Calvert Cliffs Report and What To Expect……

upper 40′s inch whopper…..early A.M.   (March 2016)

Catching right now at the power plant isn’t blockbuster for sure.  It is however not horrible!  With that said it’s about normal for this time of year according to the last 20 years I’ve recorded it.  One thing for sure is you won’t catch a fish if you don’t go and you might not catch one if you do go!  None-the-less it’s fun and it’s a way to have a good shot at catching a Striper in the dead of winter.  Big fish can and will happen in the dead of winter, just not consistent or reliable.  Some winters we get more large fish in the flow than other years in Jan/Feb.  Mid-March usually begins a more reliable and consistent flow of big fish into the outflow.  One “first” for this winter is specks in January!  A few Speckled Sea Trout have been caught. I hadn’t seen  this ever!  So……that is pretty cool.  You just never know!  Also some small Puppy Drum have been caught……Jan 2 the boat I was on caught 4 I think.  The Specks and Reds were caught on 6″ BKD’s loaded on 1.5 or 2 ounce heads.  Trick with them is certainly maintaining bottom with a sharp short twitch while maintaining a snug line which enables the detection of a strike.  If you get hits and miss several they may be Specks, Reds or very small Stripers.  To catch the missed fish downsize your bait and jighead weight if possible.   The Specks have been located for me more down the flow just past where the boulders end.  The bottom is oyster shell and easy to detect bottom without snagging.

A true 50″er caught in April 2015

 

Evaluation of the extended temperature forecast indicates about average temps from here to Feb 4.  Some above average temps and some below.  Bottom line is overall about average.  Now we all know that can change!  Ice will be a factor on some occasions out of Flag Harbor but probably not from the Solomons boat launch.  I don’t have enough experience from Chesapeake Beach or Breezy Point to comment on ice. I expect fishing to maintain an Avg. historical bite this winter from now till Mid March.  I don’t expect any blockbuster runs of crazy great fishing but for the persistent guys who just want to get out there and take a shot at some fish I think it will be good!  A 4 hour trip with 4 guys who know the game should be able to hit 20 or so fish.  A big one right now is 28″-33″……haven’t seen any true big ones yet.  Could happen though!

Luke with a big March fish!

 

March 10, 2015…….Most ice ever this winter!

One thing for sure is winter is dangerous!  Water is deadly and fast!  Anyone running their boat in winter needs to take xtra care to make sure you are prepared.  I don’t have my boat back yet but when I do it will be readily available and I can get to it very quickly if anybody has a problem out there.  I would roll out there quick if anyone called and needed help.

We don’t want this in 2017!

So…..as of now we do have some fish at the plant.  It’s average over the long haul and I hope it gets real good!  Nothing would surprise me, either way good or bad can happen any given year.  A boring average report and winter outlook.  Good luck fishing and STAY SAFE!

 

TRIPS TO THE PLANT

As of now I don’t have a hard date on when I’m getting my boat back.  I’ll find out later this week I hope. If Flag Harbor is iced in I’d go from Solomons.  When I do get my boat to Flag Harbor I plan on running 1/2 day trips starting at daylight till 11ish and 1pm till darkish.  If you want to book the boat for anything in Jan or Feb give me a call and I’ll throw you in the book, I will take up to 4 for these trips.  The boat booked will be 375 for up to 4 anglers until March 15.  Walk-On Trips will be $70 each before March 15.  When you book the boat you are guarenteed that date for your crew.  All walk-on trips will be relatively short notice.   I will provide all baits/tackle or bring your own, licensing and HEAT!  These trips will be focused on proper technique…having fun and hopefully catching some fish!  Prior to our trip we’ll talk about whats going on with the fishing and of course weather and we’ll decide to do or not do the trip.  The winter fishery is “iffy” with weather and catching……I’ll tell it like it exactly as I know it.

if this guy can catch a 45″er ANYBODY can! Lol
Great fish John!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Categories: Fishing Report, Sticky, Uncategorized | 2 Comments
 
 

Walleye Pete’s 2016 Year In Review

2016 was a BIG year!

 

Table of Contents

1- Intro to 2016 Review

2- January      - Cold But Hot Fishing

3- February    - Darn Good Catching

4- March          - One Word…..HUGE!

5- April             – Warming Waters, Sweet Catch’in

6- May               – The Movement….Northbound

7- June              - Big Fish Rolling In The Boat!

8- July               – Hot Temps…….Big Stripers and Breakers

9- August          - Huge Numbers and Monstrous Surprises

10- September – Breakers Rolling Shallow, Big Reds!

11- October       -Stumps, Rocks, Cuts, Rips, Wrecks and Shallow Oh MY!

12- November – Record Breaking Big’uns On Structure

13- December  - Hot Start…..chilly finish

14- 2016 Fish of The Year!

 

THANKS TO ALL WHO FISHED WITH ME!  You made it a great year of catch’in!

 

 

1- Preview to 2016 Review

One of several huge Reds caught on
light Tackle in 2016! Wow!

2016 was certainly a year to remember for me.  Broke my one year record of trips in a year,  223 trips!  The season ended a bit early for me or I would have struck 230!  From well above the Bay Bridge to Smith Point, Virginia fish were caught in great numbers and beautiful fish!  As normal the power plant between mid-March and early April produced the biggest fish.  May-early July produced plenty of over 30″ Stripers.  Late July-September was breaking fish galore with some huge Redfish and the 2016 fish of the year!  Fall Island fishing was spectacular again and then the late fall early winter fishing out of Point Lookout was very very productive with a smattering of difficult days.  Overall a great year for sure and I’m looking forward to a record breaking 2017!

2-JANUARY- Cold but Hot Fishing

Typically my years start at Calvert Cliffs Nuclear Power Plant in January.  However, through the years sometimes a great bite somewhere in January will keep me from home and the winter power plant bite.  2016 was started with abnormally warm water in Chesapeake Bay because of a very mild start to the winter.  So……..even though the season to “keep fish”  was closed, catch and release was alive and well at the mouth of the Potomac River.  I did 7 trips in the first two weeks of january…….what a bite their was to start 2016!  We caught using 6″ and 10″ BkD’s, Hardheadcustom baits veritcal jigs, Specialized Baits “Lil’ Bunker Spoons and surface plugs!  Even a fly guy was able to connect in January at the mouth of the Potomac.  Here’s a few shots of fish caught in Jan 2016………All fish were caught utilyzing light tackle and released to swim another day!

First double of the 2016 Season!
Beautiful light tackle Stripers in the cold!

2nd double of 2016…..really quick!

Until the water temp dropped below 43 degrees
the fishfinder looked like this!

Average fish for the start of 2016!

Lot’s of bent sticks on Jan 7 2016!

A real nice 33″er in the cold!

 

My Friend Phil Chorney loves his fly slinging!  On a day that started at 17 degrees you wouldn’t think the  top portion of the water column and a fly would produce but they did!  Way to go Phil!  Love it!

The fly stick is bent!

just a blast on the fly!

Not a giant but in Jan on the fly
A TROPHY!

Here’s Sammy using a home made “slamm’in sammy”
to catch on this day…..he caught MANY!

another 30ish inch fish in Jan 2016

My buddy Mike with a great
January Striper!

Mid 30′s in Jan 2016

One of the last hard earned
Stripers in Jan 2016! Good job John Fox!

 

3-FEBRUARY- Darn Good Catching

The beginning of Feb 2016 was the start of my power plant season in 2016.  Typically I don’t do many guide trips in Jan-Feb and I didn’t in 2016.  I live very close and keep my boat in Flag Harbor…..less than 2 miles from the plant.  My normal plan is to take friends and neighbors who live close by for short missions to the plant.  Catching a couple fish is nice…..if we don’t catch it’s fine.  Easy trip……have fun….stay warm and if we catch it’s great!  Last Feb I did one guide trip and lot’s of little excursions to see whats going on.  Feb 2016 did produce a fair amount of Stripers and many in the mid 30′s inches in February  Every little trip out in Feb we caught fish!    This year “2017″ In Feb I’m going to run cheap walk-on trips at the Plant.  Lot’s of fun…..learn…..have fun and stay warm in my heated Cabin…..it’ll be great!  Here’s a few shots from Feb 2016 at the plant……..

my friend Dan with a nice little Feb fish
Hungry fish ate a 10″ BKD

a nice Feb Striper caught on a 6″ BKD

my other buddy Dan….good fish brother!

A real healthy one…..good fish fritz!

nice one Allan!

 

4-MARCH- One Word……HUGE

March is a GREAT month for sure at Calvert Cliffs!  Every year the biggest Stripers of the year happen in March.  April is big…..Feb is big also but not as big.  One thing is for sure…..every year is different.  In the late 90′s Feb was loaded at the power plant with big fish.   March is a time when migratory forage fish play around in the power plant outflow and really big Stripers like to eat them there!  Bar none…..the 10″ BKD is the best big fish bait I’ve ever used at the power plant.  Other baits in the 10″ range work great also.  What makes the 10″ BkD really stand out to me is it’s durability.  You can catch many fish on one bait.  Other baits I know of are very soft and rip after a fish or two.  Glue could help for sure.  1.5 to 2.5 ounce jigheads are the tool of choice for me at the plant.  Detecting bottom without getting snagged and at the same time putting on a great twitch is what “makes it happen” at the plant.

Here’s a few shots from March!  None of these fish were 50 pounds but some were really big!

this fish was the first true big one of the season……43″!

Big Al with a 42″er!

This fish is a SLOB!

Really big healthy fat Striper…..40+”er

wow……….giant!

hey….I caught one!

this was a massive 47″!

here’s what the 47″er ate……..10″ BKD

 

dawn monster….45″ish I believe!

this fish was HUGE…..not 50″ but close!

Chances at fish of a lifetime
are high!

 

just sweet!

 

light tackle joy

Towards the end of March the waters are warming and shallow water starts to approach 60 degrees.  When the water strikes 60 the power plant still produces but not as consistent.  I start exploring the eastern shore islands and shorelines and really catch some nice fish.  They aren’t huge but some over 30″.  Numbers can be big and the beauty of it all is gigantic.  2016 was a great April in the islands as the power plant fizzled.

 

5-APRIL- Warming Waters, Sweet Catch’in

April is one of my favorite fishing months!  Winter turning hard to spring…..warming waters and active fish.  The season opens to keep big ones around April 16.   In 2016 I moved from Flag Harbor to Solomons on April 15.  I don’t “trophy” hunt in April but do catch some really big fish in April.  April is when the shallow water bite really turns on and the weather starts to be very nice…..Love it!  When the charter boats are out trolling up one fish per person to take home I’m in the islands catching and releasing large numbers of really nice fish to keep forever on camara……love this time of year.  Had a great April 2016!  Here’s some shots……

An early April double on real nice fish!

super bent stick!

 

Huge April Striper for Luke……whoop whoop!

Early Aprl fatty

good stuff!

 

big shallow water fatty!

 

Todd with a well over 40″ April big boy!

 

Nooks and Crannies catch
good in April

 

Little guy with a jigged
up Striper!

 

last several years I’ve seen
lot’s of these in April! Cool!

 

This is fishing the islands!

Cool April adventure!

April Striper in the skinny

 

A REALLY big light tackle
caught April Striper

sunrise striper in April

 

Nice bent stick in the islands!

 

Great spring catching on this day!

 

Lot’s of spring fun!

 

5- MAY

May brings about warmer temps and Stripers becoming very active on the surface with temps into the upper 60′s and low 70′s.  I fish from Solomons and run the main stem of the bay and the islands of the eastern shore.  If Speckled Sea trout are in our area I start to catch them well in May.  The last few years have seen very few Specks on the waters I fish.  2016 was much of the same.  I caught less than 10 Speckled Sea trout in 2016.  Sad but the way it goes.  Hoping they trend back in soon!  The Striper fishing however was very productive in May.  Lot’s of great stripers on the jig and surface. I had a busy month with 28 trips out of 31 days.  All trips produced well!  Here are some shots from May 2016!

Some early May rainey
day Striper action!

A surprise Speck in May……I’ll take it!

 

another rainy May catching day

 

great surface plugged
Striper!

 

some fun skinny water
fishing!

beautiful striper on
the light stick!

 

some real Happy Fishing today!

 

Young angler with a great
Fish!

 

sunrise joy!

 

Getting some real
Nice fish today!

 

Beautiful young lady and
Striper!

 

Surface plugged
Striper……cool!

 

May Worms getting ate on the bottom!
They love BKD’s in this picture!

calm shallow water
good ones!

 

just beautiful!

 

Bombed a surface plug!

 

doesn’t get any
better in May!

 

Wow!

 

Nice fish!

 

incredible may striper

 

Way to go man!

 

7- June- The Movement…..Northbound

June 2016 brought about movement of fish.  During the month of May plenty of fish were in the region of Solomons but as June rolled along the biomass of decent sized Stripers were moving north,  and North…..and more north.  So……..in early June I moved from Solomons to Deale in order to be way closer to the fish.  One thing I know is I can’t catch’m where they “ain’t”!  The last three years I’ve fished out of Deale, MD starting in June until fish started showing up back south again.  2016 was a great year for me in June from Breezy Point up to as far north as Man-O-War Shoal at the mouth of the Patapsco River.  Jigging around schools of Menhaden was key during June.  Structure also produced some incredible Stripers from Deale up to Rock Hall.  Here’s a few shots from June 2016!

Huge June Stripers Jigged up on
structure in June!

Super Striper on light tackle
in June!

Mid-30′s in June!
Awesome!

Bent stick! Good stuff!

Kid’s, Light Tackle Jigg’in!
Nothing better…….

 

 

Blues started to show in mid-june on structure……
nice ones too!

Young man with a GREAT
Striper…..good stuff!

 

Look at this great Striper!

A family day of catching
big Stripers!

Lovely ladies ane lovely
Stripers…best it gets!

 

Good stuff!

 

buddy dan with a great June Striper!

 

mid-30′s whopper

Bunch of good ones!

Last Big one in june….
July was on fire to start!

 

8-July-  Hot Temps, Big Stripers and Breakers

July was a month where I ran big miles daily rolling up the bay from Deale.  The biomass of Striped Bass over 24″ and up to 35″ or so were up the bay above the bay bridge.  Fishing structure early (before sunrise) produced many great fish.  After sunrise the bite typcially was in water over 20′ deep and centered around bait.  Deep water pilings of the bay bridge was productive along with humps, bumps and lumps in water 20′ deep or deeper. Some fish were caught on lumps under 20′ deep off Love Point.  After about July 16 I started rolling east and south from Deale Catching lot’s of Blues and Stripers 16-22″.  Breaking fish were wide spread and a blast in late july and rolling thru September.

Typical breakers last july:

https://www.facebook.com/Walleyepete/videos/10207644114959898/?l=8104584391498443351

Here’s some shots:

Incredible stripers on July 1!

Beauty!

 

Great fish fry!

Nice summer 33″er

 

Good grade of fish today!

 

Beautiful summer sunrise

 

Fun on the light stick!

 

Sweet lady with a huge jigged up Striper!

 

Great Family Affair!

 

Nice bent fly stick at the
Bay Bridge

 

Great fish on the top!

 

9- August – Huge Numbers and Monstrous Surprises

 

August is the end of summer.  We’ve have a couple months of heat, fish moving around and changing patterns and now they are hitting hard on the top every day.  Great time of year for gigantic numbers of fish and endless action.  Surprises in large forms tend to hang out under active Bluefish in late august and September feeding on scraps falling though the water column.  August is Stripers. Blues, Spanish Mackeral and some monster Reds!  All reds were caught on metal or plastic below breaking Blues and Stripers…….a site to behold when you see the redish orange glow appear below the surface after an EPIC fight on light tackle.  Nothing like it!  August was great action everyday…….great BIG surprises underneath!  Good stuff!

A few shots from August:

Nice one Linda!

Linda caught lot’s of Stripers and Blues
and this REALLY nice Spanish Mac!

 

Whoop Whoop! Good stuff!

 

August is Month of the Spanish…..
here’s a real good one!

 

These two are fish
catching machines!

A great mixed bag!

 

why I do this job!

 

Grandfather/Grandson fun!
Memories forever!

 

Family catching in a
big way!

 

Lot’s of Spanish
in 2016

First Bull Red in 2016
46″er…..wow!

 

A little puffer….isn’t that cute!

Massive Bull Red jigged
up on light tackle…..incredible!

 

Remick @flytimes and a fly caught Spanish……GOOD STUFF!

 

Check out this quick Red Battle Video!

https://www.facebook.com/Walleyepete/videos/10208279413161956/?l=8064253198590551526

 

Massive Red….massive fight…released
safely to swim another day!

 

10-September- Breakers Rolling Shallow, Big Reds! 

September has always been and didn’t disappoint in 2016 as an incredible catching month!  Breaking fish in the main stem of the bay are consistant and reliable daily and the shallow water of the eastern shore islands and shorelines really turn on and a variety is possible.  Large schools of Stripers and Blues push bait into very shallow water at times, very exciting!   We caught Stripers, Puppy Drum, Specks, Bluefish and even a Flounder in September.   As water temps drop from 80 plus degrees down into the 70′s and cool nights happen fishing becomes wildly wonderful in shallow water from 2′-8′.  Beautiful temps and prevailing calm seas make for a great month to catch lot’s of fish with some great fish mixed in.  2016′s fish of the year was caught in September.  A great fish and story it was!  I’ll tell it and show it at the end of my 2016 review.  Here’s some stuff from September 2016!

Between all the fish my family and
I love some Nationals Games!

 

we did catch a few Specks in September
Here’s one!

 

I got a Spanish! I got a Spanish!

 

More fish from the Breners’!

good stuff

 

A huge September Bull Red!

beautiful skinny water Striper!

Island guts are a blast and beautiful
to catch in…….awesome!

 

A lost flounder! Hope
more show up in 2017!

Windy day in the islands…..lot’s of these!

Great shallow water action!

More fun than should be legal!

 

11- October- Stumps, Rocks, Cuts, Rips,  wrecks and Shallow…. Oh MY!

Folks ask me what my favorite place or time to fish is…….I have a hard time answering!  I love it all and I love that things change enough to keep me sane!  I love the power plant in the winter because of big fish. I love the April/May shallow water and island fishing because we catch nice fish in shallow and winter is over.  I like summer  because huge numbers of fish are available and it’s great for folks to catch easily.  September is heaven on earth because summer is ending and the heat turns down a bit and fishing is GREAT!  However……..if I have to pick I pick as my favorite as October.  I fish primarily in the islands and shore lines of the eastern shore and fish structure in the main stem of the bay as I’m traversing the bay.  The islands are miles and miles of remote shorelines with rips, grass beds, rock piles, guts and cuts and wrecks.  I’ve got great catching opportunities all october even on breezy days.  October also produces some really big Stripers in 2-7′ of water.  Fishing is exciting and never boring in October.  So……it i must admit October is my favorite month and the islands are my favorite place to fish.  Here’s some shots from October 2016!  Great stuff!

MIke with a big Oct 1 shallow water striper

great double

A huge October shallow water Striper!
WOW!

 

great bag of stripers!

Way to go girls!

beautiful rock pile Rockfish!

great rainy day Rockfish!

 

that’s a whopper!

Big boys in the stumps today!

nice bent shallow water stick!

Just beautiful…..and fish!

 

Incredible remote water!

Way to go Gene!

October is just loaded
this year! Beauty!

Father/Daughter catching!

beautiful place to catch fish!

Island Cuts Are Amazing

A puppy Drum!

Paddle Tails over stumps were work’in!

Sweet morning and nice fish!

more island beauty

 

nice puppy!

Happy JIgging!

Look at that! Wow!

two whoppers

 

Last day of October produced
some real big fish!

October was busy with lot’s of catching…..whew!  Off to November!

 

12- November- Record Breaking Big’uns on Structure

The title of this month says it………Record breaking Big’uns!  I did many trips in November and almost all of them saw several stripers over 30 inches and up to 38″ as the biggest.  Love November for two reasons……great fishing and I launch out of Buzz’s Marina,  love the owners of the marina, Mike and Christy!  About 90% of large fish were caught on structure in less than 25′ of water.  Toward the end of November some large fish started showing up under birds.  For the most part all the big fish were on little hunks of structure and not in big schools.  The over 30″ fish seemed to be in small “wolf” packs hunting menhaden and crabs around structure.  We caught all the big fish on Hardhead Custom Baits Skirted Jigs tipped with a 6″ BKD, either chartruese glitter or purple glitter.  The large fish caught on my boat in Novmember was by far more than any November I’ve ever had…….come on November 2017!

Incredibly beautiful 35″er and
lady! Awesome!

Biggest fish of November! A beauty at 38″…..wow!

yes sir! Good stuff!

 

good fish Colonel!

 

Nice fish…..short guy! Lol…..good one!

 

Way to go Tommy!

 

Beautiful fish Rick!

Endless 28″ fish…..so good!

 

Moral of the story in NOV
Big ones!

34″er……sweet!

Hardhead Custom Bait skirted jig and 6″ BKD
caught this beauty!

 

Fritz! Good one!

 

LOVE a good bent stick!

great fish!!!

 

What a Freak’in Hog!

Incredible fish brother!

awesome bunch of fish!

 

Great day….better fish!
WOW!!!!!!

 

it’s a big one

it was an accident!

 

We couldn’t keep big fish
off the lines today……

 

As good as it gets
with the light sticks!

 

a triple of big ones! Whoop whoop!

So many 30-34″ers…….love it!

 

Lot’s of big doubles today!

 

Look at that fish!

 

Super double caught here…..wonderful stuff!

holy crap!

 

 

what a fight

 

sunrise is great!

 

 

 

 

 

A beauty at 36″…..

 

Thanksgiving Morning was
big for sure!

Thanksgiving morning father and son
big ones……..what it’s all about!

 

just awesome!

 

Love kids and big fish!

last big one in November
Off to December!

 

 

13-December- Hot Start, Chilly Finish

November ended and December started hot…..nice weather and great fishing.  Typical of late November and December is volitile weather with plenty of wind and some major cold fronts to bring winter in to the region.  I was hoping for a repeat of last year which was great fish and wild bombing Gannets all through December and well into January of 2016.  This year 3 cold fronts slammed though the area and dropped water temps down quickly and the bite was becoming more difficult. We caught lots of fish on most trips in December but it just wasn’t crazy like last year……it was a little crazy on occasion but that’s it.   Fish are still at the mouth of the Potomac and in the river but I decided to pull my boat a bit early and not fight to catch.  Also, weather outlook overall wasn’t great so I pulled the boat and delivered it to Judge Yacht for some cool renovations.  I’ll have the boat back in January and will be starting the 2017 season fishing the power plant.  Good luck to all fishing in 2017 and I hope you had a great 2016! I sure did and loved every second of it!

December 1st was perfect and
so were the fish!

 

Husband wife admring dinner!

 

great fish!

 

A December Fly caught whopper for Dixon Young!
Way to go brother!

 

Nice Double Boys!

 

awesome bite!

Hey John…..Nice fish buddy! See ya this winter!

 

14- 2016 FISH OF THE YEAR

 

A great fish and a cool story……….On September 8th I had a trip booked by Richard and didn’t know who else was coming until they showed up at the boat.  Up marches Fred Menage and he states to me “I’m going to fill one of my bucket list fish today”!  I said….”oh ya, what fish is that”?  He said with confidence “Bull Red Drum, 40 Pounder”!  I typically try to keep folks expectations down prior to trips.  I just don’t want folks to be disappointed if they are expecting to much.  Now fishing had been great and I had some huge Reds in some days prior to this trip.  Fred saw the reports and told me he was feeling lucky…..like before when he won a truck at the Maryland Fishing Challenge Party.  Well….I told him with confidence our boat had a 5% chance to land a Bull Red today.  They aren’t easy or wide spread…..ya got to get a little lucky to get one to hit…..then you gotta land the thing on light tackle…..not easy!  I wagered something I probably shouldn’t have ………..I bet Fred my left (you know what) he wouldn’t catch one.  Fred took the bet!  Lol………We caught Stripers and Blues from the beginning of the day and kept catching.  I was running from breaking fish to breaking fish looking for the biggest Bluefish.  Under the biggest bluefish is where I’ve been getting lucky with some huge Reds.  Sometime in the early afternoon when it was real hot Fred hooked a fish and drag was screaming….and screaming and screaming.  After a bit Fred had some sweat beading up on his head and the fish wasn’t coming towards us much.  I had to chase the fish with the boat some to get some line back.  Fred hung in there fighting this fish with the vigor of a 35 year old……man with a mission!  After quite a fight we saw the fish….a huge Red for sure….absolutely the “bucket list” fish Fred was looking for. I was beyond happy we got the fish to the boat and that Fred was done with the fight……he was beat!  But he did it and didn’t wince in pain at all.  The crew was wincing in pain though!  We were able to get the fish in the boat….got a picture with Fred and the fish, put the fish near the measuring tape….wasn’t 50″ but it was 47″ at least.  It was awesome……made my year!  After the fish was released (we held the fish just above the tail till it “kicked out”) Fred told me to grab my Bubba Blade Knife…”it’s time to pay up”.  I said “What”…….Fred reminded me of our bet…..gulp……i lost the bet but Fred let me off the hook….whew!  What a fish….a great day and one heck of a Bucket List fish caught and released.  Good stuff…….great job FRED!  Whoop whoop!!!!

 

click the links to see a short video of the fight and Fred Holding the fish……good stuff!

https://www.facebook.com/Walleyepete/videos/10209268719654000/?l=2606526770172132217

https://www.facebook.com/Walleyepete/videos/10208361918104528/?l=7230171816695668724 

 and the 2016 Fish of The YEAR is

Fred Menage with the 2016 FISH OF THE YEAR with Walleye Pete!

Twas a great year….thanks to all!  Good luck in 2017!!!!!! Have a Happy Holiday!

Categories: "Walleye" Notes Newsletter, Fishing Report, Sticky, Uncategorized | Leave a comment
 
 

Calvert Cliffs Nuclear Power Plant Winter Fishing Preview

Luke with a huge light tackle winter Striper

Join My new Private Group on facebook: ” Live at Calvert Cliffs With Walleye Pete”

 After you Read the preview check out the Videos!  Good stuff!

Light Tackle Jigging Stripers On Chesapeake Bay in March! - an incredible trip at calvert cliffs with friends and I happen to be ambitious with the video this day…..good stuff!

April Fool’s Stripers - One of the best days ever at the plant!  Check it out!

Calvert Cliffs, Marylands Striped Bass Off Season Catch and Release Heaven - a ton of pictures of big fish from last 4 years at calvert cliffs

50lbs Striper on Light Tackle in Chesapeake Bay - a quick look at the biggest Striper caught on my boat!

 

 

-disclaimer- I wrote this quickly with passion…….their may be some typos and mis spellings….but I hope you get the idea……..i don’t have time to make it grammatically perfect. Read on!

Winter at Calvert Cliffs

Well folks, it’s that time of year where the winter fishery at Calvert Cliffs will soon be taking hold.  This will be my 20th year of jigging huge stripers at Calvert Cliffs in the winter.  Winter for me being Jan-April 15 or so.  What I’ve learned through 20 years worth of catching and  journal entries on fishing calvert cliffs is every year, month, day, hour and minute can be different.  What I do know for sure is if you don’t go you won’t know if a bite is there.  Another thing for sure is we are lucky to have a place in Chesapeake Bay where in the winter you can go and have a shot at a bent stick and a hopeful great memory.  The chance at a mammoth at 48″ or more is possible and 40″ers are not uncommon.  For the last several years almost all my 40″+ fish have come from Calvert Cliffs in the winter till early April.  The late fall fishery is great with many fish to 35″ but very few over.  Seems as though the huge migratory fish which used to show abundantly in November/December in Maryland waters haven’t shown well in years.  Many opinions exist on where they went.  My thought is their are many less of them and the ones still in existance aren’t coming up Chesapeake Bay in the late fall/early winter before heading to near shore or offshore waters from Virginia down to North Carolina.

lot’s of fun! A March 2016 Big’in

A beautiful Mid-40′s inch Striper! What a Fish!

Through the years I’ve had a few fish at 50″ or a hair over and countless 45-49″ers.  The over 40″s can be incredible in numbers at times.  I literally have thousands of huge fish pics through my 20 years of winter fishing at Calvert Cliffs.  Styles of fishing varies at Calvert Cliffs and some days many boats share the same water trying to hook the big one.  Every year when cold winter turns to spring and air temps warm up so do folks ambitions to get their boats on the water.  Late march and early april Calvert Cliffs can see as many as 30 boats fishing a nice weekend morning.  Typically this will slow down the success of catching.  In the cold winter Jan/Feb sometimes catching can be incredible and sometimes it stinks.  Ya never know.  My intention with this preview is to highlight the importance of safety while angling in the winter, the different catching techniques I’ve experienced to work the best,  angling etiquette and fish safety.

Biggest my boat has had at Calvert Cliffs,
about 4″ past the 48″ tape and very heavy,
we don’t weigh fish in fear of injuring them

IT’S FUN!  That’s it………..

I may ruffle a feather or two here but this is what I think……..after 20 seasons of catching huge fish and watching others catch huge fish at Calvert Cliffs in the winter it isn’t a big deal.  It’s a BLAST but not a legend maker for sure.  If you are local to Calvert Cliffs like me or an angler who plies the water of Calvert Cliffs several times a year, month or week it really isn’t difficult to catch big fish at Calvert Cliffs in the winter.  It’s a goldfish bowl with 2 million gallons of water blowing through it with boulders on the bottom from 18′-30′ deep.  All the experienced anglers know the fish hold at the bottom or very close most of the time and are in certain areas of the rip most of the time.  The experienced anglers position themselves to cast to and present their 1.5 to maybe 3 ounce jigheads into the current upstream of where they know the fish should be……detect bottom with their heavy lead head with BKD or Bust’m bait or any other plastic and aggresively and sharply jig (twitch) their sticks while maintaining a snug line as their bait gets blown downstream.  The massive current pushes their baits downstream quickly allowing their bait of choice to cover the bottom in the area they think the fish are located.  If fish are in the zone of presentation they typically will inhale the bait.  The experienced angler detects the “thump” of the large striper inhaling the bait and sets the hook……the fight is on!  This does require skill but zero challange once mastered.  It is one heck of alot of fun though!  Have Fun!

Even with Big Al at.6’9″ tall………this fish Still looks huge!
It’s a mid 40′s Inch Fish     (March 2016)

 

Fish Anyway You Want!

No person, club, group or FACTION own the power plant fishing rights.  All folks who go there can choose to fish the way they want. Trolling, bait slinging and anchoring is not against any law and if it happens then so be it.    There are some things I think can really mess fishing up and I’ll talk about them.  My opinions are that…..an opinion, I really don’t know, no human knows!  NOTHING worse than a person who knows it all when they really don’t!  What I’m writing about is what I’ve experienced and what has worked best for me through the hundreds of trips at the power plant in the winter.  If you have another technique not described that works for you it’s all good!  One thing that I’ve learned with over 3000 guided fishing trips is to adapt and overcome and keep on truck’in.  I practice what I preach and will keep on truck’in no matter who does what at the power plant. It’s all good!

 

DANGER

Personel safety at calvert cliffs is very important.  We all know cold water kills very fast.  A NNW, N, NE, E or ESE wind at 15 knots and more really starts to rough it up at Calvert Cliffs.  Two million gallons a minute flowing against wind coming from the opposite direction makes for very confused seas and dangerous conditions.  Catching can be great in bad conditions there but I don’t recommend taking your boat there unless you have experience with the rips in nasty winds.  S, SW, W and NW is fishable with some nasty wind.  SW is best…..comes from right over the power plant.  Proper communication and all safety equipment is crucial to have on board at all times but especially in the winter.  If the wind is blowing hard and you are there it’s best to stay on the downwind side of the current.  It’s best to have the wind in a position to blow you out of the current when rough.  A fatal mistake could be to get blown into the current with a nasty wind from the bad directions I noted above.  Here is what happens:  your boat turns with the wind facing downwind and the current is taking you stearn first down the current.  Waves are very close and high.  If you have a low stearned boat or cut out like a 21 parker or similar boat you will take waves over the back and possibly submerge your boat if your engine won’t start and you take on water.  It happens fast!    DON’t Let This Happen……..you could die.  If you have any questions about this stuff feel free to text or email me.

 

Bait and Equipment

Equipment I use at the power plant are 6′medium or 6’6″ medium heavy  rods which allow you to detect the slightest of hits and the tick of detecting bottom.   I use 14 or 20 pound test flame green Fireline.  I use this because I can see it above the water and no stretch allows for great detection of bottom and hits.  When multiple folks have fish on they can see where there lines are crossing so they can go over or under in order to not lose a fish because of tangled lines.  I use a 30 pound test clear leader at about 2′. It’s strong enough for big fish and not to thick to tie directly to your fireline.  I never use swivels…..they fail and break eyes on rods.  I use 3500 or 4500 size spinning reels at Calvert Cliffs on the big Stripers.  I’ve been using Penn Battles mostly.

The Baits I use are exclusively BKD’s www.basskandydelights.com.  I like chartruese glitter when it’s sunny, white anytime and purple glitter in low light.  Tipping baits with different color garlic stuff can’t hurt.    6″ and 10″ baits work great.  When big fish are around no baits catch and last longer than the 10″ BKD.  I use 1.5 to 2.5 ounce jigheads for my BKD’s.  The heavier the jighead the easier to detect bottom…..also more expensive to lose, I use mainly 1.5 ounce jigheads.

 

   Techniques, it’s all good!

Two different techniques are used mostly at Calvert Cliffs.  Some experienced guys at Calvert Cliffs like to position their boat just on the outside of the current.  Casting a 1.5-2.5 ounce jighead upstream and across the current in a position to have the jig touch bottom adjacent in the current to the boat.  if you touch bottom upstream it’s very easy to get snagged……touching bottom adjacent to the boat or just down stream from the boat is ideal to not get snagged and to work the jig down the current and at the bottom where you hope the fish are holding.  This technique is not an exact science and will require practice and you may or others may do it a bit different than described.  On my boat I preach a short, very sharp jigging technique.  short and sharp draws the fishes attention and it allows you to more easily maintain a snug line and keep close proximity to the bottom.  Once the current washes your jig down stream and off the bottom you need to reel it up and do it again.  This technique takes some practice and plenty of lead loss to the bottom. When the fish are thick it’s easy…..when only a few fish around the bite is tough and the experienced guys will out fish the less experienced.  Sit back and watch the experienced guys work this technique if you are struggling.

The Technique I like with folks without or little experience at the power plant on my boat is drifting the outflow.  I will idle perpendicular to the flow…..cut the engine on the edge and drift into the flow.  Once the boat is in the current I have folks flip out to the sides, open bail paying line out until the line slightly changes speed or about a 5 count, click the bail and start the short sharp twitch technique as the boat drifts abrubtly downstream.  Ideally, after you sharpley twitch up, follow your jig back down until you detect bottom then sharpley twitch again.  The bite happens typically on the drop as you attempt to detect bottom between sharp twitches.  If you don’t detect bottom open and close the bail quickly and follow jig down to the bottom.   Slack line is always bad!  If you see slack line you are wrong…….practice makes perfect.  Detecting bottom is very important.  Dragging bottom is bad……not ever feeling bottom is not good.   Ideally detecting bottom as you are following your jig to the bottom with the rod tip is edeal.  If the fish are at the bottom in the area you are drifting you will catch them if you detect bottom and work the jig with a sharp, short twitch near the bottom.  It’s all good!  Practice makes perfect!

 

Fish Handling While Catch and Releasing

I’ve caught and released ungodly amounts of huge fish from the Chesapeake Bay Bridge and Tunnel up to the Susqy Flats. Anytime I’m in an area catching large Stripers I like to catch them on a one hooked lure…..like a jig if possible, if using surface plugs it’s good to cut some hooks off to make releases easier.  Barbless is even better!  I’ve got a boat i can reach a fish from without netting.  I never net a large fish if releasing.  I like to lip the fish while in the water….lift quickly up and support under the belly while maintaining a thumb in the mouth with a good grip.  You never want to drop a large fish or let it flop around the deck.  I will hand a fish to a client for a picture…..a quick measure on a tape on the back of the boat and then the release.  On huge fish and a lengthy fight in water over 60 a huge fish may roll over and float when released.  What I do and I’ve done for more years than I can remember is have a person with a thumb in the mouth of the fish and I grap just above the tail.  We set the fish in the water and the thumb guy releases the fish on the front.  I maintain a grip on the tail end of the fish and gently move the fish back and forth.  Usually very soon I can feel the tail area starting to twitch a bit…then more…. then the fish KICKS out……..it  runs off strong.  Unless a striper is gill hooked and bleeding they are very hardy in cool water and will swim away strong.  Dropping on the deck, netting or weighing from a boga is probably not a great idea.  It’s all about the fish during catch and release…..be careful and do the best you can!  Have fun!

 

                                                                                  Fact or fallacy

A few “gum flappers” declare to know everything about fish without real experience or science and why they might not be catching at the moment.  The true beauty of fishing is no one knows………Some love to blame others.  instead of adapting and overcoming…….some make stories in an attempt to make themselves look superior…….my advice is go ahead and fish!  Work hard, learn from mistakes, learn from others and do what works for you!  As in all aspects of life and work……don’t let a person tell you to do something when you KNOW it’s not right or accurate or best for you.  Fact- TRUTH is powerful

If you hear somewhere that drifting at calvert cliffs in the current spooks fish it is an opinion not a fact.  I believe with 2 million gallons a minute blasting out of two four foot pipes and blowing over boulders at a huge pace the noise must be incredible.  The fish are holding at the bottom in 18′-30′ of water, water is not gin clear, 5′ of visibility at the top is good.  The bottom must be wildly horrible but the fish love it………I believe there is zero chance fish are spooked by a floating boat in this situation. This is my opinion, not a fact.   My boat has caught continuous for hours on hundreds of trips at the power plant conducting this technique.  I believe my opinion is true based on results for 20 years and hundreds of trips catching incredible fish.  Some simple math…….20 years multiplied by 50 trips a year  is 1000 trips (probably more trips)  ……..based on this number I’ve concluded a floating boat isn’t spooking fish.  I believe a boat running it’s engine up the rip to retrieve a snagged jig is going to spook fish…..not sure but I think it is.  I preach and have always preached silence is always best over fish.  If I experienced what I believed to be “spooking” fish while floating over them in 25′ of wildly turbulant, noisey water I’d not do it.  No stomping on deck, slamming hatches, crushing beer cans, etc….is something never done on my boat…….you get the hint.    I’ve re-thought my number of trips per year at Calvert Cliffs……..it’s way more than 50 a year…..you get the idea…..Lot’s of trips and experience…..I still DON’t know for sure!  Lol

Do fishfinders spook fish?  NO NO and NO……..In over 3000 guided fishing trips and god only knows how many unguided trips before I was guiding I never shut off my fishfinder and caught huge numbers and size…….Fallacy!

Science:  Striped bass hear low-pitched subaquatic sounds better than humans. They have an auditory range that starts on the low end at 15 sound waves per second (Hz) and tops out on the high side at about 15,000 Hz.,According to The Complete Book of Striped Bass Fishing
The auditory range of striped bass is 15-10,000 Hz
Both of these ranges are FAR below that of a typical modern sonar (50,000-83,000-200,000) cycles per second. Think of a dog whistle (23 to 54 kHz) or even higher pitched.  I believe this science!

This science coupled with my own real time vast experience says fishfinders don’t spook fish………if it makes the angler feel better to turn it off then it is best to turn it off……..confidence breeds success!  IF 20+ boats are fishing the outflow typically the bite is not good.  I’ve seen great bites with lot’s of boats but typically when lot’s of boats are present the weather is beautiful and the fish don’t stick around long even with few boats. They are fish and they swim away……..  Is it weather related or boat related?  I’m not sure……….

Here’s  some big ones from Calvert Cliffs, all with fish finder on and floating over the rip: Calvert Cliffs, Marylands Striped Bass Off Season Catch and Release Heaven,  all the fish in the pics are caught Drifting the flow or casting across the rip. Majority is drifting the flow.   Pics are covering a few years…….most days of catching great had large numbers of big fish with only a couple big fish pics shot per person per trip.  These pics are a small fraction of huge fish caught over the time of the pics…….I typically will shoot a shot of a persons first big one…..then not another unless it’s significantly bigger.  I like to get the fish back in the water immediately…..multiple shots of the same size frame fish doesn’t make sense to me.  Get’m off quick and back in the drink……

                                                                       

        Rips Etiquette

As I see it many boats can successfully fish the rips when the conditions are right and the fish are there.  Back in the 90′s folks liked to anchor in the outflow….right in the middle….right where the fish are……and fish got caught….lot’s of them.  I don’t recommend that style now…….haven’t seen it done in a long time.  When it’s flat calm on a beautiful weekend morning many boats will attempt to fish at the rips.  Care must be taken to not run into each other……current, wind, eddies and boat hulls infuence a boats drift at calvert cliffs……if a boat is on the edge of the current (in an eddy) and another boat enters the current upstream the two boats may come within close proximity.  For 20 years boats have come close to each other there……the boat operator has to pay close attention to his direction of travel and be careful.  If you come close to another boat say hello and have a chat as you gently drift by.  If it’s rough you have to be very careful not to get close…..wind makes everything way more dangerous.  If you are new there on a rough day pay close attention to how your boat is reacting in or near the flow and watch what other boats are doing and how there boat is reacting…….it’s a learning experience.  Out of many trips to the Rips last year I was probably alone there 10 times.  I live very close to my boat and my boat is close to Calvert Cliffs,  I could run out on a bad weather day with a short window of opportunity…….10 times by myself was alot!  Most trips other boats will be there.  If you can’t work with and around other boats I don’t recommend you go there.  Unfortunately over the last couple of years a few specific folks have spent lot’s of time at the power plant and yelled disrespectfully at folks trying to fish.  The folks yelling think they are the only ones who know how to fish there and if you don’t do it like they want you too they yell at you.  If you go there and get yelled at just tip your hat and tell them to have a nice day.  Continue to do what you are doing …..it’s alright.  Bottom line is be safe first……..drift or cast in is fine……watch your direction of travel with boat traffic and just work with the other boats…….it’s sll good!  If you have any questions feel free to ask me……..life is to short not to enjoy it!

 

Conclusion

The bottom line on Calvert Cliffs winter fishing is to be careful, work with others fishing the plant, watch the wind direction and forecast, learn from your experience out there, have a blast fishing and don’t let any person, group or faction ruin it.  Calvert Cliffs is a widely known wonderful place to give winter fishing a shot.  Some days can be great some days not.  Every day is different, fish move in and out of there like fish do everywhere…..”have tails will swim”……..no one knows what actually inspires fish to come and go at different times of the day or night.  My guess is the food source………but don’t know.   Light tackle is a blast, have fun at Calvert Cliffs!  Practice safe catch and release and do what you think is right!   What I do know is I’m going to fish there all winter and love every second of it no matter what!  Be Safe and Happy Catching!

 

 

 

LIVE AT CALVERT CLIFFS With Walleye Pete

In response to many requests to guide Calvert Cliffs in Jan/Feb more and provide more information about whats going on I’ve started a Private Group called “Live At Calvert Cliffs with Walleye Pete” .  This group will highlight whats going on currently at Calvert Cliffs this coming winter.  I will post pics and reports daily about catching or non-catching at the winter hot spot.  I’m making this a members only site because of a very small group of Radical Anglers who attacked me and others because I and others don’t fish the way they want us t0 and report to friends on facebook about the current bite happening at Calvert Cliffs.  My intention with this site is to let folks know  whats happening currently at Calvert Cliffs.  If you want to launch your boat to fish the plant because of my reports that is fine.  If you want to jump on a walk-on trip this winter that is fine too.  If you just like to see fish stuff in the middle of a work day that is fine too.  I won’t be starting to fish Calvert Cliffs till sometime in January.  Going to have some renovations done to my boat in January but will probably have access to another boat during that time to fish and report on my site.  This whole thing will be a work in progress and fun all at the same time.

To join the group go to facebook and in the search box type: “Live at Calvert Cliffs with Walleye Pete” click on the JOIN Box and I will approve your request.  This process may change as I learn how to use this thing!  Lol……….

Here are some Power Plant Videos you might enjoy:

Light Tackle Jigging Stripers On Chesapeake Bay in March! - an increible trip at calvert cliffs with friends and I happen to be ambitious with the video this day…..good stuff!

April Fool’s Stripers - One of the best days ever at the plant!  Check it out!

Calvert Cliffs, Marylands Striped Bass Off Season Catch and Release Heaven - a ton of pictures of big fish from last 4 years at calvert cliffs

50lbs Striper on Light Tackle in Chesapeake Bay - a quick look at the biggest Striper caught on my boat!

 

I would love nothing more than for all folks fishing the power plant in the winter to work together, have fun and not judge others………it’s just fishing and it should be fun…..not a race, a competition or life altering activity……it’s just fishing…..enjoy the fact we have the freedom to do it………see you on the water!

 

 

Categories: "Walleye" Notes Newsletter, Fishing Report, Sticky, Trip Opening, Uncategorized, Walk-On Trip Openings!!! | 3 Comments
 
 

It’s Been A Great Fall!

Biggest of the fall…..a beauty at 38″

 

I haven’t posted in quite a while…….certainly would like to post much more.  I’ve been crazy busy on the water and having a spectacular fall.  Lot’s of great fishing on surface plugs, Crank  Baits, plastics and vertical jigs.  Every day is a bit different but the overall theme is; plenty of fish!

September and October was very consistent in the islands of the eastern shore out of Solomons.  I was running an average of 80 miles per day and catching over 100 fish a day on average.  Some fish were over 30″ and very feisty.  Good stuff for sure!

Linda Brener with a whopper caught in skinny water! Good stuff!

As the waters cool and the Bluefish departed the waters I’m fishing my trips were featuring BKD’s “bass kandy Delights” to fool the fish.  Waters between 60 and 70 degrees is prime time for me catching large and plentiful fish in shallow island waters with structure.  When the water drops below 60 and falls throught the 50′s the shallow water bite starts to deteriorate.  Fish can still be caught down through the 50′s in shallow water.  Once into the 40′s I’m concentrating in deeper waters of the main stem of the bay.

A recent beauty caught on medium depth structure on the bay……..

Currently I’ve moved my boat to Buzz’s Marina  www.buzzsmarina.com for the incredible fall fishery out of St. Jeromes Creek over to Smith Point, VA.  Right this second the bite is looking to explode as it has the last few years.  With higher than average water temps fishing should hold on through December like it did last year.

One of many great late fall/early winter Stripers caught on light tackle

When I’m on the water I typically post pics/reports on my Facebook page  PETE DAHLBERG and Four Seasons Guide Service.  Feel free to friend me if not already a friend on facebook!

Currently I’m booked every single day in November.  I have zero open dates and I’m even fishing on Thanksgiving morning.  I do have some open dates in December.  Last December was some of the greatest light tackle fishing I’ve had in all my years of guiding.  Lot’s of fish and many over 28″…….on light tackle that is real good stuff!  I don’t currently have any walk-on trips because I’m booked every day with no scheduled days off.  Other than weather I will be fishing every day through christmas.

Ready to catch’m up on the light sticks!

Feel free to message me on facebook or text at 703-395-9955 if you have any questions about whats going on!  Thanks and good luck fish’in!!!!

 

 

 

Categories: Fishing Report, Sticky, Uncategorized | 3 Comments
 
 

Short Notice Walk-On’s Available Now!

Getting bigger in the skinny water!

Short Notice Walk-On For This Tuesday and Wednsday 20 and 21 September. Have 3 spots available for Tuesday and 3 spots for Wednsday. Had a problem with my boat but will have it back or will be running a 32′ Contender. The Contender is a beautiful boat with plenty of fishing space and runs great in a chop! Hope to have my boat back but it’s all good! If you are interested in going on a walk-on trip this tuesday, 21 Sep. or wednsday, 22 Sep.
give me a call or text at 703-395-9955 or message here to reserve your spot!

3 spots available on Tuesday, 21 Sep
2 spots available on Wed. 22 Sep

-Cost will be 120 each
-We will launch from Beacon Marina at Solomons at 6am and
return around 2pm
-we will be light tackle jigging up and down the bay all day
looking for breakers and maybe a wayward Red Drum under
the breakers! Ya never know!

ya just never know!

 

IF you are interested in going give me a call or text at 703-395-9955!

Categories: Sticky, Trip Opening, Walk-On Trip Openings!!! | Leave a comment