I got out this morning with a friend to do a little planer board testing and scouting a little north of Browns Bridge. Long story short; not much to report to the north. The best we could do with the planer boards was a few small spots and a 4 pound catfish on a weighted planer. After dinking around that area for a couple of hours we came back down to the 2 mile chute. We marked a nice school of larger fish just to the back side of a point but couldn’t get any to commit to the trout and bluebacks. We moved further south and found some really nice schools of stripers around the mouth and inside 6 mile. Again, we got right over the schools and no takers. It wasn’t for a lack of trying, we power reeled, fished above them, below them, in them and around them. We did everything but troll through them. I left all my trolling gear at home for this trip. I was commited to live bait. I kick myself for not bringing the u-rigs for these groups of fish.
We headed back to the dock around lunchtime and called it a day. No stripers were boated today. It was one of those days that the fish we were on were not really active fish. The water temps were in the upper 70’s this morning and from what I’ve seen, a few fish are probably moving a bit north. I think that the front coming through this weekend will cool the water a bit more and scatter a few schools. We saw very few topwater fish north of Browns Bridge and not much topwater to speak of by the time we got to 6 mile. My guess is that planer boards and free lines early, followed by downlines and trolling once the sun comes up. There are still good groups of fish on the south end that can be caught trolling. We did see a few larger fish sitting on points early but couldn’t get any to hit the trout yet. All in all, we’re starting to see signs of a fall pattern with fish being shallow and on the surface chasing bait early in the morning and late in the evening. Topwater baits should work well early in the morning and late in the evening. I also like using 1/2 to 3/4 ounce bucktail in light or off white colors for surfacing stripers at dusk.