Charles County, Maryland, November 7, 2008
A 29-inch striped bass taken on a Mann's Stretch 30+ deep diving lure off Point Lookout, Maryland. Photo by Paul for
The leaves were putting on their Fall display in southern Maryland but that also meant it was striped bass season--an anglers' last shot at big fish as they headed down the Potomac River and into the Chesapeake Bay on their way out to sea. Lucky for me, Paul invited me to fish off his boat for these migrating stripers and we planned to cover the Potomac from his home base on Cobb Island to Point Lookout State Park.
Blue skies, calm seas and fall foliage. Cobb Island as seen from the Wicommico River.
The weather couldn't have been more perfect with bright blue skies and calm seas. We motored up to Point Lookout and began breaking out the trolling tackle. I ran big chartreuse
Mann's Stretch 30+ deep diving baitfish lure way back behind the boat while running a shallow diving clown pattern Mann's Stretch 15+ close in at the tail end of the bubble trail coming off the propellor. Paul put out a big chartreuse bucktail parachute dressed with a sassy shad way back and a small umbrella rig with flashers running about mid-distance between the far and short-running rigs.

We trolled for a few hours and marked tons of fish and baitfish below but no takers. We decided to start running back upriver towards Cobb Island and that's when my outboard reel with the big Mann's 30+ began to sing. After a brief fight we brought the fish onboard where Paul measured it at 29-inches before we slipped it back into the water. The action remained slow for the rest of the day as we trolled in a zig-zag pattern back towards Cobb. I got a hit on the close-in lure but it was so small it did not even pull line off the reel. Paul noticed the tip of the rod bobbing around and when I pulled it in there was a striper on the end. After a quick measurement it too went back in the water.

We trolled a bit more around
St. Mary's County, Maryland, but the sun was begining to disappear and the temperature was dropping so we did a quick troll around Cobb Island then called it a day. Overall it was a great day to be on the water.

EQUIPMENT: Heavy saltwater trolling rods with Penn GT Levelwind reels. Big artifical baits for big fish.
A bait boat tending to a fish trap off St. Clement's Island, Maryland.