Friday, November 16, 2012

More teeth

By this time, anyone who actually used to read this blog for its fishing content has long since departed, so I feel less and less of a need to aplologize for the fossil content.  Still, a little voice nags me from the far reaches of my brain, reminding me that I have become useless as a fishing blogger.

Oh well - shit happens.

I made it down to the local beach last weekend to take a walk and see what  I could see.  I got there at 7:00 AM but was beaten there by one other car.  With a low tide, I would be able to walk past the cliffs and get down the beach as far as I wanted to go, but there is DEFINITELY an advantage to being there first.  Oh well. 

The day was beautiful - chilly at first, but warming quickly.  I love being outside early in the morning - it's always invigorating.  It must have been the opening of deer season for some of the zones because I could hear pretty constant shooting from the Eastern Shore -  about 8 miles away, across the Bay.  It never ceases to amaze me how far you can hear across water.

Overall, I had a pretty good morning looking for teeth.  I found:

The best cow shark tooth I've ever found

A big hemipristis (broken on one side - would have been an awesome tooth if whole.)

Some pretty nice tiger shark teeth

Bigger than average ray crushing plates

Overall - a great day to be out shark tooth hunting.  Thanks for coming along for the ride.

Friday, November 9, 2012

A fossil adventure in FLA

I had to go to FLA for a short business trip but had a half (OK - 3/4) day available for some "me time".  In every instance in my past life, that would have meant go fishing.  Well - not this time.  And, for once in my life, I made a good decision.  On Tuesday there were record lows throughout FLA, and I have NEVER had good fishing there on cold post-front days.  But the fossils don't really mind a change in conditions.  Maybe when they were killed by the Ice Age or some catastrophic event 20 million years ago, but not now.  So, it was off to the Peace River for a day of digging for fossils.

Before the trip, I did my usual research and came upon Mark Renz' Fossil Expeditions on the Peace River.  His website sold me, and a little more research on Fossil Forum confirmed that Mark was held in high esteem by all those fortunate enough to have met and dealt with him.

Well, in person, he's even better.

Mark went over the fossils we might encounter at our meeting place in Arcadia.  We did a kayak trip, where I learned that I like going downstream, but don't like coming back upstream, even in the gentle Peace River current.  We tied up near a gravel area and started digging and sifting.  There were 5 people on this trip - 2 other couples, and me.  Absolutely great people to spend a day with.

The results of the dig were somewhat along the lines of what I expected - a TON of bone material, a fair number of smaller pieces of various teeth, and lots of rock and unidentifiable "junk".  The crown jewel of the area is , of course, the giant Megalodon shark teeth.  Our group had one couple find a Meg tooth and 2 Meg tooth halves, while I found a couple of fragments of Meg teeth.  The other couple found a few pieces as well.  That' s NOT to say I didn't find anything good - I did!  My best find was a fossilized Tapir tooth, followed by some fish tooth/jaw pieces, 2 croc / gator teeth, my Meg pieces, a softshell turtle shell piece, another turtle piece, a bunch of smaller sharks teeth, a possible echinoid, and a lot of Dugong rib pieces and vertebrae material.  The river is full of Dugong pieces.  The Dugong we were finding is an extinct relative of the one found in thewaters of the Indo-Pacific, and both are / were related to the Manatee.  Every scoopful of sediment held something neat.  I absolutely loved it and can't wait to go back, and I will absolutely book Mark again for my next trip to FLA.

                                          Mark (on the right) with fellow fossil diggers

                                            Mark's faithful fossil dog (can't remember his name)

                                                               Dugong rib pieces

                                             Tapir tooth - chewing surface

                                               Tapir tooth - root

                                                                      Fish teeth , jaws

                                                            Megalodon tooth fragments

                                              A pretty big, but very worn, tiger shark tooth

                                                    Assorted smallish shark teeth

                                                           A decent little Hemipristis

Some of the haul on the kayak - gives a better perspective of the size and mass of the Dugong ribs

A few words about the day and the experience:  Mark spends the day rotating among the groups digging and sifting.  He ID's all your stuff for you if you have questions (and you will!) and is a treasure trove of knowledge and information.  He's also a keen observer of the incredible natural surroundings found along the river.  We saw a small gator while kayaking in, the usual amazing assortment of birds - herons, hawks, ...  Heard a Pileated Woodpecker, and saw a Red Shouldered Hawk attack a Green Heron.  He (the hawk) failed in his attempt, by the way.  Mark is entertaining and knowledgeable without any feeling of being anything but helpful.  A great guy and guide.

However, if you think that you are going to come here and simply walk into the river and scoop out shovels-full of Meg teeth, you are delusional.  That doesn't happen anywhere.  Are there Meg teeth here?  Absolutely.  Will you find any?  Maybe.  It's much the same as hiring a fishing guide - they'll determine where to take you and what method to employ but the end result is always in question.  You WILL find fossilized material - it's everywhere.  If you want to learn and appreciate the awesome resource, and maybe find some GREAT fossils, but definitely find neat stuff - this is the best money you can spend in FLA.  I'll do it again next time I'm there, and hopefully every time after that.

Mark can be reached at  or by phone at  1-239-368-3252

Friday, September 14, 2012

Another Fossil post, and a contest!!!

Alright all you folks out there interested in my new pursuit of fossils.  [ That's basically Howard and maybe one other person]  Today is your special day.  I have a fossil-related contest, and the winner gets actual shark tooth fossils.  That's right - you can start your very own addiction right here!! 

We've been hitting the beach pretty hard recently, and it has been generally uneventful.  By that , I mean that, on a normal 2 hour beach search, my wife and  I will find about 120 - 150 shark teeth, but only 4-8 of them are what we put in the "good specimen" box.  The others go into a box that has, literally, thousands of teeth in it.  Small ones, broken ones, just normal, run-of-the-mill teeth.  And, every once in a great while, we (alright - she) finds something really cool.

Like the subject of today's contest.  The last picture is our first find of a certain unusual fossil.  Identify the fossil and I will send you a set of 5 each, 15 - 17 million year old shark teeth fossils.  One each:  Sand Tiger, Tiger, Hemipristis, Lemon, and Requiem shark, and a crushing plate from a Ray.

There haven't been any major storms to stir things up, and summer has the most people on the beach, so the "toothing" can be tough at times; still, here are a few of our recent finds:

                                     A really nice speciman of Cow Shark

                                   A good Mako for the area we hunt

                                            A couple of Hemipristis, or Snaggletooth shark teeth

                                              Some nice Tiger Shark teeth


Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Brook Trout and Bears in Maine

While I haven't gotten out to fish very much at all this year, I'm at least getting out to the places I like to go, or the ones I've wanted to go to for quite some time.  This trip - the week before Labor Day - took me to Maine.  I would be working for the majority of the week, but had a few periods of down-time.  The guys told me that the creek on the property where I stayed used to have brook trout in it, but no one had fished it for a while.  (That IMMEDIATELY sounded like my kind of creek!!)  They also asked if I wanted to go bear hunting.  While I am a hunter, I have no desire to shoot a bear. But I'm always intrigued by different ways to hunt, so I agreed to go out on stand with the property owner for a couple of evenings to see if anything came into the baits.  First up - the fishing report.

The stream on the property could not have been nicer.  Beautiful, clear water, cascading waterfalls - it just looked fishy.  But  - there weren't many trout.  I consider myself to be a pretty good small water trout fisherman and I struggled mightily.  I really don't think there were many fish in the creek.  I purposely walked up to a couple of the deeper pool to see what I spooked, and - NOTHING.  No little trout darting around the bottom, nothing shooting up toward the undercuts at the head of the pool.  The water was cool but not uncomfortably cold - I almost think that may have been a problem, that it got too warm for good brookie fishing.  Also, there were precious few deep pools to have fish survive the long, very cold Maine winters.  Possible winter kill?  Or maybe its just the obvious - that I'm a crappy trout fisherman.  Regardless, measuring the net worth of a day spent walking the woods and fly fishing for wild trout is never measured by the shear numbers of fish caught - at least not by me.  I had a ball even though I only brought 6 or 7 little brookies to hand.  I did, however, nearly have a heart attack when a grouse decided to explode out of a small patch of cover about 3 feet from my head while I was walking in the creek.

                                         I expected more of these parr-marked youngsters


                                             Beautiful water, high expectations

                             There were SOME Brookies there, and at least this one stupid one!

I went out with the owner of the property 2 nights in a row to sit on baits.  Bear baiting is the accepted way to hunt bear in Maine, but I had never hunted over bait.  Like I said - I wasn't actually hunting, but I wanted to experience it and see what it was like.  Growing up hunting in a state where baiting of any kind for anything was illegal, I admit to having some preconceived notions about hunting over bait.  Well, the folks up in Maine take their bear hunting seriously, and there is definitely a science to doing it successfully.  The real science, though, lies in the use of trail cams.  Before game cams, the only thing you would know about an area was whether or not the bait had been hit since the last time you were there.  Now you can see the number of bears, the size of the bears, and the times they hit the baits.  Very cool!  Speaking of size, the owner paints a orange stripe around the tree and the barrel where the baits are placed.  The stripe is 38" off the ground and, according to the DNR, that is a BIG bear if its shoulder is as high as the stripes.  This guide helps you from shooting a small bear - they're tough to judge unless there are a few of them at the bait. 

Evening 1 ended with a total of 1 red squirrel sited.  Still, the anticipation that, at any moment a 400# plus bear could step into the clearing made it a great experience.  Actually, anytime you are in the woods for daybreak or nightfall, it's pretty special.

The second evening found us at a different bait  -  one that had been being hit in the afternoon.  It didn't take long to see we made the right choice - we watched 3 separate bears from 5:20 - 7:20PM.  All were about the same size - the first maybe a bit smaller at an estimated 104-150 pounds.  The next 2 were close in size and probably 175 each.  At the very end, one of the bigger bears was at the bait and ran like hell.  We saw another bear in the very dark background but it was way too dark to see how big it was.  So - 4 bears in one evening.  We certainly could have shot any of the 3, and a 175 pound bear , while not a trophy of a lifetime, isn't one to be embarrassed about, either.  But the owner has shot a few before and would only take a really big one now, and I just liked watching the show, although I could feel my "hunter instinct" kick in when the bear would show up.  On the way out from the stand, we drove up on a cow moose in a clearing.  A great ending to a great evening.  Oh yeah - the steak dinner that followed didn't suck, either.

                                                            The first, smaller bear

                                                     The second bear - a little bigger

                                                            Cow Moose

All in all, a terrific couple of days in Maine.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Fishing, Fossils, and Friends

I always seem to find cool turtles on my travels around camp

I really needed to get a post written before BOTH my loyal followers leave this wretched blog and do something more beneficial with their time - something like, um , watch the grass grow, watch the paint dry, ...

This is a 3 part post and spans the past 3 weeks.  First up - the fishing.

Yes, I actually got a chance to fly fish for 1 day in a creek I actually know, and in a place I actually felt comfortable fishing.  I got to spend a day with my Dad, brother, and few other friends at the camp in PA I have been fortunate enough to use (when I've had the time) for the past 30 years.  The camp, owned by my best friend, sits on the banks of Kettle Creek in Potter Co., PA.  It is a rustic log cabin with no running water and, to my way of thinking, is about the best place on earth.  The truly wonderful thing about this camp, and the part that pushes it into the stratospheric realm of legendary camps, is that here is absolutely NO CELL SIGNAL within 15 miles of the camp.  It truly is heaven on earth.

The view from the camp porch of Kettle Creek

The fishing on Kettle Creek and its many tributaries gives a trout fisherman all the possibilities he could ask for.  The main creek is primarily a put-and-take stocked trout fishery.  All the tributaries are class A Wild trout streams and harbor lots of small native brook trout.  A few of the larger tribs have some stocked fish in them, too.  And, the creek is dammed by Alvin Bush dam, so the option is here for lake fishermen, too.

I usually spend my limited time here walking into the rtibs and fishing for natives, but this trip I decided to fish with my Dad and brother and stay on the main stem and bigger tribs.  Remember - I had 1 day to fish.  It took me 6 hours to drive there Wed. nite, and another 6 drive home on Friday, so everything happened on one day - Thursday.  I woke up early and my brother and I drove up to Cross Fork creek to check it out.  This stream is one of the larger tribs and gets stocked as well as supports a wild trout fishery - both browns and brookies.  The lower section is crossed by a snowmobile bridge and is a good observation deck for the creek.  We stoped there and saw some nice fish in the main run.  I gave Pat and Brian that section, and drove upstream a few miles on a dirt road to fish a nice little stretch that often contains wild brookies.  Ended up getting a rainbow and a brookie that morning.

                                                                                                               A Cross Fork Creek rainbow

We met back at the cabin for lunch.  Pat had gotten a few of the rainbows in the lower stretch on dries and had a lot of refusals.  A good morning, overall.  I decided to try that stretch in the afternoon.  Luckily, no one was fishing it when I arrived around 3 pm.  I set up and decided that, with limited time, I wanted to rack up a body count and see how many fish I could catch in an hour and a half.  That meant stowing the dry flies - no apparent hatches going on - and going with "rainbow candy" - a tung bead red San Juan Worm.  It was, quite simply, a slaughter.  I landed / lost / missed enough trout that I actually took the worm off and put on a tandem nymph combo just to see if the action would be as fast.  It wasn't , but I still picked up a few more fish.  Total afternoon tally - landed 13, missed a LOT, broke off one big fish.  All 'bows.  Biggest went 17".

The evening meant an anticipated sulphur hatch on the main stem.  I went along with 2 of the guys from the camp and proceeded to land four browns.  I left early and went back to camp, very satisfied with my day.  Actually got a Kettle Creek Slam - brookie, rainbow, and brown in the same day.  Whhoo Hoo!

I got back to camp, made a fire, and had a couple of my favorite adult beverages - a Stone Ruination double IPA, and a glass of Blanton's bourbon.  Life did not suck that evening.

                                                                                          Camp, Stone Ruination, and Blanton's

PART 2 - More Sharks Teeth

The Shark Tooth hobby has firmly established itself in our routine and is definitely not just a passing fancy.  My wife and I go out every opportunity we have and walk the beach.  We really only find small teeth, but just really enjoy getting out there.  And, we know if we put in our time, eventually we'll find some good teeth.  Here are a few of the recent hauls:

                                                                                                      This was a 2 hour haul. 

 Most of the teeth are small, but the second picture shows a few of the better teeth - a Cow Shark tooth (the one with the multiple teeth on one enamel) and Hemipristis with a broken enamel.  The other piece is a Vertebrae - pretty cool.  Only the 3rd one we've found so far, and the largest so far.
The following batch came from yesterday.  It was a pretty tough day of beachcombing, but once again my wife found all the good stuff.  The larger teeth in the center are all Tiger Shark teeth she found.  The round white pieces on the lower right are pieces of fossilized sand dollars.  The large piece in the center with the lines running through it are a nice piece of sand dollar - the smaller pieces are the individual segments from a larger piece such as this.   I found pretty much nothing.

Finally, we come to the part about friends.  Many blog posts have been written about hte friendships we all develop - usually unexpectedly - via our blogs.  One of the folks I really wanted to meet up with has been Howard Levett - the author of Wind Knots and Tangled Lines.  Well, the stars aligned and we got to share a dinner and a LOT of conversation on Thursday night.  The one thing both of us agreed on was htat we WILL do this again, and it will involve a stream somewhere.  We enjoyed a buffalo steak and a never ending supply of stories throughout the night.  Howard is as genuine a person as I expected him to be, and he compliments my "Life List" of bloggers that I've met perfectly.  That list began with Rebeca Garlock, includes the now retired (?) Kari Murray, Mike Agneta, and Howard.  An "A" list of bloggers if there ever was one!

Beer and Buffalo steaks!

Wow - a real post!  I might have to do this more often!

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Shark teeth return, and I actually went fishing one more time

I've been buried with work, but no one wants to read about that nonsense.  (Although any of you who follow the OBN realize that we've both had a pretty busy summer so far)  The lure of the shark teeth is still present in my household, and my wife and i go out whenever we get the chance.  most of the time its just for an hour or 2, but we still go out and comb the nearby beach.

We haven't found any monstrous, cool Megladon teeth, or really many big teeth at all, but we have found a few gems that are small.  In fishing terms, these would be the brookies and cuts from the headwater streams - small, but incredible in their own way. 

The last 2 times out, my wife has found an Angel Shark tooth.  These are very uncommon, and very small.  The larger one shown below is a real beauty, as far as fossilized Angel shark teeth go.  We have found  a total of three of these since February.

                                         Fossilized Angel Shark teeth

The next best thing - also found by my wife - is our best Cow shark tooth to date.  These odd, small teeth are also a relatively rare find.  (Noticing any patterns here - she finds all the good stuff)  We've found 4 pieces of Cow shark tooth since we started, and this si far and away the best one to date.

                                         Fossilized Cow Shark tooth

She also found a pretty nice Hemipristis, or Snaggletooth shark tooth a few weeks ago.  I did find one good thing a couple of weeks ago - our second fossilized porpoise tooth. 

                           More Miocene Era fossils - Porpoise tooth on L, Snaggletooth Shark on R

And, last weekend, I took something she found a few months ago down to Calvert Marine Museum to see if they know what it was.  One of the naturalists got all excited when he saw it and told me it was a fossilized Parrotfish tooth.  Hmmm  not what I would have thought, but he was really interested in where and when we found it . Said it was one of the few he had ever seen.

                                                                                            A parrotfish tooth fossil

You never know what you might find laying in the sand.  This beach bum thing is kind of cool.

I DID go trout fishing - with a fly rod, no less!!! - in PA, and had a great day in Kettle Ck and Cross Fork Ck, but that will have to waiti until my next post - I don't want to tell ALL my stories on one post!

Monday, May 14, 2012

Another One Bites the Dust - 2 new states in 2 months!

Last week I needed to go to Missouri for meetings.  When I checked the flights into my destination a few weeks before, the prices were astronomical.  I don't care if it's company money or my money - I HATE getting fleeced by airlines.  So , I looked at a few alternatives.  One of the alternatives was Little Rock.  Hmmm - I could stop and visit with an old friend who just happens to be a potential OEM vendor for us.

Who just happens to be a fly fishing fanatic.

Who just happens to have a family place on the Little Red River.

That, my friends, is how plans are born!  And this one came off without a hitch.

I met James at our pre-arranged spot in Heber Springs and we were quickly off on my first ever Arkansas fishing adventure.  This trip, unlike any other I can recall, was a TRUE joy - I used James' rods / reels (he's a fellow Winston devotee), used his flies (ALWAYS defer to local knowledge), went in his boat, and, best of all, we wear the same size waders and wading shoes, so I used those as well.  It would be really easy to get used to this kind of treatment, but I really don't expect it to happen again very often in the foreseeable future.  However, if there are any volunteers out there, feel free to email me!

                                                         The Little Red River

We launched his "White River Jonboat" - not sure if that is a recognized boat style or just a local term - and started down the Little Red River, in the tailwaters of Greer's Ferry Lake.  There was virtually no water being generated so it was very low and clear.  It also didn't take long before I started seeing fish, either spooking in front of the boat or rising up ahead.  The river is really a series of long, deep pools connected by shallow rocky stretches.  This river is (was) home to the former world record brown trout, a 40 pound, 4 ounce behemoth landed in 1992 by Rip Collins.  The pools are deep (20'?) and there is a LOT of downed timber in water - perfect habitat for giant brown trout.  There are a ton of rainbow trout in these waters, too - nice snacks for the big browns.

Even though it was mid-afternoon under a clear blue sky and bright sun, there were periodic rises along the river.  We saw a few caddis flitting about but attributed most of the surface activity to midges.  With little current, we opted to fish the deep pools.

This brought another new technique to my repertoire - sinking flylines.  In all the years  I've flyfished, I have NEVER fished with full sinking lines.  I have done very little stillwater flyfishing - the places most sinking line fishing is done - and when I have fished stillwaters, Intermediate sink lines sufficed.  I've fished sink tip lines in heavy currents for trout, and thrown ridiculously heavy sink tips for stripers along the Massachusetts coast, but never full sink lines.

                                                          A small-ish rainbow

Since I haven't fly fished for over a year for anything , picking up a full sink line was not the ideal way to start, unless you want to look stupid.   Which I did in dramatic fashion.  After working the kinks out of the casting stroke and getting used to the line, the casts were pretty easy.  And, after a few pools, we got dialed into a pattern with a moderate retrieve of a local version of an Olive Wooly Bugger about 10' - 12' down.  It resulted in nearly a fish (or at least a hit) every cast.  Cookie cutter rainbows - all between 12" - 15".  Some stockies, a few wild fish, and some that James ID'd as McCloud strain - beautiful, bright stripes on their sides.  All in all, I believe I landed about 45 rainbows that afternoon.  There were times that I would hook a fish every cast for maybe 20 minutes.  Oh yeah - got 1 little wild brown while nymphing, too.

The fisheries in northern Arkansas may not be the first words out of every fly fisherman's mouth when asked to name the best fisheries in North America, but they certainly ought to be on everyone's short list.  They are certainly different - bait fishermen and lure slingers float alongside the fly fisherman, and many trout become dinner.  But the shear quantity and size of the fish in these waters is truly astounding.   When the power generating turbines are running and the river rises, the big fish from these deep holes move up to feed.  And, of course, the brown trout spawn in November, which I understand offers combat fishing for giant fish at it's finest.  James' best brown to date is a fish he got last year that he estimated at 23-24 pounds.  He has taken numerous 10-15 pounders.  Somehow I see a trip to Little Rock in my future, maybe in the mid-November timeframe ...

                                                 Tippet the Fishing Dog.  Note the clear water

Monday, April 30, 2012

The Shark Tooth Gods Smiled ...

Well, at least they smiled on my wife! We went back to a local nature park that allows beach access and started walking. On the way to the beach, we passed a large tidal pool and were amazed at the number of crabs we saw cruising around in the pool. Welcome to Maryland! Once we got to the beach, we started our hunt. I wear my trusty Muck Boots and try to walk along the "debris line". This in the edge where the shells / junk / fossils get caught up in the wave action and there is usually a drop of of a few inches to a few feet, A lot of the heavier shells tend to get stuck in this area. I figure that big TEETH will be there, too. It's difficult to see into the water, even if the water is clear. The constant wave action means you just have to peer in between the small waves. It's a great plan on paper, but, at least for me, it doesn't usually pan out.
Upper L - Sand Tiger Shark. 3 Hemipristis. 5 Tiger Shark. Lower row - Mako Shark. All 13 Million year old Miocene Era fossils

My wife decided she would just walk along the high tide mark and look for stuff laying on the beach. "Hah", I thought. "What a foolish idea. If there were ANY teeth up there, they have long since been picked over by the other folks who have tramped up and down the beach. Silly woman." A few minutes later - "Oooh - look at this one" She reaches down and plucks a mako tooth from the sand. The first one we've ever found. Hmm - obviously a once-ina-lifetime event. "Oooh - this one is bigger." Another nice Mako. Maybe she's on to som ... "Oh my God Joe - look at this one" She reached down and plucks a magnificent (for us) 2" Mako from the sand. A really nice speciman. The kind you hope to find, but rarely do.
I think this is a Hemipristis, or Snaggletooth
Our trophy Mako. OK - her trophy Mako

We ended up the day having found more bigger (again - big for us) teeth than we've ever found before. [Actually, we ended the day with my wife finding more than we usually do. I didn't add very much to the total haul, but I did a great job of carrying the jackets in my backpack, and occasionally getting water out] We tallied 6 Makos, 5 Tigers, a couple of Sand Tigers, a bunch of misc. teeth, some cool sea glass, a few nice Ray skutes, and some very nice coral. On the way out we stopped by the tidal pool and I scooped out a crab. Tried his damnedest to pinch me, much to my wife's pleasure. Put him back after taking his picture.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Another Fishing post - will they never end??

I just got to experience my first "Opening Day" in my new state, and I have to say, it IS a rather interesting event. No, not the home opener for the Nats or Orioles (although the Nats do have the best record in the National League at the moment). Not even the Opening Day of Trout, an elbow-to-elbow event held annually in my original home state of PA. Nope - it was my first "Opening Day of Trophy Rockfish" season, and I was there with every other boat in the state that could float. In the Spring, the big female striped bass - or rockfish, as they are known locally - move into the Chesapakes Bay to spawn. The season started this year on April 21, and the limit is 1 per person per day, 28" or bigger. A co-worker had booked the services of Mid River Guide Service - Capt. Bob Wetherald - and had an opening for my son and I. Since Joey's birthday was the 22nd, I thought it would be a great thing to do with him. He had never been on a charter fishing trip, and the Bay can get rough, so I wasn't sure what to expect. (I DO know what to expect from me - I get seasick if it's too choppy) Sat. the 21st the weather called for 5-10 from the S, freshening to 15 from the SW. Thunderstorms building in the afternoon. It certainly wouldn't be glass calm but we were getting an ealry start - meet at the dock at 5 AM - so we could (hopefully) get out and back before I got sick. Capt. Bob had been out the week before - catch and release fishing - and knew exactly where to be to find the fish. We left the dock at Solomons at 5:20 and by 6:15 we had the planer boards out, line set, and were approaching the area holdig the fish.
Joey with his first rockfish
A double At 6:30 we had 3 fish on, fought them to the boat, and put 2 in the fish box. The smaller one was legal but not the size we were looking for. Bob had the fish dialed in, and by 10:30 we were bringing in the lines and stowing the rods for our run back to the dock. All in all we hooked 12 fish, landed 10, and brought 4 back. We could have undoubetly hooked and landed more fish but, as the day progressed, the number of boats increased monumentally. It became a bit of a chore to turn the boat and keep the planer boards out of other folks boards. The timing to return to the dock was perfect. All the ones we kept were between 36" - 39". REALLY nice rockfish. It was my first big rockfish, my son's first rockfish ever, and - I didn't get sick! Neither did Joey. An evening dinner of freshly caught rockfish bites was enjoyed by all!
A nice rockfish for my son
the boat limit
me and Joey with our rockfish