Go fish in the York River
As a professional mariner, I regret to report I don’t know about fish. Growing up, my mother served a lot of TV dinners. I thought fish sticks peculiar because I couldn’t understand how they swam.
When I secured my USCG captain’s license, I had to jump through 49 certifications to qualify for the entire business enterprise. No. 50 on the list was Fishing License, and I said forget it.
Plus we’re moving at a brisk speed under sail rather than sitting idly by, so we’d be trolling. Finally, we run a serious risk of fouling the fishing line on the prop of the engine. That’s no big deal on an outboard, but on an inboard the prop is way down below the waterline and impossible to reach unless you’re a diver.
So I’m indebted to my fellow charter captain at York River Yacht Haven. Capt. Alan Alexander’s website York River Charters outlines the fishing possibilities in nearby waters. This is complicated by the fact our water is brackish, so saltwater fish predominate in the Chesapeake Bay while freshwater fish populate the upper reaches of the York River. The tides make it more confusing because of turbidity. The pictures here show the different fish to be found. I can’t tell one from the other. Well,except for the shark.
From Capt. Alan’s website:
The charter boat Catchin’ Up II presents our guests a customized trip on the Chesapeake Bay. For you, this may mean tailoring a saltwater fishing charter combining some bottom fishing for croaker, spot or flounder with an equal amount of time spent sport fishing by live baiting for mighty cobia or shark, or trolling for trophy striped bass (stripers), bluefish or Spanish mackerel. You might enjoy harvesting fine table fare such as tautog (blackfish), spadefish or sheepshead from artificial reefs, wrecks and other structure.
Some folks enjoy our sport fishing charters that target speckled trout, red drum (redfish) or salt water striped bass (striper, rockfish) on light tackle by casting lures along the grass bottomed shoreline flats. Or, you may prefer crabbing for Virginia Chesapeake Bay Blue Crab.
The one fish I know something about, and which you cannot catch, is dolphin. We used to see small pods of three to six twice in August when the river water rose close to 90 degrees.
Today global warming has pushed the dolphins up from the ocean and Chesapeake Bay well into the York River as early as June. Last year we saw dolphins nearly ten times. They love the sailboat because it’s quiet and has a keel below that rather resembles a dolphin. Sometimes they get so close you can hear the whoosh of their spouts. When they run parallel to the boat, it makes for an amazing picture.
Let’s Go Sail, but not fish
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