Wayne Young, Recreational Angler
- Annadale, VA
- Total Reports: 8
- View all reports by Wayne Young →
Posted on November 13, 2013 | Permalink
Northern Neck Reef
Location: Northenr Neck Reef
This report is for middle Bay fisherman who may want to drop down below the line to the Northern Neck Reef in Virginia. Due to a stress fracture, I went out on Wednesday 11/6 with extended family on a 21' recreational boat out of Great Wicomico River rather than single-hand out of Chesapeake Beach this go round of retiree fishing. There were fish working bait at the mouth of the river but no takers on jigs or trolled lures. It was bumpy with 10-15 from the NE, but the weather was moderating and the wind was shifting to the SE, so we motored over to the Northern Neck Reef. This reef has tetrahedrons, Reef Balls, and a large quantity of nested pipe, all of which I previously obtained from VA reef site data and marked on the Navionics community layer so that I could access this data on my Android smart phone as the boat doesn't have a GPS. I guided the boat operator over the reef to the east side of the nested pipe to anchor so that the current and the wind driven current would carry our chum back over the reef. There were 2 charter and 2 recreational boats doing the same thing, but there was enough room for all of us due to the reef configuration in relation to the prevailing current.This reef has one of the reef layouts that my reef field manager, the late Tom Humbles, and I (while I was MD Bay reef manager some 15 years ago) checked out with the VMRC reef manager and then used as a conceptual model in consultation with Maryland DNR and MD Charter Boat Association captains to guide and improve placement of reef materials in the Maryland Bay artificial reefs to optimize their biological and fishing potential relative to predominant current flows using main and satellite reefs and crosscurrent layouts. The improvement of the Maryland Bay reefs continues under MARI, which will miss the great service that Tom provided the program through his work with the Maryland Environmental Service.
The 11/6 bite started slow on cut menhaden strips in chum (pulsed rather than streamed) but picked up as the flood current increased, and we began to pick up undersized schoolies, with a couple of keepers in the 18-19" range. Around noon, a school of somewhat larger fish moved in. We continued to catch undersized schoolies, and caught 2 more keepers, a 20" and 23". A school settled under the boat and we caught more smallies and 1 keeper. Mid-afternoon, the school chased a bait ball to the surface and I picked up a 19" striper on a small olive and yellow jig.
Total for the day - 30 stripers caught; 2 released with 6 keepers. The same boat and setup the week before had 60 caught with 4 keepers, and went out again Saturday 11/9 after a hard blow overnight with 3 released and 1 24" keeper. With the drop in temperature, fishing may be more challenging, but there have been a lot of fish in the area.