By the time you read this, many folks’ weekends will be revolving around Sunday pro football games or indoor projects, not fishing or boating. Here on Chesapeake Bay, the majority of anglers hang up their rods and reels well before the end of the catch-and-keep striped bass season in December. And in the interest of full disclosure, I’m not a huge fan of being out on the water when there’s a biting chill to the air.
Rob Miller has been fishing the rips off Chatham, Massachusetts, and Nantucket for 15 years. “These are amazing, beautiful waters, and I’ve had some terrific days,” Miller says. “It’s a great way to fish with light tackle and catch active, feeding striped bass.”
It’s often said that autumn is a time of plenty. Rightfully so, considering it’s a period when mature crops are bountiful and ready for harvest. Luckily for fishermen on Chesapeake Bay — as well as other areas up and down the East Coast — autumn is also a time of angling abundance.
At 17.6 miles from shore to shore, the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel takes vehicular traffic on U.S. Route 13 across the mouth of Chesapeake Bay. A pleasant side effect of this engineering marvel is that it creates a massive chunk of underwater structure that attracts a dizzying array of marine life. For anglers, that means a bevy of fish species can be caught here, including cobia, redfish, flounder, striped bass, sheepshead and everything in between.
No matter what you call them — rockfish, stripers, linesiders or any of a host of other names — the striped bass (Morone saxatilis) is perhaps the most popular gamefish targeted by recreational anglers on the Atlantic coast. Moving up and down the Eastern Seaboard with the seasons, most of the largest of these fish spend their summers in New England before moving south in early winter to the waters off North Carolina. Then, from late winter into spring, a migration of epic proportions begins.
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Tim Coleman died May 3, in Weekapaug, R.I., doing what he loved to do best at that time of year: scouting the salt ponds and outer beaches for spring striped bass. He was an exceptional saltwater angler and a prolific writer. Thousands of readers lost an advocate and authentic storyteller for fishing in the Northeast, and anyone fortunate to have known Tim lost a good friend.