On December 17th, 2004, Miss Susie and crew headed south to try the late December striper fishing at the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel. During the days that followed, we sought to learn the new waters and charter a few light tackle fishing trips. First mate Francis Zell brought a good deal of CBBT light tackle jigging experience to the boat, as he has fished these waters for the past five Decembers. The overall fishing was great with the only two inconsistencies being the presence of big fish (28″ +) and the weather. When the wind blows hard around the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay, the water gets unbelieveably rough and because of this, we spent a few days of our trip cruising around Virginia Beach and relaxing in our hotel rooms. Opportunities for good success with light tackle jigging were hit or miss; although the CBBT’s massive amount of structure nomally holds good numbers of 25″ to 40″ fish, the fish that we able to consistently find in good numbers were 16″ to 25″.
The exception was two days of fishing when we found huge schools of large fish feeding on the surface south of the CBBT. During these two days, we experienced the most awesome light tackle striper fishing available to mankind. The most successful method was to ease the boat into a school of breaking fish, cut the engines off, and cast into the frenzied waters. It was quite an amazing experience to witness the huge stripers chasing the baitfish on the surface. Our tackle consisted of largemouth bass-class spinning rods and reels spooled with 10# Berkely Fireline, 20# flourocarbon leaders, top-water poppers, and 5″-7″ plastic baits fished on 1oz. jigheads. The photos below this report show some of the excitement and amazing fish that we caught.
The Miss Susie’s first trip to Virginia Beach was an enjoyable one, but it is yet to be decided whether we will return next December due to the severe weather and inconsitent presence of bigger fish we experienced on this trip. However, if I have enough interest from clients who wish to try this late-season light tackle jigging at the CBBT we could give it a try again in 2005. To put things into perspective, a bad day of fishing for three of us resulted in 150-200 stripers (16″-25″), tons of fun on light tackle.