This past weekend the Pinnacle Reef Squad got together and headed Eastward to the coast to our local fishing spot in Ocean City Maryland. The goal was to throw gotcha plugs and swim shad for striped bass off of the bridges in the back bay behind the island. It was set to be a cold night with temperatures dipping below 36 degrees. We arrived at the fishing grounds around midnight and began bundling up. We were set to fish the ebbtide which is my favorite tide at the bridges and inlets of Ocean City as it's known to be very productive for us. We got to the bridge and went to our usual spot in search of the schoolies under the dock lights. We casted up current and ran a few drifts and threw a few swim shad along the shadow line of a bridge but the schoolies were MIA. We could hear birds in the distance working the water down at the west end of the bridge so we packed up our gear and headed that way on foot.
Teammate Ellisa spotted a giant school of striped bass under one of the lights and came and grabbed the rest of the team like the legend that she is before even casting. It didn't take long before we were rocking bass with hooksets left and right. We figured out the sauce was casting up current letting the lure sink to the bottom quickly making contact and slowly drifting it bumping bottom now and then. Around 3 a.m. it turned into an all-out blitz on the north side of the bridge giant schools of peanut bunker were being destroyed by hordes of striped bass. The surface of the water was erupting with fish jumping clean out, striped bass flashing everywhere. Birds working the bait balls. It was totally epic but the most significant part of it all was us 3 were the only souls around. We were doubling up bending out hooks. Then some other people moved in on the other side of the bridge throwing a bucktail with a teaser tied a foot above the bucktail. I witnessed him catch a 20-inch gator trout and countless small blue fish.
We were all rocking 30lb Bullbuster braid with 50lb Bullbuster mono topshot which never fails and always performs stellar. We did come prepared and the hand warmers we brought pretty much saved us. Come 6 a.m. when the bite had died down we were all still super stoked laughing and cracking jokes. We had all caught countless bass and the girls had broken their previous personal best. We plan on heading back soon as some of the larger females will be heading that way shortly. We did in fact spot a few larger female sitting nose into the current that wanted nothing to do with the artificial presentations. The lesson to be learned here is if you want to get on an awesome bite sometimes you have to be willing to sacrifice and get out there and brave the elements and wet a line. It's a pretty unpredictable fishery and you have to be in the right place at the right time. This is when the phrase really rings true, SPEND MORE TIME FISHING!
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