I know it sounds crazy, but hear me out! Our waters really aren't that different from the upper Chesapeake, and I explain how in Part One of this two-piece series.
2018 Huk Bassmaster Elite at Upper Chesapeake Bay presented by Mossy Oak Fishing
Pro anglers in the Bassmaster Elite Series are in their second day of official practice before their four-day event beginning on Thursday out of Flying Point Park in Edgewood.
Over 100 anglers will be in the field, with the winner taking home the coveted "blue trophy" and $100,000 in cash.
Yep, that's right. $100,000. No typo there!
So, let's dive into how the upper Chesapeake Bay and Louisiana's marsh are similar then, in Part Two, I'll explain how we inshore anglers can benefit from watching this event.
Chesapeake Bay and Louisiana
The upper Chesapeake Bay is somewhat similar to our inshore waters:
Maryland's part of the Chesapeake yields tides similar to our own.
Some are stronger, but by inches, not feet, and are more frequent.
See, the area these anglers will fish has a mixed semi-diurnal tide, whereas we have a simple and easy diurnal tide.
Louisiana's Diurnal Tide
Chesapeake Bay's Mixed Semi-Diurnal Tide
You can see the difference, and how this affects fish is the same in both locations, but in Maryland there is an exaggerated effect.
How Fish Respond to Tide
It's not different from what we see here in Louisiana: when water levels rise, so will the fish.
But, when they drop, you can count on the fish moving with the water (or risk being stuck on dry land).
When this happens, they will become concentrated.
These doodles I made earlier this year do a great job of illustrating this concept.
Now let's put this concept on a map of a redfish pond:
See what I'm talking about?
Watch these Bassmasters fish and I am willing to bet they'll take advantage of that low water, concentrating on concentrated fish to fill their limits.
Comparing salinity maps of Chesapeake Bay and Pontchartrain Basin reveal that our gradual increase from freshwater on one end, and salt on the other, is nearly the same.
Here is a map I found of mean salinities for the Chesapeake from 1985-2006.
This is not unlike what we see in this Hydrocoast salinity map for July 15th, 2018.
You can click here to see the full 3300 x 2250 version of this document.
Please note that the above Hydrocoast Map is simply a SWAG, or Scientific Wild Ass Guess.
It's not an exact measurement.
Same Fish...Sort Of
Louisiana's marsh is very rich, and it's not uncommon to see largemouth bass swimming side-by-side with redfish and speckled trout.
All of them feed on similar forage, with bass and redfish having a similar palate for crab, pogies and shrimp.
So, at any rate, we can count on the bass in Maryland's tidal waters to behave similarly to those in our own.
And since slot redfish respond to conditions in a similar manner as the bass, we can assume the tactics and tackle used this week will work in our own waters.
I doubt bass anglers will be fishing in anything any deeper than what we fish in, especially seeing the Biloxi Marsh has depths up to seventy feet.
Just take a look, and you can see they will deal with fluctuating shallow water just as much as we do.
Our waters aren't all that different, and there's a good chance we can learn something new this weekend.
Trust me, I've had this experience!
Fishing out-of-state for inshore species (and the occasional bass) has taught me things I otherwise never would have learned.
Stay tuned for Part Two, where I reveal what you should pay attention to when watching these anglers fish.
The "knowledge bombs" that can be had very well could up your fishing game!
Watch it live!
Bassmaster Elite Series events are broadcast via Bassmaster Live, which you can watch on their website.
Click here to view the schedule and have reminders added to your calendar.