Fishing the Fifty
My Quest to Fish All 50 States
The Chesapeake Bay is an excellent striper fishery, and I am very fortunate to live relatively close to it. At least once a year, my friends and I head to the Eastern Shore to fish with Brian Councell (councellcharters.com). I’ve fished with Brian several times since I found his guide service in 2008 and each time he has delivered quality fish, even when other boats struggle to catch their limits or catch anything at all.
My biggest fish so far with Brian was a 43.5-inch, 40-pound female striper caught during the catch and release season of 2009. Brian is an excellent captain during the catch-and-keep season as well, and I’ve caught at least one other trophy (40-inch) striper and many other stripers in the 36 to 40 inch range, as well as lots of smaller stripers, some bluefish, and some cownose rays. Brian is a tournament winner himself and one of the hardest-working captains with whom I have ever fished. He is without a doubt the man to fish with for Chesapeake Bay striped bass.
I heard about Maryland’s annual Fishing Challenge in 2012, but assumed it was more of a fishing tournament than a trophy fish program and did not even bother to read the rules until putting this site together in 2014. However, at that point I learned that the Challenge is essentially Maryland’s angler award program. While the 43.5-inch fish would not have been officially measured anyway (due to it being released alive because it was caught in the catch and release season), the 40-incher from 2013 certainly would have been, so Maryland is one of the states with an unofficial trophy.
Maryland Welcomes You
43.5-inch, 40-pound striper caught during catch and release season
Beautiful November striper
Bay catfish, a somewhat rare occurrence
The scenic Chesapeake Bay
37-inch striper, my first saltwater striper of 2014
My first trip with Brian
Capt. Brian and Joel getting iced
35-inch striper, with my parents