December 11, 2019

Art & Lifestyle:

1 Show; 5 Photographers @ Lex Park Library -

Wednesday, December 4, 2019

Donations Needed for Feed the Family Program -

Wednesday, December 4, 2019

Seussified Christmas Carol Runs Until Dec. 15 -

Thursday, November 28, 2019

Public Comment Sought on Solar Project Near Lex Park -

Saturday, November 23, 2019

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Message from the Cap’n…Change of Seasons

change of seasons

Message from the Cap’n is a compilation of fishing advice, waterman and weather insights, Chesapeake lore, and ordinary malarkey from the folks who keep their feet wet in the Potomac and St. Mary’s rivers.

From the Interpretive Buoy System: The lower Potomac water temperature was 73 degrees Fahrenheit and the salinity right at 13 parts per unit in mid-September.

With the fall season comes many changes: We have relief from Sea Nettles with the cooler water. The adults die off in the autumn and the juveniles encase themselves and settle to the bottom to overwinter. They will break apart and start growing when the water temp and salinity are conducive in the early summer.

Most of the adult Ospreys have left for South America flying down the 77th parallel and overwintering in Columbia and Brazil. The adults start to leave after the  young birds can fish and fend for themselves. The youngsters will also make the trek to South America a little later in the fall.

The Purple Martins and Swallows also have migrated to warmer climates in South America. Hummingbirds are still here.

The Blue Crab business is always slow in late August and early September as we harvest most of the legal population in June and July. That, coupled with the male migration toward fresher water in the summer months, causes a lull in harvest till the southern migration starts in September with the cooler water temperatures. Crabs are fatter then as they build reserves before burying in the mud for the winter.

Bottom fishing is good in the lower and mid-Potomac. Good catches of spot and croaker are reported and the “Blowfish” or Puffer fish is making a comeback in our local waters. Another resident of the Chesapeake is making a comeback: the “Toadfish,” also known as Bar Dog.

Bar Dog or Toadfish

With Hurricane Irma we witnessed a Rare Phenomenon. Water was  blown off shore and out of rivers and bays in Florida from the great power of this storm. It did return with the tide surge when the wind changed to an onshore flow. I have only noticed this extreme one other time when the wind blew northwest for seven straight days at 30-35 knots in March 1977. All the water in the Island creek in front of my house was pushed out by the persistent gale force wind.

At the mouth of the St. Mary’s River and Lower Potomac, the location of St. George Island, we do not get flooded from rainfall because it readily drains into the river. Our neighborhoods will flood when the winds come from the Eastern quadrant and push water into the mouth of the Chesapeake and not let it escape. This is especially true when we have a Nor’easter in conjunction with spring tides.

The Potomac River is similar to the St. Johns River in Florida in that they both extend across extensive land masses. The Potomac is 320 miles in length and the St Johns River is 315 miles in length. They both contain a brackish water element that supports the blue crab and many species of fish.

Their  major difference is that the Potomac flows from north to south and the St. Johns flows from south to north and the elevation at the head of the Potomac is 3,000 feet above sea level and the elevation at the head of the St Johns is only 32 feet above sea level. No wonder Jacksonville, Florida, has experienced flooding problems without the elevation to quickly move water downstream.

Watermans’ Lore: The color blue is bad luck on a boat! No blue gloves and never paint your boat blue!

REMEMBER : It’s Our Bay, Let’s Pass  It On”.

Till next Time,

Capt. Jack

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One Response to “Message from the Cap’n…Change of Seasons”
  1. jerry carey says:

    explain Butch’s excellent fishing success BLUE BOAT just curious

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