Spring Trophy Season

It’s Opening Weekend on the Chesapeake Bay for Spring Striped Bass


A group of us went out on the Loosen-Up with Captain Frank Carver.  Captain Frank keeps his boat at Happy Harbor in Deale, Maryland.  As we launched from Rockhold Creek, we watched one other boat go out for the afternoon.


It was a breezy, cool afternoon, with a threat of rain.  We worked/trolled the western shore side of the Bay south of the Bay Bridge, and more or less opposite Bloody Point.


Dan drew the highest card from the deck, and was the lead-off batter for the team.  Fish-on!


The Maryland Department of Natural Resources implemented striped bass conservation measures this season to improve the fishery.  This year the spring trophy bass season runs from April 18 through May 15.  A fisherman is allowed one fish between 28 and 36-inches or greater than 40-inches.  Any fish caught in the “slot” of between 37 and 39-inches must be thrown back to reproduce.  It just so happens that the majority of the migratory Rockies in the Bay right now for breeding, are between 37 and 39-inches.  Therefore every fish had to be carefully measured for regulatory compliance.


Diamond Jim drew the second highest card and its time to crank in his fish.


Great form Jim, you make hauling in a horse look easy!


All of the fish that we caught today engulfed the lures and had to be dextrously de-hooked.  Now to measure Jim’s fish.


What the hay, it’s a slot fish measuring 38-inches, and is a required throw-back.


Remember Jim, it’s the patriotic thing to do!


Fish on . . . now it’s Dave’s turn, and it’s a big one!


You can see the anticipation all over Dave’s face.  He worked the fish for what seemed like minutes.  We could see steam rising from the collar line of Dave’s windbreaker.


As it nears the back of the boat, the ship mates ready the large net.


Yes, it’s a monster keeper, 42-inch heavyweight!  Way to go Dave.


Just a minute later Sean takes a strike, but unfortunately the beautiful ocean fighter was a slot fish of 37-inches, and back to the Bay for you.


It was a tough day on the water and fish were hard to come by, with many others up and down the Bay suggesting the same.  Our captain worked very hard to get us on fish, in the hope that we could all limit out, but that was not to happen today, and which is uncharacteristic for our Captains expertise.  We have had a cold, long winter, and the trophy fish are running days behind schedule.

Tom was next up in our stable of fishermen, but the closest he got to muscling in a lunker was reeling in the lines in the late afternoon, as we readied to go back, and in the case of Tom, Amanda, Ben and I, to Un-Happy Harbor.


It was a great way to spend a Sunday afternoon.   Thank you to Captain Frank, Joe and Kathy, and thank you to Dan Betz for arranging today’s activities.

From left to right:  Sean, Ben, Dave, Mark, Dan, Joe (the first mate), Tom, Amanda, Jim and Captain Carver.  Kathy was taking the picture.


Great way to start off the 2015 fishing season.

Guess what the Burchick family had for dinner this evening?  We had enough filets for all of us.