58 Fish, 2 keepers

On board today, I had repeat clients, Bill Gourley and his grandson, Joey, for light tackle striped bass. At first light, the bay was flat-calm, a light north wind, a high tide, and a slight overcast. The bay was loaded with fish.

The beauty of today was all the fish were sighted and fish stayed up all morning in several of my spots. We did fish a little structure towards the end of the charter, as topwater had died down and lots of the fish were leaving the bay on the dropping tide. But there was still plenty of fish to keep us busy.

We started on a school of very small fish right out of the harbor. They slammed out topwater Sebile lures and our rubber crank baits with gusto. Lots of fun on the light tackle. But I knew were some bigger fish were based on my guiding all week, so we made the run to look for them. On the way, we ran into another school of topwater fish with a handful of birds working overhead. Bill hooked into a reel screamer and it was so good to hear that drag singing on the light tackle reel! Bill played it perfectly to net and it was a keeper.

Next up, we continued our run to search for more big fish and found them. We pulled into a flat and found fish busting bait on topwater in about four to five feet of water. Both Joey and Bill were slamming a lot of fish and Bill hooked into our second keeper of the morning. The duo also hooked into several fish just under keeper size.

Top tackle today was again topwater lures in bone, and also silver/black. A small Sebile lure that walks the dog across the surface was the #1 lure and technique. A Super Spook would of worked equally well. Second choice was my stand-by rubber crank baits in 4″ and 5″. A 3″ inch would also be ideal since the bait was about that size.

A cool highlight of the morning: a young kyaker of 12 years of age pulled alongside us and the boy says, “Are you Capt. Dave…?” I said, “yes I am.” He replied, “I’m Bubba!.” Long story short, Bubba caught his first striped bass with me and his Dad, Ian, about nine years ago! So great to see him still fishing and hooking up on some nice bass from his yak. I wish more kids his age were out there enjoying the great outdoors. Great to see you Bubba!

Well, my crew ended the morning with a whopping 58 striped bass caught and released with two keepers. Bill and Joey have been fishing with me for… six years? and this was their best day on the bay with me to date! Great job, guys and great to have you on board again!

Tight Lines & stay posted. We have two more months of incredible fishing left on the bay.

Capt. Dave
www.baymencharters.com

35 Fish, 2 Keepers

On board today, I had regular, Dick Bowman & his trademark cigar, for light tackle striped bass. At first light, a stunning sunrise and calm seas. Light West wind and high tide. Mostly sunny.

Yesterday’s fish were gone, but there were still a bunch of bass inside the bay from Plymouth to Duxbury to Kingston. We started out on a small school of breaking fish. I decided to leave those breaking fish (!) and chase down a rumor of some big fish just offshore. We made the run, glassed and sonar the area and struck out. We ran back to the breaking fish – and they were gone.

From there, we started to fish structure all over the bay. We found a few fish in most of my spots and they hit topwater poppers and rubber crank baits. We did not mark a single bass inside the bay today, but we found the in very skinny water up on the flats and around structure. Towards the end of the morning, we hit the jackpot and found breaking fish under birds! We fished them hard until the dropping tide drove us out of there. A couple more spots on the way home and we called it a great day.

Lots of bait in the bay. A handful of pogy, tiny peanut bunker, and a longer two inch minnow. We ended the morning with 35 fish and 2 keepers. They were picky, but Dick had an arsenal of poppers with him and we found a silver/black Chug Bug to be the ticket. The lure has rattles and I think that is a big draw.

Back at it. Stay Posted: September is in our sights.

Capt. Dave
www.baymencharters.com

132 Fish, 1 Keeper

On board today, I had regular, Billy Tedeschi, for light tackle striped bass. At first light, the bay was flat calm, light W/SW wind, high tide, and overcast skies. A light rain for a few minutes and then it stopped.

We found bait and fish with some birds working over the fish. Many fish had no birds at all working over them, but they were there chasing a micro minnow 1/2 inches to 1 inch long. When I was dropping in the boat today, I also saw a longer minnow of several inches around the docks. And a few pogies were feeding on topwater. Out front, the macks are still thick. So, lots of bait in the bay right now. Let’s hope it stays!

Billy fished his favorite lure, a Yo-zuri popper in mackerel color, in the skinny water. He fished two sizes and when the hits on the larger one slowed down, he switched to the smaller popper and that got smashed on almost every cast! We lost one lure to a bluefish, but that was the only blue we found today. The majority of our fish caught and released were in 3-4 feet of water. At times, we were in about two feet of water on the dropping tide.

The topwater hits and chase-downs were exciting. Lots of hits and misses and lots of boils behind the poppers before the hook-ups. Our total catch and release today was a whopping 132 striped bass for one rod! This is a new BAYMEN boat record for a one-person charter. It just goes to show, if you match the tackle to the fish, you can have an absolute blast on small fish in skinny waters!

Back it. Stay posted:

Capt. Dave
www.baymencharters.com

23 Fish, 2 Keepers

On board today, I had regular client, Peter Gaudette for light tackle striped bass. At first light the bay was dead-calm and it stayed flat all morning. The air was cool and the sunrise was gorgeous! Just perfect conditions.

We fished topwater spooks and dogs in white and silver/black over the shallow weed beds and channel drop-offs. We also fished 4″ and 5″ rubber crank baits, and in one spot with 18+fow we fished Baymen Jigs. The spooks were the top lure today followed closely by the 5″ inch rubber crank baits. Our two biggest fish, both keepers, slammed the topwater tackle. Those bass were in about three feet of water.

A decent amount of bait in the bay today. Some pogies, peanut bunker, crabs and I am guess macks were still thick out front. We did not fish any bait today, all LT lures only.

Total catch and release was 23 fish, with two keepers to 32″ inches. All fish on structure. No topwater and no working birds to speak of. A lovely morning that felt very much like September.

Back at it. Stay Posted:

Capt. Dave
www.baymencharters.com

38 Fish, 1 Keepah

On board today, first-time clients Fred Bayles and Brooke Flemming for light tackle striped bass. At first light, I made the run to Clark’s and picked up my charters on the near dead-low full moon tide. Thank God for Carolina Skiffs. I was motoring in six inches or less of water on the backside.

The bay was a sheet of glass all morning and we found birds and topwater! First real blitz on top since June. Nice to see breaking bass and bait jumping out of the water on the incoming tide. Two HUGE bass were in the shallows with the breaking fish and they scooted out with the tide, slamming baitfish on the way.

Next stop, more topwater action with birds and bait. The fish slammed our rubber cranks and Baymen Jigs. We hooked into a decent keeper and a ton of smaller bass. We had several double hook-ups and a couple of triples. So nice to see this early in August. By the end of August, this should be the norm and the start of the fall run.

We continued to fish around the bay from Dux to Ply to Kingston. We picked up a few more fish throughout the morning after the blitz at most of my spots. A few spots were a bust. We got bit off once (blue?) but did not see any blues inside the bay. We marked some BIG bass and saw several on topwater but the smaller fish were thick and they beat the big fish to our tackle.

Total catch and release was 38 fish, 1 dinner fish went back to the Island with the anglers. A lovely morning on a flat-calm bay with a nice topwater blitz.

Back at it. Stay posted:

Capt. Dave
www.baymencharters.com

7 Fish

Yesterday, (Thursday) I had regular, Pete Gaudette on board for light tackle striped bass and a fluke trip.

At first light,, the bay was flat-calm once again… Just wonderful to fish calm water! We got into some small fish right off the bat, just outside the harbor. They were up over the oyster grants and hit our topwater poppers well.

Next up, we decided to try for a limit of fat fluke. Rigged out with dayglow spinners and fresh squid strips, we set several drifts in my usual spots. One fluke for our trouble and it was a short.

We switched back to striper tackle and started to move around to some of my spots that have been producing. One hole held a couple of giants! We had snagged up a pogy and drifted fresh chunks over them. Not a single hit. When we repeated the drift twice more, the fish had gone. Heart breaker!

We ran across the bay to fish some nice structure in the hopes of a keeper. One small bass hit out poppers. Back in another spot, we marked TONS of tiny baits. We fished everything and no bass were on them. Then we rigged up some jigs to try and catch the bait. They were so small, they would not hit the jigs. If the bass find those baits, and if they stay in the bay for a while, it could be game one…

We ended our morning working the channels for fluke. No more hits, no more hook-ups. It is safe to say there are no fluke inside the bay at the moment. Also, bass fishing is very slow right now. Total catch and release today was six striped bass and one fluke. We covered a lot of water. Maybe things will change up in another tide or two. “Every day is different, and no two tides are the same.” – Capt. Dave, BAYMEN

www.baymencharters.com

15 Fish On Fly

On board today I had new client, Ryan Jones, from Colorado, for fly fishing striped bass.

At first light, the bay was flat-calm and stayed flat all morning making conditions ideal for fly fishing. We had hoped for topwater action, but all the fish today were on structure. In fact, they all hugged the bottom and we had to get the fly into their feeding zone or they would not strike. Once we got that figured out, it was game on.

A RIO intermediate line with a sink rate of 3 seconds was out go-to. For fly patterns, the top pattern was an all white Lefty’s Deceiver. Our second top pattern was a weighted Baymen Universal on a Teeny 300 sinking line for the deeper fish. We also fished a topwater popper on a RIO floating line and hooked up on a few fish. One of the hits was was explosive and without warning!

Total catch and release today was 15 fish on the fly. Our best fish was 26.5 inches taken in about 8 fow. All our spots held a fish or two today. It was a great morning for fly fishing the bay.

Back at it. Fluke are on the agenda. Stay posted:

Capt. Dave
www.baymencharters.com

Vacation News

Well, July is fast coming to an end and that means my vacation is just about over. I will be back on the bay in earnest in August right into October! I have been enjoying time off the water (if that’s even possible) with family and friends but I am so looking forward to the second half of the season with my clients. Charters are stacked up – Stay posted:

On another note, I was very, very sick the end of June and the first two weeks of July. Here is my story:

The last few days of June I was on charter. At the end of the trip, I emptied out a bait cooler of fresh macks that we had jigged up that day. I rinsed the cooler with saltwater and then I closed it up tight and threw it into my truck. Several days later, I took the cooler out and said to myself, “I know I cleaned out that cooler…” So I popped the lid and instantly, a gush of hot, rancid, odors slammed me in the face and I felt it go right down into my lungs and even deeper into my diaphragm. It was almost like a forced air pushing itself deep down into my lungs. An odd sensation, I thought, like I had never experienced. I spit out to clear my throat, blew my nose and thought nothing more of it.

The next morning on charter, I was zipping across the bay at 5:00am with clients, feeling fine. Then, I got the hiccups and could not shake them. They stayed with me the entire trip. When I got home that afternoon, I still had them. I tried every home recipe I knew to make them stop. Nothing worked.

Fast-forward eight days later. I have started my summer vacation. I still have the hiccups, non-stop for eight days. I went to the doctors, told him my story. He gave me an antibiotic as a precaution. The next day, the hiccups got really bad and my diaphragm started convulsing. My hiccups went from single hiccups to doubles and triples and sometimes four in rapid succession. That night, things got so bad, I drove myself to the ER. They gave me a half-dosage of a strong medicine and kept me to see what would happen. At 3:00am, they woke me up, my hiccups had stopped and they sent me home. As I walked out into the hospital parking lot to my truck, they started right back up again. I kept walking and drove home, thinking they would stop. They didn’t.

The next day, day ten, I tried exercising (running, jogging, etc.) thinking maybe that would help. The hiccups increased and got progressively worse. My diaphragm started convulsing eight times in a row and then locking up, cutting off my airway completely for twelve seconds. I quickly jumped into my truck and drove myself to the fire station. The EMTS gave me some water, checked my vitals, and a short time later the hiccups stopped! I felt absolutely great and refused transport. I walked out of the fire station, did a few jumps around and felt great. I got into my truck and headed home. The hiccups started up again in earnest as soon as I got home. My airway was sealing off again, and I got back into my truck and headed for the hospital. A few miles down the road and my airway completely shut off for twelve seconds, several times. I pulled over gasping for air. I whipped the truck around and headed for the fire station. This time, they transported me.

At the hospital, the ER was packed! Forty people or more in the waiting area, every trauma room had people in it, and triage was lined up on beds up and down the hall. The head nurse asked the EMT, “what do you got?” The EMT said “hiccups.” The nurse pointed down the hall to the waiting room and said, “Triage!” They put me in a wheelchair and three hours later, I was still sitting there. My hicccups were still going strong, non-stop, but my diaphragm convulsions had almost stopped. I looked around, the waiting room was still packed with the same people, and I figured there was no way they were going to get to a guy with “hiccups” tonight. I checked myself out in the middle of the night and went home exhausted.

DAY 11: The hiccups are still going strong and getting worse. My diaphragm is in convulsions again – big time. My diaphragm is convulsing eight times in one and a half seconds, and then sealing off my airway. I could feel it getting worse and worse and ran for the truck and drove myself back to the hospital ER. By the time I got there, things were not good. They checked my vitals and I was strong. In fact, my vitals had been strong throughout for the past eleven days. That is what had the doctors and nurses stumped. All tests kept coming back negative. They sat me in a chair in the waiting room (!). A few minutes later, my airway was sealed shut and I jumped up and waved my arms and then grabbed the side of a counter as I started to fall. I could not breathe at all. Zip. But my oxygen levels were perfect so they could not give me oxygen. They rushed me down to the trauma unit and my diaphragm released and let me gasp for air. But then the same situation kept happening over and over. It was very scary. They ran all the tests, all came back negative, and they put a heart monitor on me and watched for my heart to slow or stop.

I was convulsing wildly at this point, the worse in eleven days. My airway kept shutting off and then (thank God) would release and I could gasp for air. My eyes were closed and I was praying to Jesus for help because nobody there seemed to know what to do to make the hiccups and rapid convulsing stop. I was spent, exhausted, and honestly was just waiting to pass out. Soaked in sweat and drool, my eyes closed, I just kept praying for God to help me. Two hours passed. I was in a bad and desperate state. Then, I felt a cold, hard sweat come over me, I felt like I was about to pass out, and I felt nauseous all at the same time. I took a breath and yelled, “NURSE!” Then, I felt my diaphragm lock up, I couldn’t breathe and my body tried to throw up but couldn’t. I was slumped over in a dream-like state, eyes closed, totally zoned out. Several minutes passed… I suddenly realized all my symptoms had vanished! No hiccups, no diaphragm convulsions, and my breathing was relaxed and normal. I was scared to open my eyes. And then I heard a man’s voice in my left ear: “David, I’ve heard your prayer.” I kept my eyes closed, overwhelmed that for the first time in eleven days, all symptoms had disappeared. I felt a total calm of peace come over me. I stayed slumped over with my eyes closed for about five more minutes and then very slowly opened them. There was an empty chair sitting by my bed to my left. A nurse walked into the room and asked me what happened? I told her, “everything stopped. All my symptoms are gone.” Another nurse came in and asked me, “what did they give you?” I said, “nothing. I was just praying my heart out to Jesus and suddenly everything stopped. All my symptoms are gone.” The nurse said, “I was praying for you.” Another nurse came in and checked all my vitals. All good, as usual. My eyes were glued to the clock on the wall. Ten minutes, fifteen, thirty, forty-five… still no symptoms. An hour, two hours… Other than being totally exhausted, I felt peace and relief. The doctor came in to see me and check me over. He must have had a dozen cups of coffee because he was fired up! I told him what happened and he said that he often prays as well for his patients. He said, “I can find nothing wrong with you and am going to release you.” An hour later, on shaky legs and utterly exhausted, I walked out of the hospital in the wee hours of the morning, and drove home.

In the eleven days of my illness, I lost twelve pounds. Stress level was through the roof due to my airway that kept shutting off, not allowing me to breathe. Fortunately, I did not lose a single day of work because this all started at the beginning of my vacation. If you are a person of faith, you will understand that God heard my prayer that night and healed me in that trauma unit. If you are not a person of faith, all I can tell you is, if you seek God, you will find Him. Put all your faith in Him and He will be with you.

I have been symptom-free for ten days now. I am feeling stronger every day and almost back to my normal self. I hope to get back on a daily exercise program again soon. One day at a time…

Capt. Dave
www.baymencharters.com

***A Wise word of advice about fish coolers: When you rinse them out, leave the tops OFF until all moisture has evaporated and dried up. The cooler that I rinsed out, had maybe a teaspoon of moisture in it when I sealed it up and left it in my hot truck. A bacteria was able to breed in the cooler. When I opened it, spoors rushed right up my nostrils and into my mouth and down into my lungs, almost like under a power of their own. Those spoors are deadly and they made me very, very ill. Thanks be to God, He cut their work short.

15 Fish

On board today, I had regular, Billy Tedeschi for light tackle striped bass. This was a shorter trip than normal, as Billy had meetings later in the morning.

The bay was near calm with a light West wind. A perfect sunrise as we headed out. Our first two spots of the morning had not turned on, so we decided to hit yesterday’s spot. Bingo! Lots of birds, bait and BIG bass mixed together! The fish were not as thick as yesterday, I’d say only about third of the fish were there. But plenty of action and constant hook-ups on big schoolies and small keepers. I did mark a few absolute cows holding bottom.

Top tackle today: The Yo-Billy popper, aka Popper Billy which is really a Yo-zuri topwater lure. Billy has this lure down to a science and rarely changes up because he doesn’t have to. He gets a lot of fish on it and I kidded him that I was goinng to give him a new nickname! The bass were also hitting my Baymen Jig by Jeck’s Bucktails, right on the bottom.

Well, meetings were waiting so we had to drive away from breaking fish and headed in. Total catch and release about 15 fish with a couple small keepers. We saw some big fish in the mix on top and I marked one or two fish that were absolute giants, bellies on the bottom.

Back at it and wishing everyone a great Indepdendence Day celebration!

Capt. Dave
www.baymencharters.com

95 Fish, 5 Keepers

On board today, regulars Gary Condon, Matt Daily and Greg Powers for light tackle striped bass.

First stop of the morning – ghost town! All those fish from this past week – gone… Started heading to our second spot of the morning and on a lark, decided to shut down and glass the bay for birds, even though we have not seen hardly any birds working fish this year. To my surprise and our delight, I spotted maybe a dozen or so gulls about two miles distant. We decided to go have a look…

For the next three hours it was non-stop fish action on medium and big fish! A school of big fish about three hundred yards long were working bait in 24 fow. Every once in a while there would be a an expolosion on topwater, but for the most part it was all electronics fishing for the first half of the trip.

We set numberous drifts and started to rack up numbers and a couple of keepers. Then Greg Powers’ rod doubled over and didn’t come back up. Heavy fish hugging the bottom, that slammed a Baymen Jig! Greg has fished with Gary & crew for many years and he is a good angler. We were using light tackle, light rods and light braided line on light leaders. Greg fought the big fish for fifteen minutes before we saw it. Everyone was guessing how big it was. At first, I said a 36, then I said a 38, then I said a 40… When I finally saw it I said “A Forty-Five!” The fish made a couple of circles and Greg led it into my waiting net. On the Boga the fished weighed 29+ pounds and taped out to a whopping 44″ inches! What a great light tackle cow and our best fish this season so far.

Later in the morning Gary and Matt both landed keepers, bringing our total catch and relase to 95 fish, 5 keepers, all on light tackle. Top lures were my Baymen Jigs and rubber crankbaits. We ended the trip throwing poppers to fish along the flats around the bay. What an amazing morning with big fish in the bay!

Back at it. Stay Posted:

Capt. Dave
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