The iSolunar Application

Early Spring Fishing on the Fresh Tidal Mattawoman

Jim Chassion and I went fishing this morning, launching from Slavin’s and working the headwaters of the Mattawoman.  The average mean temperature of the water was about 62-degrees and we fished from 8:30 till noon.  High tide was a 7:30 AM and we fished from peak high after slack, and then on a falling tide, which are near optimal conditions.  This was the first outing of the spring for my 20-foot Carolina Skiff.  It was a beautiful day with high’s in the low 70’s and mostly sunny.  Spatterdock was emerging along the littoral fringes of the river.


I was excited to be on the water.  All six of my reels were restrung in the last week, and I had all of my favorite lures tied on and ready to go.  My iPhone iSolunar Calendar app said that it was a whopping four-fish day, which is as good as it gets, and we were on the water for the major period peak of the day, and you can’t do any better than that.

Jim and I fished with purpose for four hours and the only thing we caught was an attitude.  Nobody we spoke to on the water, which included six bass boats caught anything, except for one man who caught one two-pound largemouth on a worm.  Watching other fishermen, the lures of the day included spinner-baits, crank-baits and plastic worms.  Needles to say fishing sucked, and the iSolunar app sucks too!  I think that I am going to erase the app from my iPhone.  The bottom line is that my friends and I fish when we can, and not based astrology and moon and sun cycles.


Paw paw was at peak bloom along the banks, with their beautiful maroon colored flowers.


Standing on the banks of a remote section of swamp, I could see white-colored forbs that upon closer inspection were spring cress, along with swamp blue violet, and spring beauty on hummocks.  Butterflies and insects were working the flowers.


The shrub, blackhaw viburnum was at peak flower throughout the swamps, along with flowering dogwood on higher ground.


Swamp azalea was also at peak bloom and the pink tones that dappled the shorelines were beautiful.


Many of the native azaleas grew out over the water and the reflection of pink added to the beauty of the headwater wetlands.


A breeding pair of bald eagle watched us from a perch to see if we were any good at fishing.


An osprey however flaunted his catch, which was a carp, and which was still flapping his tail.  Osprey typically feed from the head and work back to the tail.  This guy was just about to start into his mid-morning brunch.


Not to be outdone, this blue heron stalked the shallows for anything that might move out ahead of him.


Something moved ahead of the heron and he froze in place, not even wanting to move his head.  I think his strategy was to wait, hold in place, and let the unsuspecting amphibian, reptile or fish move toward him, and then pounce.


This diving cormorant just surfaced and was swimming after fish.

So in the end, we had four species of birds that were successfully fishing all around us.  They wanted to remind us that we held amateur status compared to these endemic locals.

Although skunked, it was a beautiful morning on the water.  You know the old adage, you’ve got to play to win.  You may not necessarily catch fish every outing, and days like today allow you to better appreciate the times when fishing is hot.

By the way, we also watched a clumsy wild turkey crash through the understory to get away from the bank, as he was spooked by our presence in the backwater woods.