Chesapeake Bay Live-Lining

Live-Lining – Using live spot as bait for stripers.


Joshua organized an early morning of fishing on the Loosen-Up, out of Happy Harbor in Deale, MD.


Leaving Rockhold Creek at dawn and out to Herring Bay, we watched a crabber going out to check his traps.


It was a breezy 60-degrees as we begin the process of catching spot with blood worms.


Fortunately our Captain and Mate had an ample supply of baitfish, as our attempt at spot only garnered us, but a few fish.  Kenny kept catching croaker, which is a game fish, and not used for bait.


We motored across the Bay and were able to see Poplar Island as a reference for much of our fishing.  Looking at my navigation charts, the areas we fished were called “The Hill,” “Old Gas Buoy,” and “Brownies Hill.” 


Once the Captain got us to the fishing grounds, he anchored, and we all used live spot as bait.  It was not more than a few minutes and we all began to catch striped bass and bluefish.  The trick was as soon as the fish bites on the bait and takes it for a run, you count to six and then set the hook.


Many of the fish were feeding near the surface, so we often did not use any weights other than the baitfish itself.  This caused seagulls to follow behind the boat in the hopes for a free snack.

I had a gull fly off with my hooked bait.  I thought I had a fish, did my six count and set the hook.  A seagull that had the fish was stopped in mid-air, as I set the hook.  The fish came flying back toward the boat, and I then swapped out the bait for a new fresh spot.


Chris however, actually caught a seagull.  The Mate untangled the bird and he promptly flew-off unfazed, rejoining his flock to again harass our lines.


Fish on!  It was a flurry of fish action, and we quickly caught our limit of two stripers each.


From left to right:  Dave, Mark, Chris, Josh, Kenny, Brian and Daniel.


Bryan Schmitt was our Captain.  Bryan is a professional FLW bass fisherman.  In seven years as a tournament fisherman, Bryan has won seven tournaments, and has placed in the top-10 in another twenty-five.  His FLW earnings to date are now at $287,700, is sponsored, and has won three Ranger bass boats!  Bryan also happens to be a great guide.  He gave Dave and I some tips for fresh tidal bass fishing and is willing to guide us as well.


It was great fishing with the Rucker family, and I’m sure that we will be doing this again.  Thank you to all for a great morning of fishing.  Tomorrow, it’s fresh fish on the grill for dinner.

It’s not right being on the Loosen-Up without Dan Betz, he must join us next time.