro invertebrates that we stirred up. The stripers were just not around. One thing we all got out of the two hour lesson was that my clients know where to fish and how to fish a new location. They were able to experience everything lined up perfectly for good fishing, except for the fish.

I moved my second client from Gravelly over to Four Mile Run for the afternoon session. We got there and the flats were dry as a bone. The wind had blown most of the water out. We worked on casting at the deep pools along the power line poles and the water flowing out of the discharge. We managed to hook into some extremely strong bluegill.We sight cast down stream to a channel cat but the water was super low and the fish were spooky. Full moon got the best of us on Saturday.

Sunday had me up at 0530 to fish the incoming tide at the Tidal Basin. Everything was lined up perfectly:
  • it was dark
  • tide was incoming 
  • loads of bait fish present
  • full moon lighting up the water
There were two or three fish that surfaced in the incoming water before sunrise. Nothing materialized. I moved down toward the FDR and managed a few bluegill under the trees and in the shade. The water was like glass and I kept waiting for a bucket mouth to come up and inhale my fly. Nothing. I drove home and chilled before meeting MJ at Four Mile Run.

MJ and I got to 4MR on the outgoing tide. There as still a decent amount of water in there. It was crystal clear the entire way. We found a AAA card and another credit card. Strange stuff. The deep pools were loaded with gizzard shad. They wouldn't take a fly. We sight cast to big shouldered large mouth along the trees. They were not interested. We drifted flies along the bottom for channel cats. Nothing. Several bluegill and long ear sunfish threw the hook. We fished Tenkara and a 4wt. The winds picked up and made casting both a chore. We moved back up to the outflow.

That's when things turned strange. Forget about the part of me falling in calm water with a sandy bottom and filling up my waders. We were fishing the outflow and all of a sudden gizzard shad just exploded out of the water in every direction. Think of the jumping carp from the Mississippi river. It looked like some were trying to get up into the outflow like salmon jumping a falls.

We tried to film it on our iPhone but were not quick enough. Then out of now where this big brown thing pops up and starts moving toward shore. We thought it was either a muskrat or a stick. Then it got up ON shore. It turned out to be a big brown water snake with a bluegill in its mouth. This was an awesome site. I managed to get my phone out and film the situation.

We fished the other side of the outflow and got a bruiser of a bluegill. The 4wt was bent. It was not as big as MJ's 1.01lb bluegill from Reston earlier in the summer. We called it after two hours. The flats were dry and the wind was howling.

It was just one of those weekends with unpredictable DC weather and tides. The moon may have been the cause and mostly was. Who knows. We'll be back for sure. 


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