Upper Chesapeake is stirred up

NORTHEAST, Md. — After yesterday — high winds and really ugly weather — it seems that all bets are off when it comes to how the Upper Chesapeake Bay will fish today. The 2012 Cabela’s Bassmaster Federation Nation Mid-Atlantic Divisional is up for grabs.

Steve Redden, a man who fishes for the Delaware State Team and is a member of Three Ponds, is on the Upper Chesapeake Bay regularly. He knows her waters and her fish well. Yet, when it comes to devising an 11th-hour strategy for this morning he was confused.

“The wind from yesterday has everything pretty stirred up. I don’t think we got enough rain to matter but the water’s not right from all that wind. It’s dingy. I’d say the best bite will be on top of the shallow grass in the morning and then, after about 10 or 11 o’clock it’ll get real tough.”

He continues on to say, however, that there are times when storms and passing fronts will turn them on. “My best guess is what I just said [tough fishing after a few hours in the morning] but you never know for sure. I’d say we’ll just have to wait and see.”

His lack of certainty is shared by a number of other anglers including Mike Macdonald (Zimbabwe), JR Knight (Maryland) and Mark Mounts (Pennsylvania). They each said the same thing: It’s going to be tough, get them early, and count your blessings if the bite turns on.

There is one fellow, though, who may have a different take on things. Hobie Butcher, who is a member of the West Virginia State Team and who fishes with the Appalachian Bassmasters, was leading last year’s Mid-Atlantic Divisional after the first day but had to withdraw because of a back injury. He may be on to something similar this year, minus the back injury.

Butcher wouldn’t give specifics but did admit that he set the hook on one he believes was around 8 pounds. “I’m not going to say exactly what I’m doing but I will say that sometimes you have to go somewhere different and show them something different. We don’t like to eat the same food every day, and they don’t either. We’ll just have to see about things.”

The competitors launched this morning with temperatures in the lower 60-degree range with cloudy skies and variable, light winds. The cloud cover is expected to dissipate as the day moves along with a high temperature somewhere around 72 degrees. The rest of the week is predicted to be slightly cloudy with slowly warming temperatures.

Given that weather forecast, most of the competitors expect the fishing to improve between now and Friday.

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